One of the first American family feuds inflamed after an 1878 dispute over the ownership of a pig. Floyd Hatfield found it on Hatfield property. Randolph McCoy had a different opinion citing the marks on the pig's ears as his brand. As per the recourse of the day, the local Justice of the Peace was consulted. In a twist of irony, the JP was none other than Anderson "Preacher Anse" Hatfield and the testimony of a relative of both families carried the day. Guess who won? With resulting enraged tempers, on a hot summer day in June 1880, Staton Hatfield was killed by two McCoy brothers, Sam and Paris.
And the feud was on.
Fast forward to the hot summer of June 2009. The pig in question is a launch system to replace the ill-begotten Ares. This time, the families in Huntsville have been hauled up in front of JP Hawes to plead their case. And just as eventually transpired with the Hatfields and McCoys, today's hearings are just a precursor for the supreme court of Norm.
The Hatfield/McCoy feud escalated after Roseanna McCoy began an affair with Johnse Hatfield, leaving her family to live with the Hatfields in West Virginia. Similarly, the fellas and gals in Huntsville quietly started an affair with the Direct/Jupiter launch system. Working under cover of darkness, using the Italian Waiter's own tools, the adulterous clan fell in love with an alternative for the defect ridden Ares.
Back in 1888, feudal escalation reached its peak during the infamous New Years Night Massacre. Several of the Hatfields surrounded a McCoy cabin and opened fire on the sleeping family. Here in the 21st century, the Direct folks are being indiscriminately shot at by their neighbors as well. The neighbors say that their sweet Ares has worked out its problems. All other solutions could not be as far along and would set back the clock. Just keep the money coming and all will be well. A branch of the family in Houston thought they saw their shuttle-C brand on the pig's ears and entered the fray. They, too, had to duck for cover when the shooting started.
As the years went by and the killing continued, the governors of both Kentucky and West Virginia eventually sent their state militias to make peace. Wall Hatfield and eight others were arrested in 1888 and brought to Kentucky to stand trial for the murder of Alifair McCoy. The Supreme Court became involved because of the extradition and punishments were meted out.
It wasn't about the pig anymore.
Between 1880 and 1891, the infamous battle claimed more than a dozen members of both families. While the fighting mostly stopped in 1891, it took until June 14, 2003 for a peace treaty to be signed by later day representatives of the two families. The family minions in Huntsville and Houston should make note of this recent turn of history least their Vision be buried in vain as well.
And they, like the Hatfields and the McCoys, should look for ways of remediating the gap between them.
It isn't about the pig anymore.