I’ve said it before, but it’s always a blast to get called up to contribute to any of Chris Maggard’s projects. The guy does it right. But for this particular case, he did it big. And Harlan, Kentucky deserves big. What a unique town with a rich history fertilized with American spirit — and tragedy. For a quaint piece of Appalachia, its story packs a walloping sucker punch. The Manzo Shepherd story barely scratches the complexities of Harlan’s past. There are so many stories to be shared. Through pride and exuberance of the great people who I personally encountered there, we will hear more from Harlan again.
But for now, let’s celebrate the “Manzo Shepherd Story.” It’s horrible. It’s haunting. It’s twistedly fun. It’s true grit justice that Harlan dishes out ice cold. I encourage each of you to contact Chris Maggard, PayPal him the $17 (that includes shipping) at firstname.lastname@example.org and get your copy. My video posted here is just a teaser / highlight reel of my brief visit to assist with the project. But you need the DVD to grasp the full scope of the blood, sweat, and more blood spilt for Harlan.
I was very interested in the Manzo Shepard story. It filled in a few holes in the family history. Joe Christian was my mother’s uncle, his sister Mae was my grandmother and Jack Heaton was my uncle. My mother had told me the story of Joe (who has lost the sight of one eye while a child in an accident involving scissors) and how he was killed and his car burned, but she couldn’t remember all the details. The one detail she did absolutely remember was that she carried the gun into the court room that Jack used to kill Manzo. My mother was about 13 at the time and she thought that Joe was burned with the car. If that’s how the rest of the family first understood the story of Joe’s murder it is understandable that they would take revenge. Anyway, it was interesting to hear a bit of my own family’s history. Thank you for the amount of accuracy in the story that you presented.
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Paul, thanks for reaching out. What an amazing story. I’m gonna pass this along to the people that brought this project to life. Thank you!
Then we are close cousins; his sister Laminda “Minnie” Christian Dirty was my Grandmother.s Mom.
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