The Death Of A Pine Barren Explorer

Discussion in 'Photographers Phorum' started by Teegate, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    In May 1973 I was approached by a friend of mine informing me there was a job opening at the local Sunoco gas station. I was told to go there right away if I wanted it and I did just that. What I didn't know is that this one event would change my life forever and would be the catalyst for my lifelong interest in the pine barrens. There were two important events that would occur that day. The first one would be me noticing a book laying on a shelf which turned out to be Forgotten Towns of South Jersey. Leafing through it I was instantly interested in finding the places mentioned in the book. Before leaving that day I had permission to take the book home and read it, and by the end of that day I was hooked.

    The second event would be meeting the mechanic there named Craig. He had just recovered from a motorcycle accident and owned a Toyota Land Cruiser that his mom had been driving while he was recovering. He spoke of camping on a mountain in the pine barrens and driving endlessly without seeing another person. This was something I was interested in and I wanted to experience it. Within weeks or months I would be in the passenger seat of his vehicle and soon after camping with him and his friend Glenn. Within a year I had a drivers license and had saved up enough money to purchase a two year old 1973 Land Cruiser. We would spend many a weekend exploring the pines and camping on the mountain he spoke about the day we met. For a few years our explorations were fairly common but as time marches on life changes for everyone.

    Fast forward to a few weeks ago when the news arrived. He had cancer and was not doing well. Then another email a week ago, and then this from Glenn early this morning.


    Craig's daughter called to let me know that Craig passed away shortly after the end of the Super Bowl. Craig was an Eagles fan and was listening to the game. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren when he passed peacefully.


    One day someone will be writing this about me, but until then I will continue to do what both of us loved to do and will make it a point to soon visit again the special place on the mountain in the pines that we spent so much time at together. RIP Craig.

    Guy


    His 1972 Land Cruiser.

    1972LC.jpg



    In the evenings we would each climb a tree on the west side of the mountain and clap as the sunset. My kids to this day will clap and laugh at me whenever we see a nice sunset. I have no regrets.

    craig_tree.jpg



    Craig on the right.

    glenn_craig.jpg

    Craig cutting wood.

    craig_glenn_FRM.jpg
     
  2. Piney4life

    Piney4life Explorer

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    Sorry for your loss.
     
  3. 46er

    46er Piney

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    You will always have the memories Guy. Not a day goes by that I don't think about friends that left before me.
     
  4. bobpbx

    bobpbx Piney
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    Sorry to hear that Guy. I remember your stories about Craig.

    I hope Glenn is doing well.
     
  5. this_is_nascar

    this_is_nascar Explorer

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    What a fantastic story. It's amazing how a person can be so key to another person's future.

    I am very sorry for your loss.
     
  6. manumuskin

    manumuskin Piney

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    Renegade Camping! I never knew Guy! Is that a TV hooked up to a propane canister?
     
  7. RednekF350

    RednekF350 Piney

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    Awesome story Guy. Very good to hear that
    We have been to that spot haven't we ?
     
  8. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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  9. Ohrioh

    Ohrioh New Member

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    I just wanted to say thank you for these pictures. I've never seen anything like this from my Dad when he was young like this. It's amazing what kind of life he lived before me and I would love to see more :) - Carl
     
  10. Longleaf Piney

    Longleaf Piney New Member

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    I had a 74 Land Cruiser. My friend and I spent many a day in the pines.
    He's gone now but like you I have great memories which are priceless and eternal.
    Auld lang syne.
     
    #10 Longleaf Piney, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  11. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    I have a few more photos and a few stories that I will pass along later this evening.
     
  12. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    Here are a few more photos. The below photo shows Craig's 72 Land Cruiser in State College. Craig and Glenn asked me to spend the weekend with them at a cabin on a mountain that friends of Craig's dad owned. We left Moorestown on Friday evening and we made it to the Church Road circle in Cherry Hill when the muffler decided to blow. We drove the complete way to State College waiting for the cops to stop us. Fortunately, we made it all the way there with no problems.

    On Saturday morning at the cabin the decision was made to walk down the mountain to the trailer of what I believe was one of the owners. Or maybe it was his son. In any event, upon arrival he was not there. We wanted to use the phone to call the local auto parts store. We could see the phone right inside the window and the decision was made to break into the place. Since Craig knew them he wanted to take the chance. Just as the attempt was being made I heard a noise behind me and turned around to see a hunter standing there with his bow and arrow ready to unload. I yelled to Craig who quickly deescalated the situation.

