Frank And Ruthie

Good news on the home front:

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

Why good news? Because the above cop acted like in a very un-coplike manner:

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.

“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.”

You’ll note that the police brass called this “amazing”.


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.

“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.

That is, a twelve year old girl who was homeschooled from thrift-store books in a survivialist’s shanty in the forest by a single parent is the equivalent of a public high school graduate.

What does it add up to? The Endarkenment’s engulfing us like a tide of rotten honey, but there are still decent folks out there in the world. I’m very glad that just this once, things went right. Good for Frank and Ruthie, and good for Officer Barkley.

2 thoughts on “Frank And Ruthie”

  1. John – This is “Good news on the homefront.” I was struck by two other thoughts, though, when I read the article. First, in regards to this quote.

    “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.”

    Its interesting, that upon espial of the gray bearded old man and the young girl, apparently living in the forest, the automatic response was to call the police. Is such a sight, that suspicious, that it requires a response from the state? Were the living conditions that “unacceptable,” as the article labels them?

    The second thought concerns the cluck, clucking tone of the piece. Meaning, the oh how sad is that, that these two were living in the woods. The two were healthy, appeared to be well fed, hygenic, and more than articulate. Is that something to cluck, cluck about?

    Additionally, if the one cop, who took a more than normal interest in the two, had not kept involved with them, after determining they were not “criminal,” had let the state handle the matter, it may have ended quite differently.

    It is a good story, though.

  2. I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t immediately throw Man in jail and Girl into a foster home, but all that same, why couldn’t they have just left them alone?

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