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View Full Version : *sniff* I love happy endings...


Frohickey
May 20, 2004, 08:47 PM
Father And Daughter Had An Elaborate Camp (http://www.katu.com/news/story.asp?ID=67497)

PORTLAND, ORE. - A man and his 12-year-old daughter spent the last four years living in a remote hillside in Portland's Forest Park, police said.

The pair was discovered in a dense, wooded area by an Australian cross-country runner and his wife.

They reported seeing an older man with white bushy hair and a beard, and a young girl at what appeared to be a "well-established transient camp." They called police on April 28.

That afternoon, North Precinct Sgt. Michael Barkley sent four officers on all-terrain vehicles to find the pair but they didn't find them.

"We had very little to go on, " Barkley said. "There's no way you could not do everything you could because it was a report of a child living up there."

The next morning, the runner escorted police to the site.

After an hour-and-a-half hike, police found an elaborate camp dug into a steep hillside.

Under a tarp-covered, wood-framed shelter, they found sleeping bags, a partially burnt log, a Bible, a stack of old World Book Encyclopedias, rakes and other tools.

A rope swing, a tilled vegetable garden and a small creek were nearby.

A police dog found the pair huddling behind a tree about 50 yards from the camp.

The man and girl told police they had lived in the park for four years. The pair appeared clean, well-fed and healthy, Barkley said, and the girl was well-spoken beyond her years.

The man, who identified himself as Frank, told police he was a 53-year-old Marine Corps veteran and college graduate who served in Vietnam.

He came to Oregon with his daughter, Ruth, from Tacoma with no job and virtually no money. Frank told police that the girl's mother was institutionalized in New Hampshire, and the two now lived on a $400-a-month disability check.

Rather than live on the streets and expose Ruth to alcohol and drugs, Frank said, they hiked deep into Forest Park and built a lean-to.

The pair went into the city twice a week to stop by the bank, attend church, buy groceries and clothes from Goodwill. Frank, a devout Christian, said he taught his daughter using the old encyclopedias.

They grew vegetables and used the nearby creek to keep clean. They stored perishable foods in a small pool of water at the creek's edge.

The man and girl told police that the runner was the first person to find their camp in four years.

Their biggest worry was being split up, Barkley said.

"Please, don't take me from my daddy," the girl told the 26-year police veteran as they sat on a log talking for at least 30 minutes.

Barkley, who has a 6-year-old daughter, said he was struck by the relationship between father and daughter.

"What was so clear was that their living conditions were unacceptable, but their relationship was a real deep love and caring for each other," Barkley said.

Officer Joe Campbell, who helped find the pair, said separating the pair would have broken their hearts. "Their whole lives seemed to revolve around each other," said Campbell.

A pediatrician found the girl free of any illness, any signs of physical or sexual abuse - and no cavities. A criminal background check came up empty, according to police reports.

Even though the child and father lived for such a long time disconnected from society, the girl had been home schooled and was in good physical shape.

In fact, the girl received a very good education from her father while living among the trees. Officials said the girl, who would be normally in 7th grade, is at a 12th grade equivalency. :eek:

"When we interviewed this little girl, she was very impressive. She really was very responsible, and she really looked as though she was way advanced in her years," said Portland Police Cmdr. Scott Anderson said.

KATU Television has been given permission from 'The Forest Family's' father to set up a college fund for 12-year-old 'Ruthie.'

To make donations for the girl, who for the last four years have lived in the forest and was educated by her father, to 'Ruthie's College Fundí at any Bank Of America Branch.

Police say the father was ecstatic when KATU offered to set up a college fund for his daughter.

The father has done a wonderful job of educating the girl, says police. She reportedly performs at a 12th grade level.

Police persuaded them to leave the camp, promising help them find food and shelter.

The pair spent two nights at a homeless shelter. Barkley found the man a job and a place for the two to live on a friend's horse farm in Yamhill County.

Now, Barkley said, the pair are living in a mobile home and adjusting to life with heat, electricity and electric water.

The man mows lawns and is learning to drive a tractor, and the pair ride bicycles to a nearby church on Sundays.

"The amazing part of this was the fact that Sergeant Barkley really evaluated what was best for these people," North Precinct Cmdr. Scott Anderson said. "Sometimes police would be a little quicker to hand things off to state workers. But instead ... he saw this through to the end."

=====

*sniff* I love happy endings.
Look at that. Advanced education from a caring parent (without the need for a NEA-union teacher.) :eek:
Loving daughter who thinks the world of her dad (without the need for school counselors.) :eek:
No cavities!!! (I don't know how that happened.)

