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Meet The Staff & Columnists

BHM Staff

Dave DuffyDave Duffy

Dave Duffy is the founder, publisher, and editor of Backwoods Home Magazine.

He built his own home in a remote area of the Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon while launching the magazine, and that served as BHM's first office. Since the home was 10 miles from the nearest electric utility pole, Duffy installed a photovoltaic system to produce sun-generated electricity to run the computers and printers to publish the magazine.

Born in Boston, Duffy spent his first 29 years there, where he worked as a journalist for several daily newspapers. He then moved to Nevada and California, working as a journalist for newspapers and later as a writer and editor for the Department of Defense.

Unhappy with working for others and living near cities, he spent several years of vacations and long weekends building his hideaway in southern Oregon. He eventually fled the rat race for the woods. In 1989, he started Backwoods Home Magazine to help others do the same.

Ilene DuffyIlene Duffy

Ilene Duffy is the Business Manager for Backwoods Home Magazine, and she writes a cooking column, Lenie in the kitchen, in which she shares her family's favorite recipes. As one of the proofreaders for each issue, she is responsible for the remarkably low number of typographical errors that appear in BHM.

Ilene formerly worked as a bilingual kindergarten and first grade teacher for nine years in California. She gave up teaching to become BHM's Business Manager shortly after she married the magazine's publisher, Dave Duffy. Twenty years later, she still enjoys taking care of the details of the magazine business.

Since the magazine has moved to Gold Beach in Oregon she has become a fresh and salt water fishing enthusiast, catching and cooking king salmon from the Rogue River and catching and cooking the many bottom fish from near the Gold Beach Reef, located a few miles offshore. She also enjoys volunteering as the accompanist for the local schools' choirs.

Jessie DenningJessie Denning

Managing Editor Jessie Denning began working at Backwoods Home Magazine after graduating college and loved it so much she just couldn't stop.

She was first hired by the magazine to put together the "Ask Jackie" books, then she moved on to uploading back issues of the magazine on Kindle. From there, Annie and Dave trained her how to edit and lay out articles, and the rest is history!

She loves to bake, draw, write poetry, and rummage through garage sales and thrift stores. She currently lives in Port Orford, Oregon with her handsome firefighter husband, six hens, and one very spoiled rooster.

John SilveiraJohn Silveira

John Silveira is the Senior Editor of BHM and has written for it since Issue #1.

Silveira grew up on a farm in New Hampshire. He says his father, in order to teach him how to shoot with accuracy, would give him one 22-caliber bullet a day and send him out hunting small game. He became a deadly accurate shot.

He has known BHM publisher Dave Duffy ever since they met, back in the 1960's, at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Silveira is a mathematician by training and a historian by avocation, but his heart has always been in writing. Most of his days are spent sleeping at the office, but when he's awake, he has been able to bring the mathematician's keen eye for accuracy to his writing to create authentic and very popular historical articles for the magazine. His articles are often used in homeschooling curriculums.

John drinks a lot and suffers from raging insomnia. He spends most of his nights awake watching infomercials and plotting the overthrow of the government of France where he intends to reinstall the monarchy and have himself declared king.

Lisa NourseLisa Nourse

Lisa Nourse is the Editorial Coordinator at Backwoods Home Magazine. Her duties include sending out contracts for and monitoring the status of articles, ensuring writers are paid, helping to set articles, and making corrections as needed. She also does research and generally tries to keep the editorial department running in a smooth and efficient manner.

She was born and raised on the Oregon Coast. She and her husband have two grown boys. Her hobbies include reading for pleasure and gardening.

Don ChildersDon Childers

Don Childers has been BHM's artist since the first issue was produced in 1989, and was, in fact, the first person Dave asked to work with him. Don worked for free on the first several issues, laboring well into the night with Dave on many occasions as they sought ways to illustrate articles.

Don had previously been a very successful aerospace artist whose paintings of the latest in military planes, ships, and missiles hung on the walls of generals, admirals, and various U.S. Navy offices. Dave and Don met at Vitro Laboratories in Southern California where both were employed updating various Navy technical manuals. Both possessed Secret clearances and Vitro sometimes teamed the pair up to work on particularly sensitive projects.

