11 Replies to “Ventana Jack”

  1. Nice story about my Uncle. The only thing that really needs comenting on is that my grandfather (Pa to his kids AND grandkids – he didn’t want the ladies to know he was old enough to be a grand- father!) WAS born during the Civil War.

    However, he was not born in the USA. He was born in a small town 20 miles south east of Vienna in Czechoslovakia. (I don’t have the name right here, sorry.) He was the eldest son of Phillip Jacob Englaender and Helene Strauss (married in Neurenberg about 1862/3). He was born in March, 1864. He was 14 when he left home and worked his way to the States as a cabin boy on a ship. He was 95 when he died in 1959.

    I crocheted an afghan for Jackie for Christmas 2009 since I very much doubt I’ll get to see him again. I wanted him to know he is thought of often and with love.

    Probably a ‘lot’ more than you care to hear, but since I’ve typed it, guess I’ll send it on to you.

    Oh – Jackie has sold his bows to many well known strings players. Ask him who some of his customers have been/are.

    Daddy’s (Leonard) ashes as well as Phil’s (brothers) Lola Jame (Phil’s wife) and Mary’s (Jackie’s wife)are at the cabin.

    Thank you for listening to an old woman’s rambling,

    Madeleine English

  2. Hi Madeleine, how wonderful that you took the time to write me about my little tribute to Jack, but even more that you appreciated my piece. Please, share Ventana Jack with other members of his family — perhaps it will find a way back to Jack himself in his cabin in the wilderness.

    All the best, Robert

  3. Thanks for the response. I have already shared your article with family.

    I was hoping you would be able to talk to him personally and get information about his clients. He is modest and doesn’t make a lot of fuss.

    One of his clients is Yo Yo Mah. I just discovered that when Jackie’s hands were really bad with gout, he wasn’t able to make/finish a bow for him. So, Yo Yo Mah went to the cabin and spent a week with Jack to learn how to make bows himself.

    Jack would never tell that, had to learn from another person. Love my Uncle, bless his heart.

    Madeleine

  4. October 8, 2011
    Cairo, Egypt

    Just re-readnig some postings about Jack. I’ve been thinking of him a lot recently and as
    I said before, doubt I’ll get to see him again – but especially since I’ve been in Egypt since
    early February and I’m not sure when we’ll get back to the US. I did speak to Jack about
    the Yo Yo Mah story. It was just that, a story. No truth in it . However, Yo Yo Mah does
    by bows from him. Truth is always good enough to stand on it’s own; there’s no need to
    fabricate.

    Have you been back in to see Jack since 2009? If, by any chance you do get back to see
    him again, tell him I think of him often.

    IF you do go back and see my Uncle – tell him I think of him often.

  5. October 8, 2011
    Cairo, Egypt

    Just re-readnig some postings about Jack. I’ve been thinking of him a lot recently and as
    I said before, doubt I’ll get to see him again – but especially since I’ve been in Egypt since
    early February and I’m not sure when we’ll get back to the US. I did speak to Jack about
    the Yo Yo Mah story. It was just that, a story. No truth in it . However, Yo Yo Mah does
    by bows from him. Truth is always good enough to stand on it’s own; there’s no need to
    fabricate.

    Have you been back in to see Jack since 2009? If, by any chance you do get back to see
    him again, tell him I think of him often.

    Madeleine

    IF you do go back and see my Uncle – tell him I think of him often.

  6. Madeleine,
    I was on a pack trip in Pine Valley in Mid – Sept and had a wonderful first time meet and visit with Jack. I felt so at home talking with him over tea. He showed me his bows and yes was frustrated his hands aren’t working the way they once did. He spoke of his beautiful wife Mary with tears in his eyes ( as I got teared up as well ). I hope to go back in the spring time and visit. He was going to be leaving for the winter and going back to Santa Cruz around Oct 3 for a wedding and birthday party. I told him how wonderful it must be to live in the wilderness and to meet folks from all over the world without even leaving his forest. What an amazing man.

  7. This last year has brought some major changes in Jack’s life. He now spends 2 weeks in Pine Valley then 2 weeks in Soquel (Santa Cruz County). He gets to see his grandkids and that means a lot to him. But I think he likes his time in Pine Valley best. There was a 4th (half) elder brother, Arnie Hay. His home was near Jackie’s up Rodeo Gulch in Soquel. The Hay/English brothers were all nature lovers, but especially Jackie and Phil. Phil had the pack mules that carried the portable sawmill in to the cabin and some other large items. Mostly, what is there was made there.

  8. Hi!

    I just watched a short story about Mr. English and I was just astounded at what a neat life this guy has. This may be a long shot, but I’m wondering if there is any way to contact him…write a letter or something? My husband and I are raising our two little ones near Seattle and we often talk about taking a road trip. It’s sort of a bucket list thing=) Anyway…if we ever made it down that way boy I would just LOVE to meet Jack. Lucky that you got to! Thanks!

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