Jack English is not what you’d call an ordinary man. He’s an extraordinary 94 years old now who chose to live alone in the Ventana Wilderness, a Federally designated wilderness area located in the Santa Lucia Mountains along the Central Coast of California. He makes violin bows for a living but his connection with this wilderness area is a lifelong one. As a child he was introduced to the wilderness and has held that passion and desire to live there for most of his life. He lost his wife Mary English to ovarian cancer in 2001 and during her last visit to the hospital she told him to go and fulfil his dream of living there. His escape was also a time to heal his deep loss…
Mary Adeline Lincoln was a wisp of a girl in her late teens when he first met her. Five-foot-two, 105 pounds, a brunette with hazel eyes, she had an impish manner, and Jack was smitten the moment he saw her. He had just come back from three years in the Northwest, working the gold mines outside of Fairbanks and construction near Anchorage.
“Oh, boy,” he thought. “That’s the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen.”
Unfortunately, since making this film Jack suffered a heart-attack and has had to leave his wilderness home. The LA Times featured this great article which tells his story.