Magazine article Insight on the News

Fussin', Feudin' ... and Suing. (Culture)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Fussin', Feudin' ... and Suing. (Culture)

Article excerpt

Is there such a thing as civilized incivility? The Hatfields and the McCoys are ready to have at each other again, this time with barristers, not double-barrels. Ron McCoy has filed a lawsuit against John Vance (a Hatfield) down in Pikeville, Ky., to gain access to a small family cemetery that abuts Vance's property. "Folks haven't been able to visit for 10 years," McCoy explains. "It's sad, and it's hallowed ground."

Vance, however, is not ready to surrender his territory or his privacy to visitors and has posted no-trespassing signs from tree to tree. He'd be liable if somebody fell down during a visit to the graves, he says.

The modest cemetery holds the graves of Tolbert, Pharmer and Randolph McCoy -- three lads gunned down in a Hatfield vengeance killing 119 years ago. A dozen people eventually died in the passionate altercations between the two families, stretched across two decades and rife with politics, pride and property.

These days, the Hatfield and McCoy clans sponsor a big three-day reunion each June meant to show that their only remaining rivalry is on the softball field. …

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