J.P. Glover died Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 at the Bishop Care Center. He was 85.
Those who knew Glover did not call him by his birth name – most never knew it. He was known as the Sierra Phantom, a nickname earned after living 50 years in the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Glover was born in Orange on June 20, 1926 to Eric and Heidi Glover, who both died when he was a toddler. He endured an unstable childhood, moving between orphanages and foster homes every few years throughout California and Washington. At 17 years old, he lied about his age to join the U.S. Navy with an itch to discover the world. He served as a World War II sharpshooter in Alaska for four years. By the age of 21, the anguish of his childhood and the war drove Glover to choose a life as a lone mountaineer. He set up inconspicuous camps throughout the High Sierra and lived apart from civilization, only visiting small mountain towns every few months to replenish his supplies.
In his mid-70s, Glover moved into an apartment in Bishop, where he quickly became a local legend. He was often spotted sitting outside Erik Schat’s Bakkery and Raymond’s Deli, tying his self-invented glitter flies for fishing.
Glover also served as a mountain and fishing guide, a job he saw as an opportunity to pass along all he had learned in the wilderness to the generations that followed.
Glover will be remembered for his tales of survival in the wild, his ability to make fast friends with anyone willing to lean in and hear those tales, and the philosophy which he lived by – you’re never lonely when you’re surrounded by nature.