S: Simon Vincent Barros
FC: Simon Vincent Barros ii | Having a good time!
2: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers
4: What I admire most about dad is that with dad, family always comes first. What makes dad special to me is that he gave up everything in Hong Kong to give his children a better life. My fondest memories of dad are too numerous to mention - his whole life is a wonderful memory. ~ Simon iii
5: What I admire most about Dad the most is his acceptance of everything - no one has to be perfect for him to love you. I love his laugh, his smile, his strengh and his energy. Dad's love of life makes him very special - he wants to try everything and do everything and it keeps him young while doing it. My fondest memory of him is his toast at our wedding - even though he thought we'd only last six months, he still put a lot of love and thought into his speech. ~ Sheri | Dad loves playing poker – cards in general, like spades, contract rummy. Dad enjoys doing crossword puzzles (he does at least one every day!)
6: You know the saying, "if I can save one life, I would be happy." Well, I believe Dad has rescued and saved many lives, boys and young men, who would have led a life of crime or died at an early age using drugs. He will not think much of this except that he was in a position to help them; and I am proud and glad that my father has saved many. Also, he has coached many young people in many sports and in bettering themselves in life. Dad organized the Barros Olympics, where Bruno and I were taught about being bad losers and in controlling our tempers. Dad also got the Prison Dept. to build two bowling lanes, which to this day I will always remember because bowling is my favorite sport and bowling on the homemade lanes is something I will never forget especially when Bruno, Pushka, sometimes Val and I would have to set the pins up and send the ball back by hand (nothing automatic). Bowling with Dad in the South China Athletic Assn. Marathon tournament in 1967 is a fond memory. I was happy that we both qualified, and that we enjoyed ourselves with Mum being our biggest fan. I enjoyed going for dim sum on some Thursdays with Dad and his co-workers. There must have been around 10 to 12 men and they had a big round table and picked up different types of dim sum baskets and would stack the baskets as high as they could trying to reach the ceiling of the restaurant. After that I would go to a movie while they got back to work (ha ha). Played some poker instead. I'm sorry to say I took a bribe from them as not to say a word about the poker, my bribe was a new bicycle.
7: There are many memories to mention, but I would like to mention that I am proud to have Simon V Barros as my father, I thank him and my mother for all they have done for me and for helping me to grow into the person I am. They have given me a childhood that I will never forget and taught me the lessons of life that will stay with me forever. ~ Sergio
8: When I think of my Dad I think of him as the first person to lend a helping hand, like the time we were all at my brother Simon's and we needed to cut part of the tree branch off. As usual, my dad was there to help; he offered to hold the rope at the end of the branch. When the branch was chopped off the weight of the limb pulled my Dad in the air and he looked lik Peter Pan soaring over Never Never Land. We all got a good laugh. There are countless stories like this because there was never a time when my Dad wasn't there to help out. ~ Val
9: The utmost compliment I have ever received is being compared to my Dad, and if ever I am like him, I have succeeded. To me it is the highest honor to call myself his daughter. | One of the best lessons my dad taught me is to do all these things and never ask for anything in return. The only thing he asks for is that I do the same for my children. My dad is a man of his word and has dedicated himself to building our loving family. He is always there, not just for his children but all of his loved ones. Whether we needed branches cut off, a shoulder to lean on or someone to celebrate with, he'll be there for you. He has taken me from crayons to perfume and been there every step of the way. He is my biggest support system and my all-time hero. To quote Lulu, "If you wanted the sky, I would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high - 'To Sir with Love'."
