Al in Yosemite

About the Author

The youngest of four children, Al Leo grew up in California, and his love of Yosemite began when his folks toured the valley and Sequoia groves in 1929. Every one of dozens of visits since then has added something new to his feeling of awe and wonder at this natural treasure. Whether camping out in the open (on second and third honeymoons) or in a tent with three kids, or in a motorhome with grandchildren, the Yosemite experience enriched the lives of family members. Holding onto your kids' feet as they peer over the edge of Half Dome is unforgettable, as is diving into an icy pool on the Dana fork of the Tuolumne and coming up in a cloud of bubbles behind a small waterfall.

Earning his B.S. in chemistry at Pomona College, as a young married veteran of WWII on the G.I. Bill, the author moved on to the University of Chicago for his Ph.D. Returning to Pomona in 1968, he founded the Medicinal Chemistry Project with his former mentor, Prof. Corwin Hansch. They now operate a corporation, BioByte, specializing in programs and databases for computer-aided drug design. Authoring several books and many papers for scientific journals has been rewarding, but the desire to tell the story of early California, and especially of the preservation of Yosemite, has 'waited in the wings' long enough.



Partly on the author's urging, his nephews, Steve and Rich McGready, became experts on the 'timing' of the best photo opportunities in Yosemite Park, and several of the accompanying color photos are the result of their work. The author's son-in-law, Les Brown, provided many of the sketches of life in California during the 19th century. The author's niece, Diana Mussett, trains horses in Texas, and she has provided crucial information on how Jeffrey might have trained a wild stallion so that his future bride, Elena, could safely ride him.