“He was a wild man. I seed him out in the woods many a time when I was a’going squirrel hunting.”


p.s. The winner of the “A Foxfire Christmas” is William Dotson who said: “Growing up we always raised all our meat and vegatables and Mom would can and freeze everything she could.”

William send your address to me at [email protected] and I’ll get the book to you!

Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia

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  • Reply
    December 28, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Funny when I was young there was this young guy they called Wolf Boy, and he was forever getting in trouble with the law and when they’d arrest him he would eventually escape, and one evening the law came riding down our rock road where I lived and they were lined up on fence post waiting on the others while they were making a drive thru the woods, they thought they had cornered him and they were going to flush him out of the woods, well, he was much smarter than that, ( he got away again ) and if he made to the mountains he was gone for a while until he broke into someone’s house or stole a car, then here they’d go, I think he finally broke a leg or something in one of his getaways and finally died in prison I was told, but he got a nickname for being so wild, and every time I watch an episode of Andy where Ernest T Bass gets out of the jail cell and puts hisself back in I’m reminded of Wolf Boy. He had a name but I’ll not disclose it for family privacy issues but he was a rounder.

    • Reply
      Denise B
      December 30, 2019 at 12:15 am

      Your story sounds almost word for word like a feller I know. The law had trouble catching him and he caused a cop to break a leg chasing him through the mountains instead of his being broken but they tell a lot it was wild mans leg got broken. In my story though they let him out of prison about a month ago. I know this to be a fact only because I was there when he called needing someone to pick him up after they set him free. I reckon it’s probably not the same guy but when I read this I just had to reply.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    December 28, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    Don Byers, I use “tollible” as a response to the question “How are you”, I get many strange looks until I explain this is an old form of tolerable.

  • Reply
    December 28, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Speaking of wild men, there was still an occasional hermit or mountain man spotted in these hills as late as the nineties. I wonder if they still exist or has APS stepped in and made sure they could no longer pursue the life they chose? One that stands out in memory is a handsome long haired hippie type who looked just like the pictures meant to portray Jesus. He could be seen roaming the mountains of Summers County WV. He was complete with staff and loyal dog. I was so curious (nosy) in my travels that I would ask the folks in the area about him. All I could find out was they thought he had been wealthy, and with great dissatisfaction with the lifestyle had left it to become this mountain hermit. He crosses my mind on occasion, and I hope he found the peace he craved, or that maybe he chose to go back to the life he had before. I feared ever stopping to ask him if he wanted a ride. Had I stopped this story would probably be a lot more informative.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 28, 2019 at 9:34 am

    I’d reckon if he seed me, he thought the same thing!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    December 28, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Hmmmm does this mean wild as in erratic or wild as in liking the wild places? If the second, I wanted to be a wild man but I sort of got over it, just not altogether.

    • Reply
      Jim k
      December 28, 2019 at 10:16 am

      Reminds me of a hermit that resided on a farm along the nolichucky river I deer hunted in the 70s. The owners told me he was there when they purchased the property. He could appear out of nowhere, never making a sound. I often wonder what his story was.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    December 28, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Good morning! As my Grandpa Nick Byers would have said, “I’m tollible”.

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