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My Dearest Tucson Friends and Mentors:

Don Sayner: Scientific Illustration and Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson

Martha Lee Simpson Eastlake: Artist, writer and editor, builder, world traveler, an inspiration to our Tucson Writers Group

More Friends Who Nurtured Me:

Many of these dear friends have passed. I would not have become who I am without them. May they dwell happily in the great cloud houses that tower over Tucson, giving us rain and life; as they gave love and life to me.

Janet "Pete" Peterson and Dr. Janet "Thatch" Williams directed the Wichita Area Girl Scout Council's Turkey Creek Girl Scout Camp in my home state of Kansas. Pete was a professional with the Council; Thatch taught innovative PE classes at Wichita State University. My family life was difficult. Both Pete and Thatch listened, sheltered and supported me throughout my school years and beyond.

Douglas Wilson Shakel, the funny, brilliant geologist and teacher, first husband, who got me to Tucson, AZ. I've been lucky to live here long enough to become a Semi-Native!
James E. Sharp rented a house with Doug during the start of their studies in the University of Arizona's graduate program in geosciences. Jim hired me to do geologic maps for his exploration company. That stable free-lance work helped give me financial independence after my divorce. We remained close friends until his death.
Dr. Edgar J. McCullough, Dr. Ed, as he was known to his grad students, encouraged all of us. He became head of the Geosciences Dept, then Dean of Liberal Arts, but continued to support those of us lucky enough to pass through his door.

Jo Ann Ridley became my friend in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico where we both owned homes. As an author and journalist, she gave me the professional encouragement to write my book on my husband's first years in Papua New Guinea. I might not have attempted Art Dealer in the Last Unknown, Ron Perry and New Guinea Art, the early years, 1964-1973 without her support and advice.
Jo Ann Ridley's story, along with the stories of other adventurous Alamos women, are profiled in Our Stories of Álamos, A Pueblo Magico! published by under Category Archives: LIFE STORIES.
Her six books are available from: and

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