Cathy Colligan Luchetti (born June 1945) is an American author whose photographic history books chronicle the American frontier through the stories of pioneer men, women, evangelists, as well as through themes of courtship, love, marriage, cooking, and children. The books are among the first to examine history through the voices of unsung overland travelers as well as through first person accounts by minorities. She is a winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award for Literary Excellence, the James Beard Award for Best Writing on American Food History, runner-up for the Willa Literary Award for Non-Fiction, winner of Gourmand World Cookbook Award, Perigeaux, France, 1998, and the Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2001 designation.
Luchetti (Colligan) grew up in Midland, Texas, the older of two children. Her father was an oil exploration geologist in the boom years of the Texas Permian Basin, and her mother taught math. After moving to Utah the family took frequent wilderness trips, which is where she became interested in discovering and telling more of the immense story of the American West. She graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English in 1975. Ms Luchetti’s Old West ancestry is a factor in her lifelong interest in American frontier life. A great-great grandfather Frederick Waymire was an American farmer and politician who served in the Oregon Territorial Legislature and was a member of the Oregon Constitutional Convention, 1857. Waymire represented the farming contingent at the convention and was characterized as a “sort of Far West David Crockett.” Her maternal great-great-great grandfather, Henry Walker Crabb, was the second vintner in California’s Napa Valley, a gold-seeker who came to California in the 1850s and who in 1874 founded the ToKalon vineyard—located between Yountville and St. Helena. Crabb had brought cuttings of “noble varietals” from France including Black Burgundy, similar to the Refosco of northern Italy.
Travel and adventure sources
After college she served two years in the Peace Corps in Colombia, SA, working with a cooperative of weavers in Usiacuri, Atlantico. An interest in mountain trekking led to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, to Uhuru Peak (5895 m.), and Pokalde Peak, Nepal, (5807 m.) as well as trekking Peru’s Inca Trail to Macchu Piccu, the Cordillera Blanca, and the remote Huayhuash Circuit. She also trekked the Annapurna Circuit, as well as the Cho La Pass and Gokyo Ri Pass in Nepal. In Peru’s Amazon she collected frogs with Bora Indians, guide Richard Aukoo Fowler, and jungle traveler Steven 'Bo' Keeley. She belongs to a desert hiking group, the Desert Survivors, and has hiked extensively in Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, as well as California’s Death Valley and Mojave preserves. She has also climbed Mt. Whitney and Mt. Shasta in California.
Luchetti’s books generally have Western themes but she also writes about cooking, human affairs, and animals:
- Women of the West, Antelope Island Press 1982, Orion Books 1982, W.W. Norton 1992, 2004 (winner of the Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Award for Literary Excellence)
- Under God’s Spell: Frontier Evangelists, Harcourt Brace 1989
- Home on the Range: A Culinary History of the American West, Villard Books, 1993 (Winner of the James Beard Award for Best Writing on American Food)
- Medicine Women: The Story of Early American Women Doctors, Crown Publishers 1998 (runner up for the Willa Award for Non Fiction)
- I Do! Courtship Love and Marriage on the American Frontier, Crown Publishers 1996
- Mama Says, Inspiration Loyola Press 1999
- Children of the West, W.W. Norton 2001 (winner of the Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2001)
- Men of the West, W.W. Norton 2004
- The Hot Flash Cookbook, Chronicle Books 1997, 2004 (Winner of the International Cookbook Award)
- Skidboot, the Smartest Dog in the World, 2013, epub, Kindle
Sources of review for her books and other work include the Los Angeles Times, The Rocky Mountain News, the Oregon Statesman Journal, the New York Times, the Wild West, and The San Francisco Chronicle.
Luchetti’s gave two lectures at the National Archives about Home on the Range and I Do! as well as the Library of Congress’ “Books and Beyond” inaugural lecture. She has lectured on CSPAN and was selected as one of San Francisco’s Library Laureates of 2005. She was invited to Laura Bush’s White House Symposium on Women of the West in the Salute to American Authors Series and was honoree at the Sacramento Book Collectors’ Club Anniversary event. After a talk in Denver’s Tattered Cover Bookstore, a representative from the National Storytelling Network invited her to be a keynote speaker at its 2002 conference in Denver. She also spoke at “Shooting the West VIII,” sponsored by Humboldt County, NV.
Luchetti consulted and wrote for Hot on the Trail, a Wyler/Rimland production for Ted Turner narrated by Keith Carradine, broadcast nationally on TBS. She acted as a consultant and participating historian in Secrets of the Gold Rush, a la carte productions, PBS, and was author and consultant on frontier marriage customs for The Love Chronicles, A&E Channel. The play, Most Blessed by the Motherlode Stage Company was adapted from I Do!
- Actual awards (Pacific Northwest Booksellers, American Food History, Willa, and Gourmand World Cookbook) are in possession of author and have been photographed and indexed to file at http://brianrwright.com/Luchetti_Sources.pdf pages 1-4, respectively
- 1998. Perigueux. The event takes place for the first time in parallel with the Perigueux Salon International du Livre Gourmand. It is presided by Alain Ducasse... "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-05. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2001. http://articles.latimes.com/2001/dec/02/books/bk-10500
- continuum.utah.edu/spring03/tty.htm | Plehal was a midshipman in the NROTC program at the U and was ... Cathy Colligan Luchetti BA'75, author and historian, recently participated in First Lady ...
