Barbara Ann Ferrell was born on January 3rd, 1925 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother Lucile Evans was the daughter of David Evans, the son of the Mormon Bishop
David Evans. Bishop David Evans was one of the 12 ordained by Joseph Smith on their way to Salt lake City, Utah. Barbara was named after her great Grandmother Barbara Ann Ewell from Jamestown, Virginia. Barbara Ann Ewell and her sister left their home in Virginia and traveled with the Mormon group from Virginia to Utah. Barbara Ann Ewell’s sister died on the trip having given birth to a daughter whom Barbara Ann Ewell raised. Barbara Ann Ewell married David Evans on their pioneering trip to Utah with other devotees of Joseph Smith the founder of the Mormon faith. Joseph Smith was a visionary, and a mystic passionate about the revelations given to him by an assumed angel.
Barbara Ann Ferrell’s father, Paul Clendenin (Calvin) Ferrell was a descendent of Jonathan Edwards, the colorful “hell fire and damnation” preacher in New England at that time. Paul had a brother (George) and a sister (Erna). The two brothers were in Europe in World War 2, where George was gassed but survived. Erna was a metaphysician who channeled a book called “The Subconscious Speaks” that became a bible to the lesser Hollywood community of actors. Paul was the editor of her book, and only gave hints in the introduction about Erna’s method of channeling.
Barbara’s mother Lucile Evans (Ferrell) was a suffragette who marched in the streets of Washington when she was a teenager while attending “National Park Seminary,” a Junior College near Washington D.C. She also was a poet, a singer and a player of the zither when she joined Margaret Anglin’s Greek Play dramas. She stayed with the troupe in New York and Canada, until her father sent her a one-way ticket to come home to Oxford Drive in Los Angeles. Paul Ferrell was a neighbor on Oxford Avenue and paid a social call on her leaving his card. They next met on a streetcar in LA and the romance began.
Barbara’s last time with her father was when she was just a few months old and road with him in his Ford convertible on a wild ride on a roller coaster designed for cars. Barbara’s mother was so furious with Paul, who had been drinking, when he returned with Barbara that she threw him out of their apartment. Barbara never spent any time alone with her father after that incident.
Uneventful times passed until Barbara was three years old and was given lessons on the piano by the mother of an architect, Bill jenny, who had met Lucile at an art class. Bill Jenny was a student at Yale and also a composer and musician. Barbara, as she was going to sleep, used to hear he and his friends often playing classical music on the Knabe Piano downstairs in the living room of her mother and grandmother’s house in Beverly Hills, California.
Barbara’s grandmother had been raised a Mormon from Lehi, Utah. She taught school in a little schoolhouse there. She married David Evans when she was 19 years old and he was already an attorney and in his thirties. He became prosecuting attorney of the US Government vs. the multiple wives issue in Salt Lake City. After winning that case he moved to Venice California where he and two other gentlemen built Venice as a replica of the Venice in Italy. He also became one of the founding fathers of Los Angeles. He died the year before Barbara was born. The year before he had taken a trip around the world alone as his wife Leah May Neagle refused to go with him.
The 1930’s depression hit Barbara’s mother to such an extent that she was forced to rent her house in Beverly Hills, to such as the writer Dorothy Parker and Allen Campbell, the opera singer, Risa Stevens, who played with Nelson Eddy in one of his musicals. Barbara’s grandmother had to live in a small apartment in Beverly Hills, while Lucile and Bill Jenny went to live in New haven, Connecticut.
At the same time, when she was eight years old Barbara was sent to Flintridge Academy, a Sacred Heart girl’s convent school where she spent the fall and the spring as the youngest and non-catholic girl there. Those were difficult times for Barbara, being the youngest and non-Catholic, being teased by the older girls, yet nurtured by the nuns.
Barbara’s survival method was to be sick and be in the infirmary with tonsillitis most of the time. She remembers being fed corn flakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Her Aunt, Irma, and Uncle, John sister and brother in Law of Lucile came to see her once during that time. Barbara spent Christmas with BaBa, her grandmother, in her little apartment.
After her mother came back, Barbara could never trust her nor reveal her self to her until her mother was in her nineties. Lucile had found her mission as a visual artist, which allowed Barbara to lead her own life with her own friends, which were few, but they had fun times dressing up pretending to be adults, wearing high heel shoes and their mother’s clothes and lipstick.
Barbara was pulled out of schools often as Lucile wanted to go to the East Coast and leave California. At 12 years old, one more Catholic boarding school, in Alexandria, Virginia, was the result, for a year as both a boarder and a day student, depending on when Barbara’s mother would be away for a weekend.
The good thing was that Barbara was able to continue her music lessons, in Alexandria, at one of her friend’s mother’s house next door. The unfortunate thing was that when Barbara was playing a Mozart Sonata at a School recital, she had a case of stage fright that led her to leap off of the piano stool and run to the bathroom where she stayed for hours sobbing. She never touched the piano again until she was 35 years old, and married with children.