Don now lives in Colorado where, in his late seventies, he is only partially retired and still draws and paints illustrations and covers for the magazine. He corresponds with the magazine via internet and phone.

Ellen MellonEllen Mellon Ellen, our database operator, started working with Backwoods Home Magazine in August 2004. Ellen and her husband Serge retired to Gold Beach in May 2000. They were both looking for a less demanding lifestyle.

They have a combined family of 6 children, who are all doing well and happy in life. They now have 6 grandchildren.

Ellen's hobbies include long walks on the beach with Serge looking for agates and shells, and playing in the dirt and plants.

Rhoda DenningRhoda Denning

Rhoda started working at BHM in 2003 on a temporary basis, typing Backwoods Home Cooking. Now she works here full-time doing a variety of tasks. She was a teacher in her former life, and really enjoys the laid-back, friendly atmosphere of our office.

Rhoda enjoys playing flute in our local symphony, kayaking with her husband, hunting for agates on the beach, and walking with friends.

Heather AdamsHeather Adams

Heather answers phones, takes customer orders, helps with shipping and receiving, runs credit cards, and anything else that's needed.

After working for the school district for more than 10 years as a teachers' aide, she is loving the comfortable stress-free atmosphere in our office.

Heather was raised in Myrtle Point, Oregon, and has lived in Gold Beach for 21 years with her husband and three boys. Her favorite things to do are boating up river, camping, and spending time with her family.

Al BoulleyAl Boulley

Al came to southwest Oregon in the summer of 2009, with his awesome wife Anne & her two kids. All hailing from Michigan, they don't miss the snow one bit. He became daddy to Penelope Sage in May 2013!

As a young child, Al was curious about the games his uncle created on the infamous "TRS-80". Fast forward through 35 years of computing, 20 as a professional. Interests include math, science, athletics, & philosophy.

While attending Central Michigan University he used an Apple Macintosh for the first time, and has preferred Mac OS over MS Windows ever since. Al is definitely a "brainiac", yet also capable with the English language.

Sammy DuffySammy Duffy

Sammy Duffy, Ilene and Dave's son, is working for Backwoods Home Magazine through a work-experience program offered at Gold Beach High School. Sammy has been instrumental in publishing the Kindle edition of Backwoods Home Magazine. Sam also edits video for our You Tube channel and works in BHM's booth at Self-reliance shows.

Jim Van CampJim Van Camp

Jim was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 4, 1942. He is Backwoods Home Magazine's all around handy guy, able to work at whatever task he is assigned.

Jim was raised in the San Fernando Valley suburb of Los Angeles, California. He escaped from L.A. with his wife and moved to Gold Beach in 1990 where he started a coffee roasting business called One Horse Coffee. He has been a writer, house painter, boat maintenance person and hardware store manager.

Oliver Del SignoreOliver Del Signore

Born and raised in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, Oliver Del Signore occasionally takes time away from his duties as the Webmaster of Backwoods Home Magazine's popular web site to write an article or book review for the magazine.

In addition to being a webmaster and writing, his career has included stints as a jewelry salesman, maintenance supervisor, pizza maker, Real Estate broker, carpenter, rental agent, and painter. When not glued to the keyboard updating BHM's web site, he uses his woodworking skills to build custom tables and cabinets.

Oliver and his wife Martha have two grown children and the grey hairs to prove it. His hobbies include finding a quiet place to relax for five minutes and thinking up new ways to say no when his kids ask for money. He enjoys good humor, good science fiction, and, now and then, a good bottle of wine.

Muriel SutherlandMuriel Sutherland

Administrative Assistant Muriel Sutherland started working for BHM on a part-time basis in 1999. She enjoyed working with Dave and Lenie and the staff and said that it made her retirement years interesting.

Muriel passed away in 2007 and we miss her terribly.

BHM Columnists

Massad AyoobMassad Ayoob

Massad Ayoob has been writing the firearms column for Backwoods Home since 1995. His dad first had him bust off a live round when he was four years old. Mas got into competition shooting in his teens and he's kept it up ever since, winning numerous state and regional handgun championships and a couple of national titles. His first firearms article appeared in GUNsport magazine in 1971, and he has kept that up, too. For more than 30 years, Mas has been handgun editor of Guns magazine and law enforcement editor for American Handgunner. In addition, his work appears regularly in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, and Shooting Industry. He is also the author of some 15 books on firearms and self-defense.

