About Me

DSC_5935The Stuffy Bio:
I am a freelance writer and photographer with a love for old cemeteries, architecture, genealogy and history.
I left the advertising industry after over 20 years to focus on family and writing…the best move ever!

Who I Am: A Tombstone Tourist

When I was young, my sister and I would spend time at my grandparents farm in Oklahoma, where my mother’s side of the family have lived since it was Indian Territory. My grandmother would chose one day each summer to be the family decoration day, when we would make the rounds to area cemeteries visiting ancestors’ graves, doing a bit of clean-up at the sites and leaving flowers.

Couple-on-the-beach-1921After the graves had been decorated, my mother and grandmother would want to spend “time alone” with certain relatives buried in the cemeteries. At this point, my grandfather, who had been orphaned by the age of five and living on the streets, would walk up and down each row of stones and tell me stories about the people whose names he recognized…which were most of them!

“Mrs. Keller used to make the most delicious biscuits, and would save one or two for me out of each batch. There’s old man so-and-so who ran the livery stable. He would let me sleep in the hayloft in exchange for cleaning the stalls each morning.”

By the age of 12 I looked forward to these visits and hearing the stories. I had made the connection that there were stories…and people…behind the stones. Telling these stories kept their time period in history alive.

At the same age I became fascinated with genealogy, thanks to spending so much time hearing my grandparents’ tales. Now, this was long before Alex Haley’s “Roots,” so we did things the hard way…looking through dusty, over-sized books at rural courthouses, walking the cemeteries to confirm dates and even visiting funeral homes to read their logs. As a tomboy, I loved the entries from the “wild west” era like, “killed by Injun, fell down well, or hit head from fall form horse (my great-great-grandfather’s notation). “

Eventually I began to realize that I was just as interested in the cemeteries and old records of people who had no connection with my family. And a “Tombstone Tourist” was born.

6 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Miles Montegut says:

    I’m looking forward to purchasing your book and finding more information on my ancestors who were buried just before the Great Storm and 1920, before the last raising.
    Thank you for your invaluable work.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your kind words, and good luck in your search. Galveston is lucky to have quite an assortment of research options, even though so many resources were destroyed in the storm. Remember to check with the Galveston and Texas Research Center at the Rosenberg Library. The staff there is very knowledgable and helpful.

    • I’ve had this on the shelf awhile now, but it seems there are aaywls a couple books ahead of it. I read The Devil in the White City several years ago and liked it. Imagine my surprise, though, when I read that one of Holmes’s murders occurred just a couple blocks from where I used to live here in Irvington(!)I still want to read this one too. Just not sure when I’ll get around to it. :-)-Jay

  2. Kathleen Moreland says:

    My husband’s family has a beautiful large angel on top of their structure in Galveston cemetery. The family name is Beissner. Do you know much about it?

    • admin says:

      Yes, that’s a lovely monument. There are quite a few Beissners buried on the island. Have you researched the family? I’m also fascinated by the Beissner home and buildings related to the family’s life.

  3. Mary Moorehead says:

    Would Kathleen Maca be interested in being a speaker at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook for our Ladies Association October 20, 2017? We would love to have her interesting stories and there is an opportunity for her book sales.

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