My first personal encounter with Barclay was at the Barclay Simpson Fine Arts Gallery in Lafayette, California sometime in mid 1981. Before that day, I had only seen him from a distance at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), where, as one of nine elected members, he served for 11 years between 1978 and 1989. I had recently been hired into the BART Planning Department. I was an unlikely BART employee and I brought my own set of prejudices to the job. A bit arrogantly, I assumed that though the work might be interesting, I was unlikely to find many congenial spirits, used as I was to the company of literary scholars, writers, second sons, artists, waiters, gamblers and a wide assortment of over-educated and under-employed ne’er-do-well bohemians. Stunningly, at least to me, this turned out to be wildly un-true. BART–like all the places I had ever been before or since–had smart and stupid people, brilliant eccentrics and tedious dullards, as well as all the usual permutations in between. Before my meeting with Barclay at the Gallery, I had been briefed by my boss on the various members of the BART Board of Directors. My memory is that Barc was described to me by staff as a very successful businessman, smart, straight-forward, honest, fair and rational. At the time, I hadn’t yet realized exactly how rare that combination of qualities was in an elected official—or, anybody. But, whatever I knew about him in advance, when I knocked on the door of the Gallery, I wasn’t expecting what I found. Read more about Barclay in my new book Strong Ties: Barclay Simpson and the Pursuit of the Common Good in Business and Philanthropy, coming out May 17, 2022. Click here to pre-order: