Finally, my bio!!!

 
Hi all,                                                       
 
From early childhood I had a thing for Yellowstone.  It was a favorite vacation spot for my family.  Dad was a teacher and we traveled most of each summer, camping all over the west.  After my junior year in highschool, traveling with my family all summer was about the last thing a guy my age was interested in, but my parents weren't about to leave me home alone.  The usual stop in Yellowstone though, was fortuitous, for it was that summer I learned how folks came to work there, and I knew then where I'd be spending my first summer out of high school.
 
That first summer, 1969, was spent as the kitchen steward at the Old Faithful Cafeteria.  Being a kitchen steward consisted of mopping floors, taking out trash, washing dishes and pots and pans.  The title simply meant I got to do it more than just my shift when we were short of help for whatever reason.  In 1970 I returned to the OF Cafeteria as the stockroom clerk, but I remember some late nights mopping the dining room floor that summer too.  Working at the Cafeteria was usually rather frantic.  It was situated directly between Old Faithful and the parking lots.  We were thus in direct line of fire after each eruption.  It was a battle to get the crowd in and out, and the place ship-shape before the next big wave.
 
'71 brought me to the Lodge as steward / stockroom clerk.  Whereas the first two summers I learned what work was all about, '71 was a breeze by comparison.  There is rumored to be a photo of me actually working that summer, but it is probably just that, a rumor.  Back to the Cafeteria in '72 as the manager, thanks to Bob Wright's influence, and back to work too.  Why they put a kid in that position I'll never know.  It was a tough summer, but I wouldn't trade it for any other.
 
My fondest memories are of fly-fishing the Firehole meadows near OF, and many fishing/ camping trips on the secluded KM Beach on Yellowstone Lake.  (Cathy Easterling Battle mentioned a trip, which included Jacque Warner, to this spot in her bio.)  Those companions who didn't make too much noise on the beach, to spook the fish, might have gotten to go a second time.* :-)  There were some memorable grueling hikes to the bottom of the canyon via the off-trail "3-Mile Hole Trail" route, shown to me by Chet Cantrell, an OF ranger, in 1969.  The fishing was extraordinary down there.  I made that trip several times in '71, since Ida Owens caught me cleaning trout in the kitchen one day.  She had a fondness for fresh-caught mountain trout and my punishment consisted of supplying her, and her visiting friends and family, trout dinners throughout that summer.  She was generous with her "tips".  I think I got $4 or $5 per fish dinner.  I probably still owe Bob K a share of those proceeds.  Then there were the quiet times spent relaxing and yapping on Talk Awhile Rock by the Firehole, or evenings at my secret hot pot, up stream and uphill from OF.  Sadly, and something that haunts me to this day.... I never got to go down the laundry chute at the Inn!!  :-)
 
I met the love of my life in college and we were married in July of '76.  Valerie and I honeymooned in YP (big surprise, right?) and we have been back several times over the years.  Most memorable were a 9-day hike to the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, and a 14-day off-trail hike in the Beartooths.  Those trips were several years, and about 30 pounds ago!  In recent years Val has made it to the park without me a couple times for horse pack trips into the back country.  Val has been very understanding and supportive of the TGOF project.  YP is a special place for her too, and after having met many special folks, and made many new friends at the recent regional gatherings, she is enthused about the upcoming TGOF in Yellowstone next July.
 
This project began with the discovery of my box of YP memorabilia, thought to be lost in the move to Illinois, from Indiana, back in 1982.  The resultant flood of memories, the desire to reconnect with old friends, and the realization that many people might be findable on the internet, prompted me to start the searching project last December of 2003.  I was fortunate to find Deanie May and Bob Kavanaugh early in the process and it became a full-fledged reunion effort in short order.  The rest as they say is.... well, it ain't history quite yet; I'll let you know after July, 2004!  The unexpected reward of the project is having a hand in reuniting other old friends; that alone has made it all worthwhile.  I am so grateful to the folks who have helped with the contact efforts, particularly Bob K (gratitude to Bob also for his wise council).  But special, and heartfelt thanks goes to Deanie for the wonderful website which has helped spark interest in TGOF, has aided folks in recalling so many fond memories, and has rekindled the desire in many to reconnect with some old friends.
 
Can't wait to see yawl next July!
 
Brian Boroughs