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Beverly Lowry: Getting things done
Beverly Lowry, a director with the Mojave Water Agency, grew up on a farm near Emporia Kan., the youngest of five children.
She attended schools in Emporia along with her late husband Al. They were married in the Methodist Church in 1947. The couple moved to California to stay, and continued their education along the way. In 1966 they settled in Barstow along with their two sons.
Aside from her work on the MWA board, Lowry has served on the Barstow Heights Community Services District board, where she oversaw the paving of nearly 33 miles of streets and a freeway offramp. She also was a staff member of former state Sen. Walter Stiern. She helped secure funds to build Silver Valley High School.
“Thanks to Bev Lowry’s leadership, state officials in the 1990s chose Barstow over 28 competing locations to build the first state Veteran’s Home in more than 100 years,” Rep. Jerry Lewis said in the May 18, 2010 Congressional Record.
The congressman concluded by saying, “every community in America wishes it had leaders like Beverly Lowry, who can pull people together and get major things accomplished.”
Q: Why did you move to Barstow?
A: My husband worked for the Railroad, plus we liked the dry climate.
Q: What is your passion?
A: Without a doubt it is reading. I started reading the Kansas City Star with my father when I was 7 years old. I've been a newspaper fan ever since. My favorite way to start the day is with a cup of coffee and my two newspapers. I discovered the school library in the second grade, and I felt like it was a candy store, and I have enjoyed many, many books since.
Q: Describe a special memory you have of Barstow.
A: There are many, including the night the Barstow College Foundation honored me at a dinner and a scholarship in my name.
And there was the time I took the Governor's Site Selection Committee out to see the site we had for the Veterans Home.
The city had put up signs saying "Bring a Veterans Home To Barstow" on posts all along the route. I loved it and so did the Committee!
Q: Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
A: When you have served the public for as many years as I have, people know you pretty well.
Q: What is the ultimate issue facing the United States, and what’s your take on it?
A: The economy and people out of work. I think we all should be more positive in our thinking and invest what we can in American-made products. It is a complex issue, and I don't know all the ways to fix it, but I do know that we need to have faith in our country. The other thing we should all be concerned about is the threat from terrorists in countries like Iran. I have always believed that the way to deal for peace is from a strong military position. I hope that we regain the military strength we once had.
Q: What person, living or from history, would you most like to have dinner with and why? What would you ask them?
A: I can't think of a single person because I have many to choose from. I would like to have Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman in a group setting and then I would pick their brains for answers to solve some of the country's problems. They were all great presidents.
Q: Where do you get your values from?
A: Probably from my Midwestern upbringing and from my parents. I am a fiscal conservative. You had to be on the farm, because one year you might have a crop and the next year you might not.
Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?
A: HBO had a mini-series about John Adams and I thought it was very accurate, with great acting. I felt like I was there. I really enjoyed this mini series. It was like being that time in history.
Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about Barstow.
A: Barstow has some of the most generous people in this country, kind and friendly. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: I had the privilege of helping people who came to me, with problems with state or county government. I could write a book on this subject! Being a field representative was a wonderful job. I am semi-retired now and happy to be a Director on the Mojave Water Agency board.
Q: What is your secret to living a happy, satisfying life?
A: Thinking positive and when you get knocked down, just get up and dust off, and go at it again. Laughter truly is the best medicine, don't take yourself too seriously. It's OK to laugh at yourself once in a while, I'm still having fun.
Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
A: Ice cream and chocolate dipped strawberries.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Completely retired and having lunch with friends at Barstow's Casino.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say, anything you’d like to get off your chest?
A: I wish that elected officials both in Sacramento and Washington D.C. would get over the "MY way or the highway" way of thinking. It's so negative and nothing ever gets accomplished. In my opinion it's childish, there's nothing wrong with compromise if it solves the problem.
Who would you like to see profiled in an upcoming Q&A? Drop us a line at DHolland@DesertDispatch.com.