Ramona resident David H. Van Cleve presents a humorous insight into his 32 years with California State Parks in his book, “Have a Nice Day Job.”
The public will have an opportunity to talk with Van Cleve while he signs copies of his book at Unicorn Books and Gifts, 738 Main St., on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 3 to 5 p.m.
As a park ranger, park ecologist and park superintendent, Van Cleve said he had several wonderful assignments throughout California.
In his book, he relates a series of accounts about his experiences, which range from weird arrests like putting a bad guy in jail for littering in a state park and contacting illegal campers at 11,000 feet in his underwear to unique situations such as backpacking in a tuxedo on duty one evening out of necessity and making a date with a nudist on Black’s Beach.
Mixed metaphors and malapropisms keep the stories light and amusing. Throughout the book, Van Cleve conveys the deep respect and gratitude he has for members of the “parks family” with whom he worked.
Van Cleve earned his bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his master’s in geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He credits the original Earth Day in the spring of 1970 with giving him a permanent nudge toward a career in conservation.
He lists the most important achievement of his life as creating the “Banana Slugs” as the mascot for the sports teams at UC Santa Cruz in 1970.
It since has become regarded as one of the most iconic college mascots in the nation.