Ranger Kyle Thoreson has the special distinction of being the very first person I interviewed for the Moments Of Truth Project. I had the good fortune to encounter him at Osage Hills State Park just outside Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where he works. On the day Henry and I pulled into the park to camp, I inquired at the front office if someone could tell me about the Osage tribe and their relationship to animals and the ecosystem. "Ohhh, you want to talk to Kyle," the rangers said, and they promised to pass along my phone number when he arrived for the evening shift.
That night it rained steadily, and I had just discovered that I left my tent poles back in a cow pasture in in Missouri. Henry and I were hunkered down in the Jeep when headlights pierced the night and paused a short distance away. Soon there was a tapping on my window, and a friendly face beneath a Ranger hat. "Hey there," Kyle said, "I heard you were looking for me - what can I do for you?"
As it turned out, a lot. Not only did Kyle agree to meet us the next day on his day off to film this first interview, but his fluid knowledge, kindness, and humor set a high bar for the interviews to come. And even after filming he continued to help, locating a set of tent poles, which made all the difference as Henry and I drove on towards Texas with months of camping, and more conversations, ahead.