I first saw the light of day in themid-thirties and grew up in rural Ohio, having never had an indoor toilet or electric lights until my family moved to Columbus, Ohio during the Christmas holidays in 1949, when I was fifteen years old.
When school started in the new year, I met Bob, my future husband, who lived just down the road.
Like many young girls in those days, I wanted to become a nurse. After high school, I attended Grant Hospital School of Nursing and after I had finished one year, my husband to be, received his orders for the military. In those days, you weren't allowed to attend nursing school and be married, so I quit in June and was married on July 7, 1953.
In 1976, after spending twenty three years as an Air Force wife, seeing America, two tours of duty in the country of Turkey and raising three children, we retired to our home in Tampa, just a mile from MacDill Air Force Base.
We both went to work at the University of South Florida. My husband with Printing Services on the second floor of the Administration building, while I worked down the hall from him in the Media Relations Department, where I learned to write news releases and was able to take writing courses at USF's School of Mass Communication. In 1996, we bought a Winnebago motor home, retired from the University of South Florida the end of June, and left the next morning to tour the West. At the Grand Canyon, I came across the story of the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe Railroad and the "Harvey Girls" and became intrigued with telling their story in a fictitious setting. Thus began the story of "Just One Bullet Left" in November of 1999. Before that, I had never made up a story about anything and to my astonishment, I found it easy to do. It seemed like the story just sort of wrote itself, even in my sleep. My husband edits my work and gives me his expert advice on those things that men know best. So, my friends, I'm here to tell you that it is never too late to try something new.
Juanita Holbrook Ingram
St. Petersburg Times
Festival of Reading
St. Petersburg, FL