Marysville, CA - Donald "Shortstack" Oliver of Marysville had not carried a key for nearly four years after he became homeless, but now he's carrying a big responsibility as the watchman for the historic Marysville City Cemetery -- it's where he now works and lives.
Three weeks ago, Oliver moved into a trailer at the cemetery. The city is leasing the trailer for one dollar a year.
"I'm pretty surprised, I'm pretty much in shock," Oliver said. "I've met a lot of people. Shoot, I just don't know what to say anymore. A lot of nice people and they've been wonderful to me."
The Marysville Police Chief approached Oliver about the opportunity after ongoing vandalism at the cemetery. The vandals caused more than $100,000 worth of damage. There were knocked-over headstones, stomped-on graves and crypts pried open.
Oliver is now living in the trailer with his dog, Rosey. It's equipped with a stove, microwave and a television.
"It's nice. I've got an air conditioner. I forgot what it's all about to have an AC, a refrigerator," said Oliver.
So far, people from Texas, Grass Valley and Nevada City have visited Oliver at the cemetery. Congressman Wally Herger even stopped by on Friday and brought food, clothing and toiletries.
"That threw me way off I'm still kind of 'OK, that was pretty cool. Where'd that come from?' Because a congressman coming out here to talk to me? Why?"
Oliver's primary job is to keep the vandals out, but he's also planning on fixing some of the damage. Some of the people buried at the cemetery date back to the Gold Rush days.
"As small as it may seem to some people -- to a lot of people it means a lot and I'm glad that I can help," said Oliver.