This is a slide show created from the original Flash presentation of the The Cline Library’s 2008 exhibit celebrating the life and living legacy of outspoken environmental activist, author, and folksinger Katie Lee called “Naked Truth: The Katie Lee Exhibit”.

[Place your cursor over an image to pause the slide show.]

  • Katie Lee in water-filled pothole at Llewellyn Gulch 1958 - [NAU.PH. - Tad Nichols Collection]

Like a river made of many creeks and streams, Katie Lee’s life has many elements that make up this incredible, hard-to-categorize woman. She’s a gun-toting, guitar-strumming canyoneer, and a lace and high heels wearing Hollywood starlet. There are few people who can move with such ease from the glitz of Tinsel Town to the wild, and often dangerous, life of a Colorado River guide. LAtie Lee is one of those rare individuals. She has graced the stage of night clubs across the country with her wide of music and stories, and she has hiked and hunted in the backcountry.

This exhibit attempts to describe the indescribable life of Katie Lee. This slide show chronicles her childhood life in Tucson, Arizona, her years in Hollywood, folk singing around the country, her time on the Colorado River, the death of her beloved river with the building of the Glen Canyon dam, and her active life in Jerome, Arizona.

When Northern Arizona University put the original exhibit together in 2008, Katie was turning eighty-nine. Katie laughed when the staff asked her what her plans were for the future. She did indeed have numerous plans. They realized that “you would not find this octogenarian sitting on the porch in a rocking chair, waiting. Katie Lee was still dynamic, energetic, charming, sometimes irascible, and always interesting.”

Bonnie Roos
Elizabth M. & P.T. Reilly Intern
Cline Library