The Idaho Atlas of Panoramic Aerial Images is dedicated to my first teacher, my mother Marie J. DeWinter. She was born into an immigrant Dutch family who moved to Leland, Idaho in the early years of the 20th century. Her father Adrian DeWinter was the owner of a general store, a strict Christian, and an active member of the Dutch Reformed Church. My mother told me that one day my grandfather came home and informed the family that they would be moving to Moscow, Idaho. He was determined that all of his five children would graduate from college, and he could not afford to send them away. His solution was to move his business and home so that everyone could live at home. He is supposed to have said that "no man would ever own his four daughters" and for that reason they would be educated as teachers, in his mind an honorable profession for single women.

My mother graduated from the University of Idaho during the Great Depression and became a public schoolteacher in several small Idaho towns, including New Plymouth and Salmon. While teaching at Salmon's high school, she met and married my father, William Emery Bowen. In those difficult times, married women could not continue teaching, and so her career stopped until she had raised two sons and moved to Fairfield, California. There she began teaching elementary school, where she worked her way down through the grades until she found kindergarten. She once explained to me that starting off young children on their academic adventures was life's greatest reward. As a kindergarten teacher, she said, she could be sure that all the children would start becoming good readers early in their lives. Yes, she believed deeply in the inherent worth of reading, mathematics, art, music, and good citizenship. I suppose that it was fated that my younger brother Robert and I would both become professors. He was a professor of theoretical mathematics at U.C. Berkeley, and I became a professor of geography at California State University Northridge.

My brother, hundreds of small children, and I were blessed to have her as our first teacher.


Marie and Bill