In The Good Spirit of Laurel Ridge, Jesse Stuart provides a tale of the Kentucky hill country which constantly excites, amuses, and amazes. The central character of this book is Theopolis Akers, “Old Opp” to his friends, the hermit of Laurel Ridge who is recognized as one of Stuart’s most colorful character creations.
Hermit, squatter, steadfast believer in the world of the spirits (sperets, he calls them), “Old Opp” lives a simple life atop deserted Laurel Ridge. He spends his days tilling his small patch of corn, gathering roots and nuts, or fishing with his bow and arrow. By night he sits on his porch, chews calmus weed, and listens to the wind blowing through the horse-hair harp strung up on the cabin wall. If he wants company, there is always his hound dog to talk to or various spirits to commune with including his dead wife, Beadie.
By Jesse Stuart