In March of 1983, I was living in Yosemite National Park when Queen Elizabeth II came through on a tour. The Queen came to California as one of her regular jaunts around the globe to meet dignitaries, see sights and spread good will. In this case, she’d been personally invited by Ronald Reagan, and she and Prince Phillip traveled about with the President and Nancy and met several other government leaders as well as a few major Hollywood stars.
That my father and I were anywhere near this extravaganza was a massive coincidence. We were guests in California ourselves. Dad was working as a park ranger during a six-month sabbatical from his job teaching forestry on the Oregon Coast. To work for the National Park Service was a long-held dream that he’d finally fulfilled. By day, my father worked as a ranger naturalist in the interpretive center in Yosemite Valley, leading visitors on tours of the park and educating them about the natural world that he held so dear. As for me, I enrolled as a student in the one-room Yosemite Valley School, as the school’s only sixth grader. My mother and sister were back at home. It was just Dad and me, leading a surreal, utterly new existence surrounded by insane natural beauty.
… Read more here Me, My Dad and The Queen