I worked for the National Park Service as a park ranger in Grand Teton National Park for 27 years. After retiring from the ranger service, a chance job duty as an interpreter at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, Indiana changed the course of my life. My task was to dress as a frontiersman and sit under a tree whittling and talking to the visitors about the Revolutionary War. Having a duck decoy sounded neat, so I went into the woods, cut off a tulip poplar limb and carved my first duck with my historically accurate tomahawk. The year was 1981.

Fast-forward to 2001, and it is still hard for me to believe I was named Best in World Winner Interpretive Wood Sculpture in the prestigious Ward Museum World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition not once, but twice (2001 and 2011).