Part One: Barbara's Life Anecdotes
Part Two: Experience & Achievements

Part One

Barbara's Life Anecdotes

Section One

Celebrities and Pound Cakes

Barbara Believes that Anything is Possible

Jessica Tandy sent me a thank-you note. It read, "That was a wicked thing you did, sending me your mother's cake recipe. I haven't been able to eat all those eggs and sugar and butter for years. You made my mouth water."

Jessica Tandy wasn't the only person to receive my mother's cake recipe. I sent it to everyone who was kind enough to mail to me their comments on the importance of writing. The comments, photos, drawings and letters they sent were combined into a presentation I gave for the Young Author's Conference in Lorain, OH. The young authors were 500 students, grades 1 thru 6. I was the last to speak at the Young Author's Conference, a bit of a challenge considering children's attention spans. To catch their attention I walked on stage and said hello to them in French. It was so unexpected that they were spellbound. Then I said hello to them in Spanish and followed with a greeting in Lakota Sioux. Together the children and I repeated the first greeting which they recognized as french, and the second greeting which they recognized as Spanish. They Liked the greeting in Lakota Sioux best of all. Then I relayed to them the messages sent to me about the importance of writing and on the huge auditorium screen I showed photos of the celebrities who's words I was reading. When a face came on the screen I'd ask, "Who is that?" then call on a student for the answer. They all knew Arnold Schwarzenegger. They didn't all know Jim Davis but when I put a cartoon drawing of his on the auditorium screen every child in the room knew Garfield. When it was Oprah's photograph they certainly knew her. Then I asked who knew Oprah's last name. The auditorium had a sea of hands waving in the air for attention. I picked a small African-American second grade student and asked him to tell everyone Oprah's last name. He put a big smile on his face and said, "Oprah's last name was We're Free."

In August of 2004 I was twenty feet away from Oprah at the gala opening of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and would like to have told her about the second grader who said Oprah's last name was We're Free but there were too many people around her. I couldn't get through. I had arrived early to the event and was dressed in a long white gown trimmed with seed pearls, sparkling jewelry and pearl trimmed shoes. A man in a black suit came up asking if I was ready. His hand pointed to a red carpet lined with media, cameras and a film crew. I thought, "Isn't this nice. Everyone gets to walk in on the red carpet." He then said he was very sorry but he didn't know my name. "Oh," I smiled. "It's Barbara Baxter." "Ms. Barbara Baxter" he loudly announced. I walked down the red carpet nearly blinded by lights from the cameras as the photographers and videographers shouted "Look this way. Look at me. Up here. Over here." Once inside the party I forgot about the red carpet incident until friends called me late that night wondering how I'd gotten all over the TV news. There was video of only three women regarding the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center gala opening party. They were First Lady Laura Bush, Oprah Winfrey and me, Barbara Baxter, a non-celebrity guest, sashaying down the red carpet like I was somebody. But like I always say, anything is possible.

Now back to that cake recipe…

My mother made that Pecan Pound Cake fairly often. It was a favorite of my father's and the rest of the family. Mother won first prize when she made that cake in a baking contest at a Food and Home Show in Cincinnati, OH. Her First-Place Prize was a Magic Chef stove, a one year supply of can goods from Stokley Van Camp, she also had an appearance on the Paul Dixon TV Show and a feature article, plus photos, in Procter & Gamble's Moonbeams magazine. My father was an engineer with Procter & Gamble.

Years later when I was deciding on a way to thank all those celebrities who had contributed information for the Young Writer's Conference in Lorain, OH, I thought that sharing my mother's prize winning Pecan Pound Cake recipe was the perfect gift. Jessica Tandy certainly thought so.

Here's the list of people who sent me their thoughts on the importance of writing and my mother's prize winning Pecan Pound Cake recipe. Let me know what you think.

Thank You

Cathy Rose Barney for your invaluable help, professionalism and friendship in making the Young Authors Conference presentation a success.

