Gale started keeping a diary at age 9. Her first one covered fourth and fifth grades.

An Open Letter to the Alaska Pipeline Folks, Age 10
Sometimes I wonder that by the time I’m 30 if there will be any world left. You adults seem always to find a way to MESS up nature in some way. Today, I learned about the pipeline you are planning in Alaska.

Good grief, can’t you people, who are supposed to be smart, see that if you put that darn pipeline in there you will destroy about the only wilderness left? All you seem to think about is how much industry you can squeeze out of some poor place. The country needs oil?  Well, the choice is yours. Would you like a polluted land, spoiled completely, with quite a lot of animals, plants and other wildlife things gone BECAUSE YOU WERE GREEDY FOR SOME MORE OIL? Do you really want our last frontier destroyed?

Some other things in Florida are getting out of hand, too. Thank heavens we got the Florida Inland Waterway stopped. As for the Everglades, it’s plain that the people who want to make it into a housing development have never been there. (Imagine that beautiful wilderness a housing development! What are people coming to?)  I don’t think anyone, no matter how greedy they were, would want to destroy that wilderness after they had seen it.

Well, I’m 10 years old, which might make you think that all I’ve written is nonsense. I might be wrong, but I don’t think so. I FEEL VERY STRONGLY about conservation and I would like you to write me a letter expressing your side of the story.

The choice is yours: Would you rather have a little more oil or Alaska?



After a week spent in Texas in April 1969, Gale started birding. Her life list at age 10 was 143.

Commenting on a Friend
I think she was brought up old-fashionedly because she asked me if I thought we came from God or apes. I said “both.” She muttered something like she wasn’t any descendant of an ape. I said, “That was evolution.” She looked at me as though she had never heard of the word. She probably hadn’t.