If 'Frank' were the enterprising-type, I bet he can make a really, *REALLY* good living as an outdoor hunting/fishing guide. At the very least, he would make a good camp cook. :D

wdlove
May 20, 2004, 09:08 PM
I like to hear happy endings also. A great father just had an unusual method to raise his daughter. Seemed to be highly intelligent!

CAM
May 20, 2004, 09:14 PM
That really is a great story on so many levels. I'm glad it turned out well for the father and daughter. That's, of course, the most important thing.

I see it as an "In your face" to our education system. They spend thousands per year, per child (not that there's anything wrong with that) and still have trouble turning out kids who can operate at grade level. This girl is 5 grades ahead and only had a set of encyclopedias, a bible, and an "unqualified" teacher. Hmmmm.

Also, it's great that the cops helped them out. If they'd turned it in to a social worker, I guarantee this would have gone from happy ending to horror story. Here's hoping that social services will leave these two well enough alone.

mactastic
May 20, 2004, 09:23 PM
Go figure... when there's a high degree of parental involvement, children do better in their studies. Now perhaps if all kids at the schools Frohickey is disparaging had that advantage they'd *all* do that well. :rolleyes:

Krizoitz
May 21, 2004, 04:22 AM
Look at that. Advanced education from a caring parent (without the need for a NEA-union teacher.) :eek:
Loving daughter who thinks the world of her dad (without the need for school counselors.) :eek:

Yes because obviously its the teachers fault, with 30-40 students to take care of, as opposed to the parents who don't get involved. And obviously the school counselors are at fault when parents don't invest time in their childrens education. Way to take a good wholesome story and try and twist it to your agenda. Bravo.

virividox
May 21, 2004, 06:13 AM
good story. a shame not every child parent relationship is as good as theirs

ExoticFish
May 21, 2004, 10:20 AM
wow. that's amazing. and i totally understand the guys reasoning too. i'm worried for my kids (whenever i have some, i'm only 22... no rush! :D ) and what they'll have to go through in the future (and what i'll have to go through!)

flyfish29
May 21, 2004, 11:34 AM
I see it as an "In your face" to our education system. They spend thousands per year, per child (not that there's anything wrong with that) and still have trouble turning out kids who can operate at grade level. This girl is 5 grades ahead and only had a set of encyclopedias, a bible, and an "unqualified" teacher. Hmmmm.


Disclaimer: I am very short on time due to many grad school papers due this week so this argument probably has many holes in it, but here it goes:

Terrific story...yeah you COULD see it as a slap in the face to the ed. system but think of it this way. She HAS a great parent taking part in educating her not only the encyclopedia, but morals, etc. Most kids don't have that which is why educators have such a hard time educating our children. Remember, this father had 24 hours a day with only his supervision, rules, teachings, love, etc. Most other children have dozens of people a day that are in charge of their education including their parents (many of whom don't do their job of educating). Teachers also do this as their job and are paid less than an assitant manager at Mcdonalds with fewer benefits (although I don't think I would want the food benefit :eek: )

You say unqualified teacher...we are all (at least most) qualified to teach a child one on one expecially if we are given 24 hours contact with that child. However, you take 23, 28 or even 32 children and throw them into an elementary classroom and make one person responsible for teaching them most everything in life (and give that teacher almost no say in how to assess, guide, and even teach that child) and you will probably end up with some "screwed" up kids.

About the teacher unions...I have been a member of one before and although I would not choose to be if I didn't have to, they are the reason I got a pay increase a few years back from $22,000 to $23,500. Remember, this is after paying over $25,000 for a bachelors degree.(actually I have two so double that- but that was my fault for thinking I wanted to be in business right out of high school).

Preschool teachers are even paid less than regular teachers usually making less than $20,000 a year. Daycare workers are even paid less...usually less than $15,000 a year and many are teenagers first jobs and have no real experience in early childhood care. Both of these groups of teachers/caregivers are in charge of these children for more hours in a week than the children's parents are. This is the very reason I chose to take time away from teaching to raise our two kids until they are in school, then I plan on using my Masters degree and principalsstarting my own school which will not be as institutional as our traditional schools.

Please don't get on teachers for doing it wrong...we have no choice most of the time as the politicians, parents and communtiy members usually make more decisions than the adminstrators and teachers do. Think for a minute if people(newbies) that really knew nothing about computers were telling computer technitions how to fix their computers and keep them running well, and the computer techs HAD to follow the wishes of the "newbies". How productive do you think these techs would be?

I do say it is sad that we pay people to care for our computers much more than those who care for our children.

Wish I had more time to reread, reformulate my arguements, etc but I don't. Take this for what it is worth.

Johnny

flyfish29
May 21, 2004, 11:36 AM
I like to hear happy endings also. A great father just had an unusual method to raise his daughter. Seemed to be highly intelligent!

