“I tell everybody, the best grounding you can have for doing practically anything in life is to work at a daily newspaper as a journalist because it teaches you to meet deadlines, it teaches you priorities and it teaches you the need for accuracy,” she said. “I had so much fun.”
Mason bought a one-way ticket to Paris in hopes of reigniting a summer romance on a previous trip to Europe with a young Frenchman. That relationship eventually fizzled, but Mason made a life for herself there, moving to Athens where she began writing travel stories for publications on both sides of the Atlantic. She ended up in London, where she continued to write, worked in promotions and married – and later divorced — a British photographer, David Redfern, who specialized in music photographer and had traveled with the Beatles. Their son, Mark, is publisher of the music magazine, Under the Radar.
Through the years, she continued to write, was the founding editor of UK’s “Essentially America” travel and lifestyle magazine in 1994 and remains its editor. She previously produced a UK-published coffee table book about the United States, has won awards for her travel writing and editing in both the UK and the United States, and served as the only American chairman of the British Guild of Travel Writers.
Sitting down to write her life story has been a “good time,” Mason said, with so many memories to share – beginning with her family history that includes a young girl named Mary Moore, who at age nine survived a family massacre in the late 1700s, was kidnapped by Shawnee, enslaved in Canada and later rescued and returned to Virginia. (Her adult-size cradle, which she used to help her sleep, resides at the Rockbridge Historical Society.)