For many years, Ann was very actively involved with the Redwood Funeral Society, which was dedicated to exposing the problems in the funeral industry. They were inspired by and knew the English activist “Decca” Mitford who wrote The American Way of Death. In 1992, Jackie Spier was conducting an investigation in Sacramento. At one of the press conferences, Ann and friend and fellow-activist, Karen Leonard, did a little strip tease. Ann was dressed in the layers needed to protect embalmers from the chemicals they used. But, at that time, all the dangerous waste was just dumped into the sewers! As a result of their work and that of Spier and Mitford, many funeral industry practices have been “cleaned up.”
When we’re working on this book, Across Oceans and Revolution, and we have a computer problem, who do we call? Ann’s son (poor guy)! And here he is on the very first day they all met. They all took to each other instantly!
In 2009, Ann was invited to Hamburg, Germany to celebrate the 125th “birthday” of Wander Bird, the schooner she lived on as a child. It was quite a celebration, even if she couldn’t slide down the sails and across the deck as she and her brother had when they were young!
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