I would argue though...will she be able to function in society? she has had very little socialization and life skills(real life, not outdoor/survival skills). I hope she is not only "book smart" but has the basis and ability to function well in society and not just academically.

krimson
May 21, 2004, 12:05 PM
she's still pretty young, i think and hope that she'll be able to adjust well and have a successful life

Frohickey
May 21, 2004, 12:14 PM
Go figure... when there's a high degree of parental involvement, children do better in their studies. Now perhaps if all kids at the schools Frohickey is disparaging had that advantage they'd *all* do that well. :rolleyes:

Lets see... my solution would be... lower taxes, one stay-at-home parent, discount coupon for a set of good encyclopedias every 5 years, discount coupon for a set of standardized tests every year, and the phone number for an ex-public school teacher turned tutor that is making house calls. :eek: :D :D

JeffTL
May 21, 2004, 12:51 PM
I would argue though...will she be able to function in society? she has had very little socialization and life skills(real life, not outdoor/survival skills). I hope she is not only "book smart" but has the basis and ability to function well in society and not just academically.


Probably as much as anyone. Socialization is the process of instilling culture, and parents are generally the primary transmitters of culture anyhow.

Hemingray
May 21, 2004, 01:02 PM
Now, Barkley said, the pair are living in a mobile home and adjusting to life with heat, electricity and electric water.

That's very cool.

But... electric water?! :eek: Shocking... :D

flyfish29
May 21, 2004, 01:48 PM
Probably as much as anyone. Socialization is the process of instilling culture, and parents are generally the primary transmitters of culture anyhow.

I agree that parents are the primary cultural transmitters, but socialization refers to the process of making fit for companionship with others and to convert or adapt to the needs of society. That can only be done on a somewhat limited scale by parents. Take home schooling for example. (Even though I don't care for homeschooling unless there is certain circumstances) However, luckily there is a great network for homeschooled kids where they can get together for group activities, etc. where they used to not be able to due to a lack of organization of parents who homeschool. Those kids are becoming more social as a result which will help them "fit" into society and the culture they live in.

Krizoitz
May 21, 2004, 01:56 PM
Lets see... my solution would be... lower taxes, one stay-at-home parent, discount coupon for a set of good encyclopedias every 5 years, discount coupon for a set of standardized tests every year, and the phone number for an ex-public school teacher turned tutor that is making house calls. :eek: :D :D

So you not only want to lower taxes but you also want to provide discounts on things like encyclopedias. Ummm how are you going to pay for that. Oh and in case you hadn't noticed alot of parents CAN'T stay at home because it takes money to support a family. Cutting taxes, even to nothing won't make up the difference either. Nice try though. Either we are going to provide services or we are going to cut taxes. Pick one, cause you can't have both.

Frohickey
May 21, 2004, 02:28 PM
So you not only want to lower taxes but you also want to provide discounts on things like encyclopedias. Ummm how are you going to pay for that. Oh and in case you hadn't noticed alot of parents CAN'T stay at home because it takes money to support a family. Cutting taxes, even to nothing won't make up the difference either. Nice try though. Either we are going to provide services or we are going to cut taxes. Pick one, cause you can't have both.

Door-to-door encyclopedia salesmen pay taxes too you know. :p

Earendil
Jul 27, 2004, 03:16 PM
I agree that parents are the primary cultural transmitters, but socialization refers to the process of making fit for companionship with others and to convert or adapt to the needs of society. That can only be done on a somewhat limited scale by parents. Take home schooling for example. (Even though I don't care for homeschooling unless there is certain circumstances) However, luckily there is a great network for homeschooled kids where they can get together for group activities, etc. where they used to not be able to due to a lack of organization of parents who homeschool. Those kids are becoming more social as a result which will help them "fit" into society and the culture they live in.

Digging up and old thread here, but no one replied to this, so I feel the need.

I hardly think School, at the K-12 level, teaches kids anything about "society" and how to "adapt to society". I actually think it's quite to the contrary, where more kids come out of HS not having a clue as to what the real social rules of life are. As it is the Society within HS is something completely alien to the rest of ones life.

I also think that "home schooled" kids get a bad rep on the "social" scale not because being at home for education caused anti-social behavior, but because the reasons behind the schooling at home to begin with. For example, the 3 biggest reasons for home schooling ones kid are
A. Because the kid has "issues" that do not mix well with a public school environment.
B. The parents are religious in the extreme, and feel the need to keep the kid at home for education
C. The kids parents believe a better education can be received at home than through the public schooling system.

In the first two cases you already have kids that are never going be the social "norm" even if they are sent to school. In the third case you have kids that are going to miss out on public school, but are still fully capable of doing other activities with kids (not to say the first two aren't, it just may be harder). I do not think it is "a lucky thing" that there are ways of getting a kid out there and doing "group activities". That Now days we have ways of socializing home schoolers, yay! *gag*. Must anyone be reminded that home schooling isn't the "new" thing, public schooling is.

That said, I'm fully open to discussing this topic here or in private. In fact I would be delighted to have someone respond. The topic really interests me.

Tyler
Earendil

leftbanke7
Jul 27, 2004, 04:31 PM
I hardly think School, at the K-12 level, teaches kids anything about "society" and how to "adapt to society". I actually think it's quite to the contrary, where more kids come out of HS not having a clue as to what the real social rules of life are. As it is the Society within HS is something completely alien to the rest of ones life.

You make a good point however, a huge part of high school is not being taught how to function in society from teacher but surviving in the community that is the school itself. Granted, the "high school society" might not equate 1-to-1 with real society but it gives students a forum in which to learn, practice and expand upon social skills that will benefit them throughout life. Something that I have noticed is that those children that come out of high school lacking social skills aren't necessarily the outcasts at school but those whos parents do not allow them to do such activities as date, sleepover at friends, go to the occational party or have part time jobs. As a teenager, you are always learning (whether you want to or not) and those activites are great places to use and practice social and people skills.

Earendil
Jul 27, 2004, 05:42 PM
You make a good point however, a huge part of high school is not being taught how to function in society from teacher but surviving in the community that is the school itself.

And I would say that there are those that "survive" at the cost of more than it should take to learn how operate in society as an 18 year old. Granted, my experience with HS was one of 400 kids in a small town. Separation of the different "groups" where more pronounced in a school of this size.

Granted, the "high school society" might not equate 1-to-1 with real society but it gives students a forum in which to learn, practice and expand upon social skills that will benefit them throughout life. Something that I have noticed is that those children that come out of high school lacking social skills aren't necessarily the outcasts at school but those whos parents do not allow them to do such activities as date, sleepover at friends, go to the occational party or have part time jobs. As a teenager, you are always learning (whether you want to or not) and those activites are great places to use and practice social and people skills.

I agree with that last part whole heartedly. A few nit-picks though ;)
While I agree with you on part time jobs, and over protective parents, the dating and parties isn't exactly the type of "social" behavior defects I was talking about. I wasn't referring strictly to anti-social behavior. There are many ways kids "adapt" to HS. There are social behaviors that are adopted in HS that do not help a kid enter the society that exists outside of HS, and in some cases may be anti productive towards that goal.

I can't honestly think of anything that HS provides socially that a very normal dose of parenting, sports, a job, and just hanging out with friends can't provide. Any ideas?

Tyler
Earendil

LeeTom
Jul 27, 2004, 05:52 PM
What, 4 years and no Apple computer? I thought you guys would've crucified these people!

Lee Tom

rainman::|:|
Jul 27, 2004, 06:12 PM
When i was 18, i spent a year and a half as a hermit, dealing with intense social phobia... tried not to leave the apartment if at all possible. Was successful. It still took me some time to reacclimate myself with society and relearn how to interact with people. So i'd have to say, a girl that young would *certainly* be affected socially by 4 years of isolation. However, I don't think it's anything she can't recover from, and her dad did her such a service in other ways-- i'd say, give her a few years to work out the teenage crap (she'll have to deal with it someday) and she'll be OK.

I will point out that this story is proof that libertarian ideals can work.

paul

Earendil
Jul 27, 2004, 06:15 PM

MongoTheGeek
Jul 27, 2004, 10:57 PM
When i was 18, i spent a year and a half as a hermit, dealing with intense social phobia... tried not to leave the apartment if at all possible. Was successful. It still took me some time to reacclimate myself with society and relearn how to interact with people. So i'd have to say, a girl that young would *certainly* be affected socially by 4 years of isolation. However, I don't think it's anything she can't recover from, and her dad did her such a service in other ways-- i'd say, give her a few years to work out the teenage crap (she'll have to deal with it someday) and she'll be OK.

I will point out that this story is proof that libertarian ideals can work.

paul

I think recover is the wrong word ;)
perhaps "fail to be a better person for"

Abstract
Jul 28, 2004, 12:20 AM
The funny thing is that she'll probably have the most unique perspective out of anyone she ever meets.

Adjusting to society? People hate the type of greedy, selfish, stupid-people-are-cool society we live in. The fact is that I hope she doesn't adjust to society. I hope society adjusts to her and her perspective of what's important, hard work, DIY, survival, and smarts. She probably didn't have to suffer through things like Legally Blonde, for starters. That movie just sucks the brain out of your body while you're watching the screen. :o

themadchemist
Jul 28, 2004, 01:09 AM
that's awesome! I only wish this gentleman could find a job consummate with his education...

I also wish we gave our veterans the support they deserve.