Psychiatrist, photographer, author and writer, Dr. Barbara Young celebrated her 99th birthday with friends at the Symphony Manor Assisted Living of Roland Park in Baltimore on October 29, 2019.
The birthday party also served as a fundraiser to help her self-publish her third book.
Dr. Young’s latest book “Looking Back: An Unusual Harum-Scarum Illustrated Autobiography” in comparison to her previous work, draws on her experience and understanding of human nature as a psychiatrist and photographer. Included in the book are photographs that she took with her father during her childhood illustrating different periods in her life. The book is idiosyncratic, creative and should appeal to many people. It’s positive and uplifting but it also illuminates the harsh reality of how hard life can be.
“The book starts with the history of my early days but also of my mother and my father. The point of the book is to give advice to people on how to live and to feel that your life has meaning. I was almost close to suicide and I went to my parents for help and they did not help me. I then immersed myself into the practice of photography. Within a year my photos began to be acknowledged. The fact that I’m a psychiatrist, author, writer and photographer, I gradually began to bring more and more meaning into the individual image,” Dr. Young said.
Dr. Young’s compassion and desire to help others fostered meaningful relationships with many different types of people over the years, which was evident by the eclectic group who attended her party. They were former clients, artistic collaborators or neighbors who all have become longtime friends.
“I met her as a patient. I was a patient of hers when my husband had Parkinson’s and had trouble dealing with that. She, at the time was 88 years old and now she is 99. I am no longer a patient but a good friend,” said Mary Lou Fenton, a guest at the party.
Depending on the amount contributed, each donor received a postcard or a signed photograph, or a choice of one of her books— “Photographs Are Memories” or “Looking Back: An Unusual Harum-Scarum Illustrated Autobiography,” (when it’s published) as a gift. Also $5 raffle tickes were available for purchase for a chance to win Dr. Young’s photograph “Golden Leaves,” which was featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
With the help of supporters, the book will soon be released and will be available for purchase.