There’s nothing like working as a gardener at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, The White House, to launch a career in landscape design and maintenance. Of course, this required a Secret Service clearance which allowed access to the entire residence and grounds, not to mention personal contact with Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and their families. My experience during these administrations included all phases of landscaping the 18 acre site. Mowing, seasonal plantings, Christmas decorating inside and out as well as numerous preparation/set ups for diplomatic guests and celebrities from all over the world were a daily routine.
From The White House, my career expanded when I accepted a position as an Arborist in training with the National Park Service. Duties included climbing, pruning, bracing and cabling trees around the Metropolitan District of Columbia as well as trees at The White House. Having the opportunity as a Tree Surgeon to take care of trees planted by Presidents, including the John Quincy Adams American Elm Tree, assisting with decorating the National Christmas Tree, and preparing the Ellipse for the bicentennial in 1976, were just a few of my career developments.
With six plus years experience, it was time to move on as Gardener Foreman of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Park located in Arlington, Virginia within the National Park Service.