A brief autobiography of Anthony (Bear) Barrett



In late fall of 1977, a young couple looked upon their two young children appraisingly and concluded …if we really want torturous family vacations we are going to need to fill out the back seat of the station wagon better. In July of that next year a burning question was answeredwho will forever sit in the middle of that backseatas I made this even little family decidedly odd.

Just before I entered high school, we left the only home Id ever known for the bluer grass of Kentucky on the other side of that river. There I would first learn the joy of a private bedroom and not having to climb a ladder to get into bed. Performing in speech and drama during those years would hone both my self-confidence and buttery smooth deep voice before I shifted further into the backwoods of rural Kentucky for college. A mere five years later I emerged from Murray State University with a BFA in furniture making, a penchant for dabbling in all of those things my religious republican parents warned me about, and an appreciation for country living.

Teaching English in a tiny, rice-farming Japanese village in 2001 offered me the opportunity to see more of the world, drive on the left hand side of the road and live without my native language and culture. I was also afforded ample time to dwell on where I would go for grad school. During that long, cold, dark winter I decided San Diego would be that place. Funny, it seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Before that experimental year in southern California was out, my van, my job in a custom furniture shop and my relationship would each die off before I even applied for school. Surely this was a sign…I needed to get further north.