Photo by Ann Atkins
Ann and her family at Muir Woods
Ann and her family at Muir Woods

“I grew up in upstate New York –  what I would just call a typical family, like from the Ken Burns series,” author Ann Atkins told Hollywood on the Potomac. “We were the ones that went west with the little travel trailer to go see a national park at Yellowstone, that kind of thing. My parents were just the traditional type. They were supportive of me, but still with the constraints of that day. You know, you can’t go out to play with all these other boys unless there’s other girls there too…..that kind of thing. I thought it was weird.”

“Then when I was in high school, which was in the ’70s, that’s when girls were really breaking out and by heavens we weren’t going to be just teachers or nurses anymore. We were going to be accountants and go after any of those traditional male fields. For me, I was going to be an accountant which, if anybody had really talked to me or if  I’d had any self-awareness, would have been a totally ridiculous idea because I don’t care about numbers,” she added.