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As fate would have it, two young, intelligent and spunky women crossed paths in New York City in the late 1940s. They were none other than Elizabeth Pepper and Barbara Stacy. Elizabeth was the art director at Gourmet Magazine and Barbara was writing and editing magazines for Ideal Publishing. Soon thereafter, Barbara also joined the staff at Gourmet and a friendship that would last a lifetime was formed — reaching into the 21st century and halted on this plane only by death. Elizabeth passed in July of 2005 to be joined by Barbara on May 5th of 2010.
Barbara Stacy, charming, intelligent and gifted with wit sharper than a razor’s edge, had an indomitable spirit. Born in New Haven, CT in 1926, she briefly attended the University of Connecticut and the Yale School of Drama, and in Barbara’s own words, "hastily achieved dropout status in both." Nothing less than the Big Apple could satisfy Barbara’s thirst for life and craving for adventure. She spent the fifties on the editorial staff at Gourmet Magazine and then took a copy writing position for a public relations firm. The Witches’ Almanac made its debut in 1971 — Barbara’s myriad contributions as a writer and editor enlivening its pages from its earliest days. In 1980 Barbara accepted a position as copy editor with the PacificSun and moved to Marin County, California. She finally moved to North Miami Beach, Florida with her husband, musician Eddie Caine.
By the time Barbara "retired" to Florida, she had already authored The Alitalia Book of Authentic Italian Cookery, Ancient Roman Holidays, and the original Magical Creatures with co-author Elizabeth Pepper. If anything, the two became closer in their later years; their joint venture, The Witches’ Almanac, providing endless fodder for debate and countless reasons to keep in touch on a regular basis. When Elizabeth passed, Barbara made a choice each and every day to keep the legacy alive. Few readers know that Barbara was struck by illness in her twilight years, bedridden most of the day for close to a decade. Yet she never faltered in her responsibilities as an associate editor and even researched and authored an entire new work singlehandedly — her last published book titled Greek Gods in Love.
Barbara could edit an entire paragraph — over the phone — in less than a minute; deleting nothing more than the 17 characters that just couldn't be squeezed onto the page and leaving the meaning intact. She took great pride in her research for each and every piece she wrote. Barbara delighted in humor and found it around every corner. She was endlessly fascinated by ancient myths, traditional stories and literature of every shape and size. Language was her playground, and Barbara Stacy was always "king of the hill."
We will miss her contributions as our esteemed Associate Editor, but most of all we will miss Barbara and the unexpected turn of phrase that was part of every conversation, certain to evoke a lingering smile or a full-fledged belly laugh that had to be shared with another member of the staff as soon as possible. We know that she missed Elizabeth dearly and we are convinced that they are reunited, watching over the legacy that is The Witches’ Almanac, Ltd. Our lives are enriched for having known these two amazing women and we dare to believe that they have reached beyond the pages of our publications to enrich your lives as well. Indeed, an age has passed... but we will continue the tradition by striving for authenticity, integrity and quality in all of our future publications.