A tale of two Barb’s

two-barbsDear Readers,    

We are blessed in this community by two amazing women.  These women have the collective institutional memory of several decades of Nederland’s growth and evolution locked up in their hearts and their heads. These women have chronicled the growing pains of this hardy Nederland community for years.  It is because of these two hard working, hard caring women that we have as much of a community as we do.  Knowledge is power. It is because we know about all the little and big happenings that we have a bond as Ned heads. As in all towns, we focus our love and energy around our children, whether in school or in the community at large. A recent visitor from out of state commented to me that his community in Northern California doesn’t have a local newspaper. We do, and we are the richer for that.  And who are the titans holding up this beacon to illuminate and chronicle our humble lives?

I first met Barb # 1 when I was teaching at Ned Middle Senior High back in 1983. This Barb had four foster kids: two native Americans, a girl from India, and a young boy from a broken home.  Barb juggled all these domestic responsibilities, launching these youngsters while writing and photographing all the sports teams, choir concerts and town’s brouhahas for three decades.  She knows several generations of Nederland families and has seen it all.  When they are shooting the final free throw at the game, Barb is there shooting pix and taking down info on her little note books. When it is damp and dreary and the wind is blowing, there’s Barb on the sidelines with her poofy hat pulled low over her china blue eyes as she snaps hundreds of pictures to try for the best one to show off one of our local heroes.  Then she goes home and writes.

Barb # 2 lives more in the background. She is the unselfish iron lady fighting to keep the paper going, the lights on, the paper laid out and sent in on time, the ads sold, designed and laid out, and everyone organized.  She too has a Nederland past, as she was a student at Ned High back in the mid 80’s and has raised several kids through Ned schools.  She is a key member of several community building groups.  She bought the newspaper ten years ago and saved it from a dismal future as an uninspired compendium of tedium, instead steering it through many financial minefields to make it the clean, tidy, colorful chronicler of our little community that it is today.

I want to thank these two wonderful ladies for their undying love of this community and its humble newspaper.


Bill Thibedeau
Peak to Peak