I am very pleased to live where I do. Let me state that upfront.
Also I enjoy tremendously the local history. Mrs. CGB & I literally live down the street from a finely restored farmstead that was birthplace to Zebulon Vance, the famous No. Carolina Civil War Governor & last Whig politician of note. If you enjoy American history, you couldn't be better situated here other than Washington, DC or Gettysburg.
Lastly - as I end my string of preferatory mea culpas - might I add the neighboring county, in particular, is known for its tradition of clan politics. There are three main families which have dominated the area, Madison Co., since before ole Zeb, referenced above, was a pup.
I had on staff till recently a gent from most prominent of these three trunks of none too distantly spread-out kinfolk. This beautiful, remote and, unfortunately, poor corner of western No. Carolina, is stunningly gorgeous when the odd trailer doesn't creep into view. A picture of the still functioning county courthouse in Marshall is above as Exhibit A.
All that said, I got to admit that some of what I see could be straight from "Deliverance" lost footage. As Exhibit B to support my rather bold claim, below is from today's local paper (Madison County News-Record & Sentinel) printed, perhaps, 20 minutes down Rt. 25 from our 'Cottage of Perpetual Love and Understanding' (a.k.a. CoPLaU):
Warm buck of spit saves Madison County home from arson
Madison officials say a disgruntled ex-wife tried to burn her former husband’s home down, but the flames were extinguished by the contents of a melting spittoon. (She) faces charges of attempted arson, B/E & burning personal property.
According to Madison County Sheriff’s Detective Randy Bradford, Sharon Shelton, 66, the second of three ex-wives of Gerald Shelton, tried to enlist the help of ex-wife number three to burn down Shelton’s home. Authorities say Sharon Shelton sent a typewritten letter to the other ex-wife. “The letter said, ‘if you want to get even with him, burn the house down,’” Bradford said. But the third ex-wife instead reported the letter to authorities, who warned Gerald Shelton of the threat.
Last Tuesday, Sheriff Buddy Harwood said a call came in to Madison County Emergency Operations about a fire at the Shelton home, located on Joe Shelton Road. When detectives arrived they found that a blaze had started atop a table.
The fire had been contained to the top of the table. Harwood said the suspect had apparently “entered the rear of the residence, poured fuel on assorted papers, and lit those papers. Once the papers were lit, the suspect fled to Greeneville, Tenn.”
“The fire was extinguished by a spittoon" - a plastic spit container - " which was on the table. The fire got hot enough to melt the plastic,” Harwood said, and the spit flowed out, extinguishing the flames. [Thank Jesus on high!]
In honor of above near miracle, I understand our local Wal*Mart will be running a '2-fer-1' on Skoal this weekend.