I worked a small time park maintenance and upkeep job a few years back for a local park. It’s no Yellowstone, but I grew up there, hiking the hills and exploring the forests. When I got offered a job working there I took it without a second thought, even though it didn’t pay well – just my way of giving back to the park.
I have more than a few stories from my time there, trekking about with a shovel and saw for whole days at a time, but my favorite tale comes from a co-worker of mine, who I knew as Mikhael. Mikhael had a particular nickname among my fellow crewman – The Count. This was, as far as I could tell, in reference to his angular European face and dark black hair. The Count was around 50 or so when I met him, and yet he had such a love for the forest that he stayed in his part time volunteer job.
The Count was a very kind and gentle man – he would help out with anything you asked, was always kind and compassionate. Of all the things I remember about the Count, one thing that’s always stuck was his love of telling tales of adventures in his home county of Poland. His passion for said stories are part of why I log and spread them as much as I do today. The Count told, no pun intended, countless stories, and many of them I can recall somewhat. Only one of them has really stuck with me all these years later, and it was the last one he ever told me.