| "The world is run by monopolies, dictators and vote buyers" - Eddie Austin Kirby |
By Bob Weaver 2003
Around Hur we knew Eddie Austin Kirby as "The Man Who Lives In His Car."
would place a padded backboard across the car seats to sleep, keeping a trunk
load of food and personal items to save boarding expenses.
During the 50s, when I first met him, he had several sleeping places along the
Joker Ridge Road.
We have often written about the life and times of Eddie Kirby, one of our favorite
Calhoun characters. Quite frankly, we just can't stop. He claimed in his book that
over 40 assassination attempts were made on his life. Some of them he describes
Dr. Tim Miller, son of Calhouner Corley Miller, who went off into the world to be a
surgeon in Kingwood WV, wrote:
"I remember being fascinated by Eddie Kirby, who I remember as 'the man who
lives in his car.' On occasion he would stop at the house to do some business with
my father, Corley Miller. As you may recall, we lived on Phillips Run just up the road
from Hunter Huffman (next to Todd Hathaway)."
"Anyway, my father worked for Eureka Pipeline, was a foreman there for a time at
Brooksville. While he and Eddie talked, I would walk around the car and peer in the
windows at the collection of stuff." He kept all his potted meat and vienna sausage
cans for future use, a staple in his daily diet.
"I remember he had a typewriter in his car, installed on some sort of shelf as I
recall, and I remember being impressed when, during one of his oil meetings in
front of the house, he proceeded to type up some kind of important looking
document right there in the car," said Dr. Miller.
Some Calhoun old-timers will remember Eddie when he refused to drink "town
water," believing it was contaminated. It may have been his fluoride protest.
Seeking the permission of county politicians, he drilled a water well on the
courthouse lawn and installed a pump. Eddie would drive into town and fill up his
jugs. The pump was in use until a few years ago.
Eddie was fascinated with his own demise, claiming that over 40 assassination
attempts were made on his life over a period years. He documents the incidents in
his book "Many Are Called But few Are Chosen." His encounters with "foreign
spies" started in 1937.
On December 2, 1972 at his self-drilled oil well near Joker, a "strange thought
come to my mind," he wrote, indicating someone was watching him.
"Soon a tall hunter leaped from a strange car; this car was traveling down the
hillside road, on the opposite hill which was facing the oil well. This hunter had
stopped and was gazing about as if he were looking for deer. This day was the last
day of the legal deer season...The author began to wonder if he might meet with
the same fate which befell John F. Kennedy."
Kirby goes on to describe the stance of the hunter who had a rifle, and the
maneuvering of two other men who blocked his escape route from the narrow
hollow on Joker Hill.
He believes his life was saved by numerous cars passing the suspect assassins,
and that their alibi of shooting Kirby for a deer was disrupted.
In another attempt, Kirby writes in 1962: "Two strangers approached me in
Elizabeth, West Virginia and inquired of me about buying some walnut timber...I
needed money for these trees, if I could sell them for a fair price...When we began
to look for this timber (accompanied by the two strangers), it was discovered that
the larger trees had been cut and hauled away. When we got deeper into the
wooded area, one of the strangers disappeared into the woodland for a little
while...and a short distance upstream another stranger appeared with a
"Except for my forethought to take my friend along...it is quite probable that this
rifleman would have cut me down and I would have been among the 'missing
persons' for a long, long time. This gunman would have assassinated me on my
own ground, I have no doubts. Whether these men were assigned to this intended
gruesome act by monopolies, dictators or vote buyers, or by some politician, I may
never know. But such dangers are one's fate."
He details another account where an object strikes his car, crashing against his
car window at "the exact level of my throat." He claims it was an arrow shot from a
bow. "A severed jugular vein would be very hard to repair, especially with a person
on a lonely road and no one to help him...My only conclusion about this incident
was that some oligarch had made another effort to injure or destroy me, and had
failed again. My lucky stars were surely shining again."
A relative of Eddie said he was a "pretty sneaky trader and would skin you twice if he had
a chance. Discussing Eddie's handy car-mounted typewriter, they said he would
rewrite (on that old Underwood) deeds or leases after he made a deal. He was
known to seal the exchange with a few scripture quotes, sorta like "blessing the
deal," ever reminding the listener about the second coming of Christ.
And then there was the summer of the drought and all the creek beds had dried up.
Eddie dutifully pulled his wash pan from his old Nash car, filled it up with water in a
nearby mud hole, and shaved. He was Calhoun's first avid environmentalist and
recycler (those thousands of potted meat and vienna sausage cans).
Eddie may be best remembered for his prolific correspondence with famous
people, including Franklin Roosevelt before he became president. He wrote to
numerous world leaders with his "Plan for World Peace."
He willed his plan for peace to the Cherokee Indians in North Carolina, to allow "the
full and complete use" of the plan "to allow such Indians...to create and bring forth
world peace to all people of the world as soon as possible..." Eddie complained in
the will, that "other people in this country have not been sufficiently
After years of oil and gas speculating and working for the U. S. Post Office, not to
forget drilling his own wells, Eddie managed to accumulate an estate possibly
worth about $200,000. He spent most of his senior years re-writing his will, but mostly on how
to divvy it up.