The Road Kill Cookbook
Poca River Postal Authority is pleased to issue a stamp honoring the Arlen
Humphrey, author of the "Road Kill Cookbook."
Arlen Humphrey was born in Fraziers Bottom-on-the-Poca in late 1875. His was a rather undistinguished life, working in his father's general store, until the fall of 1906. That previous spring Arlen began to note that sales of butchered meat fell off considerably in the store. A bit of investigation revealed that the advent of the automobile in the area had led to numbers of animals being hit on the road by this new machine.
The folks of the area, being of a thrifty nature, let nothing go to waste, and they would "harvest" the dead creatures from the roadway. In this manner they cut their expenses, and had the benefit of freshly killed meat.
In the autumn of 1906 Humphrey decided that he could improve his position if he were to create a cookbook that focused on this source of fresh meat. He self-published a small cookbook, entitled "The Poca River Road Kill Cook Book & Other Recipes."
His recipes for frog chips and 'possum with yams became the talk of the valley. The first edition of his book was quickly bought up. In the following year a publisher in Charleston released a second edition, and this made Arlen Humphrey a well-known name in the area.
The stamp was issued in a plate of 15 stamps in the denomination of 20pu, on January 20, 2003.