I knew Barry pretty well. We first met in the late '70s when we were both part of the Boston Irish scene centering on the Village Coach House in Brookline Village. He became my first concertina student and I his chantey understudy. When my painful breakup with an ex became too much he convinced me to pack it in for Boston and try San Francisco.
He'd lived out here for a while after sailing in from Hawaii. We packed up the car in Nov '81 and kept the snowflakes in the rear view mirror. Sang in 2-part harmony in every college town coffee house during a very relaxed, slow trip cross-country. Arriving on Thanksgiving, we had our dinner at a Zen Center across from the Plough and Stars. Found an apt in a fancy part of town near the Hyde Street Pier and Paul's Saloon and made the best of it.
Got the brilliant idea of hauling out our Cruel Ship's Captain type of songs and singing on the streets in those thriving, pre-AIDS, S&M neighborhoods in the South-of-Market and Castro. We were inseparable, and some folks thought we were an item. Justine and her sisters were lived here, and when Barry sidled up to her, she thought it he was joking.
His roofing gig was really problematic for him and his East Coast mouth got him in trouble and the union black-balled him. He struck back with a law suit he won, and with it moved back east and bought the historic Derry house with the winnings [ please correct any of this if "kinder memory is fooling me"... ].
I later married Mary and got her deaf son, Paul, in the bargain. He and Barry got along really well, When Barry's son also had a "disability" we had a big thing we shared, and I so resonated with the song mentioned above.
Got a nice visit last year with Barry and his daughter to my ranch, and as you all know with Barry, it was like we'd never parted. An immediate, what-you-see-is-what-you-get guy every day and every time. Sorely missed ......