Humans of LP: Mr. Walker


“I worked for the National Park Service as an interpretive ranger, so I interpret cultural and natural history. I volunteered for a couple of years, and then I became a part time and temporary employee. I did that for seven years. I started doing it during college. I also got to fight forest fires out West. I didn’t have the glamorous job of putting out the fires. They have a group called the Initial Attack, which is when the fire is blazing, and there are people going in there cutting down trees and building fire lines. I was the mop-up crew. I basically had an oversized squirt gun, and I put out the rest of the fire that the real full time firefighters put out, but our job was important as well, so the fires wouldn’t start back up again. I was stationed in Montana and fought fires in Idaho and Montana. The most exciting part was they brought me into the largest continuous uninterrupted forest fire. It was like a 15 minute helicopter ride to where they dropped me off, and I didn’t see any roads or anything, and it was pretty neat to be dropped off there on a mountain to put out the rest of the fire.


When I was a junior in high school, I joined the the Youth Conservation Court (YCC) program. My high school Ag teacher actually told me to apply and one of my friend and I both got the job. I fell in love with working outdoors and working on a farm, the Shepherd farm, so I decided to major in Ag in college. I didn’t know as a junior what I was going to major in, so I majored in Ag and really enjoyed doing that for seven years. Then I decided to go into teaching after that. The FFA was here at La Porte High School, but the program shut down in the early 80s. When I came here Mr. Tonagel and Mr. Francesconi asked me to start FFA again in the Ag classes.”

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