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Harry T. Barnes

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Dark Days on Bear Creek
(Over the Barnes Bridge, Vol. 3) by Harry T. Barnes

This book begins in 1929 with the stock market crash igniting the Great Depression. Ida and Jim Barnes eke out a living during the dark days of the 1930s while also dealing with the angst and misadventures of their five adolescent children. The story includes vignettes, many originally written by the author’s mother in the decade before her death in 2011.

    As Jim and the four Barnes boys seek work logging, mining, and doing odd jobs in the mountains of Western Maryland,  Ida and their daughter tend crops, hogs and chickens, cooking  on a wood stove, laboring over a scrub board, and mending clothes by kerosene lamp. Until President Roosevelt’s New Deal brings hope to America, life is a day-by-day struggle for survival.

      “Dark Days on Bear Creek” is a roller-coaster of emotional episodes ranging from near-death experiences and family feuds to poignant joyful moments. Throughout the decade of hopelessness and hardship, the children eventually mature, work picks up, and times get better. 

       Characters, events, and settings in this book were drawn from family stories, the author’s childhood memories, Friendsville historical references, census records, newspaper articles, obituaries, and genealogical data.  The author’s imagination was called into play only when details were not available.

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The Barnes Bridge (Over the Barnes Bridge, Vol. 2)
By Harry T. Barnes

It was 1919, and the death of their infant son drove Ida Barnes nearly mad, resulting in an avalanche of events that she and her husband, Jim, were totally unprepared for. He had lived in Baltimore City all his life, and could not imagine moving to the “wilderness” of Appalachia as Ida’s condition demanded. The Barnes Bridge, the second book in the Over the Barnes Bridge series, is a true story about the hardships Ida and Jim Barnes endured and how they created a new life for themselves and their five children in the mountains of Western Maryland. Danger and adventure were daily events; near-death experiences all too common. Jim became a coal miner and logger. Ida labored over a scrub board and wood cook stove, tended crops, kids, and chickens, and made a home for them.

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She Called Him Jim (Over the Barnes Bridge, Vol. 1)
By Harry T. Barnes

Ida was a coal miner’s daughter from the Appalachian Mountains. Norman was the son of a Baltimore City carpenter. At the age of seven, in separate incidents, both of their fathers died violently. In their teens, Ida was sent to a girl’s reform school by her brutal stepfather, and Norman lost his mother to mental illness and was left to fend for himself. Both had to grow up fast, and there was little time for tears. "She Called Him Jim" tells the story of how these children rose above adversity and came to know and love one another. It is a true story of courage and perseverance, describing their adventures, hardships, and romance in the early 1900s of Baltimore City, Maryland.The next book in the series, "The Barnes Bridge," is a collection of stories about Ida and Jim, their children, and their lives in Friendsville, Maryland—their joys and sorrows, harrowing near-death experiences, hardships, humor, and courage.

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Condo Capers

By Harry T. Barnes

 

Condo Capers" are short mystery stories set in the imaginary Florida Gulf Coast village of Slash Pine. Mary McKenzie Morningstar, "M,” is a retired psychotherapist. Her husband, Harrison Blake Blacklock, "Blackie," was a National Park Service  law enforcement ranger. 

     Anticipating sunny, peaceful days in their retirement, they moved from frigid New England to a little condo at White Ibis Condominiums in southwest Florida.

     When murder is afoot, professional curiosity and sense of duty drive M and Blackie doggedly in the pursuit of justice. Although Sheriff Ambrose of the Mango County Police Department repeatedly warns them not to interfere in police work, M and Blackie never rest until Ambrose solves his case. 

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