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My Mother, Edith Hall's, Prize Winning Pecan Pound Cake
Cake Preparation Instructions

Cream butter, add sugar gradually, beat very well. Keep beating and add eggs one at a time. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and add alternately with milk to butter mixture. Fold in extracts and floured pecans. Pour in greased and floured 10" tube pan. Bake 75 minutes at 350º. Cool slightly on rack. Remove from pan. Cool completely, then frost with icing and decorate top and bottom edges with pecan halves. Delicious!

Icing: Mix thoroughly together

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Section Two

Missionaries and Circus Acts

Barbara was Born with Uncommon Vision

Grandma could shoot a rifle clean through her house and out her back screen door and drop a varmint in its tracks if it had the misfortune to trespass in her vegetable garden.

My other grandma could play any song you wanted to hear on her piano and she never needed to use piano music.

One grandma had perfect pitch. The other grandma had perfect aim. But the best thing about these two grandmothers was that they never doubted me for a moment when I announced after kindergarden one day that I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be the trapeze act at the circus AND I wanted to be a missionary. Some older individuals, namely, Fourth Graders, were quick to point out that only a dumbbell would think she could be a trapeze act AND a missionary. But I kept marching along with my dream. It never occurred to me that I couldn't be both. I had uncommon vision. And for back-up, I had grandmothers who thought trapeze AND missionary well within my skill range.

It so happened that when I was 15 years old I was invited to go to Lambarini, Gabon, Africa and do missionary work with Dr. Albert Schweitzer. This invitation came by way of a young man named Topper Lockhart who spent summers working with Dr. Schweitzer. Topper presented a program at my church youth group on Dr. Schweitzer's philosophy, his hospital, and the many problems faced by local Africans. I was very excited when Topper asked if I would join a group of volunteers going with him to work the summer months with Dr. Schweitzer. I was very disappointed that my parents wouldn't let me go. But when I thought about my kindergarten vision of being a missionary, the very fact that I was actually invited to work with Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa, was most satisfying.

The circus act part of what I wanted to be when I grew up didn't happen until I was in my 30's. It was not a trapeze act. It was a clown act. This came about because of my involvement with Radio Reading Services for the Blind and Print Impaired. I was asked to narrate the Shrine Circus to blind and print impaired children. Every year when the circus came to town a block of circus seats were fitted with headsets by the Cincinnati Bell Pioneers. The blind and print impaired children listened with their headsets while I described to them into my microphone all the acts as they were being performed in three rings. During one of the performances, something unexpected happened. The Shrine Circus clowns came up the steps to my seat, took hold of my hands and led me onto the main floor and into the center circus ring. One clown pretended to be a photographer and arranged me and the many clowns for a group photo putting me in the middle. Photographer clown looked at the group through a huge black camera on a tripod. No No No, he gestured. Something wasn't right. He pulled out a large brown paper bag, shook it up and down then put it over my head. He whispered to me that he would take the bag off after he took the group picture. The audience thought it funny when the bag went on my head. The laughter began. Then it got louder. I didn't know why. I couldn't see with the bag on my head. What was going on I wondered? With my thumb I lifted the bag a tiny bit. Now the audience howled. I peeked down and saw nothing but my shoes and sawdust. No clown shoes near me. The audience went wild. I realized as I lifted off the paper bag from my head that I was standing alone, in the center ring. I let out a squeal and ran out of the ring in my navy business suit, my high heels and the big paper bag fluttering in my hand. The crowd, filled with many children, applauded and stomped their feet as the clowns brought me back into the ring for a bow. And that's how I got to be a circus performer and almost got to be a missionary. What did you want to be when you grew up?

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Section Three

Angels and White Feathers

Barbara Brings Joy to Others

I was saved by an angel when I had a devastating car wreck. One winter night on a lonely stretch of Interstate my Jeep Cherokee slid on black ice jamming the front end of my car beneath the side of a semi. The truck dragged my car along as it traveled down the highway. I watched helplessly and in horror as my car and I traveled the Interstate sideways and as the front end of the Jeep was sucked further and further beneath the truck's trailer.

