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About the Authors

About the Authors




This is our first experience in producing a book, it being a labor of love.We are somewhat reluctant to being known as “authors,” except in a very broad sense. What we did is recognize a powerful story to be told through Harriet Holbrook Smith’s letters home from the 1920s China and compiled the letters into a book form.


Having said that, our roles as “authors” follow:


Carolyn Buckmaster is a great niece of Harriet (aka Aunt Hat) Carolyn is a homemaker, mother and grandmother. She spent her pre-children years mostly in retail merchandizing display for Nordstroms exercising her good sense of design, aesthetics and fashion. Post-toddlers years she worked as an instructional aide in Special Education serving severe and profoundly disabled children.


Her major contributions to this publication are several, including scanning more than 450 photographs Aunt Hat took using, heaven only knows, what kind of camera. Carolyn turned these pictures into works of art. She was significant in selecting pictures to be reproduced in the book. 


Her other, great value, is proofing, editing and making suggestions regarding content and helping her borderline dyslectic husband through the technical aspects of formatting the book’s content.


Dennis Buckmaster had the good luck (maybe sense) to marry Carolyn and join her family, including Aunt Hat, who was immediately a Dennis favorite, and matriarch of the extended Smith / McComb family. Dennis and Carolyn spent thousands of hours with this remarkable woman, never tiring of her stories, wisdom and wonderful presence.


The bulk of Dennis’ work (30 years +) was in providing corporate outplacement services comprised of career guidance, coaching job finding and interviewing skills and generally walking clients through the challenges of job search.


This work required designing and writing promotional pieces, class materials, and creating and overseeing the preparation of thousands of client resumes. Along the way Dennis mastered many computer, word processing, scanning, editing skills, and love for communicating complex ideas, plus many other skills essential to producing this book.


Collaboratively, we are proud of this project - each complementing the other.


We only hope we have captured more than just the basic Harriet; but her essence. Her brilliance, humanity, adventure, and humor.

The good news, we have four more years (1921 – 1924) of letters to share with you.