Please meet Barbara Fry, one of our loyal “sustainers.” Barbara lives in Spring Lake Village, a beautiful retirement facility in Santa Rosa.
She comes from a fascinating background. She spent many years in the Middle East including five years in Tehran as program director for the United States Bi-National Center specializing in English as a second language and American cultural programs. It was there she met her British husband, a radiation physicist.
They were married in Sheffield, England, and moved to the U.S. where he was instrumental in setting up radiation cancer centers, first in Salt Lake City and then Lubbock, Texas. Barbara did her part as a stay-at-home mom to their daughter, Susan, and a hard worker for various charities.
After her husband retired, the couple moved to Oakmont to be closer to their daughter and her family including two grandsons.
In what was then considered to be a bastion of Republicans, Barbara helped establish the Oakmont Democratic Club. To her astonishment they played to an over-flow crowd that first meeting. The club continues to be a significant political presence today.
After her husband died she moved to her present home where she concentrates her efforts on the future. Upon hearing Ann Hancock speak in Oakmont, Barbara started a monthly pledge to the Center. In addition, she contributes regularly to four other environmental groups.
She drives a hybrid and plans to give up her car completely in two years when she turns 90. She recycles everything she can and consistently turns off the lights.
Having lived in the Mid-East and England for years, conserving water is ingrained. Not having a clothes line doesn’t stop her from conserving either. She just hangs her partially-dried things in the living room overnight.
Although she still travels, she relies on bus tours and eschews air travel because of the emissions.
She has sold her stock connected with fossil fuels and invests in companies run by women as well as some 501(c)(3)s.
Finally, she and others in the facility have made sure that the recent construction and all future development include solar panels.
Barbara is quick to say that most of the seniors in her facility are terribly concerned about the climate crisis. But then her face lights up and she assures me that she is optimistic about the future. “I’m putting my hope in California,” she says.
So are we, Barbara. And with supporters like you, it is easier to hope.