For five years Ron had worked at Wild West World outside of Nimsburg, PA. But not today. Today, Ron was paid for the day, and given the pink slip. During the previous winter, O'Hamill Amusement CORP. bought the park outright, relieving Arnold and Sandra Dole of their 56 year ownership. With the start of the new season the new corporate regime began to clean house.
Their first step was to install working toilets in place of the ill-maintained "authentic" outhouses which regularly caused sections of the park to close down. The second step was to relinquish Ronald Percy of his position as "Jedidiah the Mountain Man". In the manager's office he threatened a lawsuit, claiming ageism but it simply was not the case. Ron would smoke cigarettes while children visited his station, often recruiting the children to help him roll fresh ones. He had been caught a number of times but refused to bow. "They like it" he argued. The Doles never minded much. He liked the Doles. Ron would consistently forget his lines and would rant to the children about how the state was ripping him off by forcing him to pay car insurance and how if they weren't careful, the wealthy and powerful would suck them dry. They held the meeting first thing in the morning.
On his way home he knew shit would hit the fan. He broke the news to Linda. "Why do you have to be an asshole, why couldn't you do what they said" she screamed at him. But Ron was a mountain man, not a mountain mouse. Three plates and a cup were broken that night at Linglesleeve Trailer Park's unit 3C.
Ron slept on the porch that night and when he awoke went right to the Anatol Dupree public library, sat himself down in front of the wood processor and began to type out a resumé. For the first hour his computer illiteracy prevented him from making any progress but a friendly librarian came to his aid and he was soon on his way. Ron thought and thought and thought. Nothing came from his corrupted memory, so obliterated by years of psychedelic drug use. He'd worked in a grocery store back in 1978 for 6 months and taken odd jobs ever since just to get by or high or both. For a while he lived on disability until he got a job collecting carts at the Mr.Food grocery store in Brunsville. After being late 65 of his 92 days of employment he was let go. Following 7 months of unemployment, a friend from N.A. got him a job at Wild West World. And now, he was here sitting in front of a word processor unable to think of one skill he had. Depression began to set in. "I'm a piece of shit, I can't do anything, I want to blow my head off". These thoughts danced about in his head for an hour or so until he had a revelation. Ron had been a mountain man for 5 whole years.
He didn't ask Linda to join him because he knew she'd never understand. He left her a little less than half of his severance pay and a note scrawled on a torn out sheet of looseleaf. On that late August night, Ron fled his New Jersey trailer park for the untamed wilderness of the great white North. He was last spotted 30 miles northwest of Battleford, Saskatchewan having received a speeding ticket on Highway 16. Winter that year was not particularly harsh by Canadian standards.