As a graduate of the University of Dayton, Rosemary Barkes entered and won the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition in 2000 when she wasn't even a writer! She simply wanted to pay tribute to her mentor, Erma, for raising the bar for young wives and homemakers in a humorous way during the 70s.
See winning entry below.
After winning that award, at age 64, she began a new career as a writer. Listed below are some of Rosemary's writing successes:
- Published in Taste of Home Magazine
- Published in anthology of The Light Between Us, by Pen Women
- Published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer's & Other Dementias (2014)
- Published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Merry Christmas (2016)
- Published in Columbus Dispatch twice with personal musings in First Person short stories
- Won first place--Best of Show--at the Martin Janis Center, Columbus, Ohio for The Dementia Dance
- Published in anthology God Whispers, Liz Thompson
- Published in the Catholic Times, article on The Dementia Dance
- Was featured in University of Dayton Alumni Magazine
- Published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles of Love (2018)
- Published in the Columbus Dispatch: Celebrity Encounters (2018)
Prior to becoming an author, Rosemary excelled academically:
- Bachelor of Science in Communication from The Ohio State University in 1960
- Bachelor of Arts in Education/Speech and Hearing Therapy from The Ohio State University in 1974
- M.S. in Science/Counseling from the University of Dayton in 1995
Under Watchful Eyes
Is someone watching you today? Were they yesterday? Tomorrow? At three separate times in my life I was astonished to learn that someone had been “watchIng me”. I hadn’t a clue. These unique experiences helped shape my life for the better. Could it happen to you?
It was necessary for me to finance my way through college. After my freshmen year I ran out of money and took a job at a manufacturing company as a secretary. My plan was to save enough money to return to college in the fall of the following year. As I was about to give my notice, the Plant Manager called me into his office. “We have been watching you,” he said, “and I would like you to be my executive secretary.” I was stunned and pleased by the generous offer, but respectfully declined. I hadn’t a clue that I was being watched. I was 19.
I struggled the subsequent couple of years by working one, two and sometimes three jobs to stay in school. One of my ongoing jobs was waiting tables in the Faculty Club. At the beginning of my senior year the hostess of the Club informed me someone had bean “watching me” and would like to help me financially. Again, I was stunned. Once more, I hadn’t a clue. I humbly and gratefully accepted the offer. I was 22.
Years passed-marriage, children, career-I was working as a tamp on a six-week assignment at a hospital in Columbus before going on to a permanent position elsewhere. The following year I was Invited to return to that same hospital to work with the vice president, who later became president. I accepted. It was not until a few years into the job that he divulged his reason for hiring me. He had been “watching me” when I was a temp there at the hospital. Once more, I was stunned, and I hadn’t a clue. I was 48.
After a couple of years, my boss signed a requisition for tuition reimbursement, which enabled me to get my Masters at the University of Dayton at Capital University. He was thrilled because he received his Masters there. Then, after 5 years of taking one course at a time in the evenings, I graduated from UD at age 59. My husband, son and daughter were in attendance. As I proudly walked up to the podium in UD arena, my usually shy teen-aged son yelled from the top of the stands, “Way to go, Mom!” I turned and smiled is I gave him a “thumbs up”. On that day. EVERYONE was “watching me” and this time I knew it.