Barbara and her mother returned to California after a year in Virginia. Barbara went to the Beverly Hills High School for one week. She told her mother that she couldn’t stand it, so her mother applied to her own girls High School, Westlake School for Girls, and Barbara was given a scholarship to go there for 4 years. When she was a senior Barbara had a poem of hers published in a National Journal and it was announced in the assembly one morning. That and the fact that she had been taken to Earl Carroll’s Nightclub by a blind date that she had met at a school dance earlier, made her more popular than she had ever been.
Her favorite subjects were mathematics and Latin. After high school she enrolled in UCLA for a semester, studying Spanish, Astronomy and Latin. She applied to Bennington College and was accepted in the middle of the term. She left California to go to Vermont, while her mother left California to go to New York City where she painted and exhibited her painting. Lucile had a whole page in the Arts section of the New York Times with an illustration of her painting of two people chained at the feet floating above the City. The caption of the article was, “Don‘t do it!”
While her mother was in NYC, Barbara was a student at Bennington College for two years, where she studied dance with Martha Graham, architecture with Richard Neutra and art, all her favorite subjects. After Bennington, Barbara studied at George Washington University receiving her BA degree in Commercial Art, while at the same time painting and exhibiting in a two-woman show, “Contemporary American Artists Series” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1950.
Lucile did not stay in New York. She went to Washington, D.C. to an apartment right in the City. She found a job as an art teacher at a girl’s school, and became part of the Washington Artists group teaching with many of the artists who later became famous in NYC.
Barbara went on to pursue a Master’s of Education Degree at GWU and as a result taught art at a girls school, “Marjorie Webster’s Junior College” where she taught until she married Alfred Olivier Hero in 1954. Barbara was also a secretary to a Washington Architect, Samuel Goodman while painting whenever she could find time. She also was a clerk at “Garfinkle’s Department Store in the heart of Washington D. C., where she sold hats, suits, and ran a Paris Boutique.
Barbara was married for 17 years, having had 12 pregnancies, and delivering four children in 10 years, two boys, Alfred and David and two girls Barbara Ann and Michelle. During that time Barbara had a studio on the 3rd floor of their home in Cambridge where she painted each morning and brought each of the four toddlers to the studio in the morning while the older children were at school.
Circumstances necessitated a break in the marriage, for the benefit of husband, wife and children. For 10 years Barbara went through another “dark night of the soul.” There was light at the “end of the tunnel.” It was a time of “soul searching,” painting, reading, contemplating, living like a hermit, but always available to sit with the children or stay with them while Alfred went on his many official duties to Washington and elsewhere.
Those ten years were like a recap of the years spent in the Convent schools, where survival was the main recourse. The neighborhood where Barbara lived in the South End of Boston was poor and dangerous, not at all like the safe harbor that she left in Cambridge.
From now on the personal pronoun “I” is used, as a shift in objective versus subjective has occurred.
Nonetheless, it is the difficulties that we face that make us grow stronger and more aware of life. It was in those days that I drew, exhibited, and taught art therapy workshops at the drug rehab known as the “Third Nail” in Roxbury, Boston, another drug rehab and a men’s prison in Bridgewater, Mass, I also went on get my Masters degree in Mathematics Education at Boston University, where I was determined to learn more about mathematics, as I had found that mathematics was the link between my art and music. I studied computer science the last year of my Master’s degree and was able with the help of Professor Esch to develop an algorithm for generating frequencies and ratios.
It was in those ten years that I found the meaning to my life, my mission, and the rediscovery of the Lambdoma Matrix of mathematical ratios that applied directly to music theory. It was all linked to Pythagorean ratios in music and color-coding of musical notations.
Later, I applied to MIT for a course in Synthesized Sound where I was able to generate the Lambdoma matrix in audible sound. It was in that same year that I met Robert Foulkrod, a retired engineer, a computer programmer and career councilor supreme.
His mission is to awaken humanity to the realization that we are Gods. His positivism has pulled me out of negative thinking, and our connection has resulted in untold benefits for us both in many directions and harmonious ways of living.
So this is where I am today, so blessed that my “cup runneth over,” again and again. I have become interested in the working of Government, and have been voted in to State Committees, Platforms, and Rules Committees of my political party. I ran for office of selectman in my town of Wells of 10,000, and was not elected, but learned so much from the experience. I have founded my own small business from which I receive several requests each year. I have invented with Robert’s and others help the Pythagorean Lambdoma Keyboard, which seems to help others find their true selves. I am invited to give workshops in the U.S. England, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Canada, I have a small following of Lambdoma aficionados in many places in the world.
More opportunities are opening up for helping others all the time. Times of meditation and silence are relished. Life is good even when it is a challenge.