Meet Our Writers They work hard for you!

Traveling through authentic heritage landscapes like Tombstone reaffirms our connection with the past. Whether walking side by side with Wyatt Earp along Allen Street's covered wooden sidewalks, watching the old printing presses at work, or touring historical museums or haunted mines, Tombstone – a National Historic Landmark – offers unique opportunities to brush shoulders with the legends of the Wild West and experience "The town too tough to die."

Our staff works hard day and night to make sure we bring you the best paper possible. So here is a little introduction to the team!

Mark Boardman

MARK BOARDMAN Editor

- is the editor of the paper and a veteran of Old West research and writing -- serving as the Features Editor for True West Magazine for the last 12 years. He has edited and published two books, “Revenge: And Other True Tales of the Old West,” and “Deadly Affrays: The Violent Deaths of the U.S. Marshals.” He has also appeared on several Old West television programs, serving as an expert on outlaws and lawmen. Prior to that, Boardman was a broadcast journalist for more than 20 years. He also serves as pastor at Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Monrovia, IN.

Erik Wright

ERIK WRIGHT Assistant Editor

- is the assistant editor of the paper. He was born in Tucson, Ariz., but considers Weatherford, Texas, his hometown. A graduate of Weatherford High School, Erik studied archaeology in college and worked for several years in both the archaeology and exploratory geophysics fields. Erik and his wife, Laura, now live near Jonesboro, Ark., where he devotes most of his time to writing and research. He has given several presentations on various topics of Arizona history and has been a featured speaker at Fort Verde State Historic Park and Tombstone Territory Rendezvous.
Erik sold his first article to True Westmagazine at age 16 and has since appeared regularly in such publications as Wild West magazine, The Tombstone Epitaph National Edition, and the Journal of the Wild West History Association. He writes a monthly article for his hometown newspaper, the Weatherford Democrat, which chronicles the town's early and wild days. Erik's first book, Arizona Lore & Disorder: The Selected Works of Erik J. Wright, 2001-2014 should be available by late 2014.
Erik is a member of The Wild West History Association, the Pitcairn & Norfolk Islands Society, and is a past member of various organizations such as the English Westerners' Society and the Arizona Archaeological Council.
Erik can be reached directly at arizonahistorical@gmail.com

Barbra Blackburn

BARBARA BLACKBURN

- may live in the East, but she believes that the West is a state of mind. Since 1987, she has been writing "Frontier Fare," a culinary column, with commentary and recipes. Barb loves to read about food, cook food, eat food, and write about food. Besides a master's degree in English, which she uses as an English instructor at Erie Community College in Williamsville, New York, she is a certified culinary professional. The history and culture of food are fascinating to her. She has a useful herb garden and a reputation for hosting elegant Victorian teas. Seeing her stories in print and sharing with others continues to fascinate Barb, who loves to hear from readers.
Her Old West Cookbook and Victorian Tea Thymeare filled with fun, facts and food ideas and concepts, along with recipes. Besides these books, Barb has authored many articles for Western New York Family magazine. Barb has done may lecturers on various aspects of the culinary world, which she calls "Cullinarrations."
As the "Julia Child of the West," a sobriquet from Jim Dullenty, former editor of True West,Barbara preserves the flavors of the past, adding a healthy, user-friendly touch. She believes that the palate, like the heart, does not change and we can go home again with authentic recipes. Some of the old foods face extinction and must be preserved. Yet one must remember that a recipe is not carved in stone. More important is the combination of a culinary concept and some creativity.

Nicholas Cataldo

NICHOLAS CATALDO

- is a Somerville, New Jersey, native who has made San Bernardino, California, his home since 1966. A graduate of California State University, San Bernardino, with a bachelor's degree in psychology and social science and a master's degree in education, Cataldo has been a special education teacher in the San Bernardino Unified School District since 1978.
Nick developed an interest in the Old West as a young boy as he watched the seemingly endless array of television westerns with his grandfathers during the late 1950s and 1960s. When he was 12, his family moved to San Bernardino, where his passion for Old West history really took off - especially when he found out that his new home played a role in this romantic western frontier.
Nick enjoyed hearing about Wyatt Earp and his time in Dodge City, Kansas and Tombstone, Arizona, but was truly fascinated that the entire Earp family lived most of their lives in the San Bernardino area. Nick has been a contributor to the Epitaphsince 1996. His is the author of Images of America: San Bernardino; co-author of Pioneers of San Bernardino, 1851 - 1857; and co-author of The Earps of San Bernardino County.His most recent work, The Earp Clan: The Southern California Years, was released in October 2006. He also writes a biweekly column on local history for theSan BernardinoSun newspaper.

