Gary L. Bridges was born in Beeville, Texas in 1946. He attended and graduated from Garland High School (also in Texas) in1964. His senior year of high school was most noteworthy by virtue of Gary�s contribution to Garland winning the football state championship. Gary attended and played football at Baylor University in Waco, Texas where he met and married Shawn Kingston, who was already painting the world around her. After Baylor, Gary enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as a pilot on C-141 Starlifters. At last count, he had landed in (and taken off from) 35 different countries. The Bridges spent their entire four years of service at Charleston AFB, South Carolina, where their daughter, Annella was born.
Gary and Shawn both worked at the Kingston family business after separating from the Air Force. Gary decided that he needed to further his education and returned to school. He earned his MBA degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1976, shortly after their son, Mark, was born. Soon after graduating, Gary earned his CPA certificate and began to toil away at a national CPA firm. From there he gravitated to Valero Energy Corporation, at the time, the state of Texas� largest natural gas pipeline operator. He held the position of Director of Internal Audit.
The Bridges family moved to Cuchara, Colorado in 1985. All of the Bridges worked and played at the Cuchara Valley Ski Resort. Gary, at various times, served as Controller, Ski Instructor, and Ski Patrol. He and Shawn also owned three small businesses at the resort. Gary�s book, Out of Purgatory: The Chronicles Continue, includes a comprehensive history of the ski resort�s troubles.
Gary began his higher education career while living in Cuchara and began teaching at the University of Southern Colorado (currently Colorado State University at Pueblo). His career there included: Chair of the Department of Accounting, Director of the Center for Business Development and Interim Dean of the School of Business. In 2000, Gary and Shawn decided that it was time to return to Texas and moved back to San Antonio. By now Gary had earned a Ph.D. He accepted a position with his alma mater, the University of Texas at San Antonio where he currently serves as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accounting.
Shawn Bridges began her art education at her grandmother�s knee. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Baylor University and has been painting ever since. Her most extensive and visible work adorns the walls of the children�s Building at Trinity Baptist church in San Antonio. Covering nearly 10,000 square feet, the mural depicts the animals of Noah�s Ark and other bible stories. You can take a virtual tour of this art extravaganza at www.s hawnbridges.com. Being the artist-in-residence at the Bridges household, it�s only natural that Shawn has provided the art work for the covers and illustrations of all five of Gary�s novels. Many of her paintings cover the walls of the Bridges� new Cuchara house, where they spend their summers.
The Bridges� two children, Annella Rutherford and Mark, have improved their standing in the family by marrying exceptional spouses and subsequently providing three wonderful grandchildren; Lily Rutherford, Kingston Bridges and Grayson Bridges.
Gary�s novels include: The Cuchara Chronicles, Out of Purgatory, The Wahatoya, and The Footprint in the Lake. Visit Gary�s website at: www.garylbridges.com