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« Humor At Hog Slaughtering Time | Main | Appalachian Writers »

January 25, 2010

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Tipper,

I'm not sure that I've ever heard of Mr. Philips, but I read a book and the story was built around such a character. It was an awesome read.

Blessings,
Mary

Great article Tipper. I read the Newspaper article and it was great too. It left you with mixed emotions. Should we have been happy for him being independent so long? or sad that he shunned the help folks offered. A rough life but I bet he was happy. Not living near the mountains it is interesting to see so many comment that they know similar characters. No one like that near here.

At some point in CA and SF on the west coast this was 'hip' and called dumpster diving, as to not waste. I had not heard of the 'hip' term until I met a dumpster diving vegetarian musician in my Open Mic circles...funny but he could be this mysterious 'Wild Man...'...although hubby calls him my new BFF since I feed him often!

Great post Tipper!

I'm sure he was quite content living the life he lived.
People like that can tell you things you never knew about nature.

Very interesting! I can't believe they flattened all those tires!

An interesting story about an interesting character! Sad but yet it seems that was his way of life and suited him fine.

Hard to find a place where you could actually be alone for that long. I guess those North Carolina Mountains still have a few places fairly remote places left. In most areas he would have been adopted by the government and become a ward of the State. He was probably better off where he was. Interesting reading as usual. Pappy

This man was my uncle. He truly lived a life of freedom like most of us will never know. I only saw him a few times, but he lived like he wanted too.

I have heard of him several times. I lived in Haywood county for many many years and now live in Buncombe county. I have never seen him, although I would love to meet him. Wouldn't it be great to live the life EXACTLY the way you want too?

wow.....

This reminds me of the way things were in my hometown when I was young. Everyone knew -or was related to- everyone else. Folks like Arley were accepted and looked after because they were one of ours. We had a couple of local "characters". One old gent would walk along talking very animatedly - to himself. There were some dire warnings from parents that if we didn't do well in school(or behave in church,or do our chores), we'd end up that way, but no one bothered him, and he didn't bother anyone. He had a house,always appeared well-fed and was dressed appropriately for the weather. Nowadays, he'd be locked up in an institution somewhere, supposedly for his own good. We used to feel a body had a right to live the way they wanted to. Now we have no "characters" left.

This story makes me wonder about his younger days and family life. If he has a nephew, he obviously had a brother or sister. Interesting. RIP Wild Man.

That's amazing!

I think his soul is in all of us!
Who wouldn't want to be "the wild man" sometimes!! I would.

I liked this story- and he was pitiful in a way. I'm glad there were folks to look after him and care.

Oh the article.. surely tugged at my heartstrings. God love him and God bless his neighbors for helping as much as they could.

(We attempted to go to Cataloochee one time. I got so anxious that we were on the wrong road...it was more like a path...and there was no one around. Finally he grew weary of hearing me whine and fret and turned around . Our car had previously broken down once on the Cove loop and that's not quite something you ever get over with it (lol..it was a nightmare on that loop with traffic bumper to bumper with a stalled car), and I just KNEW our car would either break down on that path or get stuck, etc.!)

The story of Mr. Phillips reminds me of that of another North Carolinian from the opposite end of the state - the Fort Fisher Hermit. They even look alike.

See www.thefortfisherhermit.com for more about him.

I met the Hermit several times when I was a boy. He lived on the beach in an old military bunker or concrete structure of some sort. For much of the year, he wore only swim trunks, and his skin was like leather.

This sounds intriguing! I'll have to follow up on it.

There are stories here about a man living in the woods. If any of the kids came across him he talked to them and showed them how to hunt and fish and to clean and cook what they caught.

Tipper, the Deer Hunter and I had lunch with Dwight McCarter last week. Dwight is a retired Park Ranger from Tennessee. He was talking about Arley, I guess Arley had just died and Dwight knew lots of stories about him.

Guess most towns in the mountains have characters more or less like Arley.
I can remember some of them as I grew up.

There was one guy, I don't recall his name, that lived in and old shack outside town. My dad took him some heavy wool felt to go on the outside of the shack to make it warmer. When my dad went back in a couple of weeks to see how it worked for him the wool felt was still sitting where my dad had put it and the man said he hadn't had time to put it on the shack.
Go figure!

I have never heard of him. He sounds like quite a character. Can't wait to go read the article.

Tipper: What a neat story of the wild man and also how complaining is sometimes the wrong thing to do.

Interesting post and I read the article. He sounds like a lot of the homeless folks in the city and suburban areas, except that he was fortunate to have a home where he could be who he was.

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