Barbara Frankfort Patrick

My Life


The Early Years: 


I hardly remember my elementary school years, it was so long ago.  But, I do know that I had fun and was blessed in having good friends, a great family, and the best school district in the state, or any state for that matter.  My mother was president of the PTA for many years, and so my siblings and I got more “attention” than we cared for by teachers, and others.  And, she was a personal friend of Mr. Goldwasser. I was embarrassed most of the time.  Now, having children and grandchildren of my own, I now know that mom was way ahead of her time.  Getting involved in your kid’s school is essential to ensure that our children have the very best education available.


The Wheatley Years:


Highs School is a blur.  I am not sure where exactly where I fit in.  But I guess I did somewhere, and had fun to boot.  I have reconnected with some of my friends during that time and they tell me so.  I suppose the reason for my memory lapse is that I had so many responsibilities at home which eclipsed everything else.  I was the eldest of five, two bothers and twin sisters who were 13 years younger than me. Boy did they all cramp my style.  Mom had gone back to college after the twins were born and so raising them was up to me!  I actually had to take my little brother Richard on some of my dates!  No wonder I choose not to remember High School.  Ugh, I couldn’t get out of the house fast enough. 


I digress.  I do remember we had outstanding teachers.  Like Col Hawkins; English.  I didn’t want to write an essay for one of his assignments, so I asked if I could do an illustrative timeline of literature from Beowulf to modern day.  He agreed, and by the time it was finished it wrapped around the room.  I got an A and he used it for many years after.  Mel Rosenstein, I can still smell those concoctions, but boy did he make chemistry fun.  Who could possibly forget Mr. Doig, and his enthusiasm for American history, and I learned Spanish with a German accent!  I loved chorus, thanks to Dr. Wills.  And, yes I took art.  I won a blue ribbon in the Hofstra Art show in my junior year.  I wish that I still had the painting rather than the newspaper article.  Mom must have trashed it in some move or another. 



Post Wheatley Years;


Unlike many of you, I didn’t go to college after graduation.  I loved art and thought that I would like to be an artist.  Unfortunately, my parents didn’t feel art was an acceptable college major so they gave me their idea of acceptable professions for women.  They would send me to nursing school or I could consider being a teacher.  Well, the sight of blood made me nauseous, and teaching wasn’t for me.  So after graduation, I began as a  textile design apprentice with the help of a neighbor who was in the industry, and he acted as my mentor.  The first studio I worked at was in the old Metropolitan Opera House, on the fourth floor. It was such a thrill to work there.  My grandfather was a season ticket holder for years and always had tickets for all the shows.  He believed that I needed to be educated in the arts to be a complete human being.  Grandpa also belonged to MoMA where he introduced me to Matisse, who became a major influence in my art. I could go on and on about that, however, I am sure that I have lost you all a paragraph ago.


Since I didn’t go to college, and was desperate to get out of the house, I had two choices, get an apartment in the city, or get married.  Well, I couldn’t afford the apartment.  In 1962 I was married and we lived in Flushing.  When I became pregnant with my first child in 1964, I was fired from my textile design position.  How about them trying that these days!  So I became a stay at home mom for my son, we bought a house in Syossett, and then 3 years later I had a daughter.  In 1968 we moved to the DC area.  Great timing, Martin Luther King Jr. had just been shot, and I arrived at National airport as DC was burning.  My husband was already working there, and he picked me and the kids up at the airport.  He had a baseball bat for protection next to the seat.  All was fine and the weapon was not needed.  We lived in Fairfax, VA for several years.  We then moved to Maryland in 1972 when he changed jobs.  I felt my life needed something more gratifying then being a stay at home mom.  I taught water colors in the adult education department for a while, and got involved with the community paper, not enough.  I decided that it was my time to go to college and so I did.  Four years later I graduated from the University of Maryland with a double major in Art History (one of my passions) and Advertising Communications (a practicality).  I got a job, not in art history, but as a graphic designer for a major publishing company in DC, The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (BNA, Inc.)  I was with the company for 28 years, predominately, with its subsidiary Tax Management. I rose up the corporate ladder to my final position, directing the Marketing & Communications Unit.  There, I was responsible for advertising, direct marketing, author and public relations, and event planning.  I loved my job for many reasons, but especially for its diversity, and my contact with so many different individuals.  The position allowed me to travel frequently abroad, to the Middle East and throughout this continent, planning and hosting events at many luxury venues.  Of course the flip side is that it has spoiled me for travel.  My idea of “roughing it” is not having prior reservations at the Waldorf Astoria.  For more than 20 years I held advisory board meetings and dinners there each month.  I think that I have slept in a quarter of their 1000 rooms.  Funny, the caption for my photo in the Aurora is “Woman is a Social Animal”.  One of you knew me better than I did.


The Golden Years:


My first marriage ended in divorce after 20 years in 1982.  But in 1988 I met a wonderful man who is my soul mate and doting husband.  All together, David and I have four children and four fabulous grandkids. We just celebrated our 20th anniversary on a cruise to Panama.  Oh, that is another thing, we love to travel.  We’ve been to Europe several times, and cruised many places.  If I could, I would be in Tuscany forever.  But, to quote a Concierge in Florence, “Italy is wonderful place to live, if you are very rich!”


So instead, David and I retired three years ago and moved from the DC area to the southern Delaware beaches.  We absolutely love the slower pace in this quiet resort.  But, I have to keep busy, so after moving here I joined a community theater group.  My first performance was Lucille in The Cemetary Club.  It got rave reviews and I had a fun time.  Who knew I could act.  But my real passion is still art, so it was back to the basics for me.  I am painting again after 40 years, and I love what I am doing, and this past month I was accepted in my first juried show.  For those who are curious and would like to see my art, you can check me out on FaceBook.  Barbara Frankfort-Kollander Patrick and click on my profile-photos.  Of course, there are photos of the love of my life, my Portuguese Water Dog, Splash.  Yeah, and the kids and David are their too.


See you at the reunion!