For decades, Ayoob's primary occupation has been that of instructor in pistols and revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and handguns, teaching nationwide and occasionally in other nations (massadayoobgroup.com). In addition to training and writing, Mas' part-time obligations include 40 years as a part-time, but fully-sworn, police officer. He spent 19 years as chair of the firearms committee for the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, and is a member of the advisory boards of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association and the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, and a trustee of the Second Amendment Foundation.

Finally, Mas has appeared as an expert witness for the courts for 35 years in jurisdictions all over the country, testifying primarily in self-defense and officer-involved shootings. He served two years as co-vice chair of the forensic evidence committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and teaches management of deadly force cases to attorneys for Continuing Legal Education credit.

Jackie Clay-AtkinsonJackie Clay-Atkinson

Jackie Clay-Atkinson is a lifetime homesteader, living much of it off grid on a shoe string. She and her husband, Will, have a 120-acre homestead in way-northern Minnesota where they raise their own cattle for meat and milk, goats for fun and milk, and chickens and turkeys for eggs and meat. They have a half-acre fenced orchard and berry patch and several large gardens. Jackie cans and dehydrates much of the family's food, reducing their store-bought groceries to nearly nil. She is a frequent speaker at many events across the country and provides homesteading seminars at their homestead where folks can come learn homesteading skills. Jackie is a continuing writer for Backwoods Home Magazine, both of feature articles and her familiar Ask Jackie column. She is also the author of several books including Growing and Canning Your Own Food, Jackie Clay's Pantry Cookbook, and Homesteading Simplified: Living the Good Life Without Losing Your Mind.

Annie TuttleAnnie Tuttle

Annie Tuttle, grew up with Backwoods Home Magazine. As publisher Dave Duffy's daughter, she began working with the magazine at age 6 by helping to stuff envelopes for mailings to potential subscribers.

At age 7 she wrote her first small article for the magazine, and at age 13 originated the magazine's "Where I live" column for teenage readers.

Since then she has worked in every aspect of the magazine, including writing and editing articles, working in the mailroom, tending the magazine's booth at the many trade shows we do around the country, and setting articles in the desktop publishing program used for final copy.

Now married and a columnist for Backwoods Home, she, husband Erik, and their three children live on their 52-acre Everfree Farm in Oregon.

Claire WolfeClaire Wolfe

Claire has written for Backwoods Home for many years, and occasionally done illustrations for us, as well. Her specialty is writing about freedom -- and how to preserve it in our own lives despite everything that politicians and bureaucrats do. She is the author of the spirited episodic novel Hardyville Tales (sold in the BHM bookstore) and blogs regularly on our website.

Claire lives in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. She loves dogs, garage sales, and solitude. When not writing or walking in the woods, she spends her spare time working on her creaky old house and trying not to cuss too much when some new foundation or roof problem reveals itself.

Jeff YagoJeff Yago

Raised in Texas but moved east to obtain his engineering and industrial management degrees, Jeff stayed on in Virginia where he now lives with his wife Sharon in a solar home they built in 1992. After obtaining his professional engineering license in 1976, his early career included energy engineering positions with several national engineering firms, working up to vice president before starting his own engineering firm in 1990. His specialty in energy reduction studies soon attracted a client list that has included multiple state and Federal government facilities, schools, hospitals, NASA, and military facilities located throughout the states and overseas.

Although he built several small solar systems as a hobby when first out of college, his first major solar project was designing a 10,000 sq. ft. solar hot water heating system for the Fort Campbell Kentucky military laundry. This has led to designing all types of commercial and institutional solar heating and solar power systems over 100,000 watts in capacity, and numerous on and off grid residential solar systems throughout the United States. Jeff is a licensed professional engineer, a certified energy manager, a NABCEP certified solar professional, a licensed electrician, and holds a commercial helicopter pilot rating (now a hobby).

His background in all types of energy analysis has led to writing for several national building code publications and various national solar publications before settling down with Backwoods Home Magazine.



 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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