William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield, my great-grandfather's first cousin. It got the usual, few visits to which I have become accustomed. We're not doing this to become rich and famous, right? I was happy. But then last week a cable television channel ran a three-part miniseries on the Hatfield-McCoy feud and suddenly a year-old blog becomes popular.
Disclaimer: I have not seen the miniseries. We watch almost no television to begin with, plus I have very little respect for Hollywood's portrayals of historic events and characters. The Hatfield-McCoy feud is the most famous of the many post-civil-war family vendettas simply because accounts of it sold newspapers in New York City. While there were a very few events of extreme violence scattered through the period, twelve people died after all, there also were long stretches of time, years, in which nothing happened. That did not deter the reporters who filed their stories anyway, making up atrocities perpetrated by ignorant, bare-foot hillbillies to titillate their audience. That fiction persists in accounts being written today. And since "hillbillies" are the last ethnic group that is socially acceptable to ridicule, there apparently is an audience still.