The Fabulous Baker Sisters, Margaret Baker and Barbara Baker Elliott, will share their offbeat humor with visitors to A New Chapter Bookstore on Friday, July 5, at 6 p.m. Their reading is part of First Friday activities in downtown Lewisburg.
The Baker sisters grew up in Smithfield, North Carolina, as UKs (Undertaker’s Kids), which explains a lot. Their lives took very different paths until the early 1990s, when they both landed in the Greenbrier Valley. They made their debut as a sister act and were dubbed “The Fabulous Baker Sisters” when they provided entertainment for the kick-off for the Greenbrier County Public Library’s annual fundraising campaign last fall.
Bummed about having a masters in theater but working as a waitress, Margaret succumbed to a real job writing for kiddie television in NC. She then chucked that aside, ran off and joined an alternative theater company. The Road Company based in Johnson City Tennessee produced original plays based on improvisation while traveling
Upon drifting to Philadelphia to study Yankee ways Margaret stumbled upon a career writing and performing one-woman comedy. In 1991 she inexplicably moved to the end of nowhere in lovely Pocahontas County where she spent 18 years performing here and there and helping children write rubber chicken-inspired plays. As a late-life challenge, she taught art at Marlinton and Elementary Middle Schools until her retirement last month. Her humorous essays are featured in her Half Baked and Bothered column in HashtagWV.
Barbara graduated from college with no real post-graduate plans, so she took a job as assistant editor of The Journal of Parapsychology. There followed a dizzying array of jobs writing for universities, public television, arts organizations and one really big bank. She has lived in the Greenbrier Valley since 1992 because she came to visit Margaret and wound up marrying one of her neighbors. She retired in 2017 from her last full-time gig with Washington and Lee University, but she continues to write for them from home early in the morning when no one is looking.
For more than a decade Barbara has written a humor column and feature articles for The Greenbrier Valley Quarterly. Last year she compiled a decade’s worth of essays into a book, The Accidental Mountaineer, which features illustrations by Sally Cooper. It was published by Havenbrook Media and is available at A New Chapter. If you feel compelled to buy a copy after the reading, she will be happy to sign it for you.
The Baker sisters come by their surname honestly and will provide some homemade goodies to thank you for dropping by. The event is open to the public free of charge. New Chapter Bookstore is located at 922 W. Washington St. in Lewisburg, WV.
– HashtagWV June 2019.