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Old April 5th, 2016 #1
Robbie Key
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Default Cool story about man who lived in the woods of Maine for 27 years

[taking outdoor living to the extreme. ]

The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit



BY MICHAEL FINKEL
August 4, 2014

Quote:
For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend—or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest

The hermit set out of camp at midnight, carrying his backpack and his bag of break-in tools, and threaded through the forest, rock to root to rock, every step memorized. Not a boot print left behind. It was cold and nearly moonless, a fine night for a raid, so he hiked about an hour to the Pine Tree summer camp, a few dozen cabins spread along the shoreline of North Pond in central Maine. With an expert twist of a screwdriver, he popped open a door of the dining hall and slipped inside, scanning the pantry shelves with his penlight.

Candy! Always good. Ten rolls of Smarties, stuffed in a pocket. Then, into his backpack, a bag of marshmallows, two tubs of ground coffee, some Humpty Dumpty potato chips. Burgers and bacon were in the locked freezer. On a previous raid at Pine Tree, he’d stolen a key to the walk-in, and now he used it to open the stainless-steel door. The key was attached to a plastic four-leaf-clover key chain, with one of the leaves partially broken off. A three-and-a-half-leaf clover.

He could’ve used a little more luck. Newly installed in the Pine Tree kitchen, hidden behind the ice machine, was a military-grade motion detector. The device remained silent in the kitchen but sounded an alarm in the home of Sergeant Terry Hughes, a game warden who’d become obsessed with catching the thief. Hughes lived a mile away. He raced to the camp in his pickup truck and sprinted to the rear of the dining hall. He peeked in a window.

And there he was. Probably. The person stealing food appeared entirely too clean, his face freshly shaved. He wore eyeglasses and a wool ski hat. Was this really the North Pond Hermit, a man who’d tormented the surrounding community for years—decades—yet the police still hadn’t learned his name?
http://www.gq.com/story/the-last-true-hermit
 
Old April 5th, 2016 #2
Robbie Key
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Quote:
That’s fine, I said, though I expected to ask questions that might kindle his rudeness. But I started with a gentle one: What was your life like before you went into the forest?
Before he slept in the woods for a quarter century straight, Chris never once spent a night in a tent. He was raised in the community of Albion, a forty-five-minute drive east of his camp; he has four older brothers and one younger sister. His father, who died in 2001, worked in a creamery. His mother, now in her eighties, still lives in the same house where Chris grew up, a modest two-story colonial on a wooded fifty-acre plot.
The family is extremely private and did not speak with me. Their next-door neighbor told me that in fourteen years, he hasn’t exchanged more than a word with Chris’s mom. Sometimes he sees her getting the paper. "Culturally my family is old Yankee," Chris said. "We’re not emotionally bleeding all over each other. We’re not touchy-feely. Stoicism is expected."
Was wondering over this. What exactly does the term 'old Yankee' entail?
 
Old April 21st, 2016 #3
Ray Allan
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Reminds me of the story of Wild Bill Moreland, who lived in the Clearwater Mountains of Idaho from 1932 to 1945 who survived similarly to this man before he was caught by game wardens after a long search for him. Moreland lived even rougher and in a rougher part of the country, surviving mainly by trapping wild game with occasional foraging on the outskirts of civilization to obtain food, clothing and weapons.

Another interesting story of a modern-day hermit was Imperial Japanese Army Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda who hid out on the island of Lubang in the Philippines for 30 years from 1944 to 1974, only surrendering to his former commanding officer who came down to the island by request of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Onoda was treated as a hero when he returned to Japan and later moved to South America. He lived into his nineties, only dying a couple years ago, in 2014.
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