Death of ‘Caveman’ Ends an Era in Idaho

A beautiful obituary for Richard ‘Dugout Dick’ Zimmerman, a man who lived off the land and – more importantly – lived the way he wanted to live in Idaho for most of his life:

Most, like Zimmerman, came from someplace else. Drawn by Idaho’s remoteness and wild places removed from social pressures, they came and spent their lives here, leaving only in death.

Some became reluctant celebrities, interviewed about their unusual lifestyles and courted by media heavyweights. Zimmerman was featured in National Geographic magazine and spurned repeated invitations to appear on the “Tonight Show.”

“I ride Greyhounds, not airplanes,” he said in a 1993 Statesman interview. “Besides, the show isn’t in California. The show is here.”

Cort Conley, who included Zimmerman in his 1994 book “Idaho Loners”, said that “like Thoreau, he often must have smiled at how much he didn’t need. É What gave him uncommon grace and dignity for me were his spiritual life, his musical artistry, his unperturbed acceptance of life as it is, and being a WWII veteran who had served his country and harbored no expectations in return.”

Death of ‘Caveman’ Ends and Era in Idaho [Idaho Statesman]

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