Community Service & Involvement
I have been involved with various museums and volunteering, organizations like the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (a group for descendants of Union soldiers), and currently most of my volunteering is as a contributing writer to the Ft Leavenworth Lamp Army newspaper. I research local history and write articles, sometimes traveling around the state and going to Archives and libraries.
I also have animal welfare as a platform. I work with local no-kill shelters and am a regular contributor to animl organizations. I have ten rescue cats! We donate items to a thrift shop in the area which supports the no-kill shelter.
As a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution I have many opportunities. In 2019 the organization started a Patriot Indexing project, and the National Archives added files for us to help with. I earned my first badge for the project by indexing 10,000 names. The Index is to assist researchers and genealogists with finding names in millions of 18th century military documents.
Supporting Documents & Images
Talents & Skills
My passion is history! I love putting the flesh back on the bones, so to speak. I have always loved getting to the bottom of a mystery, as well as archaeology. Today I get to do both! I have spent countless hours, day, months, years both digging up forgotten stories and digging for artifacts to help solve mysteries. I count one of my favorite days as the afternoon I spent at an abandoned mine in a ghost town, with a metal detector, finding remnants of a shootout that resulted in the death of a person whose life I totally put back together from nothing more than a photo found at a museum.
I was thrilled when, for its annual Ghost Walk, the New Bern Historical Society took the theme “Heroes and Hooligans” in part from the theme of my book. They even had an actor playing the protagonist in a skit!
My Published Book
This is a link to my book, a nonfiction work about a Civil War officer. Many years of research and traveling for it. It won a state award.
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When I first moved to Ft Leavenworth in 2010, I could not find a volunteer opportunity that included my interests in history. So I created one! I started the assignment at the Frontier Army Museum cataloging their photos, and began writing for the Lamp newspaper. My husband’s commanding officer was very impressed that I created my own position, and I was put in for Volunteer of the Year by the commander’s wife.
My position as a volunteer contributor began that way as well. I’ve taken initiative in digging out forgotten local history.
I was also on a committee with the commander’s wife to create, from scratch, a Newcomer’s Guide to Fort Leavenworth and Leavenworth City for families moving here and joining the unit. That book is still being used, with updates as needed.
I have attended several universities but do not have a degree. This is mainly because, as an Army spouse, I have moved many times and each time I moved and applied as a transfer student, I would lose credit hours. I had to repeat classes I had already taken because of that, there was no sympathy for Army wives, so I am saddened that I never finished. But I have shown to myself that a person doesn’t always need a college degree to do many things.
I did attend a three day course in Avid, a video editing system that is the industry standard, used in films and TV. This came in handy when I volunteered in 2006-2007 at Ft Bragg TV station.
I also completed a certificate in Broadcasting from the Atlanta Broadcast Institute.
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I would like to bring attention to Kansas, it’s overlooked as “flyover country.” As a historian I hope to bring people to the state who love American history as much as I do. My friends in other areas cannot believe how much there is to see, and how wonderful everything is from antique shopping to architecture, history of flight to myths and legends. As a researcher/writer, I have uncovered many things unknown to most historians here, for example finding an observatory on post that was used to get calculate literal longitude in the first spot west of the Mississippi.
It would give me a platform for my animal welfare work.
As a woman over 50, I feel can often be ignored and stereotyped. The only things advertisers see when they see us are Medicare and medications! But here I am, still imbued with natural curiosity, and feeling like I can do anything. I hope I can be an inspiration to others.
I think I would most like to meet a woman I researched as part of my book. The Union officer I wrote about married a woman in North Carolina, Josephine Jones. He then abandoned her and she followed him to Kansas, pressuring his commanders to take care of her. Like Josie, I am married to an officer, I lived in North Carolina and am now in Kansas. On my last trip to the national Archives in Washington DC, I accidentally found letters from Josie to Army generals. In her own hand, these letters tell how she is sickly, working at a loud, dirty sewing machine factory in New York City, then she wrote from hotels in Hays, Kansas, a dangerous Wild West town, and begged for help. she died of tuberculosis in 1888. I have never found a photo of her, although I’ve found her sister’s descendants in North Carolina. I want to know this woman’s motivation, what she experienced as a Southerner married to a Union officer, and how she summoned the courage to take a train from the East coast to Kansas by herself, and what she saw. I’m considering writing a book about her next, and, after flying to NYC, taking a sleeper room on an Amtrak back out here to Kansas to follow those tracks, and see it from her point of view and write the book while on that train.
Kansas is now my home, and I’m so glad to be back! I love the variation. Kansas seems to many to be just a prairie, but the geography is very diverse. From the Flint Hills to the Monument Rocks, rivers and pioneer trails, Kansas is anything but a dull prairie. Actually, even the prairie is fascinating. Here on Ft Leavenworth an area is blocked off that has very deep trenches. Those trenches were created in the 1800s from the thousands of wagons that went West, so many that the ruts are still visible. If I ever want big city life and shopping, it’s here in several towns, but if I want quiet and starry skies, I have that too. History of the Frontier and the Wild West is everywhere here. I love being a few blocks from the Intellectual Center of the Army. Every General anyone has heard of walked these same streets.