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and their Institutional Memory

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Barbara Anderson's Great Moments

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Remembering Barbara Anderson

Jump directly to CLT's Commentary on the News

Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the passing of Barbara Anderson, at 2:40 p.m. on April 8, 2016.  It's hard to believe that five years have passed us by and how much the world has changed over that period.  I often wonder, if she was still with us, "what would Barbara think?"  Barbara was always an optimistic "the glass is half full" type.  With the way things are going I wonder if she'd have remained so.  Knowing her as well as I did, I believe she would still look for the bright, good side with her usual optimism.

A few remembrance pictures follow:
Barbara Anderson 1980 Barbara Anderson 2010
Barbara at her desk at CLT's first
Tremont Street Boston office, above Papa Gino's
"Preacher Anderson" — January 1990
Boston Globe Magazine cover

Barbara was diagnosed with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, (WM), a rare, incurable disease with only some 1,500 cases per year in the U.S.  She agreed to undergo experimental therapy with a cancer researcher at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston in early-2002.  Upon our return from her latest treatment Barbara fell very ill, took the medication provided to her if such a situation occurred.  We had a news conference scheduled at the State House planned for the following afternoon (April 13, 2002) which she hoped to be recovered enough to attend.

The next morning I found her on the floor alongside her bed, unconscious.  I lifted her back onto the bed then immediately called her Dana Farber doctor who advised me to call 9-1-1- for an ambulance.  Salem Hospital had her flown by helicopter to the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston she had suffered a fractured skull from the fall they'd discovered.  Needless to say the CLT news conference was cancelled.

Her son Lance flew out from Nevada and we took shifts at her bedside.  She was given less than one percent chance of coming out of her coma.  She regained consciousness six days later, survived, and left the hospital for home on May 11.

We found another cancer specialist who provided his own experimental therapy which miraculously put her WM in remission.  He had advised that his therapy had a possibility of leading to leukemia down the road.  Barbara's response was "So I have a choice of dying from an incurable disease (WM) or taking a chance on leukemia 'down the road'?  Let's head down that road!"  The leukemia was discovered in her a dozen years later.  It was treatable for a year or so but treatments became necessary at shorter and shorter intervals first every couple months, eventually weekly, and that became not enough.  Finally Barbara decided she'd had enough of delaying the inevitable and terminated the treatment.  She passed away a couple of months later, her final few days in a hospice care home.

Five years and a week or two ago Barbara and I had a deep conversation one evening about what was coming.  Her greatest concern was what would happen to Proposition 2½ and CLT when she was gone.  She worried what would happen to senior citizens who could be taxed out of their homes if property tax limitations were removed.  That was when I made my vow to her that, along with Chip Faulkner, I would keep CLT going and defending Proposition 2½ for as long as I could, "for as long as humanly possible."
The Boston Herald's April 9, 2016 front page
reporting Barbara's death
Barbara's cat Gilly seemingly mourning atop
The Boston Herald's front page

Barbara in our yard, August 20, 2014
Photo by CLT member Guy Kern
(I inherited and am still driving her 2001 Honda CRV)

The Salem News
Editorial Cartoon by Christopher Smigliano
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

More Memories of Barbara Anderson

Tributes on the passing of Barbara Anderson YouTube Videos of Barbara Anderson
Celebration of Life of Barbara Anderson Barbara's Final Column (posthumous)
Fighting pirates with the Lost Boys

If you can, take a moment today and think about Barbara and all she gave of herself for the taxpayers of Massachusetts.  Her efforts and those of CLT have saved taxpayers literally billions of their dollars over the decades.

For 37 years Barbara Anderson was Massachusetts taxpayers' own Joan of Arc.  We miss her and will carry on her legacy.

I promised Barbara I'd keep CLT going, defending Proposition 2½ "for as long as humanly possible" and thought that line had been reached and crossed in 2018 when announcing CLT would shut down by that year's end.  Five years after making my vow to Barbara, CLT is still hanging on, the fight for taxpayers continues and will "for as long as humanly possible."

Chip Ford
Executive Director

NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to:

Citizens for Limited Taxation    PO Box 1147    Marblehead, MA 01945    (781) 639-9709