Our Stars – Barbara Liszniewski, 3 Strikes and You Are Still In

By Joyce Rogers

On Thursday, June 7, I was having lunch with Barbara Lisziniewski at Diane’s Restaurant, and we both agreed that we loved to attend Reds games at Crosley Field; perhaps, you can guess our minimum age from our preferred Reds games venue. But the real topic of our conversation was the game of life lived by Barbara, a woman whose mother died when Barbara was two-years-old and whose father died when she was twelve. As the result of a car accident caused by a drunk driver before Barbara was born, she came into the world three months early, and she lost her vision before she could know the world around her.

While those three facts may seem like Barbara was striking out, thanks to three other realities, she is very much in the game. As achievements go, she has hit a grand slam. She has worked for forty-five years at Clovernook Center for the Blind, a large majority of the years as a proof reader. She is an accomplished organist and plays the organ for churches on a substitute basis. She has a beautiful voice and sings in her church choir regularly.

Now that she is retired from Clovernook, she enjoys more time with her two house mates, namely, Willy and George. Barbara said, “George and Willy are good company and contented house mates as long as I feed them on time.” Willy and George are her two cats.

Barb further says, “When I go to the store or to a restaurants with sighted friends, I wish that clerks and servers would talk to me. So often, they ask my sighted friends what I want. Don’t they realize how insulting and down right ludicrous that treatment is from my perspective?”

What has enabled Barbara Liszniewski to hit a grand slam in life are three realities all of us are gifted with or have available to us: resiliance, adaptability, and trust in a loving God.

Barbara, having three strikes against you was only a starting point for you; you turned out a winner!