We answer to a higher authority
That was the tag line from a brand of Kosher hot dogs in the 1960s. It was supposed to mean that the hot dogs were of superior quality because they were cooked according to Jewish law. Cute and memorable – the saying , not the hot dogs.
This is the way I feel about starting to distribute my book, Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South, to park personnel. I’m sending a prepublication copy to every park superintendent in the South East Region. I really care about what they think and would love to hear from every superintendent. Above is Doyle Sapp of Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro.
As you can imagine, this is a slow process.
I’m using a list that I got from the National Park Service SouthEast Region. For every superintendent, I write something personal, thank them for protecting our land, and sign the book. I put in a bookmark, address the envelope and take the books to the post office. The clerks at the counter know me by name and probably dodge out when they see me coming.
But every once in a while, I go to a park and ask for the superintendent. I explain what I did for the past several years and hand them a book.
Here are two rangers accepting a copy for the superintendent of Carl Sandburg Home.
The rangers are surprised and happy to receive a copy. And they ask the obvious question:
Which park did you like best?
The answer is not what they expect. The most memorable parks are the ones where I was able to engage a ranger in conversation about some interesting and quirky aspect of their parks. Which ones were those?
Well, you’ll just have to read the book.