Bobby and Barbara
They met in an interesting way. Barbara saw a television report about Kenneth Anger. Bobby was building the Syntar (which was then called “the dream machine), as well as some keyboards, for the soundtrack of Anger's movie. Barbara decided to write Bobby a letter. In Bobby’s words:
"She wrote me a letter just to say that she felt a kinship with me, because she's an artist and a creative person as well, and she admired me for leaming how to apply myself in my situation, for how I'd overcome the circumstances to maintain a level of creativity. There was something special about her letter. It was simply honest and straightforward, and contained no hint of an interest in any notoriety I may have had, which I found refreshing. So I wrote her back and thanked her for her kind remarks. We struck up a friendship, in letters, at first. She was an apprentice carpenter at that time and working on the capitol building in Sacramento; she became a journeyman carpenter shortly after we were married. After we exchanged a few letters, she came down to visit—she was so ignorant of prison and all of that, that when she showed up for her first visit she had a bottle of wine in the back of the car, thinking that we could sit out and drink it together"!
Within a couple months of meeting each other… "she" asked him to marry her. They were married in December 1981. (Bobby had been married about 6 months prior to that, but it was immediately annulled - it had been a marriage of desperation, you know, conjugal visits and all). Barbara is also a painter and belongs to a Middle Eastern dance troupe.Bobby again:
"We're both visual artists—she's a painter and I've done a lot of illustrations and paintings and drawings, and so that's one of our ways of communicating, to share with one another our creative output. We both write a bit, we've of course done a lot of corresponding. Barbara's put out some publications that I've assisted her with, things like that. And there's the music—she's a dancer, I'm a musician".
Bobby was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1947. He was the first of 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls. His father was a milkman, delivering for Arden Farms; his father went on to become a manager - they weren't poor, and weren't wealthy by far, but they always got by. His dad bought a tract home in 1955, on the GI Bill.... where he spent most of his years growing up. He spent a lot of time at his grandmother's house in El Monte, CA. When he was 11 years old, he found an old guitar in her attic and pretty much taught himself to play. He loved Rock and Roll, especially "Hound Dog". One summer when he about 13-14, he went to stay with his grandmother again and met a few friends. He used to help one of the friends at their parents' gas station. After closing, a bunch of the kids would get together and play guitars. He loved doing that so much, when it was time to go back to school in Santa Barbara, he refused to go - he wanted to stay and hang out with his friends. A few months later, he and his friends were caught vandalizing, and he was sent to Juvenile Hall in LA, then to (Reform school) Los Prietos Fire Camp up in the Santa Barbara hills...