Barba-Del Campbell was in the hallway at the overflow Council meeting this past July on Cedar Creek Park. She handed me a handwritten letter which I put into my pocket. I met Barba-Del a few years earlier at the first meeting for the Lanta merchants. There were at least two passions in her life, activism and art; Apparently, she had a long relationship with both. This past summer, The Morning Call had a feature story about her role in commemorating Paul Robeson with a postage stamp.
I typed and printed Barba-Del's letter and faxed it along with my own to the Morning Call. Both our editorials appeared side by side in the paper. My effort resulted in a handwritten thank you note. Barba-Del didn't have a computer. I would print out pieces I wrote on the merchants or on the parks, and leave them at her "office", that would be the first table to the left at The House of Chen.
There will be a gathering this Saturday in her memory at the restaurant. Barba-Del is on the far right in photo above, which was taken after that Lanta meeting by participant Bernie O'Hare. Ann Elizabeth Schlegel and Heather Sincavage also remember this remarkable woman.
ADDENDUM: I STOPPED INTO THE HOUSE OF CHEN TRIBUTE TO BARBA-DEL TO PAY MY RESPECTS, THERE WERE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE.
Heather Sincavage reflects on the memorial service
above reprinted from March of 2010
ADDENDUM FEBRUARY 21, 2023: The above tribute to activist Barba-Del Campbell's memory is almost thirteen years old. Her memorial gathering was in a restaurant which no longer exists. Even Jenny Lim's replacement eatery in South Bethlehem recently closed.
Downtown's transition to Reillytown didn't happen without protest. This blogger and others, especially those displaced by the new sterile bland towers, spoke up here and on other alternative media. Town by then was perhaps funky, but it was organic, and real. What there is today is a news release by Reilly Real Estate, echoed by the Morning Call.
Although not all of my current readers may know who and what I'm remembering here today, nevertheless, it is my honor to reprint this post.
Thank you for posting this tribute to Barba-Del... and so close to her death many years ago. I had the pleasure of visiting Barba-Del at her home, with a few mutual friends, 2 weeks before she passed. She was in fine form and a grand time was had by us all! Her home reminded me of a fully (over) stocked "book mobile" sans the wheels!!! She was a very well read woman and could converse on most any subject!!! The New York Times crossword was her favorite.ReplyDelete
Barba-Del would be aghast at the present development(s) going on in her beloved Allentown. We still miss her at holiday gatherings.