    We were quickly on the phone and informed that the Penn State football game started around 1 so we had better be there before that. We headed back and off we went into town. They people in that auto store were really pissed at us. Football is king there and they wanted to get out and we were keeping them from doing that. So at the last minute we were able to get what we needed and head on back to our trusty repair tree. I can't believe I am still alive.

    Developed 11/1979

    11-79.jpg



    It was Christmas and somehow Craig had a Santa outfit when I arrived at the gas station. For those of you who know Marlton this photo is most likely quite rare. The building behind him is Mary's Luncheonette which formally was Bart's Luncheonette with Bart being Mary's husband. Connected on the side was a farm market that rented from Mary and they used their name for the business. Dee and Lee's farm market. Behind it is Scott's horse transportation which was a busy place when the Garden State Race Track was around. Eventually, it was Carollo's and just this past month that was torn down.

    craig_sunoco.jpg

    glenn_craig.jpg


    The road to our camp was usually a mess. I don't remember why they were using his winch. He wasn't stuck. Developed 5/1979.

    5_79GlenCraig.jpg


    We had a friend in Moorestown who's father sold Mac trucks. Craig acquired a bulldog from him and put it on his Toyota. The other vehicle is my second vehicle, a 1978 Land Cruiser.

    b.jpg


    Another view of our camp. Craig's vehicle is on the right blocking anyone from driving through. Developed 12/1978.

    12_78.jpg

    Each time we camped Glenn would throw a rope over this tree and another one, and we would string a thin nylon rope between them. We would slide a propane lamp onto it and it would light our camp up making it easy to see what we were doing. Craig looks like he is exhausted for some reason. Developed 5/1979.

    Craig_Glen5_79.jpg


    And this final photo shows Craig and Glenn at the chemical dump off of 72. This was long before the DEP started working to clean it up. The smell was just nauseating in the summer and when the wind was blowing. Nothing at all would grow there.

    a.jpg


    Guy
     
    #12 Teegate, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
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  13. manumuskin

    manumuskin Piney

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    Guy I had the same sort of experience in a small town about ten miles this side of State College.I ran over a bunch of metal scrap in the road and blew two tires.I only had one spare.A fellow stopped and told me there was an auto shop a mile down the road so i drove slowly on on bad tire after changing one.When i got there they refused to change my tire because they were watching football.After telling the guy what kind of turd i thought they all were I walked out and had to drive five more miles to Firestone.I never met such a bunch of ignorant asses in my life. I think this may be why to this day I despise football and anything to do with it.
    Now once in WV I broke a tie rod and pulled into an auto zone on a sunday and they were closing.The guy reopened the store for me to get the part for me,8 bucks for a tie rod then gave me a guys address up the hill who was a backyard mechanic.The guy put down his dinner on Sunday and came out and changed my tie rod for eight more bucks.WV actually borders PA and i cannot believe the difference in the treatment I got from one state to another.I think the WRONG TURN I made was in PA and not WV.
     
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  14. ecampbell

    ecampbell Piney

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    Nice memories Guy, thanks for sharing.
     
  15. imkms

    imkms Explorer

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    Small world! Having grown up in Moorestown, I know of the Bloom family, and I definitely know his friend Glen F****nt.
    Sorry to hear of Craigs passing.
     
    #15 imkms, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  16. 46er

    46er Piney

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    College town :rolleyes:
     
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  17. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    You are correct.
     
  18. Ohrioh

    Ohrioh New Member

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    Thank again for posting, I missed the reply in my email. Those are excellent pictures. I always wondered about that bulldog on his cruiser. Still holding on strong last I knew. It's on my list of things I want to get back working again. As well as his Big Indian pinball machine.
     
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  19. cbloom1289

    cbloom1289 New Member

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    I love that I have your creative writing and pictures to share about my dad. He told me only a few things about his Pine Barrens camping days. I can feel him watching over me and not a day will go by i don't think about him or miss him. He was taken so soon but he lived his life the best way he knew how and with what was given to him. He often said, "It is what it is," and fought a very brave battle. I am honored to say I am who I am today because of him and his raising of me. He and I had a very strong bond and I hope that I can influence the world and people like he did in his life. Thank you for sharing, Guy. And please feel free to share more! I know my Dad was ornery to say the least (I mean, just look at that Santa outfit!) And I'm sure you have lots of good memories of him. Here are some pictures from the last few years with Dad. View attachment 10495 View attachment 10494
     
  20. cbloom1289

    cbloom1289 New Member

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