Friday, January 9, 2009

NATURE BOY

I was a state park patrolman as a summer job for a couple of summers back in 1974 and 1975.
One of those summers I was stationed at Stratton Brook State Park in Simsbury,Connecticut. I wore a tan uniform and even had a badge.

Stratton Brook had a fresh water swimming pond with a lifeguard station, a fishing brook and pond that was stocked with trout, a pavilion area for picnics, and various hiking trails throughout
the park. My job was to maintain the peace so to speak, patrol the trails and swimming area, and notify people when it is near sundown that they have to leave as the park closes at sundown. I had a violation book for parking tickets if people parked in emergency areas and a metal litter picker upper stick for stabbing any paper trash. I had a green ford state pick-up truck that I used to lock up Stratton Brook park and also to drive over to Great Pond State Park and lock up there as well.

Although the park closed at sunset, there was a unofficial night watchman named Cush "Nature Boy" Knopp who lived in the park and would carve and whittle walking sticks for himself and other people. The picture below is the walking stick Cush carved for me. There is quite a bit of detail on the carved walking stick as he put several small faces on the stick almost like a mini totem pole. Cush would sleep under the pavilion roof near the the fishing brook. on real stormy nights he was given access to a life guard station storage shed area but he preferred the outdoors. He called himself "Nature Boy". Thanks for the walking stick "Nature Boy". I hope he saved one of his walking sticks for himself as he was an older man when I knew him thirty-five years ago.