I was born in Friday Harbor, Washington in 1968 and grew up in a farm town in Humboldt County, California. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s in Teaching Writing, both from Humboldt State University.
In graduate school, my minor was Native American Studies. Native American Studies is a field which combines aspects of anthropology, history, and religious studies. I spent a lot of extra time in the college library Humboldt Room, and out in the world, learning about Northwest California tribes, and Northwest California history. Once I began to understand the true nature of 19th century American history, I spent many years trying to understand why I had never been taught that part of history in my school – not even the significant events which happened in my own back yard. I also spent a long time trying to come to terms with why we as a Nation had created such a history.
Most of my work over the past 20 years has been in the field of web development.
My now-grown daughter is a member of the Yurok Tribe, currently the largest tribe in California. Her grandmother was Karuk. She is the youngest granddaughter of Archie Thompson.
My mother’s family is from Minneapolis, and my father grew up in Seattle. My mother was raised by a single mother who worked for the phone company, and my father was raised in a middle class home by two college-educated working parents. His mother, Helen Meyer was born in Yakima and spent her career as a nurse at Seattle’s Swedish Hospital. Her husband, Harold Meyer, was a high school counselor at Garfield High. He was an amateur 19th century historian, a civil war buff, and Jimi Hendrix’s high school counselor.
My mother, father, and younger brother all have degrees from Stanford University. My mother also has a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota, and my father did his undergraduate work at the University of Washington. My father taught biology at Humboldt State from 1968-1998 (40 years). This means I grew up in an environment where it was important to have an understanding of both science and history. My mother also has a passion for art history and as a young teenager, took me to see many museums and cathedrals throughout Europe, and in St. Petersburg.
I’ve written about my music background too.
My partner Chris Newman was born in Longview, Washington, and grew up in Seattle, Portland, Mississippi, and New Orleans.