Photos By Forester Russ Richardson and Bob Weaver
By Bob Weaver 2020
We returned to enjoy Emma Metz's expansive field of daffodils that she nurtured during her lifetime as a "hermit woman" in the backwoods of the Right Fork of Crummies (Crummis) Creek.
Emma died in 2009 at the age of 86, spending her life in the woods near the Bear Fork wilderness, raising most of her food, leaving once to work in a defense plant during World War II.
Emma had a multifaceted personality, wary of strangers and sometimes feuding with her neighbors, usually over free ranging her hogs and cattle, often saying, "This earth belongs to God."
She had a bitter dislike for highway department workers who disturbed her peace, and didn't even have a mailbox.
Sometimes, when falling out with her neighbors, after dark she would go to their house to defecate on their front steps, to return to her humble abode and read her bible and sing hymns from her old collection of song books.
Emma was a frugal and creative woman, who
patched her house with lids from old tin cans
Emma's original abode most of her life
Emma was a great reader and singer-in-private
The many times I took her Ramen noodles, she always gave me something in return, an old pocketbook for my wife or a dusty old book.
Her old house is falling down, doors open and cluttered with her keepsakes, including some old doll babies which she nurtured, never having children
She often represented the worst and the best of the human condition with her survivalist life, trying to be a free spirit when the world says no.
My life was made better having known her.
See Â MEMORIES OF CALHOUN'S "BACK OF BEYOND" MOUNTAIN WOMAN FAST FADING -Remembering Her Hard Scrabble "Fields of Flowers"">