Author, Joan Gilbert, of Hallsville, MO passes away on October 31, 2013.  Joan is most well known perhaps as a member of the Editorial Staff for Saddle & Bridle Magazine, the oldest equine publication in the country.  Joan was an accomplished journalist, writer and author of over 700 works, both fiction and nonfiction.  She accumulated many awards for her writing from regional, statewide and national competitions, her favorite award being the 1997 Missouri Writers’ Week Award for Poetry.
Joan had a passion for the world of animals, especially that of the American Saddlebred.  Some of her favorite subjects were Jim the Wonder Dog, Tom Bass and the many horses and their people she came to love and to write about.  Her first publication, a book, “Summerhill Summer” was published in 1967, and many other books followed including “The Trail of Tears Across Missouri,”  “House of Whispers,” (under the pen name Jill Baer),  “Missouri Ghosts,”   “More Missouri Ghosts,”  “Missouri Ghosts III,”  “Missouri Horses,”  and “Holiday Horses.”  Joan’s storytelling reflected her knowledge of history, which is very apparent in her articles which appear under her byline, “Nostalgia” in the Saddle & Bridle Magazine.
Among my personal favorite memories is of a Halloween barn party held several years ago at Wildwood Stables in Hallsville.  It was a delightful and educational evening, sharing stories with Joan about the history of Missouri through horses and ghost stories.  As that night was Halloween, her mesmerizing ghost stories became even more real!
Although Joan has passed on, we are truly blessed to be able to continue to share Joan’s memories and stories through her many writings.