Born and raised in Billings, Montana, I was the second daughter of musician parents: my mother gave piano lessons for most of her life, and my father taught piano, organ, and voice until the World War II years, when he became a teller and later an officer in a bank.
My association with Yellowstone goes back to very early childhood, when both parents worked in Old Faithful Inn in 1939 and my father worked further summers as transportation agent. I trace my love of Yellowstone Park to memories of wonderful times with my sister Joan: waiting for geysers to erupt, visiting with rangers, attending slide shows and sing-alongs in the amphitheater, playing hide-and-seek in the inn, and watching as my father assigned passengers to the big yellow tour buses.
After college at Stanford, U. of Washington, and U. of Southern California, I married Bill Chapple, who was also from Billings. He took all his degrees at Caltech in geology, later becoming a professor of structural geology at Brown University. While raising three daughters, I worked as a professional performer and teacher of cello and spent over forty years in Rhode Island.
In 1981 I lost Bill to a very rare form of cancer. In the next few years I sold my house, lived about a year and a half in a graduate dorm at Indiana University, and received my Master of Music degree in cello performance. Then in 1984 I married Bruno Giletti, a geology department colleague of Bill and a good family friend for over twenty years. This increased the count of daughters to five–and now the count of grandchildren has risen to six.
In 1995 I began research for the guidebook that became Yellowstone Treasures in 2002, and by 2000 I had retired from teaching cello and from the musical groups I played with. That’s also the year I formed my own publishing company, Granite Peak Publications.
Since all our daughters had long since left New England, Bruno and I decided to enjoy our later years in a year-round pleasant climate, and we both favored the San Francisco Bay Area for that and for its beauty and cultural attractions. So 2004 found us buying a condo in the area, choosing to be near friends Bruno had known since high school. We kept up a bi-coastal existence until late October of 2005, when we condensed our life from nine rooms in Pawtucket to five-and-a-half in Menlo Park. Then in 2010 we moved to the best retirement community anywhere around, Lake Park Retirement Center. There are three of us here (out of about 200) who are not retired. Publishing, researching, and writing about Yellowstone still occupy most of my time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.