Charles Eckhardt

CHARLES ECKHARDT

- uses his initials because his name is too long to get on one line, and he goes by Charley with an "ey" because he's not a perfume. He was born a long time ago in Austin, Texas and grew up in an atmosphere where Texas and Southern history were part of his life almost from the day he was born. His paternal grandmother, a lifelong member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (she was a real "daughter" in the former case since her father was a Confederate soldier) who lived with his family until Charley was 12, was born when Sam Bass, Billy the Kid, Jesse James and George A. Custer were all still alive and kicking.
Eckhardt grew up in Austin and on about 400 acres of hardpan, cedar brake and honeycomb limestone in western Williamson County, Texas. He attended the University of Texas when there was only one and managed to stay on good terms with both H. Bailey Carrol and Walter P. Webb, which was considered something of an achievement since the two historians hated each other. He holds a bachelor's degree in history. Since jobs in history were hard to come by unless one was politically correct - which Eckhardt refused to be - he spent many years as a peace officer and soldier. Finally tiring of being a moving target, Eckhardt pursued a trade that allowed him both the time and the intellectual energy to pursue his first love, writing about Texas and the American West. He now writes full time.
His books include The Los San Saba Mines, Unsolved Texas Mysteries, Texas Tales Your Teacher Never Told You, Tales of Badmen, Bad Women, and Bad Places - Four Centuries of Texas Outlawry, Texas Smoke - Muzzle-Loaders on the Frontier and Tales Told Across Campfires. In addition to the Epitaph, Eckhardt has been published in a short-lived revival ofHarper's Weeklyand publications in Great Britain, Switzerland and Australia.
Eckhardt lives in an historic home in Seguin, Texas with Vicki, his wife of more years that she likes to admit, and numerous critters.

Robert Munkres

ROBERT MUNKRES

- was reared in Broadwater in the Nebraska Panhandle where his father was a rancher and banker and where his mother was a school teacher prior to marriage. A twin brother is a retired professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A graduate of Broadwater High School, Munkres went on to Nebraska Wesleyan University, and then to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he received his master's degree and a doctorate. He was a seasonal ranger-historian at Fort Laramie National Historic Site in the late 1950s. He taught political science at the University of Wisconsin Extension Division from 1956 to 1960 and was a political science and history professor at Muskingum College in Ohio from 1960 to 1999. He continued to teach one course a year, on American Indians, until 2004. Since 2004, Munkres and his wife have lived in Estes Park, Colorado. He has given lectures at the Estes Park Museum, the Wyoming State Museum, Museum of the Fur Trade, Rocky Mountain National Park and Colorado State University.
Munkres has published two books, including Salterus and Sagebrush, three chapters in other works, and more than 250 articles and reviews in journals, magazines, and more than 50 newspaper features. His first Epitaph article appeared in March 1978. Munkres areas of interest are the westward migration, particularly on the Oregon-California Trail and Indian-White relations in the Trans-Mississippi West.

Jan Holden

JAN HOLDEN

- of Washington, has been a journalist for about 30 years. She says, "My interest in writing began in the late 1950s when I decided to become a poetess. I turned out such morbid poetry that I decided to try my hand at romances. After two failed attempts to break into the Harlequin romance field, I finally woke up and decided to focus my writing efforts on real people, places and events." Jan met Wally Clayton, a former Epitaph editor, in the 1980s. He has been regular Epitaph contributor since. She has also contributed to TrueWest magazine. And - "because I hadn't totally gotten over the "romance thing" - was a contributing editor for a now-defunct publication, Lady's Circle."As long as I am able to write," Jan says, "I will probably focus on the colorful character - the woman with a past, the man who was either terribly wicked or, at the very least eccentric. Jan has lived in the Pacific Northwest her entire life. She and her husband, Steve, have a standard poodle, Beau Jacques, named after the late Richard House, writer, mentor and former Epitaph scribbler.

Linda Jones

LINDA JONES

- has a passion for Colorado - writing of its history, exploring its trails, and introducing visitors to it. She has been a professional tour guide since 1976, guiding across America as well as in Colorado, and is in Who's Who in America for tour guiding. Since 1993, she's been a professional writer, publishing two books and 976 articles and stories in a variety of publications, including, most recently, The Tombstone Epitaph, TrueWest, and Colorado Gambler. Her two guide books are Mile High Denver, A Guide to the Queen City, and Up the Gulch: Historic Walking Tours of Black Hawk, Central City, and Nevadaville. Linda lives at the 9,300-foot level, surrounded on three sides by Arapahoe National Forest, and loves exploring a trail anywhere in the Rockies on foot, on showshoes or in a 4-wheeler.

Jane Eppinga

JANE EPPINGA

- is a graduate of the University of Arizona, Tucson. In 1995, she won the C. Leland Sonnichsen award for the best paper in the Journal of Arizona History. Her book Henry Ossian Flipper: West Point's First Black Graduate won a Spur finalist award from the Western Writers of America.Other articles received awards from the Arizona Press Women and the National Federation of Press Women between 1996 and 2008. In July 2008, she presented a paper at the International Women's Congress in Madrid. Her writing credits include more than 200 articles for both popular and professional publications covering several genres and topics: children's fiction, travel, personal profiles, biology, construction, food and public relation pieces. Her books on Tucson, Nogales, Apache Junction and Tombstone are part of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. She has also written Arizona Sheriffs: Badges and Bad Men, published by Rio Nuevo Press in Tucson. She is a member of Western Writers of America, Southern Arizona Authors, Arizona Press Women, National Federation of Press Women and the Society of Woman Geographers.

