My Yellowstone Years: The Life of a Park Ranger

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9780923568016: My Yellowstone Years: The Life of a Park Ranger

This is the story of thirteen summers in Yellowstone National Park, 1951-63, where Donal Stewart worked, first as a dishwasher, then as a summer park ranger and ranger-naturalist.

Learn about primitive living conditions, eccentric people and bears, hours of fishing on park streams, long hikes into remote Yellowstone and Teton backcountry, and the Hebgen Earthquake of 1959.

Most of all, it’s the story of a unique rite of passage experienced by generations of young Americans who have worked in the great national parks of North America.

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About the Author:

Donald C. Stewart is a Professor of English at Kansas State University where he has taught advanced courses in English literature and composition since 1968. He has written three textbooks, one a collaboration with his wife, Pat, and Paul T. Bryant of Redford University in Virginia; contributed chapters to seven scholarly books; and published several dozen articles, short stories, and nonfiction pieces. His fiction has appeared in Four Quarters and the Kansas Quarterly. His nonfiction, on such topics as fly fishing, chamber music (he is accomplished violinist), misconceptions about Kansas, college sports, community planning, contemporary religion, and Yellowstone Park. His work has appeared in Fly Fisherman, The Christian Science Monitor, Parks and Recreation, Planning, Church Educator, and Montana: The Magazine of Western History.

During his professional career, Professor Stewart has served as a member of the Editorial Board and the Executive Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English, as President of the Kansas Association of Teachers of English, and as Chair (President) of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. He has also been a frequent speaker at professional meetings and conventions. In 1981 the Kansas State University College of Arts and Sciences named him its Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher for that year.

As the author says in the Introduction to My Yellowstone Years, however, the defining experience of his life, other than his marriage and the birth of his daughters, Ellen and Mary, was a stretch of thirteen summers, 1951-1963, during which he worked in Yellowstone Park as a dishwasher, seasonal park ranger and ranger-naturalist. When he began this experience, he was an undergraduate at the University of Kansas. By the time he concluded it, he was a husband, a father, and Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois. "All the years of my early maturity," Stewart says, "had been profoundly influenced by summers in America’s first national park."

My Yellowstone Years is not, however, Donald Stewart’s story alone. It is the story of generations of young Americans who experienced this unique rite of passage working in the great national parks of western America.

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Stewart, Donald C.
Published by Wilderness Adventure Books (1989)
ISBN 10: 0923568018 ISBN 13: 9780923568016
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Stewart, Donald C.
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