Maybe because I was born in Hollywood, California, I have always loved the dramatic. With no television as a child, I found drama in books, reading by flashlight under the covers when I was supposed to be asleep .
One night when I was ten, my mother wrapped herself in her grandma Mattie's shawl—the same shawl I am wearing in my picture on the right. She sat down with her memory box—black with gold hearts and flowers painted on it. From the box, she drew out a packet of letters tied up in faded ribbon. Unfolding the pages, she began to read letters written by my great, great uncles—two teenage brothers from Rochester, New York, who joined the Union Army in 1862. As she read, my father told me about the battles and the armies and the reason for the war.
After graduating from Stanford, I worked, married, and raised three children. While my husband, Bob, was in the Air Force, we traveled to Civil War sites near Northern Virginia—Fredericksburg, Appomattox, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Shenandoah Valley.
I have taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grades in Encinitas, California, where I live, and worked for Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii as a language consultant.
Now that I am retired, I enjoy spending time with my four grandchildren. And writing.