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Edith Pope Patten

Edith Pope Patten, poet and writer, comes from New England stock. Her parents were both Whitman College biology professors. She is a Smith College graduate in Zoology. She and her husband John married in 1947, have seven children and seven grandchildren. In addition to caring for her family, she taught baby care classes, and became active in the then nascent childbirth education movement. She was the second president of the International Childbirth Education Association (1962-1964). She became a HeadStart teacher at its inception in 1965. After a serious stroke in 1969, Edith continued to work in administration at HeadStart. In 1971, the Patten family moved to an isolated San Juan island that had no electricity, no telephones, and is accesable only by airplane or private boat. They live there for six years of hard rewarding work--built cabins, raised much of their food. In 1977 they moved first to Idaho Falls, then to California until John's retirement in 1989. They now have a home in Shoreline, Washington and continue to maintain their island home, now a multi-family complex.

Skimming the Top of the World
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Skimming the Top of the World
Traveling Among Peoples of the Far North

"We two middle-aged women, both teachers, explored Alaska and Haida Gwai in the islands of western British Columbia. After a few years' acquaintance with the indigenous people of the North, Caroline and I learned to see them in the context of their cultures, and realized how devastatingly abrupt was their transition into a contemporary lifestyle. Underneath the veneer of modern civilization we saw the deeply satisfying "old ways" still or again asserting themselves. These life-styles mingled creatively--sometimes gleaning the best from both old and new."