Unusual Memorial to a Young Man in the Pines

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
22,933
Searched through a lot of obit archives in the Courier Post who fit the T.A., 28, died in 1980 criteria.

You going to write something about this subject??

You have the wrong death date. It was 2008.

I researched it also. I found a way to just search the letters T A on most of the various obituary sites in NJ. I went though all of them using 2008 and came up empty. He may have been from a different state also.

Guy
 

Nark

New Member
Aug 27, 2012
14
Yes, sorry. I meant 2008. I searched. But if that area is technically Hammonton, I would like to check the AC Press archives.

I don't know if I'm going to write about it or not. First step is to figure out who he is.
 

NJChileHead

Explorer
Dec 22, 2011
718
It's a mighty fuzzy pic but that looks like one Big Timber rattler or maybe Canebrake rattler to me.Holding it in that fashion I"d say the snake was dead or the boy was a real dare devil.

Yes that's a timber for sure. Looks like the person actually holding the hook is standing off to the (left) side and the subject is standing behind. I always feel the sadness and sense of loss when I see a memorial like this one. I'm looking forward to learning more from Nark's research as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: manumuskin

Pine Sol

New Member
Jan 24, 2017
5
Cape May Court House
Hi there,
I've been a lurking on this site longer than I will admit, and had planned to jump in a few months back. Read this thread earlier and figured it was time and maybe I could be of help with this one. The initials on the tree, I believe, are actually T L A. Written just like that, where the letters overlap and connect, commonly stands for True Love Always. Usually found within a Valentine's type heart where you would write your initials + initials of your boy/girl crush. It's been written this way by many young girls about many young boys for many years. A touching memorial to a forever young man. I hope this is helpful. Glad to be here for real finally. A lurker soul still though, so mostly reading not posting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boyd and Teegate

Pine Sol

New Member
Jan 24, 2017
5
Cape May Court House
You are very welcome. Still could be name related initials so maybe both and wouldn't that be a coincidence and an even stronger reason for the tree carving. So can't totally rule that out, but thought your knowing it also is widely used in that context would allow for more concentration on dates,etc.. If it sounds like I am backpedaling, I am. A big fan of all of you and glad to be here.
 

Subtlelikeatrex

New Member
Feb 8, 2017
6
Teague, TX
I solved this weeks ago, see here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Unresolved...emorial_for_young_man_deep_in_the_new_jersey/

Why "Nark" had only posted "I figured it out" (um, no you didn't, I did) is just odd. I figure the original poster of this thread would want to know who this young man was.

I just came here to see what ya'll thought of his true identity. Turns out the guy who asked about it on Reddit decided to keep it secret. Lame. Wish I wouldnt have gone out of my way to google search like crazy to help "Nark" as he obviously had no intention of updating all of you.
 

Subtlelikeatrex

New Member
Feb 8, 2017
6
Teague, TX
Below is a copy of my post from a Reddit identifying the man:

I'll just put this up here:

I found him.

James C. Rutherford Jr. of Medford, NJ died Feb 1st 2008.

View a life celebration party that was held for him at the link below, all images found on the trees (from both parties that saw them years apart) are on the tables in frames.

Hope this helps:

https://lynnescapes.smugmug.com/Events/JAMES-C-RUTHERFORD-JR-LIFE/


Edit to add cause of death: http://www.poconorecord.com/article/20080201/News/80201017
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,054
Pines; Bamber area
Oh my God, I feel bad about this. I knew him pretty well. He was in Russ's Plant Class for a couple years. I really liked him, and asked him to come on a PBX outing. When he passed, we in the class were all very upset. I did not recognize the photo.

I'm going to reach out to Russ, just to confirm I'm not mixed up.
 

Subtlelikeatrex

New Member
Feb 8, 2017
6
Teague, TX
Oh my God, I feel bad about this. I knew him pretty well. He was in Russ's Plant Class for a couple years. I really liked him, and asked him to come on a PBX outing. When he passed, we in the class were all very upset. I did not recognize the photo.

I'm going to reach out to Russ, just to confirm I'm not mixed up.

How odd that you had not recognized him from the images at the memorial in the first post of the thread.

Here is a similar image from the first post on the table at the celebration of life event:

https://lynnescapes.smugmug.com/Events/JAMES-C-RUTHERFORD-JR-LIFE/i-WpsDpjs/A

And here is an image on another table, this one is obviously shot at the same time as one of the images in Teegate's post:

https://lynnescapes.smugmug.com/Events/JAMES-C-RUTHERFORD-JR-LIFE/i-W5cczG5/A

The banner with the dates that match the underside of the turtle:

https://lynnescapes.smugmug.com/Events/JAMES-C-RUTHERFORD-JR-LIFE/i-DQpfGSZ/A

He was obviously very loved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: smoke_jumper

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,551
Pestletown, N.J.
Great detective work Subtlelikeatrex. The power of the Internet is still amazing to me.
For younger generations, it is something that was always there and in my opinion, not fully appreciated.

Researching this young man's death in 1980, the year he was born, would have taken hours, if not days, in a library scanning miles of microfilms of local newspapers and still without the search tool abilities that the internet affords.

It was good to read about the young man's accomplishments and see that a scholarship was set up to perpetuate his memory.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,054
Pines; Bamber area
How odd that you had not recognized him from the images at the memorial in the first post of the thread.

Well, those photos are not very good, and I have no way of knowing how old he was in them. They simply do not look like the Jim I knew from 9 years ago. I remember Jim with dirty blond hair. Teegate's photo below looks more like him, but even that one is not a frontal view.

He and I hit it off immediately. He was smart, unpretentious, likeable, and generous with his knowledge. He knew a lot about pine snakes and rattlers. He also knew a lot about mammals and performed and participated in studies as an employee of an environment firm. I lost all my emails prior to 2010, but I had several conversations with him. He sent me what I think was a paper he wrote or helped write regarding animal studies done at Camp Kettle Run and two other locations. Quite detailed, and 15 pages long. He was good. I still have that paper.
 

Attachments

  • jimruth.JPG
    jimruth.JPG
    116.1 KB · Views: 175
  • Like
Reactions: Teegate