Vicki Felmlee is not a professional historian by trade nor collegiate recognition. After obtaining an environmental science degree (she was “kind of” interested in geology), Vicki has been gainfully employed as a newspaper reporter and editor, environmental scientist and writer, and as business owner. She has not been, nor does she claim to be, a historian, professional or otherwise.

From an early age, she was infatuated with the histories of European, Mediterranean, and Egyptian cultures and peoples. Reading a biography of Marie Antoinette one summer when she was 10 “hooked her,” so to speak, into a subsequent fascination with history. “I was one of those precocious brats who snuck into the adult section when the librarians weren’t looking,” she remembers.

“They hated having to stamp the books I checked out. I lied and said they were for my dad. I don’t think they were fooled.”

It wasn’t long before she was reading about Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great. By 12 she knew she wanted to be an archaeologist – and took four years of Latin in high school when she didn’t have to.

You might ask about her opinion of history closer to home, say, our home country, the United States of America? America, in the history game, was child’s play (or so she thought). It’s ONLY two hundred years old, for Pete’s sake. How difficult can it be to memorize a couple of wars and a few dozen presidents? Compare that with hundreds of kings and queens and pharaohs not to mention wars and battles spanning 6,000 years. And popes. Can’t leave out the popes.

Entering college, she had her sights set on her dream career. Or, the somewhat viable option of teaching history. But fate and her father would have nothing of it. Science was what would provide a living, so science it was. She does not regret the twists in her road. Not much, anyway. She did take one history class in college (American), and it was an ‘easy A. ’Her interest in history has led her to travel exactly 50% of the U.S.A. – specifically, 25 states (so far). Four years ago she helped organize a group to help save her area’s Old Spanish Trail, an effort that was awarded a Community Service Award by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

(She isn’t completely illiterate when it comes to American history. Her family descends from the Reno clan, steeped in deeds and misdeeds in the Civil War and the big one – Custer and that famous battle. She promises more on that later).

– Rosco Betunada

The January, 2009, Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Vicki blogged for her local paper. She got a press pass, which let her get that close to the action.