Name: Gary Barnes
Hometown: Born and raised Dhahran, in eastern Saudi Arabia; lived in upstate New York, California and Maine while attending college and graduate school; Keene resident since 1989
Family: Wife, Janice; children Christopher, 31, Taylor, 29, and Walker, 23; stepdaughter Jessica Montenieri, 27; father, Larry Barnes, 95; brother, Dean, and sister, Lauri; first wife, Laurie, died in 1996
Occupation: Executive director of Maps Counseling Services, a mental health services provider with offices in Keene and Peterborough
Education: Attended Syracuse University in New York for two years before transferring to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he graduated with a degree in psychology in 1977; received his master’s in psychology from San Diego State University in 1980, and his Ph.D. in psychology from the The University of Maine in Orono in 1989
Hobbies: Gardening, reading, playing the flute, traveling
Question: What did you think of the United States when you were a child?
Answer: “Coming to the states was really exciting. We had television; you could watch TV all day long when you were a kid. When you’d go shopping, there was so much choice. ... There was no real milk in Saudi Arabia; there was powdered milk, so I remember one of my favorite things was the milk was delivered to my grandmother’s house in bottles, and my brother and I would hear the clink, clink, clink in the morning, and by the time my parents got up, we finished most of it off because real milk was heaven.”
Question: What’s something you learned about the United States from growing up abroad and attempting to make a life here as an adult?
Answers: “One of the things I learned is that Americans don’t know how big the world is. We’re a very proud country. We’re a very big country, and it’s allowed us to live in isolation in many ways. ... My sense of this country is that if we have a failing, it’s that we don’t realize how much alike the rest of the world is (to us), and it leaves us vulnerable to prejudice.”