The hood of my Cherokee was being buckled in accordion pleats and smashed back toward me in the drivers seat. My eardrums were pierced by screeching sounds of ripping metal. Breathing was limited from the stench of the burning rubber of my tires as I was dragged mercilessly and sideways at 65 MPH. Sprays of sparks flashed all around me. In the next moment the belly of the truck trailer would slam my crushed car hood through the windshield, and me. I asked God to take care of my family, leaned down toward the passenger seat and covered my face with my hands.

Miraculously, I was not crushed to death. Through a series of events my crumbled car and I ended up at a stand-still and the truck sped on down the highway apparently oblivious to the fact that I had been beneath it.

Through another series of events I was able to get myself out of the car and that's when an angel appeared out of nowhere. There were no other vehicles around, no homes, no businesses or structures of any inhabitable form for miles on either side of the Interstate. And yet, there, out of nowhere, stood a man. He was wearing khaki pants and a leather jacket. He put his hands on my shoulders, looked directly in my eyes and told me, "You're Okay. You're just fine." Then he took my hand and instructed me to RUN! A car had appeared on the interstate. It was spinning out of control on black ice and headed right toward me. The man and I ran hand-in-hand through snow down a steep embankment and leapt over a metal guardrail. A few feet beyond there was a second guardrail. I knew I couldn't jump over it. My legs were giving out. They felt like they weighed hundreds of pounds. There was no adrenalin left in my body.

No matter. Even though I was fully 5 inches taller than this man, he picked me up like I was a feather and tossed me over the second guard rail where I landed on my back, safe, and out of harm's way. He looked at me from beyond the guard rail and with a smile on his face said, "You're okay. You're safe. Help is coming." And he disappeared. He had come from no where and now was gone. He was my angel.

Angels often appear in human form when people in high stress situations need help because human form is more readily accepted by our belief system. This enables us to do what angels tell us to do.

A year later I used that experience in a humorous novel I wrote titled, In Cahoots, an Emily Darling Adventure. This led to many interesting experiences including my presenting papers at the International Conference on Humor in Luxembourg.

More importantly, for me this car wreck event was an epiphany. I was blessed to be alive. To be with my family. I pledged to uphold a mission of always using my talents for the purpose of bringing joy to others.

I do great amounts of research on angels. An indicator, or sign of angels, is the appearance of a white feather. When recently a white feather floated down from the ceiling onto my ironing board I took it as a sign that I was heading in the right direction with the idea of bringing to the public a discussion on angels in our lives. I called my friend Victor Paruta, highly esteemed psychic, energy reader and founder of Victory of Light Expo. I told Victor of my wanting to bring the public a discussion on angels and I told him of the white feather on my ironing board, which I took as a sign. He readily agreed. We decided on me facilitating a panel of angel experts he would locate. We agreed a panel of five people would be ideal and the presentation I would facilitate/emcee would be at the April, 2008 Victory of Light Expo. Victor also asked me to introduce his Victory of Light Expo event titled, Ask a Psychic.

A second white feather appeared. I was in San Miguel de Allende in the Sierra Madres of Mexico as a house guest of my dear friends Steve Dinkelaker and Ruah Donnelly. Ruah, AKA., Mrs. Steve Dinkelaker, writes books on gardening. There I was in the Sierra Madre sitting with Ruah catching up on each other's news. I told her of the angel workshop and explained the inspiration of the white feather floating down on to my ironing board. I had no sooner finished telling her when drifting down from the blue sky floated a white feather descending like the white feather in the movie, Forest Gump.

White feather #3 appeared exactly two weeks later when I was in Sarasota, FL having a sandwich at a small deli with outdoor seating. I told the previous two white feather stories to my girl friends, Patty and Bobbey, who were lunching with me. I had no sooner finished the tale of the two white feathers when Patty indicated I should look down to my left foot. Patty's eyes were as big as saucers. so were mine when I looked down and was face to face with an exquisite all white feathered bird looking directly at me. Three separate white feather experiences had to mean the Victory of Light Expo angel workshop was meant to be. The day arrived. I presented to the angel workshop. The angel panel was stellar. The presentation inspiring. The audience was as one. They told story after story of angel experiences. The following year I was able to present another joyful workshop at Victory of Light Expo. This workshop was about Fairies, Elves, Pixies, Gnomes and other Little Helpers. But that, gentle reader, is another story. Can you find it on my website?

