After earning her bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Rockford College and her master of arts degree at Northwestern University, she joined the Army Security Agency, forerunner of the National Security Agency, as an analyst in Washington, D.C. There she met her husband, Frederic Ogden Mason Jr., who claimed to have grown up only six blocks away from her in Winnetka. Barbara found this suspect and had her mother check out his story. Not only did he live six blocks away, but his family had a three-digit phone number, which meant they were among the original residents.
Even though she was lucky enough to find two men to share her journey, her first love was the sound of waves hitting the shore and the sand beneath her feet. Her journey, no matter where she lived, started and ended with the ocean.
After divorcing Leta, his wife of six years [formerly, his step-mother for 12 years], Dan moved to Spokane in June, 1980, and took up, promptly, with a former babysitter from his grade-school years. This was two weeks after Mt. Saint Helens' historic off-topping.
Because he was quite uncomfortable with funerals, where he noted "most people, including the deceased, don't have any fun", in 2003, his family hosted a pre-demise "a-wake" celebration at the Latham Chester Store which included live music and a large assortment of food and drink shared by family and friends. Everyone there, including the not-yet-deceased Capt. Ben, had a great time at this uniquely unconventional gathering.