Sometimes the beauty is right off the beaten trail. There have always been an abundance of beautiful flowers on Koppick Knob. I have many wonderful memories of picnics in our field of flowers. After a long day of work, my parents or my Aunt and Uncle could be found walking in the flower fields. We sometimes had a difference of opinion when it comes to favorites though. I love the wild passion flower also known as Maypops. My father finds them to be a pest because they take over a field that he has designated for hay. He loves morning glories and I sometimes get frustrated when the morning glories manage to grow in my flower garden. Dad on the other hand will let them have free will in his gardens. Both flowers are fast growing vines and can often crowd out all other foliage, if not kept under control. We sometimes get busy in day to day life and forget to stop and enjoy God's gifts.
Growing up on Koppick Knob was a unique experience. We were taught to love and respect all forms of life and we love a good story. My Dad often says, he doesn't know what he would do if he had gone to the war. He was scheduled to go called after his graduation. The war ended though right before he had to serve. While Dad valued life, he would not let people take advantage of him. One year a group of hippies thought they would stay on the hill without asking. They were a little rowdy and loud. Dad hikes up the hill to tell them they needed to take their camp somewhere else. Maybe they had drank too much or maybe they simply did not understand life in the mountains. They chose to flash their knifes and tell my Dad that he would have to make them leave. Dad simply said something to the fact that he was obviously outnumbered and left. Dad comes back to the house and gathered a few of his guns. He proceeds to go back up the hill, but this time through the woods so he would come up behind the campers. He takes his time sneaking up on them. They were already back to their hooting and hollering. Dad gets right up on them and clicks the lever. They look back and he says. "I brought a few of Henry's cousins with me this time to even the odds. I might not get all of you, but I know I can hurt a few of you. I am going to ask you nicely one more time. Please pack up your camp and leave. Now if you want a demonstration of what might happen if you don't; I will give you one while you are thinking. You see the branch hanging off that oak tree to your right. While I hold Henry's cousin, I am going to take Winchester's friend and see if I can't hit the fifth leave from the top of that bottom branch" Dad took aim and fired. Of course the fifth leave was blown away and all the other leaves had not been touched. When Dad looked back, the group of campers had left so fast they forgot some of their belongings. I doubt Dad would hurt them unless he had to, but I think they learned a valuable lesson. Never pull a knife on an Appalachian mountain resident unless you are prepared to use it. Also as the years go by, the story grows just a little longer.