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November, 2016


Sometimes the accomplishments of seniors in our community are overlooked
or forgotten. Often it is the case that health issues take precedence as
folks get older, and times of reminiscence and recollection of life's
accomplishments are fewer and far between. Such is not the case at Twin
Cedars.
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The facility's owner, Tamara Singer, was looking for a program that would
allow for the residents to take the time to recall their lives and have
them documented in some form of tribute.

Enter Patricia Durante, actress and playwright. Patricia is taking the
time to talk to many of the residents of Twin Cedars; and she's taking
notes. The end result will be a tribute in the form of "this is your
life", which will be created for the seniors and presented for them, and
their families.

The first subject is an outstanding woman who has been a resident at Twin
Cedars since 1994. She is a WWII and Korean War Veteran with many a tale
to tell about her travels and training in the military. As her story
unfolded it became quite clear to Patricia that she had met someone quite
unique and remarkable, named Barbara Child.

Barbara joined the Women's Army Corps after a year at the Rochester
Institute of Technology. The year was 1944, and Barbara wanted a career.
The Army was happy to have her, and she embarked upon a 20-year stint in
the armed forces which would encourage her continued education in the
field of drafting and drawing, and take her to many places in the States
and abroad.

Her travels took her to Frankfurt, Germany, a city in ruin after bombings.
The one standing structure, the IG Farbin Pharmaceuticals building, would
be converted for U.S. military use, and Barbara worked as a draftsman
there for three years.

She qualified for Officer Candidate School and she became a 2nd Lieutenant
at the age of 23. In 1950 she was sent to Japan and spent time in Yokahama
and, later, Etigima, an island on the inland sea. Her skills as an artist
and draftswoman allowed her to do sketches, technical drawings, even
cartoons for various military projects and publications.

She eventually was sent back to the States and moved from base to base
until 1964 and the onset of the Vietnam War. Barbara decided to retire
after 20 years and enjoyed a successful post military career working for
NASA and TRACOR. Her drafting talents were used in the rendering of
designs for Velcro and the very important NASA invention, the space human
waste receptical.

Barbara Child tells her story with a humble and easy going tone. Her
recollections are detail oriented and precise as to dates and places. Her
story is an inspiration to women, seniors and veterans alike.

On Veteran’s Day Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Peifer and Senator
Lisa Baker came to Twin Cedars to acknowledge Barbara for her many years
of dedicated service to her country, in conjunction with the debut of the
segment about Barbara Child, presented by actress Patricia Durante.  Seven
other veterans were also recognized on this special day and given American
flags.