Barry died of cancer on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007
image to enlarge.
When we met in Virginia in the early 1970s,
was a free-lance writer and historian.
Barry was an award-winning photographer at the local newspaper.
are graduates of the very highly regarded "best in USA"
University of Missouri
School of Journalism.
Click on About the J School
Prior to my meeting them, Ruth and Barry had served in the
the Republic of the Philippines.
Ruth had just written a book,
A Different Story:
A Black History of Fredericksburg, Stafford and Spotsylvania,
(an important region in Colonial times).
historical contribution to her community has since taken on a broader
educational role, as well as,
a role at the library where she has compiled oral histories and other
he was affiliated with the newspaper,
received many awards for his photo-journalism.
The local paper which Barry worked for was not your usual "mullet
but, one with a long-time, national reputation for excellence
and had a behind-the-scenes relationship with the Washington Post.
In 1984, The Free Lance Star was named by Time magazine
small daily newspaper in the US.
The newspaper has consistently been recognized as
the best medium-size daily in Virginia by the Virginia Press Association.
in the meantime, continued to write and became involved with the local
You could say that she worked quietly behind the scenes until about
Ruth burst upon the national scene.
her own initiative, Ruth has patiently spent the last nine years battling
finding supporters and raising funds for the creation and installation
of a memorial
on the grounds of the Viet Nam Wall, in Washington,
to honor those who died after the war
as a result of their service,
including Ruth's brother.
It was a huge undertaking!
The plaque was finally installed and
formally dedicated on November 10, 2004.
For more about the
"In Memory" project
and those whom Ruth enticed to work with her to bring it to fruition...
some point over the years,
Barry went to work for USIA, the US Information Agency.
One aspect of that job involved spending a month in Africa each year
and resulted in some beautiful photos.
USIA was later merged into the US State Department
and Barry went with it.
S. Department of State,
Bureau of International Information Programs
Barry's work has involved taking photos all over the world by now,
wouldn't you know the photographer had given me no photos of himself?!
I had to find one on the web!
But, I put in a request to Ruth for Barry's photo,
and now Barry
has sent us this
image to enlarge.
" buddy photo from Shanghai when I was there for an Asia Pacific
Economic Conference some years back"
Editor's Commentary: I'm LOLROF!
out loud, rolling on the floor!)
"USIA & State Dept. Bureau of International Information Programs
are a harder trick, Linda,
since there's a federal law that says, that stuff's only for out of
the USA dissemenation ---hee hee --
US propaganda is so powerful that
our citizens must be protected from it......not...."
he was able to send the following photos from another assignment,
images for accompanying text and larger photos
which he describes as, "pics from closer to home are no ways special,
but at least I got away from the office for a few minutes...."
National Museum of the American Indian
recent years, Barry has become a
of some notoreity!
Fredericksburg Songwriters' Showcase
characterizes himself as an amateur songwriter with a day job,
who finds it necessary to sing his own material,
as opposed to a singer-songwriter.
Not convinced that he won't someday stumble on a song
that will supplement his retirement,
he has offered up his songs for listeners in
pubs in Ireland and
clubs in Harvard Square and San Francisco, Washington, D.C.,
and on occasion "at home" on the Pickers Supply stage.
Known primarily for his humorous songs
(i.e." Cold as Your Damn Lawyer's Heart"),
Barry characterizes his efforts as "folky-country."
Among his products are more serious ballads and
songs addressing topical issues.
"Photographer-Songwriter Barry X stepped into the delivery end
of his lyrical avocation to fill the performance gap
until his efforts were snapped up by established and rising artists.
Hasn't happened yet....
Until then, why should they have all the fun?
One of Barry's songs,
"Uncle Sam Would Be Ashamed,"
has been heard throughout the USA on National Public Radio
and played a part in deflecting
Wal-Mart's impact on
Stafford, VA, a half mile
to the east of Ferry Farm,
Boyhood Home of George Washington!
which was Wal-Mart's target for a new mega-store.
Read all about it and
listen to the song...
[Barry's songs'}topics range from lost love
("As Cold as Your Damn Lawyer's Heart"),
aging country singers and baseball to dead elephants
("The Day They Hanged Mary the Elephant").
His Fredericksburg audiences have come to appreciate his
direct performing style and eagerly seek out his performances."
the struggle has begun anew in the next county....
For Barry's aerial photos of
on the montage to enlarge.
Becca and her husband are shown top row above.
When Maike (see index) visited us from Germany, in Washington,
the summer of 1987,
I introduced her to Becca. Since then, the girls have each visited the
other's home overseas
and are still in contact. Of course, I'm pleased as punch!
Barry's last year of battling the big C, he came to stay with us several
times, for a few nights each,
whenever he had appointments and treatments with his medical specialist
It was a wonderful opportunity for us to help. Tom got to know Barry
well, and they became quite close during their
many trips together on the train, into the City and back, and at the
For me, it was a special time to renew our old friendship. He also took
some time to teach me a few photography tips for my antique business.
I came to appreciate the man as one of the gentlest I know, with a sense
of humor equal to Tom's.
One night we took him to see "Spamalot" on Broadway...
One actor's line got quite a bit of attention at the time, resulting
in their making a number of publicity items with the line,
"I'm not dead yet!"
Barry proudly wore a large pin with the quote on his shirt, on each
visit to the docs thereafter.
It drove them crazy at the hospital!
will live on!
We will miss him very much!
visited Barry and Ruth in Fredericksburg just before he died,
and we returned to attend his Memorial Service there.
We are so grateful that we had the times with him here in his last year.
I don't take death well at all. So, I can not speak well what is in
my heart, now.
But, I think Barry knew.
Our hearts go out to Ruth for all she has lost in losing Barry.