Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thirty Years – Where Did It Go?

Today marks the passing of a milestone in my life, by day’s end; I will have been employed by the Oregon Department of Forestry for thirty years. Who would have known that I would have stayed so long? At the age of 24 and a recent collage graduate, I had no concept of the future and what it might hold.

I still remember my first day on the job as if it were only yesterday. Determined to show my commitment, I arrived for work thirty minutes early. This action allowed me to hang out in a darkened parking lot until about 7:45 AM when everyone else arrived for the day. I was further disheartened as my supervisor was late that day, so I just sat in the reception area and waited while everyone else went about their daily activity totally unaware of my presences!

Later that morning, my supervisor took me to the break room to meet the cast of character, many of whom have become my life long friends. As the new guy, I was frequently tested to see how I would react to a given situation. One morning, someone suggested that as the new guy it should be my responsibility to make the coffee. Yea, sure; that was one test for which I had a plan! The first batch of coffee I used about twenty scoops of coffee grounds. Needless to say, the coffee was like liquid tar and drew endless complaints. The next day I made the coffee using only one-half scoop so the finished product was the color of weak tea. Mission accomplished; I was never asked to make coffee again!!

Today will be a day of celebration, reflection on the past, and thoughts of what the future will bring.

This is how I appeared on one spring day in May of 1978.

This is me standing in the woods near Westport, Oregon in Noveber of 2007. Oh, how time has passed, the trees have grown, and so have I!

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