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I am friends with Harrison Ford!

By May 1, 2023May 4th, 2023Lifestyle, Philanthropy

I was friends with Harrison Ford.
Ok, well, I knew Harrison Ford.
Actually, I didn’t really know him, but I did talk to him often.
Fine. I didn’t talk to him a lot, but I did see him a lot.

At the end of my freshman year in college, I was eager to explore, and so, a couple of buddies and I packed our trucks and headed out west. Our first stop was the desolate town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, home of the Grand Tetons, Snake River, and Jenny Lake. At that time there was only one traffic light; apparently, it was a recent addition. I quickly found a job at a local hardware store (you should check it out here, and that’s where I became friends with talked to Ford…

While Harrison Ford is a Hollywood superstar, he’s also an avid conservationist. He serves as a trustee and board member for the Jackson Hole Land Trust, a non-profit organization that works to permanently protect the land and water of Jackson Hole. Harrison Ford is a strong advocate for protecting wild places around the world. He serves on several global conservation boards, including the National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative and the Nature Conservancy’s Africa Alive Campaign. He is also a supporter of local efforts in Jackson Hole, such as preventing development on lands adjacent to Grand Teton National Park. Ford has donated a series of conservation easements on his property to curb development that could be an impediment to the wildlife and natural resources on much of his land.

Ford is also known for his carpentry skills, which were honed over many seasons spent in the area. He has built several homes, a barn, and even some furniture for some of his properties. His carpentry work has also included restoring historic cabins in the area, and he often donates timber for various projects. That’s how I ran into Mr. Ford. He was a frequent visitor to the hardware store where I worked. He was just a regular, nice, guy, quietly shopping for himself, and picking up what he needed for his projects. I think I may have told him where to find some nails one time.

Ford wasn’t the first famous resident in Jackson. The town was home to two of the biggest landowners around – John D. Rockefeller and John Moulton. Both men were instrumental in developing Jackson Hole into what it is today, leaving behind a legacy that can still be appreciated. Rockefeller acquired approximately 35,000 acres south of Yellowstone National Park and later donated it to create Grand Teton National Park.

Now, Jackson Hole has millions of visitors every year, and several other celebrities have moved into the area. As for me, I eventually headed back to Alabama, but I am forever changed by the beauty of the West, and Harrison Ford and I could have been friends. We have something in common- an appreciation for the land.

Want to read more about Harrison and Jackson Hole? Check out this article in one of my favorite magazines, “The Land Report.” 

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