River Dave realizes now that the things he was trying to avoid in life are truly the things he really needs. This 81-year-old hermit won't go back to his life of solitude after decades alone in the woods because of the kindness of strangers.
David Lindstone, known to the locals as River Dave, is a simple man. He has a long white flowing beard, weathered skin, and piercing blue eyes that tell the stories of the life he's lived.
For the last 27 years, River Dave has been living in a simple cabin in the woods hidden away from society. He didn't have a neighbor for miles and would go weeks without seeing anyone. He lived off the land and took care of his chickens and pets.
Dave pretty much kept to himself until a dispute arose about where he was living.
81-Year-Old Hermit Kicked Out Of Home
As the story goes, the owner of the property, Lenard Giles, said he could live there. They made a verbal agreement decades ago. But recently, Lenard wanted River Dave off of his property. The pair went to court when the judge ruled in Lenard's favor after Dave was jailed for "contempt of property."
Dave told the judge, "You came with your guns, you arrested me, brought me in here, you've got all my possessions. You keep 'em. I'll sit here with your uniform on until I rot, sir."
Hours later, a fire broke out and turned Dave's entire life into ashes. No one knows if it was an accident or if it was from Lenard's son cutting down the solar panels. Either way, all it took was a small spark.
But what Dave wasn't expecting was for his hard heart to soften and change. He never expected the kindness of strangers and the people he's gotten to know over the years who gave him the nickname River Dave.
Strangers Come To The Aid Of River Dave
Jodie Gedeon, an avid kayaker who met and befriended David more than two decades ago said "people were just devastated" about the loss of his simple cabin.
Strangers and friends are finding creative ways to help get a roof over his head.
"We felt like we had a little bit of hope," Jodie said after another court hearing. "We thought the landowner and David would come to an agreement. One option was to lease that portion of land to Dave. Bring it up to code. We felt that would be a realistic resolution if the two men would agree."
Another neighbor Richard Kleinschmidt added, "It has certainly occurred to us that here is a neighbor in need and how can we help him?"
River Dave knows no matter what or where he calls home in the future, his life is fuller and his heart is free because of the kindness of others helping him to find a place to call home. No one can do anything alone. Dave is learning friends, family, and even strangers can and will help you get through life's small and big obstacles.
“Carry each other's burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
WATCH: 81-Year-Old Hermit River Dave Won’t Go Back To Isolation
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h/t: AP News
Featured Image Credit: Youtube/Associated Press