In the early 70s Billy Jacobs was one of the exceptional people that influenced my life. As a young, high strung and adventurous child turned loose in Seashore State Park, I was fortunate to have bigger than life outdoors mentors like Billy that would not only tolerate such a child in his park every single day, but embrace it and take the time to work with and develop a kid he had no previous connection with or reason to help.
Other than that he was a good person, that cared about others and Virginia State Parks. The day my own father passed, Billy drove us to the hospital in his ranger green jeep. I wasn't fooled by or afraid of the massive blond haired football hero, though in hindsight I think being too young to participate in the daily tackle football game beside the park shop was a good thing. Within that man was a kind and thoughtful soul that helped to shape my life and ultimately one of the reasons I came home to our parks.
Over 40 plus years our trails would cross as I drifted in and out of Virginia following my own path and when I returned to Virginia I had to good fortune to run into Billy at Kiptopeke during one of his RV excursions. We talked a while and caught up as best we could. Though the years had weathered us both, beneath that sought after patina was Billy Jacobs, Virginia State Parks Ranger, mentor to many, and a friend.
Go in peace Billy and cut grass into the wee hours if you wish.
Tuesday February 13, 2018 at 11:37 pm