Martha Gilstrap’s life is filled with stories: the ones she reads, the ones she writes, and the ones she lives. Her family’s oral tradition claims descent from the legendary Leif Erickson, the discoverer of America–a tale of which she is inordinately proud, although her mother always wondered why she’d claim “that old pirate.”
She’s ridden motorcycles, earned a black belt in RyuTe® Karate, owned her own dojo, trained on the grounds of an Okinawan castle destroyed in WWII, and edited and published an international karate newsletter. She’s taught Latin to grade-school children, worn a bite sleeve for a Rottweiler “attack,” got thrown by a horse — twice — within five minutes, and spent New Year’s Eve on the Puerta del Sol in Madrid. She’s been in the pen with wolves (well socialized, of course), played with horny toads, petted snakes, ridden an elephant, and once sang with the band on a yacht in Acapulco Bay.
Martha’s home is filled with dogs–five, of which four are owned by her daughter and family, who currently live with her. Four are rescues, including a sweet-natured mutt who was driven 1000 miles in one day to bring her to me, by the wonderful people who rescued her from her abandonment near their home.