I was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Chicago, Illinois, graduating from Hyde Park High School. I met my husband, Henry Gale, at the University of Illinois-Navy Pier campus. After we married, we moved Omaha, Nebraska, where Henry taught physiology for many years at Creighton University's School of Medicine. We have two children, seven grandchildren, and one great grand child. I attended several colleges, but never got a degree.
I taught film and video as an artist in residence in the schools for the Nebraska Arts Council in the 1970's. My photographs of the Old Jules homestead in the Nebraska Sand Hills became a touring exhibit of Nebraska Humanities in the 1980's. I organized the first Nebraska Book Festival in 1991, and served on the boards of the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society and the Loren Eiseley Society for many years.
River Junction Press
River Junction Press was founded in 1996. Initially, I self-published booklets and newsletters about the early history of Omaha and the city across the Missouri River, Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Golden Age of history research began with the emergence of used book stores on the internet and I began accumulating what is now a very large library of books and research materials on the early American West and the Early Republic.
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
In 2001, I co-founded the Mouth of the Platte Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and served as its first president. I organized the Lewis and Clark Study Group which has met weekly since 2001. 15-25 people attend Study Group every week and our MOP chapter holds monthly dinner programs. I received the Meritorious Achievement Award of the foundation in 2007.
The Omaha-Council Bluffs area is "Lewis and Clark Country." The National Park Service headquarters for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is located on Omaha's riverfront at Lewis and Clark Landing. A local support group, Lewis and Clark Country, provides national marketing for the trail. We have several Lewis and Clark interpretative centers in the area.
Lewis and Clark Road Trips
In 2001 I began writing Lewis and Clark Road Trips: Exploring the Trail Across America. Henry and I traveled the trail from coast to coast. It was published in 2006, and River Junction Press achieved trade distribution at that time. The book contains over 800 tourist destinations with maps and driving directions on facing pages. Library Journal called it "outstanding . . . for all travel collections." The book is now out of print. A second edition is planned for 2019.
The Death of Meriwether Lewis: A Historic Crime Scene Investigation
In 2007, I decided that the transcript of the 1996 coroner's inquest concerning the death of Meriwether Lewis should be preserved for the historic record. The Death of Meriwether Lewis: A Historic Crime Scene Investigation was co-authored with James E. Starrs. Starrs --a professor of forensic sciences at George Washington University--organized the inquest which was held in Lewis County, Tennessee. The coroner's jury requested an exhumation of Lewis's remains--a request which was denied by the Department of Interior which oversees the Meriwether Lewis National Monument & Gravesite. Over 200 descendants of the Lewis family have signed a petition asking for an exhumation.
I assembled twenty documents concerning the death of Lewis for the book and provided commentary. I also wrote a short account of Lewis's life after the expedition and my theories concerning his death. It was published on the bicentennial of Lewis's death in 2009. I appeared on C-Span Book TV in 2009; and on the Brad Meltzer's History Decoded series in an episode called "Presidential Secret Codes" on the History Channel in 2010 discussing my theories concerning the assassination of Meriwether Lewis.
In 2012 the "New Evidence" edition was published, containing the dramatic new evidence discovered by lawyer Tony Turnbow, which conclusively proved the so-called evidence concerning Lewis's death was based on forgeries and lies. Both editions of the book are no longer in print.
Meriwether Lewis: The Assassination of an American Hero and the Silver Mines of Mexico and the Fifty Documents book
In 2012, I finally felt ready to write a biography of Meriwether Lewis and to research the complicated life of General James Wilkinson, the man whom I accuse of assassinating him. It was published in 2015.
In 2016, I wrote an article for We Proceeded On, the quarterly publication of the Trail Heritage foundation. It was called "Why didn't his two best friends, William Clark and Thomas Jefferson, investigate Lewis's death?" Documents cited in the article are posted on this website, and I realized it would be helpful to publish book with a lot more documents--which led to my writing Fifty Documents Related to the Assassination of Meriwether Lewis, which will be published in May, 2018.
Podcasting in 2018
I look forward to podcasting in 2018. I have not spent time on social media before this because I knew I needed to devote serious time to it when I finally got going. It will be a new experience for me. I hope you will help me and support this effort.
My other activities
I published other authors. We are currently working on a series of books featuring the daily lives of children around the world called Kids Around the Globe.