I meet a celebrity, of sorts, when I meet Tracy A. Parris. She's a
bookstore manager from Padre Island in southern Texas. That's her
Her passion is photography.
She's turned a few of her pictures into postcards (she's standing next
to them in the picture above). Her celebrity comes from another
picture. One I don't have access to, yet.
Her picture of Padre Island National Seashore was picked this year to
be an official stamp for the National Park Passport. It'll be
published in a few months.
So, before leaving the island today, I buy one of the passports so I
will be ready when her stamp is issued.
About $8 later, I settle down to explore the pocket-sized record-
keeper and within minutes, my eyes glaze over. Details, details. In
brief: To fill the passport properly, I need to buy a picture stamp
from each national park I visit, then get a rubber stamp, much like
the ones customs agents slap into real passports. There are about 400
There's a great Web site you can visit (click here) to get a feel for
In the meantime, I'll wait for publication of Tracy's stamp and I'll
buy it. And at some point, I'll figure out how I can fill the other
hundreds of empty slots in my new $8 passport without needing to join
a self-help program.