Kathryn Crawley was born of pioneer stock and raised in the small West Texas cotton town of Lamesa. Her paternal great-grandparents came to the area in 1907, and her paternal grandmother’s family was part of the Reynolds-Matthews clan of the famed Lambshead Ranch. Her grandmother rode horses, shot rattlesnakes, wrote poetry, and had an outsized influence on the lives of her family. She nurtured Kathryn’s interest in writing from an early age.

An experience one summer at the Texas Lions Camp, a camp for disabled children, persuaded Kathryn to study speech pathology at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Baylor University. Unforeseen events and an adventurous spirit led her to Casper, Wyoming, where she worked in elementary schools, including Poison Spider Elementary, where antelopes ran alongside her car. She then moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a position at the Rocky Mountain Rehabilitation Center and trained to work with cerebral palsied children. An advertisement in a professional journal from a center for Greek cerebral palsied children in Thessaloniki caught her eye—“Greek language preferred but not necessary.” Kathryn bought an album “Learning Modern Greek in Record Time,” packed her suitcase and landed in Thessaloniki in September 1974, in the midst of rampant anti-Americanism related to the downfall of the Greek junta.

Kathryn’s two years in Greece were life-changing. She devised a system to apply principles of speech therapy to the Greek language, created lasting friendships, became immersed in a new culture, and learned hard lessons about American foreign policy in the second half of the twentieth century.

Upon returning to the US, Kathryn settled in the Boston area and worked in varied settings as a speech pathologist. She began writing stories set in her beloved Greece. In the decades until her retirement in 2016, Kathryn sought out writing classes and writing groups in Boston as well as in Taos, New Mexico.

Despite retirement status, her life is full with friends, writing, leadership roles in her local Unitarian church, Tai Chi practice, and two dogs. Kathryn enjoys time with her partner Tom and daughter Emilia.

Photo Credit: Paula Passi McCue