Barry McGuire: A Decade Later

It always amazes me to receive notice that one of you had done the search, found the first blog post about Barry, and left a heart-warming comment. (See The latest comment asked for an update on our resilient friend. Barry and I decided it was due. Perhaps overdue.

“Give me a pot and a bit of soil.”

Fully immunized and boosted, Barry has weathered the Covid outbreak with little effect on his general health. He remains in the country cottage where we moved him after his disappointing move to New Jersey, holed away in a reclusive existence. He no longer drives, but “gets by with a little help from my friends.” And his nearby friends are delighted to assist with his living needs.

For a year, he’s enjoyed a furry little roommate, a cat he named “Miss Kitty.” (With a nod to Gunsmoke.) As the Covid months lingered on—and on—he started hosting a trusted friend now and then. With a pizza dinner, topped off with his favorite cherry pie, a few of us helped him celebrate his latest birth anniversary, #92! And he’s still going strong. Mental calisthenics keep his mind hopping, even if his legs won’t cooperate, and he corresponds via email with faithful friends across the country. He has sadly bid a final farewell to some of those longtime friends as they made the final checkout in recent months.

The computer and his Roku connections on television are his window to the world and he keeps up with all the global news and trends. Every few days we take a walk in the local park, weather permitting, and he keeps his bones moving. His health is generally good for a nonagenarian. He’d be as spry as a thirty-something if it wasn’t for his arthritis and his hearing loss. He prepares all his meals, and is a superb chef. Once in a while he will accept invitations for restaurant fare, or allow friends less-adept in the kitchen to share meals with him. (Like me.)

At this honorable age, we couldn’t let his special day in March this year go by without some kind of celebration safe in the confines of his 3-bedroom abode. With that in mind, I issued an invitation to his faithful friends to suggest a good title he might use if he were to write a memoir of his remarkable life. The suggestions are a world of entertainment themselves. To extend his celebration further into his 93rd year, I share them below.  Enjoy!

On stage with Lois Smith

Possible titles for a memoir:

  1. Gentleman Rebel: The Life and Times of Barry Edward McGuire
  2. A Bus to Broadway
  3. Joy in the Moment
  4. My Life Before an Audience
  5. The Art of Taking a Bow
  6. A Man for All Seasons: Magician, Puppeteer, Actor, Director, Poetic Gardener, Theater Builder, Tourism Promoter, and All-around Neat Guy
  7. Prudent, Patient, Persistent: Savoring a Life
  8. Magic in the Desert, Flowers in the Town—Bringing Enchantment to My Little Corner of the World
  9. How to Talk to Geese—and Keep Them out of Your Garden and Away from Your Strawberries
  10. No One Gets Through the Forest of the Blue—How Puppets Saved Santa’s Village

    Cripple Creek, Colorado
  11. Give Me My Walker and Watch Me Go! I May Be Stooped but I’m Not Slow—Staying Active in Your Golden Years
  12. Typewriters and Toasters—The Fun to be Had With Classics
  13. Baking Bread with Barry
  14. I Danced with Debbie Reynolds! My Life on Stage and Screen
  15. Surviving the 7th Day Adventist Missionary Visits. Know Your Bible and Have Some Fun
  16. A Life of Adventure and Love—The Places I’ve Been and the People I’ve Known
  17. It’s Been One Hell of a Ride! Things I Know Now I’m Glad I Didn’t Know Then
  18. Barry McGuire’s Garden of Life
  19. From Stage and Screen and a Zen Monk’s Mail Route to Rescuing a Great Plains Town
  20. Barry McGuire’s Magical, Amazing Life Played in the Key of Kindness
  21. Waters Run Deep and Wide at Little House in the Woods
  22. Barry McGuire: the Entertainer, the Music Lover, and the Friend
  23. A Diamond Found in Kansas
  24. Barry McGuire: the 20th Century Star and a Good Friend of Mine
  25. To Follow a Dream
  26. Life is What You Bake It
  27. The Barry Magic of Barry McGuire: Dancing With the Stars and Entertaining Young, Old, and Everyone in Between

    Dancing with Debbie
  28. Life with Man’s Best Friend: The Cat
  29. Finding Life’s Truth Through Characters on Stage
  30. 57,718 Million Miles and Counting: Adventures on Spaceship Earth Through 92 Revolutions
  31. The Multitudinous Achievements of Barry McGuire, or What Happens When You Unleash One Creative Kind o’ Guy in Southeastern Kansas!
  32. A Magical Life . . . All and All