Sunday, August 3, 2008
The National Park Service
While living and working in Yosemite, I decided I wasn't cut out for the hotel business (who likes working a 60 hour work week -- not me), but I realized there was another group of people who lived in the park who worked for the National Park Service. By then, I was also taken with the whole idea of National Parks and all the reasons to preserve and protect them. I could become a Park Ranger!
So, in 1958, I took the Federal Service Entrance Exam and flunked. (Even if I had passed, there were very few openings available, and they were being filled by veterans who receive preference in the Federal hiring system.) However, I soon discovered there was a "back door" to getting into the NPS -- start as a Park Guide at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. So, I then took what amounted to a minor in geology at SF State to help me qualify for a guide position.
It wasn't until the spring of 1962 before the guide test was even given, but hurrah, I passed this time (actually a really easy test). And by then, I was known by certain NPS people in Yosemite who recommended me for employment, so much to my delight and happiness, I received my first National Park Service position at Carlsbad, and reported there on June 10, 1962.