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  1. #81

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    Our paths crossed several times a year, mainly through ALDHA events but at other functions as well. Sadly I never got to hike with him, except when Gatherings were held at Dartmouth and we had to hike from one end of campus to the other (longer than the hike to a privy in Maine, he'd say, citing the old joke from Wingfoot's guide) with him always out ahead of me, to grab a beer in that basement bar on Main Street -- making it technically one of only a handful of bars on the A.T., as he also liked to point out. In fact it was there that I have my favorite memory of him.


    He and Jester and some others had invited "officials" from ALDHA to come share a beer on the Saturday night of that year's Gathering (early 2000s) and I believe I was the only one who took him up on the invitation. He was extremely grateful and, I think, impressed that I came. But why wouldn't I? It was October and baseball was on TV. Specifically the team he and I have mutually loved, hated and died for (and with) since our respective births -- in the same exact year under Dwight Eisenhower, I might add -- that team, of course, being the Boston Red Sox. With the backdrop of a great game and well-poured drafts, we got down to solving the problems of Red Sox Nation, the outside world, the A.T. and ALDHA.
    Conversations with Jack could be heavy at times, but it was all good, I always enjoyed them. We also shared a love of history. When he quipped out of the blue once how Jack Kennedy's civil rights record couldn't hold a candle to that of -- yes -- our birth president, I shocked the hell out of him when I gave him a high-five of consent. Because I, too, am well aware of that fact, and it is a fact if you didn't know it already. (Something else to thank Jack for putting in your brain, folks, lol.)


    Just a week ago he fired off a strongly worded email (redundant, right?) about something that the current administration in ALDHA had done, and I started to type a reply but stopped, reasoning that it would be better to talk to him in person rather than put it in writing, especially since I agreed with him. I don't often go to Trail Days but I was already planning to go this year, so I figured I would just wait to see Jack there, maybe invite him to grab a beer and let him vent to a sympathetic ear, then see if we could come up with a plan to address his concerns.


    I should've sent the email.


    But I promise not to drop the ball, and will do what I can to address his concerns out of tribute to a well-spoken, outspoken hiker full of passion for life, for the trail and for ALDHA.


    The class of 76 has already taken a big hit this year with the passing of Prince. (Boy, I can just see the two of them talking music right about now.) Jack, save me a spot by the bar (there's no smoking in heaven, right?) and put the game on. I'll be there eventually, bro.


    As always, Jack precedes me by a few steps.

  2. #82
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    One of the trail legends I was looking forward to meeting and drinking a beer, or two, with. Damn. I like characters, and from everything I've heard, read and saw of Jack in various documentaries, he was a character.

  3. #83
    GA-ME 2011
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    I met Baltimore Jack at Mountain in March of 2011 during my thru. He asked me what I did for a living and when I told him I was recently retired as a firefighter in Baltimore he said "Thank you for your service. You know I'm not from Baltimore, I got my name from the Bruce Springsteen song, do you know it?" Of course I did.
    Baltimore Jack.jpg
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  4. #84

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    Hate to hear that Jack has moved to another trail. He will be missed. I came into Kincora one cold January evening and Jack had a bowl of chili for me a minute. He said the wood stove had not kept the place above freezing the night before, but he slept next to the stove that night and I was directly above as he tended the fire. I had the pleasure of having dinner with he and Bob Peoples that evening. When they say the best thing about the trail is the people, these two guys sure lived up to the billing. Thanks, Jack.

  5. #85

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    Hell of a great one here....... such grand words to a grand man....
    "Reach Farther" ~ SOLACE

  6. #86

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    I first met jack when I wrote him about my interest in thru hiking back in 2010. He was always helpful and caring. Had the trail in his soul. When I thru hiked in 2012 I saw him 5 times, including a cold wet night at Kincora cooking dinner for everyone.He even bought lottery tickets for me one night. He would help another hiker no matter what. Miss you Jack!!

    Ysguy

  7. #87

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    ..... JACK and I spent last month working together in Franklin , NC with Ron Haven.... working sun up to sun down with Baltimore will give you great perspective & understanding on a Man. Jack like his coffee, BLACK, his liquor quicker, he would collect gear & things he would never use just to be able to give it away to someone who needed it... JACK loved his DAUGHTER, whom is to be wed this summer ,,,, He loved Trail Days, I MEAN LOVED TD! Jack was quick with a story to tell, but just long on the finish, so you better have had awhile! Hes thru-hikes pretty much more than anyone.. and pretty much knew everyone in the AT community, and i mean everyone, their kids, and the names of their pets!Jack was BETTER than anyone i had EVER met with JEOPARDY! He appreciated good food, and was quite the AT Chef! JACK was Happy with great people around him... and was happy with almost nothing. RON & I are talking @ naming the hostel in Franklin after him where he spent his last AT season, and last days... SO IN YOUR TRAVELS, raise a glass of bourbon, share a Jack story, touch a white blaze in his honor.... how we miss him dearly already. And you were right Jack... BILL BRYSON IS A CANDY ASS!
    "Reach Farther" ~ SOLACE

  8. #88
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    When I saw Jack in Hanover for the last time on my thru, he showed me a picture of Antlers Campsite in ME and said it was his favorite campsite on the trail and a must-stop. I probably would have skipped the site if Jack hadn't mentioned it because it made for a pretty short day when I got there. He was absolutely right about the place and it is probably my #1 of the trail too, certainly in the top three. I'll think of Jack every time I go back there.