Drew Gomber

DREW GOMBER

- is a native easterner who came to the West 13 years ago following the history that he loves. He has resided in historic Lincoln, New Mexico, for thepast nine years and writes a weekly column for the Ruidoso News. As a veteran, he is intimately familiar with most firearms and is constantly seeking new stories about the West. For 10 years, Drew's roommate was a 160-pound gray wolf that stood 33 inches tall at the shoulder. Although an avid horseman, Drew was forced to discontinue his exploration of the mountains around Lincoln when his horse, Pete, died in winter 2006. He still has two goatsand three dogs that live in the house with him (the dogs, not the goats!) Drew offer regulartours of Lincoln and Lincoln County and has been a frequent contributor to the Epitaph for about 10 years. He appeared regularly on the acclaimed "Wild West Tech" series on the History Channel and still does occasional shows for the History Channel, Biography and Discovery. He visits Tombstone several times each year to visit with his many friends. He can be reached at drew@pvtnetworks.net.

Ben Traywick

BEN TRAYWICK

- was born in Watertown, Tennessee, on Aug. 3, 1927. As a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with majors in chemistry and math, Traywick's working years have dealt with different types of explosives. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory he worked in nuclear research and development; at Aerojet General in Sacramento, in missile technology; and at Apache Power Company in Arizona, mining explosives.
In the mid 1960s, Traywick began writing for the Epitaph. Since that time, he has had more than 220 stories in this publication. His interests lie in writing about unusual characters, places, and events. He has a special interest in Arizona history and western Indians. Since 1954, Traywick has written 33 books, more than 900 newspaper and magazine articles and has been involved in the making of 235 films.
At present, Traywick is Tombstone town historian, a post he has held for 20 years. He has lived in Tombstone for 39 years. His bookstore, Red Marie's, is located on Tombstone's Fifth Street, directly across the street from The Tombstone Epitaph museum, between Allen and Fremont streets.
Traywick, with nice understatement, describes himself as "semi-retired."

Linda Wommack

LINDA WOMMACK

- first came to write for The Tombstone Epitaphin 1995, after meeting former editor Dean Prichard at a Western Writers of American gathering in Colorado Springs. Prichard was the first to publish Wommack's work nationally "and encouraged my work, stimulated my ideas with great conversation and gentle mentoring." As a self-described "proud and loyal contributor," to the Epitaph, Wommack's work has appeared in several other local and national publications and she has written six books.
Wommack is a Colorado native, who was born and reared in Denver. Her first love is Colorado history. As a child, her parents took her on trips into local mountains and her mother read local history to her. Following college, Wommack returned to Denver and now lives just a few blocks from her childhood home.
"I believe Colorado and the Old West are entwined with one another," says Wommack. "After all West is a big ol' place - in geography and as a state of mind. While the Epitaphbrings you the history of those days, the Old West is also full of legend and lore. It was a place to live out a dream, or escape from something. And it still is. When we read of the Old West, we all have that chance to dream and escape, if only for a little while."

Jack Ziegler

JACK ZIEGLER

- Born in Paterson, N.J., in 1942, Jack Ziegler holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from Seton Hall University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Connecticut. After mustering out of the Army at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., in 1972, Ziegler taught English, philosophy, film and humanities at Cochise College, in Sierra Vista, Ariz., until his retirement in 2004. Ziegler now writes and lectures about Arizona's territorial period, and professional football, baseball and boxing before 1970. As a photographer, Ziegler is a member of Subway Gallery in Bisbee, Ariz. He also served as a scholar for the Arizona Humanities Council for 20 years.
Ziegler first became interested in the American West as a boy because his father avidly read paperback westerns. Further influences included the 1950s television series, "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp"; Walter Noble Burn's book, Tombstone: An Iliad of the Southwest; and the western films of director John Ford.

Bob Rohan

BOB ROHAN

- cartoonist and creator of The Buffalo Gals comic strip, has been drawing cartoons all of his life. He created Buffalo Gals in 1995 after a stint of playing the fiddle with a cowgirl group out of Hays County, Texas. Born in Racine, Wisconsin, Bob moved to Texas is 1975 and has called Texas his home ever since. Bob was nominated as Best Cowboy Cartoonist by The Academy of Western Artists out of Gene Autry, Oklahoma.
"I have done other comic strips," Bob recalled, "but nothing that has lasted as long as The Buffalo Gals. I am so proud of having my feature displayed in a fine western paper like The Tombstone Epitaph. My comic strip fits the theme of the paper and it heartens me that I might have given someone a chuckle here in the states and around the world."

The Tombstone Epitaph Museum staff: Bonnie and Scott

Administrative staff: Bob (President), Evans (Webmaster), Gina (Accountant)