Shawnee Stories to feature local moonshiners

Portsmouth Daily Times

January 3, 2013

Portia Williams

PDT Staff Writer

UPPER TWIN CREEK — Shawnee State Park will host Shawnee Stories where Ronny Richards will do storytelling on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Shawnee Lodge in Shawnee State Park.

Richards, a resident of Upper Twin Creek, will shares stories about prohibition and profiles of moonshiners from Upper Twin Creek.

“I came here in 1972, and I have learned about some really, really interesting people,” Richards said.

The people that Richards is referring to is Kinney Cooper, Everett Lewis and Nelson Roe, all moonshiners from the Bloody Twin Creek area.

Richards said the highlight of his storytelling will be the life of Kinney Cooper.

“I am going to profile the life of Kinney Cooper, who was really quite a character and the first person that I met when I got to Twin Creek. He was just a very interesting old man,” Richards said.

About six years ago I wanted to tell these stories, because I felt what went on in the lives of these people should be told, and I didn’t see any of the locals doing it,” Richards said.

Richards said he felt inclined to tell the stories because he felt the history would die out.

He said initially he was reluctant to tell the stories, since he is not a native of Upper Twin Creek.

“I really think it was not my place, because even now I still consider myself to be an outsider. I have lived here 42 years, but I don’t think that I will ever see myself as a Twin-Creeker,” Richards said.

Richards said he decided to move forward with telling the stories in order to preserve what he believed to be important events in local history. He began collecting information from tells he had heard from a variety of sources.

“I get a lot of information from the archives at the public library, word-0f-mouth, also from The Portsmouth Daily Times, as well as some other local newspapers,” Richards said.

Richards said his collection of stories of about 100 pages.

“Its not a novel in any sense, it’s just a tale of folks down here, and some of the interesting details of their lives,” Richards said.

Richards said his storytelling session should be compelling to audience of teens and adults.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or portiawilliams@heartlandpublications.com