Barbara was sixteen years old and living in west suburban Oak Park, Illinois with her family in 1968. Taking advantage of her parents being out of town, Barbara ventured downtown to volunteer at Senator Eugene McCarthy's headquarters, very close to the site of the riots. Hunger sent her back home to make dinner before the violence erupted. Barbara watched it all unfold on live television and the next day went to survey the aftermath of what she had seen. At the Conrad Hilton Hotel, she discovered an unrecognizable Chicago, including military tanks and the hotel in complete disarray.