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Part Two

Experience & Achievements

Barbara is part of the very entertaining antique appraising and energy reading triumvirate, The A Team, with Spiritual Consultant, Victor Paruta, and noted Antique Appraiser, author, and radio show host of, Keep Antiquing, Frank Farmer Loomis IV. the A Team brings top quality antique appraisals, energy readings and humor to interested group audiences.

Barbara is a ventriloquist who specializes in Meet and Greet for business parties, conventions, restaurants and tea rooms. Barbara also creates theatrical productions with her ventriloquist characters for Dr. Karen Gail Lewis's Unique Retreats for Women. Barbara has performed several times at the International Ventriloquist Convention.

Barbara facilitates programs on angels combining angel experts and audience participation. Barbara also presents workshops on the topic of fairies, pixies, elves, gnomes and other little helpers. Some angel and fairy programs/workshops are presented through the Victory of Light Expo. Segments of Fairy Workshops may be seen on YouTube:

Barbara attended the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture and Art, now DAAP, Dean's List and the University of Cincinnati, Raymond Walters College, Library, Media Technology, Dean's List and Phi Theta Kappa.

She studied script writing with Emmy Award Winner and New York Times Best Seller List author Jack Douglas, Emmy Award Winner, Michael Norrell, mystery writer and New York Times Best Seller author Lawrence Block, Barbara also studied with Science Fiction writer Michael Banks and she studied script writing and commercial performances with Starr Talent Agency.

Barbara was Rush Script Advisor and Song Leader for her sorority, Delta Delta Delta.

WSAI Radio Champagne Girl for sales reps' radio promotions.

Extensive charitable Runway Fashion Modeling.

Modeled jewelry for Tiffany & Company.

Equitana Equestrian Extravaganza Friesian Horse character actor—Director Producer, Kathleen Cox

Television Commercial Kings Island Amusement Park

Multi Media Television Production Bob Braun Show

Ira Joe Fisher TV Show Guest Chef

Nick Clooney TV Show Special Guest

Captain Flag TV Show, Queen of Amnesia for 2 years

Comedic Singer, Kick off Banquet for International Year of the Handicapped.

Numerous radio interviews on Greater Cincinnati stations

Decades of community theater

Numerous presentations to business groups on the Importance of Humor

Key Note Speaker State of Ohio Library Convention

Presented papers World Humor and Irony Membership Purdue University

International Conference on Humor in Luxembourg. Presented papers on how to create humor based on Barbara's novel, In Cahoots.

Monthly humor column, 10 years, Living Magazine Cincinnati OH

Numerous humor articles, Hubbard Magazine, Dallas, TX

Kentucky Book Fair and Authors Reception given by Gov. John Y Brown, Phyllis George Brown. Invited guests included Erma Bombeck, Gen. John Eisenhower, Harrison Salisbury, Roy Blount Jr.

New Orleans Writers Conference and party at home of Anne Rice. Invited guests included Roy Blount Jr., Wendy Wasserstein, Elaine May.

Barbara is a pastel portrait artist, creates jewelry from fun objects, makes pictures of handmade felt and she designs women's hats to be worn for Kentucky Derby

Barbara's hand made felt and hand embroidered hat, titled: SISTERS, won First Place Blue Ribbon in Fine Arts, Fiber Art Division, Kentucky State Fair.

She won a ribbon at the Hamilton County Ohio fair for her Double Crust Granny Smith Apple Pie.

Barbara began her extended writing and acting career at age four. Prior to that, she just loafed.

Barbara is a cancer survivor. She supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and, Cancer Family Care. She works out three times a week with trainer Zak Nordyke

Barbara has three children, a son-in-law, two daughter's-in-law, and three grandchildren. All are loved and adored.

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