I was born in a small cabin in the woods…..just kidding! I grew up in East Nashville graduating from East High School in 1964. I then attended MTSU, graduating in 1969 with a degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation with minors in Secondary Education and Biology, with the prospect of teaching Physical Education and coaching track and field. However, the war in Vietnam was raging, so I joined the US Air Force in 1969. I spent 4 years active duty, 39 months of that in Turkey, serving as a Radio Intercept Analyst.
After my discharge, I relocated back to Tennessee and started working for Tennessee State Parks. I worked for State Parks for 40 years, serving as a Park Ranger at Natchez Trace State Park, Big Cypress Tree Natural Area and the Harpeth River State Scenic River. I then served as the Ranger-Naturalist at Fall Creek Falls State Park for 4 years, and then transferred to Sycamore Shoals Historic Area as the Park Superintendent in 1983. I served as the Superintendent for 20 years before taking the Regional Manager’s job for East Tennessee with State Parks and helped to coordinate and manage the 16 State Parks in East TN for the last 10 years of my career. Along the way, starting at Big Cypress, I was able to finish another BS degree in Natural Resources Management and Park and Recreation Administration from UT-Martin in 1981 by attending classes on days off and nights, and finishing the degree while working at Fall Creek Falls and attending Tennessee Tech University. So, I ended up with a lot of BS!
I retired from State Parks in 2012. I have served on the Board of the Friends for many years, and served the past few years as President. My wife Terri and I live just outside Maryville, and I have enjoyed hiking in the Smokies since retirement, completing all the hiking trails in the Park. I also have had the opportunity to hike many more State Park trails, and I especially enjoy hiking on the Cumberland Trail with my friends. I have always enjoyed the outdoors, and am very grateful to have had the opportunity to promote a love of nature and history with Park visitors during my career with Tennessee State Parks, and my advocacy for the Cumberland Trail and the Friends.