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About Toby

Envelope drawing by Peggy Engel

Handwriting translation click here

I picked fruit -- mostly on the West Coast but also in Florida -- for 16 years. Fruit Fields in My Blood is the book I wrote, with photos by my then-husband Rick Steigmeyer, about that experience and the people we worked with.

My family used to go to Door County, Wisconsin for summer vacation.

There was always cherry pie!

My family home on Chicago's South Side, between Jeffrey and Stony Island, where my parents lived for 52 years.  Michelle Obama grew up only two blocks from here.

This was a terrific year for the lilacs.

My desk began life as a baking table in Austria, was moved to Chicago by our neighbors (Henry and Margaret Newman) when they fled the Nazis, and  given to my parents who used it as a typing table. (My father splatter-painted the legs.) After my father died, I moved it to my home, where I've cherished it ever since.

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