KENTUCKY: Whittledycut

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Early on a hot, clear Sunday morning this week, members of the three families began to arrive at the mountain hamlet of Mayking, in Letcher County, Ky. They parked their cars around the schoolhouse and, laden with hampers and bulging boxes of food, made their way up the hogback ridge to the old cemetery. It was the annual reunion of three fertile and ancient mountain clans that go back to the beginnings of Kentucky, There, and throughout the nation, the alfresco political season was beginning. With the Fourth of July weekend...

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