  9. #89
    Furlough's Avatar
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    As you blaze your new trail may you be received kindly and treated well, just as you did for so many for so long.
    RIP Jack. Sincere condolences to your family.

    Furlough
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  10. #90

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    Last time I saw Jack was in the bar at Lakeshore House, where I was picking up my daughter after she and friends yoyo'd the 100. They were flipping through her camera looking at pictures, laughing about the things they had in common.
    They say he died of heart failure.
    Don't you believe it - his heart was a success.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  11. #91
    Registered User Speakeasy TN's Avatar
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    Heart failure my ass! The big dope was all heart! He's gone ahead so he can help us all out when we get to the other Trail.

  12. #92

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    So glad to see others remember and appreciate "Bill Bryson is a candy ass!" Thank you, Mr. Tarlin, for a fine time in Rutland in 2009. Hike on...

  13. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattjv89 View Post
    When I saw Jack in Hanover for the last time on my thru, he showed me a picture of Antlers Campsite in ME and said it was his favorite campsite on the trail and a must-stop. I probably would have skipped the site if Jack hadn't mentioned it because it made for a pretty short day when I got there. He was absolutely right about the place and it is probably my #1 of the trail too, certainly in the top three. I'll think of Jack every time I go back there.
    That is interesting. I met Jack at a Hiker Feed in Maine, then a few days later I ran into him again at the Antlers Campsite. He and Lion King camped there the same night that I did. He will be missed.
    Shutterbug

  14. #94
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    Jack was someone I didn't at first like, but I spent a day with him bumming around the Dartmouth area and my opinion completely changed.

    Pretty bummed out that we won't have the chance to chat again, I totally feel like I missed out by not getting to know him earlier.

    See-ya upstairs Jack.

  15. #95
    Ron Haven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakeasy TN View Post
    Heart failure my ass! The big dope was all heart! He's gone ahead so he can help us all out when we get to the other Trail.
    Speakeasy, I have to agree he was all heart....

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Haven View Post
    Sad News,
    Baltimore Jack Tarlin passed away at Mission Hospital at 6 am this morning in Franklin, NC
    Jack was absolutely an inspiration to many an adventurous young soul and absolutely one of the best woodsmen chefs ever. I've cooked around a lot of cooks in my life but very few actual chefs, Jack was an actual chef. IMHO all Jack had to do was walk up on a cache of unprepared food and by golly he was going to figure out a way to get it prepared and served.....

    He saved my butt at the Southern Ruck this past January, I got the job done but I felt reassured with Jack in the kitchen. He just had a way of calming folks and getting the job done.

  17. #97
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    this is sad. Jack was an encylopedia of AT information with I don't know how many (9?) thru hikes under his belt. He was an information source to me when I was planning my hike. Peace to his family and friends near and far.

  18. #98
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    First met BJ on my first Thru. I was at The Place all by my lonesome, it was completely empty in mid-March, late at night, and I was sitting outside at one of the picnic tables when up hobbles this old dude. All I really remember is the bandages that seemed to wrap him like a mummy and the fifth of JB (in plastic bottle) wrapped with duct tape that he set down on the table.

    He was way too young. ;(

    Rest in Peace Baltimore Jack
    * Warning: I bite AND I do not play well with others! -hellkat-

  19. #99
    Registered User The Scribe's Avatar
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    Jack spinning a yarn and commanding an audience at the Whiteblaze feed in Caratunk in 2005. Shutterbug, pretty sure this is when I met you and the feed you mentioned.dscn0701.jpg
    "If I get started in the right direction, I just might get to where I want to go." -- Tab Benoit

  20. #100

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    I met this guy in 1995 on his first (and my only) thru hike, we shared stories of life (and his daughter), food and beverages one night in a shelter in Virginia before parting ways. I saw him again at several ALDHA gatherings usually giving Warren Doyle **** for his "expedition" style of thru hiking with support vans. I ended up un-friending him on FB for blowing up my page with his comments, but would always share a slug of bourbon with him. Truly a special soul and missed by many. RIP Baltimore Jack played the GA>ME @ 1995

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