Best of Fridays: 2014 Reader Favorites

FridayThemesFriday articles are rotated primarily amongst the alliterative themes of “Far-Out Friday“, “Feudin’ and Fightin’ Friday” and “Feisty Females“.  Many of these Friday articles were some of the most-viewed of all articles this past year:

Far-Out Friday:  Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly (The Luckiest Fool on Earth) (409) – This article was second only to the most popular article this year, which I highlighted on Tuesday:  Tombstone Tuesday:  Henry Collis and Zipporah Chandler Rice – Sodom Laurel, NC.   This article was gleaned from reading Bill Bryson’s excellent book One Summer (reviewed here).  I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised how many views this article has received this year.  I discovered that, for some reason, it was very popular in foreign countries like Russia — go figure?!?

Far-Out Friday:  The Great Diamond Hoax of 1872 (83) – This article was gleaned from Simon Winchester’s excellent book, The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible (reviewed here).  The story received world-wide attention, yet it turned out to be one of the most cunning and crafty hoaxes ever perpetrated on a group of learned men which included bankers, financiers and mining engineers.  From that story came another Far-Out Friday article:  “Passing Strange“, the story of a very white man who tried to pass himself off as black, or what was called “passing strange” — interesting story if you missed it.

Feudin’ and Fightin’ Friday:  Spikes-Gholson Feud (82); Feudin’ and Fightin’ Friday:  Fence Cutting War (Don’t Fence Me Out) (82); Feudin’ and Fightin’ Friday:  The Lawless Horrell Brothers (From Lampasas, TX to Lincoln, NM and Back) (76) — Coincidentally (or not) all of these feuds were started in Texas.  My favorite “Feudin’ and Fightin’ story was actually a four-week series about the riveting Boyce-Sneed Feud (again a Texas one):  Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four — the sub-title says it all:  “Because This is Texas”.

Feisty Females:  Doc Susie (161) – Dr. Susan “Doc Susie” Anderson was quite a character.  It is said that the television show Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman was based on her life.  Just like the fictional Dr. Quinn, Doc Susie had a hard time being accepted as a competent physician.  She eventually won them over and made a name for herself as a hard-working, no-nonsense doctor who faithfully served her patients.

Feisty Females:  Grandma Gatewood (Part One) and Part Two (150) – This was the most inspirational “Feisty Female” story I wrote this year — what a fascinating lady she was!  My favorite quote of hers:  “Most people are pantywaist.”  At the age of sixty-seven she became the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail solo.  Her life up to that point hadn’t been an easy one, but after seeing an article about the Appalachian Trail she decided to tackle it.  She told her family she was going for a walk.  I also reviewed Ben Montgomery’s book here.

If you read these stories earlier this year, please share them with your friends and family.  Next week I’ll highlight some of my favorites that didn’t get a lot of attention, but I feel are worthy of a “second chance.”

Have a GREAT day . . . someday it will be HISTORY!

© Sharon Hall (Digging History), 2014.


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