10: Grandpa is the reason I, we, all have such a strong sense of family values. ~ Simon iv
11: When I was a kid, my grandpa was better than Superman. When I was a teenager, my Grandpa was one of my best friends. Now that I am an adult my Grandpa not only remains one of my best friends but I realize my Grandpa is Superman! He has taught me patience and self-control, really he did. He even demonstrated it using a SUNFLOWER. ~ Simon iv
12: Without a doubt my grandpa is my favorite person of all time. I feel like he's not only a life coach but one of my best friends. I admire most his ability to be patient and understanding of others. There have been so many occasions where his wisdom has helped me to make positive decisions in my everyday life. Not a day goes by when I don't say, "My grandpa always tells me..." I aspire nothing more than to be like him. He is accepting of people for who they are and loves with his whole heart. He shows people what it means to be happy and loves his life and everyone in it. My grandpa is proactive about what he wants to do and encourages others to follow their dreams. I don't know what I'd do without him. He is funny and honest and passionate about life. He has shown me that being yourself is the best thing you do and to be friendly to strangers. I've never seen my grandpa embarrassed or ashamed, he is confident and happy to be himself. There is no one I feel more comfortable around. I know I could tell him anything and he would never judge me but instead prefers to rejoice in my happiness and guide me through my struggles. And when he laughs it's so contagious I can't help but laugh, his eyes squint close and tears roll out to the point when he's laughing so hard he's almost crying.
13: When I think of Grandpa, I always picture him laughing. I love my Grandpa with my whole heart and he is the most influential person in my life.
14: Summers in Stanley...the Barros Olympics... Endless days of play and kidding around that, at the same time, required you to stay sharp or end up with egg on your face. My fondest childhood memories are full of Uncle Simon who made it all happen. | I guess that the strength of the father figure can be measured when a son says he wants to be just like his dad when he grows up ---well, I want to be just like Uncle Simon when I’m 88!
15: In many ways, Uncle Simon communicated through the physical activity that he had us do. He believed, quite correctly, that getting fit, competing and staying fit kept pubescent boys out of trouble. Sport remains an important part of who I am (there’s his influence again), much as it does for him. And the lessons of its rites that he initiated us into taught me much broader lessons in life: the need for self knowledge, the important of commitment to goals, how to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of others---those on your team as well as those on your opponent’s, not to take yourself too seriously, and how winning and losing with grace enables you to learn from your mistakes (because, tough s**t, everybody loses at some time, the point is not to be a loser). The last one was particularly difficult for me but I like to think that I finally got it. To be sure, these are some of the character traits that built men like Uncle Simon and my father, men of increasing rarity who could and did survive, indeed thrive, in all kinds of terrain; traits that they sought to pass on to us. ~ Bruno
16: The Champ
17: Although dad is an avid sportsman, none of his children excelled in sports – except Sergio and his bowling. ~ Simon iii
18: Dad loves to dance and is excellent at all types of dances. Unfortunately his children have two left feet... ~ Simon iii | Born to Dance
23: My deepest thanks to Uncle Simon who made my photo essay, and this photobook, possible. When I took a photo essay workshop, we were required to tell a story through photos by following someone around for two to three weeks. For me, there was only one candidate for the subject: Uncle Simon. Bruno did not think his uncle would welcome the glare of the camera, not to mention the intrusion into his private life. I thought I should askUncle Simon anyway. So over pasta and osso buco, I proposed to Uncle Simon. There was a nanosecond's pause, and he said yes. Bruno was surprised. I was delighted. The game was on. Over the next few weeks I was on Uncle Simon's trail - from the dance floor to the gym. Never had an assignment been so interesting, so enjoyable. Of course I had heard stories of my uncle, but now I was a personal witness. People walked up to me and told me what an extraordinary man he was. Ladies vied for his hand. His physical regimen impressed not just me, but my photo class as well. In the course of creating the essay, my project evolved into more than a class assignment. It became a tribute, a tribute to a man who lives life to the full, with neither envy nor pretense, who loves and is loved. His acts of kindness and understanding made this photo project possible, including going on the treadmill twice to accommodate yours truly for a second shot, or even a third. | Looking back, it was inevitable that this would become a tribute, because Uncle Simon deeply touches anyone who comes close enough. This photobook contains only a fraction of the photos I took during those three weeks. As the photobook developed into a "labor of love," I added photos taken during other occasions, as well as two from Sergio of Uncle Simon in his younger days, which were too precious not too include. I am grateful to those who contributed their thoughts and memories, which have been used in this book. And lastly, a big thank you to my husband, Bruno, who supported this amateur photographer unselfishly with his time, patience and good humor. ~ Astrid M. Barros