Dick Barber
Fictional Character
POD: Set in the future
Appearance(s): Eruption;
All Fall Down;
Things Fall Apart
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 20th century
Occupation: Innkeeper, politician, cat breeder
Military Branch: United States Navy
Political Party: Republican Party

Dick Barber was a long time resident of Guilford, Maine. He had arrived shortly after a 12-year hitch in the U.S. Navy and bought and operated the Trebor Mansion Inn.[1] Although he was not born there and so would never be completely accepted by the townsfolk, he had resided there long enough that his outspokenness was tolerated and sometimes even listened to. In addition to running the Inn, Barber and his family semi-professionally bred Maine Coon cats.[2]

After the Yellowstone Supervolcano had erupted, Squirt Frog and the Evolving Tadpoles came to Guilford and were put up by Barber at the Inn. Since it was after the summer tourist season and the Inn was technically closed, Barber was willing to accommodate the band members for free since the cost would be minimal. Rob Ferguson elected to stay in the top tower bedroom which was accessible through a trap-door and ladder from a lower bedroom. Justin Nachman took that bedroom while Charlie Storer and Biff Thorvald shared the bedroom beside Justin's.[3]

Barber had helped run the unsuccessful campaign of Jim Farrell for the Second Congressional District of Maine prior to the eruption. While unhappy over the loss, Barber dealt with it through irony and sarcasm rather than true bitterness.[4]

That first winter after the eruption Barber had lent Ferguson a rifle to go hunting. Ferguson managed to shoot a moose which helped feed his band mates and the Barber family. He found that eating something he had killed himself more special, almost sanctified.[5]

The first summer after the eruption was cold with snow on the Fourth of July.[6] Barber had a couple of summer people as paying guest but only a couple. He wasn't too worried about the lack of money stating that the bank was in no position to foreclose since half the country wasn't making payments. This was only the truth since much of the mid-west was ash covered and abandoned.[7] Barber proved correct and wasn't evicted since, while in the last recession banks were too big to fail, in this one mortgagees were too numerous to evict.[8]

When Rob Ferguson married Lindsey Kincaid, Rob's father was in California, so Barber stood in for him.[9]

Literary Note[]

Dick Barber is loosely based on Robert Shaffer, the real life proprietor of the non-fictional Trebor Mansion Inn. The line Barber uses when Squirt Frog first arrived: "If one of you is about to give birth, I may be able to offer you a manger" is a joke made by Shaffer. Likewise bribing the laundry fairy. (See the Inn website).


  1. Eruption, pgs. 335-340, HC.
  2. Ibid, pg. 375.
  3. Ibid, pgs. 337-338.
  4. Ibid, pgs. 399-400.
  5. All Fall Down, pg. 21, HC.
  6. Ibid, pg. 20.
  7. Ibid, pgs. 98-99.
  8. Ibid, pg. 370.
  9. Ibid, pg. 366.