I’m a native Ohio, and a graduate from the University of Akron, where I majored in American History with an emphasis on the colonial American period and Native American history and culture. During my thirty-year career as a professional airline pilot, and twenty years as Division Chief with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), I was fortunate to be able to continue my studies of American History and doubly fortunate that my wife Sally shares my passion for exploration and research.
My love of aviation stems from my first airplane ride at age four in a 1925 corrugated aluminum Ford Trimotor that was affectionately nicknamed “the tin goose,” and from that first ride over Kelley’s Island in western Lake Erie, I was determined that one day I would fly airplanes. I did, and it involved a lifetime of adventure, some of which are not for the faint of heart, but all of which are detailed in my book, Born to Fly: Fabric Wings to Jumbo Jets.
Regarding my love of history. I’m certain it began with the first flint arrowheads I found at age seven while walking across our freshly plowed field after a spring rain. Looking at those beautifully crafted flint artifacts, I wanted to learn all about the people who made them, and I began to read and study everything I could about those first Americans.
During my careers with the airlines and the NTSB, Sally and I spent much of our free time traveling to historical sites and research facilities, and in 2012, we dusted off our years of research notes and began to pen our first manuscript. In 2013 our first book was published by McFarland & Co. Publishers, and since then, we’ve published an additional six books, with the seventh due to be released this year, 2021. While our books are primarily non-fiction history, we’ve also published one historical mystery novel set during the French and Indian War. It was released in 2020, and we’re now in the process of writing a sequel. Sally and I live in Reston, Virginia.
I grew up in rural Northfield, Ohio where my grandfather bought a section of farm land when he emigrated from Europe in the early twentieth century. Growing up in an area covered with meadows, woods, and streams, and the myriads of Indian arrowheads and other artifacts that we found each spring in the newly turned earth, created an early love and appreciation of nature’s gifts as well as a as a deep interest in the history of the people who were there before me.
I graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, majoring in Sociology and Psychology, with a minor in English and worked as a social worker for several years until my husband’s career took us to Reston Virginia, where we currently live. I worked as a teacher for several years having received my secondary school certification from George Mason University, and later work as a public information officer for Fairfax County
Since growing up in Ohio, and then living in Virginia, both areas rich in history, it was natural that I would share my husband’s passion for history, particularly the history of 18th century America. I was pleasantly surprised to learn how much I enjoyed the art of research, and in the process developed a deep appreciation for the many local libraries and small but invaluable historical societies that are found in nearly every state. My greatest satisfaction is researching and thus bringing the fascinating characters and their remarkable histories back to life in print.
Our home is in beautiful Reston, Virginia in Fairfax County, about a twenty-five-mile drive from Washington, DC. We both spend a great deal of time in Washington, researching at the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, but mostly touring the beautiful city, which is still every bit as enjoyable as when we first moved here. We have two children who both live on the Mediterranean coast of Spain with their respective families, and whom we visit as often as we can. We hope you enjoy our books as much as we’ve enjoyed writing them.