Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Blue People of Troublesome Creek

Fugates of Kentucky: Skin Bluer than Lake Louise

From ABC News: The truth is stranger than fiction. The Fugate family pictured here from Eastern Kentucky were literally born blue...

In an unusual story that involves both genetics and geography, an entire family from isolated Appalachia was tinged blue. Their ancestral line began six generations earlier with a French orphan, Martin Fugate, who settled in Eastern Kentucky.

The Fugate progeny had a genetic condition called methemoglobinemia, which was passed down through a recessive gene and blossomed through intermarriage.

Who would have thought intermarriage would take place in Eastern Kentucky? Can you imagine pulling up to their trailer to ask for directions and having a blue man come out with a bottle of moonshine?

It all started when the orphan emigrated to the US from France...

Martin Fugate came to Troublesome Creek from France in 1820 and family folklore says he was blue. He married Elizabeth Smith, who also carried the recessive gene. Of their seven children, four were reported to be blue.

There were no railroads and few roads outside the region, so the community remained small and isolated. The Fugates married other Fugate cousins and families who lived nearby, with names like Combs, Smith, Ritchie and Stacy.

The bluest of the bunch was Luna, and she lived a healthy life, bearing 13 children before she died at the age of 84.

The family reportedly struck oil in 1962 and moved to Beverly Hills, California...

Yo, listen up here's a story
About a little guy

That lives in a blue world
And all day and all night
And everything he sees is just blue Like him
inside and outside

Blue his house
With a blue little window

And a blue corvette
And everything is blue for him

And himself and everybody around

Cause he ain't got nobody to listen to...


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