Richard Reeb: Taking a stand
Local columnist and retired Barstow College professor Richard Reeb was born in San Jose, one of three children.
In high school, he enjoyed history, journalism, choir and sports. As an undergraduate, he majored in journalism and minored in political science. He stayed active in campus politics with the Young Republicans, Students Against Communism, Young Americans for Freedom, as well as ASB council in graduate school.
In 1968, he married Patricia Stevens, and they have two sons and one daughter. As a newspaper reporter, Reeb covered city government and party politics in Fremont. He wrote his masters' thesis on James Madison, followed by a doctoral dissertation on mass media.
During three decades at Barstow College he often brought in guest speakers, advised the college newspaper, honor society and ASB. He also served as division chair, senate president and offered writings critical of both administration and faculty. He helped in the presidential campaigns of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, George Bush campaigns, and those of state legislators.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: In retirement, I have lots free time. I play tennis, sing karaoke, and am in the Silver Lakes Entertainers and three choirs and correspond on the Internet. I’m a judge in the Desert Heritage Writing Contest, president of small homeowners association, chair Silver Lakes Association tennis committee. I attend operas in L.A. several times each year and present papers at a professional conference annually.
Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?
A: My professor in masters' program at San Jose State, Dr. Robert F. Sasseen, who exemplified enthusiasm for learning and teaching, was the biggest influence in my professional life. A big influence on my openness to all questions was Dr. Harry Jaffa at Claremont Graduate School. My wife was a dear friend and collaborator on many things which were immeasurably valuable to me.
Q: Where do you find deep satisfaction?
A: I love beautiful and fun music, as well as spending much time reading, writing, discussing and thinking about fundamental philosophical and political questions.
Q: What are the top three issues facing Barstow and what is your take on them?
A: 1. Growth. Victorville, Apple Valley and Hesperia have left Barstow far behind.
2. Educational expectations. Parents demand little of their children and educators little of students.
3. Dependency. With 30 to 40 percent of residents on public assistance, there is little incentive to become self supporting, independent or successful.
Q: Tell us about a happy memory in your first car.
A: Taking pretty girls to the movies and drive in.
Q: Who was your hero as a kid? Do you have a hero today? (or someone you especially admire?)
A: Roy Rogers when I was a kid. Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan in politics, Bill Buckley in journalism, and Harry Jaffa in scholarship.
Q: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
A: White water rafting in Wyoming. Flying in a helicopter around Mount Rushmore and Chief Crazy Horse.
Q: What are five things you can’t live without?
A: Food and drink; family and friends; music; reading and writing; sports.
Q: What makes you tick?
A: I agree with what Nancy Reagan said about her husband, which is that the glass is always half full rather than merely half empty. I always hope against hope for justice, learning and happiness.
Q: If you could change one thing about Barstow today, what would it be?
A: Raise economic, educational and social expectations.
Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.
A: I have written one book and want to write another.
Q: What are five things you are grateful for?
A: My life, my education, my wife, my children, and God.
Q: What are your three favorite places to eat in Barstow?
A: Rosita's, Napoli's, Idle Spurs. Del Taco too!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say, anything you’d like to get off your chest?
A: I wish cynical people would lighten up, and more religious people would vote.
Q: How can readers get a hold of you?