As a young boy I loved the outdoors and was blessed with “woods” just outside the back door. Perhaps a thousand acres of floodplain, the land could not be developed and thus was an island in the midst of San Antonio growth to the north. I walked every acre, fought off Indians and bad guys, learned how to stalk live game, and had a ball. I noticed the development when it skipped over my refuge and realized that wilderness near an urban area is a rarity, a precious thing worth preserving. That realization led me to believe at age 11 I wanted to have a life in the outdoors, helping others find their “woods”. Not knowing any better at that young age, and encouraged by my parents, I wrote to Governor John Connally lamenting the loss of open space and asking how I could one day work in the parks system. Imagine my surprise when the below response came to the mailbox.
It’s unfortunate that Governor Connally is no longer with us as I would like to tell him his encouragement of a young boy led to a lifetime of work in the great outdoors. While I never got on with TP&W, I never lost sight of my goals and have always been able to stay close to Nature. For that life, that career, I am truly blessed.