There's a man living in the Ventana Wilderness in central California's Santa Lucia Mountains who has been the fascination of many for years. Why? Because he's 93 years old, lives alone five miles from the nearest road (the way he likes it) and has a different view of life.
Jack English lives alone on an isolated piece of property in California's Ventana Wilderness. (Image source: Vimeo screenshot)
"I'm just different than most people. I'd rather go back than go ahead," Jack English said in a recent video by filmmaker Grace Jackson. It's one of several videos and photo stories featuring the man who makes violin bows.
Living in a cabin made from materials off the land, English can go up to two weeks without seeing a single person.
English built his cabin with materials from the land. Here he has a workshop where he makes bows for musical instruments. (Image source: Vimeo screenshot)
He said he "fell in love" with the area when he first stepped foot on it, coming to hunt deer at 11 years old. Decades later he learned an isolated parcel was being auctioned and he bought it.
"I think the main thing is that it doesn't change," he said of the property. "It seems to be the same as when I first come here.
He had always wanted to set up his permanent residence there, but his wife, Mary, and other responsibilities prevented him from doing so. It was on his last visit to the hospital where Mary was being treated for cancer that she gave him permission to move there after she died. And he did.
"Life has its problems, but it's like my wife always said, 'it's how you contend with those problems that will be the result,'" he said. "I look back and I really did have a good life."
[sharequote align="center"]"I look back and I really did have a good life."[/sharequote]
A picture of Mary English. We do believe Jack English wrote "scrumptious" on this photograph. (Image source: Vimeo screenshot)
English knows this lifestyle isn't for everybody -- and even he gets lonely -- but he truly enjoys it. (Image source: Vimeo screenshot)
"I'm different, I know, and this is an individual thing," he continued. "It's the kind of life I like, and that's why I'm here and that's where I hope I'm going to be 'til the end. Maybe with luck I can make it."
Watch the short, uplifting film about English's lifestyle: