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Diana Francis: No place like home
Diana is a true Barstownian, having lived here all of her life with the exception of four years, and having raised three children that are also Barstownians. She graduated from Barstow High in 1976. “Go Riffians!” she says. She has been married to who she calls a wonderful man and terrific step-father to her children for 12 years; together they have six children and 14 grandchildren.
She has worked at the Barstow Police Department 29-plus years. She originally started purging out old police records, then she was the PBX operator, then moved onto Community Service Officer, which she calls an awesome position. She taught DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), along with organizing the National Night out events and Lady Beware programs. Then, after nine years of being the Community Service Officer, her next position was the job she is currently in, and retiring from, in December: the Senior Crime Scene Investigator/ Evidence Technician.
Q: Describe a special memory you have in Barstow.
A: Living on Buena Vista Street, walking to the Fogelsong swimming pool, playing in the streets and knowing all the neighborhood children like the Foster’s, the Feasel’s, the Durbin’s and the Mandel’s.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: Camping, fishing, sewing and spending time with the grand babies.
Q: Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
A: I was in a beauty pageant in Junior High and I won the essay contest in the pageant.
Q: If you could change one thing about Barstow, what would it be?
A: More shopping like a Target, Joann’s etc., more restaurants especially a good SUSHI place. Okay, I know that’s more than one thing but just couldn’t help myself.
Q: What person, living or from history, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
A: My father, cause he was always so wise and had all the answers for me. He passed away in 2003 and we all dearly miss him.
Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?
A: My parents. They both instilled morals and a strong work ethic.
Q: What talent do you most wish you had?
Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.” This was something my father would always remind me of.
Q: What words of advice do you have for the next generation?
A: Plan, Plan, Plan. Don’t always think about today, because before you know it time has passed by and you don’t know where the years have gone.
Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?
A: Besides my children; I’m proud to say that I have 74 hits on fingerprints. This means I lifted a print and a person is identified through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). Fingerprints are challenging and not as easy as television portrays.
Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about living in Barstow?
A: The fact that my family is close and being centrally located to so many great places. I live near Calico and I have a beautiful view of the Calico Mountains.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: Flying in the CHP helicopter and having a lot of great partners like the late Corky Nottingham, Bridgett Pfenning and my current partner DeAnna Schooler.
Q: Of all the places you’ve been, what’s your favorite and why?
A: Maine. It is absolutely beautiful especially in October when the leaves are changing colors; and they have good food like lobster.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore and Ireland.
Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.
A: To teach my granddaughters how to sew and do crafts.
Q: What’s your favorite place to eat in Barstow?
A: Wave your bag in the air and shout “This is a Del Taco Town”. Where else? And they have the best iced tea around.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Sewing and traveling.
Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?