Class of 1994
Robert "Bobby" Barber, a 2nd generation LA native knew early on that he had a love affair with the beach.
As a kid he and his buddies knew they wanted to be where the action was. They would hitch rides, jump on trains or whatever it took to get down to the ocean. Amusement Parks, Plunges (giant public pools) girls, body surfing all awaited their arrival every summer.
This burning desire pulled him throughout his life to get to the coast. Bobby worked many years as an LA county firefighter. His non-working days he had one thought..... The Beach. After meeting and marrying his lifelong companion Virginia Hutchens, he focused all his efforts to move from La Crescenta to the coast. They soon decided on Pacific Palisades.
Settling in to the area was easy. Bobby and Virginia soon after started a family. Mark, Colleen, Brad and Blake were all raised in the new community. Walking to the beach and was pretty much a daily ritual. His love of volleyball developed relatively late in life (around 30 years old). Having days with no surf soon lead to a curiosity of what others were doing on the courts. Bobby was a good track athlete in High school and picked the game up fast. He soon had an obsession as most of us do with this amazing game. Bobby moved up the rating ladder until he became one of the oldest ever to achieve AAA which happened in the Laguna Open with Dane Holtzman.
Most early days were spent with the kids at Will Rogers Beach. All the kids would pile into the car and be gone all day. Life was good, great weather, long summers, and unlimited volleyball. Bobby naturally gravitated to playing in tournaments. The kids were brought to most events. One neighbor, (Randy Stoklos) was being smuggled down to the beach on a regular basis.
Bobby later moved the brood all down to the Santa Monica Pier where he and Virginia Opened up a very successful Swimwear store. Though he spent the better part of 55 years being married to Virginia, volleyball was his mistress. He had no issues with playing back down the rating ladder as he aged. He played in his last tourney at the ripe age of 86. His love had no boundaries. He introduced and encouraged the game to ANYONE who wandered down to the pier.
He became known up and down the coast for his longevity and his role as an ambassador for the game.