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Barrett Crumen "Russian Jack" 1878-1968. The last of the swag men. "Man oh man I vos FREE! Free to have a beer, have a smoke, –happy what you can call all the time, you know. They was free days."Barrett Crumen (or Krumen) was one of the last of New Zealand's old-time swaggers. He was reportedly born in Latvia on 26 March 1878. Nothing is known of his family and it appears that he neither married nor had any children. Even his real name is uncertain, as 'Crumen' may refer to his being a crewman on a ship, and 'Barrett' did...

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I recently read an article in Wilderness Magazine about a young women who had decided to commit suicide by getting lost in the bush and succumbing to the elements. During her attempt her whole perspective on life changed. Her story really struck a chord with me, here was someone for whom hitting the hills and choosing the BushLife had literally saved her life.

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