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For the short version, look at my photo gallery.

Okay, here it is...

Born only a few miles from Lomita in Lynwood, I lived in Los Angeles County until I was 10 and my family moved to Ventura County. I graduated from Camarillo High School in 1979, moving back to Los Angeles to attend USC. Starting off in the sciences and engineering, I finally decided I'd had enough math and became a French major. It was quite a change most certainly, and I was the only French major who had taken organic chemistry. A friend had taken a general education class in public administration that sounded interesting. It was an urban simulation with students taking the roles of industrialists, environmental regulators, developers, city council members and the news media. I took it and enjoyed it so much that I became a teaching assistant in the class the next year and stayed with it for seven years. Not wanting to change my major, I added public administration as a second degree. Now I was a French and public administration major who'd taken lots of science courses. In retrospect, I'm very glad to have done it. Immediately after my bachelors degrees, I completed my masters degree. That meant seven straight years of college, which was plenty. Luckily, I had some scholarships. My parents helped with rent. Loans were also a big help, and those are now just a memory I am happy to say (thanks to my wife helping me pay them off!).

During graduate school, I worked for Los Angeles County in the productivity management program. I was assigned to the probation department and the social services department and learned a lot with those projects. It was at a time that the county's financial resources were in terrible shape, and it was impressive to see the ways people came up with to cope with the situation. Some of the ideas were great and some were not. A poor idea was setting youth probation facility director pay based on cost savings instead of results. All in all, it was a great learning experience. After graduating, I started a company making classroom games with two associates. We were not successful in the least, which was again a good learning experience. We had very little to start with, so we had nothing to lose.

At one point or other, I've taken classes at UCLA, Cal State LA and Cal State Long Beach. In addition, I've done a number of projects with Cal State Dominguez Hills. The result has been to make me much less of a school partisan one way or another, although I do participate in more programs at USC, particularly the mentor program of the School of Policy, Planning and Development. The quality of current college students is very impressive.

In 1987, I started with the city of Carson. It was supposed to be a temporary job of 30-90 days in the city manager's office. Now 18 years later, I'm still with the city. During that time, I've worked as the city manager's assistant, a city planner, a public safety analyst, engineering analyst and now heading the city's geographic services division, which I started years ago as a city planner.

In 1990, I married Margie Hayes in the faraway town of Redondo Beach. She is clearly a very patient person to have tolerated me for these years. She is the accounting manager for Bristol Farms and one of the smartest and hardest working people I know. Yes, I am biased on the subject, but I'm right. Not only does she work hard professionally, she also makes quilts when friends have babies and makes costumes for Halloween for the family. She does more than her share of housework and makes sure all the little details get taken care of.

My sons Alex (13) and David (12) attend Dodson Middle School. It is part of the school district's magnet program, and many of their Lomita friends also attend there. The Lomita Magnet School program feeds into Dodson. Previously, they attended the Harbor Magnet School in San Pedro, where I was lucky enough to volunteer in the school one day a week. My hat is off to the teachers. What a wonderful and dedicated group of people. Alex plays trombone like my brother Brian, and David plays guitar. It looks like he is going to take up trombone too. I play guitar and French horn (again with the French), so it can get loud at our house. Both boys do very well in school. Clearly, they take after their mother.

We moved from Harbor City, where we had great neighbors, to Lomita just after Alex was born. Luckily, we got more great neighbors. We live behind the post office on a quiet street. We've never regretted buying our house in Lomita. It's a nice house, nice location, nice neighbors, and lots of trees. Indeed, we are very fortunate.

As a church fund raiser, Margie and I produced our first murder-mystery play in 1995. Since then, we have done four more. I acted in most of them and directed two. It's a lot of work, and we think of it more as a FUN raiser than a fund raiser. Here's a link to the web site of the group that put together the scripts. It can work for any charity group. The most recent play was "The Mild, Mild West" that we performed at our church, Torrance First United Methodist Church, across from Torrance High School. Earlier this year, I joined a group called "Cup of Water" performing in a one-hour, six-person version of "The Music Man" at nursing homes and similar facilities. They had been performing "Music Man" for a few years when I joined. It was a lot of fun and extremely rewarding, but that show is now over. Heck, I was just getting the words to "76 Trombones" right. That's show biz.

A few years ago, we purchased an old cabin by Lake Arrowhead. That is our place to get away for some quiet time. No television, limited radio, no mail. Lots of quiet. My grandparents built a cabin near there in the '40s. We went there as kids so it feels very familiar to me.

Every year or two, I teach a geographic information systems workshop at Cal State Long Beach. I find teaching to be a very exciting thing. It is both energizing and exhausting at the same time. This year, I will be lecturing a couple of times at USC and teaching a workshop at Cal State Dominguez Hills. If you really want to learn a subject, teach it.

As to the future, someday, Margie and I want to open a bed and breakfast inn. Someday...

I think that's about enough. If you made it this far down the page, I am impressed!

Send mail to web@barrywaite.org with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 10/23/2016