Have a Nice Day Job : My Career As a Park Ranger, Ecologist, and Superintendent by David Van Cleve
Dave Van Cleve provides a humorous look back at his thirty-two year career with California State Parks. As a park ranger, park ecologist, and park superintendent, the author had several wonderful assignments throughout the State. In this book, the author relates a series of true stories about his experiences, which range from weird arrests (a rapist on a tramway car; putting a bad guy in jail for littering in a state park; contacting illegal campers at 11,000' in his underwear) to unique situations (backpacking in a tuxedo on duty one evening out of necessity; lassoing a bull in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and getting cheered on by dozens of female inmates) to dealing with oddball staff (like the maintenance man who replaced a drinking fountain fixture with a hose nozzle with spectacular results.)
Most of these stories are accompanied by mixed metaphors and malaprops, in a desperate attempt to make them appear funnier. Although the tone of the book is light and amusing, throughout the book the author also conveys the deep respect and gratitude he felt (and still feels) for the members of the "Parks Family" with whom he served for over three decades. The park professionals who give of themselves tirelessly to serve the public, provide unparalleled experiences for park visitors, and protect California's rich natural and cultural resources deserve a big tip of the Stetson.There are many more stories to tell (the little old lady who "poached" a bighorn sheep and "stashed" the carcass in her home in downtown Borrego Springs; the public meeting for Prescribed Burning when only one person showed up -- a very grumpy person indeed; the time a bighorn sheep was killed by a boat at Anza-Borrego; the man who hid IN the pit of a pit toilet and covered himself with a transparent garbage bag.) However, the author was advised to pick an appropriate point to abandon this book.