fbpx

Meet Woodlands Resident Betsey Barnes

Meet Woodlands Resident Betsey Barnes

Betsey Barnes has travelled for much of her life as the wife of a Foreign Service Officer. In the process she has published two novels and is now writing her third.  

When she’s not writing she is connecting with other residents of The Woodlands and enjoys hearing their stories.

“Stories are so interesting to me – always have been. Everybody has a story,” Betsey says. 

Betsey grew up in New Jersey and spent her teen years in the Bronx, New York. She was the oldest of three children and especially close to her brother John.  Her father was a minister, so the family moved to different parishes. Her mother was a college graduate, unusual for the times, and instilled in her daughter the importance of learning and a love of writing.

Betsey’s first wish was to be an actress and she became very involved in theater at her alma mater, Mount Holyoke College, serving as president of the Dramatic Society.  

After graduation she married Harry, her brother’s roommate. As a career foreign service couple, Harry’s assignments took them around the world. From their first posting in Bombay, India, they went to Prague, Czechoslovakia, then to Oberammergau, a town in the Bavarian Alps, Germany, where they studied Russian. Their next assignment was Moscow, capital of the Soviet Union.

Following assignments took them to Kathmandu, Bucharest twice, back to New Delhi, India and finally to Santiago, Chile. Betsey’s stories are borrowed from her experiences traveling the world to these postings.

During their years in the Service, it was their luck to meet Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. They also spent time with first ladies Jackie Kennedy and Barbara Bush. Harry eventually worked in Georgia and travelled with Jimmy Carter.

Betsey and Harry retired to pastoral Peacham, Vermont, onto land with views of the distant White Mountains of New Hampshire. They came to The Woodlands in its earliest months and found an apartment with sunlight from sunrise to sunset with enough space for all their needs. After Harry died, Betsey found comfort with residents who had gone through the same grieving experiences. Now she looks forward to dinner with her Woodland friends every night in the dining room.

Betsey is the author of two novels, “Unforgiving Heights” and “Far is the Moon of My Home.”  She shares her home with two “wonderful cats, Corky and Patchy” and is busy writing her third novel.