- Actual documentation in possession of author and items have been scanned and indexed to file at http://brianrwright.com/Luchetti_Sources.pdf pages 5 thru 7
- Bancroft, Hubert Howe; Frances Auretta Fuller Barrett Victor (1888) History of Oregon; 1848-1888 The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft.
- Gaston, Joseph (1912) The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912^S.J.Clarke Publishing Co.pp.433-434
- Siler, Julia Flynn (2007) The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wind Dynasty. Gotham Books, p. 62
- http://www.peacecorpswriters.org/pages/depts/resources/country.html Returned Peace Corps Volunteer writers who have had books published listed by their countries and years of service. ... Cathy Colligan Luchetti 68–70
- Actual documentation in possession of author and has been scanned and indexed to file at http://brianrwright.com/Luchetti_Sources.pdf page 9
- http://www.desert-survivors.org/books/desert_books_102009.html Top Picks: Desert Survivor Board ..... Luchetti. Cathy Men of the West Depicts the frontier lives of cowboys, outlaws, settlers, mountain men, as well as Asian ...
- Women of the West, ISBN 978-0393321555
- Under God’s Spell: Frontier Evangelists, ISBN 978-0151927999
- Home on the Range: A Culinary History of the American West, ISBN 978-0679744849
- Medicine Women: The Story of Early American Women Doctors, ISBN 978-0517598481
- I Do! Courtship Love and Marriage on the American Frontier, ISBN 978-0517884492
- Mama Says, ISBN 978-0829413427
- Children of the West, ISBN 978-0393049138
- Men of the West, ISBN 978-0393328295
- The Hot Flash Cookbook, ISBN 978-0811840088
- Skidboot, the Smartest Dog in the World, ISBN 978-0989417709
- Los Angeles Times Book Review, Sunday Dec 2, 2001
- Rocky Mountain News Sunday November 22, 2001
- Statesman Journal, Sunday June 6, 2004
- New York Times Book Review February 20, 1994
- Wild West, December 1993
- The San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday August 6, 1997
- Home on the Range: A Culinary History of the American West http://business.highbeam.com/409700/article-1G1-13624186/home-range-culinary-history-american-west. Apr 12, 1993 – Tuesday: Lecture by Cathy Luchetti, author of "Home on the Range: A Culinary History of the American West," at National Archives.
- Ms. Luchetti spoke about her new book: I Do: Courtship, Love and Marriage on the American Frontier. Love on the U.S. Frontier, C-SPAN Video Library 17. 
- Jul 16, 1996 – Cathy Luchetti To Discuss "Women of the West" – Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/today/pr/1996/96-104.html
- Ms. Luchetti describes the experiences of the children including their home lives, daily ... A digital archive of… http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/167566-1
- Book Discussion on Children of the West: Family Life on the Frontier. CSPAN. 167566-1 Public Affairs Event, 2001-11-17. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/cathyluchetti
- C-SPAN 2 ... West: Family Life on the Frontier Cathy Luchetti. Ms.Luchetti talks about pioneer life as recounted in her book… C-SPAN Weekly Best Seller Lists. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/WestFa
- Laura Bush, Lynne Cheney and others laugh with Melissa Gilbert, right, child- ... in the White House Salute to America's Authors series, the Women of the West ... White House Symposium on Women of the American West. https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/firstlady/initiatives/womenofthewest.html
- Actual documentation in possession of author and item has been scanned and indexed to file at http://brianrwright.com/Luchetti_Sources.pdf page 8
- Rodney D. Bagley BS'60 PhD'64 has been inducted into the National ... Cathy Colligan Luchetti BA'75, author and historian, recently participated in First Lady ... Through the Years - Continuum – University of Utah. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Tattered Cover Bookstore Book Discussion on Children of the West: Family Life on the Frontier Cathy Luchetti Ms.Luchetti talks about pioneer life as recounted ... http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/WestFa
- Most widely held works by Wyler/Rymland Productions, Inc. Hot on the trail the search for sex, love and romance in the old west ( Visual ) 1 edition published in ... Wyler/Rymland Productions, Inc [WorldCat Identities]. http://www.worldcat.org/identities/nc-wyler%20rymland%20productions%20inc
- A La Carte Television Productions By Broadcast Year ... Secrets of The Gold Rush (one-hour special, PBS) ... A La Carte Communications. http://www.alacartetv.com/html/about/productions.htm
- With John Corbett, Cheryl Dent, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. A look at the change in traditional arranged nuptials in and out of the United States. “Love Chronicles,” Arranged Marriages (TV episode 2000) – IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0876716/
- "An ancient tradition gets an American makeover in the A&E documentary Love Chronicles: Arranged Marriages. Host John Corbett takes the viewer behind ... Cultural Anthropology -- University of Minnesota Duluth. http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/troufs/anth1604/video/Arranged_Marriages.html
- Motherlode Stage Company of Penryn based in , Motherlode formed in 1994 to Tell the California Story through ... Pictured: Jenn Olivier in "Most Blessed," 2000. www.ercregistry.com
- The House of Yes/ American River Stage Most Blessed/ The Motherlode Stage Company A Christmas Carol/ Sacramento Theatre Company Theatre: Six women ... Christina Marie (II) - Other works – IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2641254/otherworks
- Most Blessed 1. by GreeneDreams 26 views. Company: The Motherlode Stage Company of Loomis, California Playwright: Stuart Earle White Smith Director ... https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=UUAZile5ise9VwEETGcWaKpw