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Getting To Know...

The story of Carole Harris Barton's coal miner father is featured in "Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons," a compilation by Tim Russert honoring fathers. The story is adapted from "Rainbows in Coal Country," Barton's memoir of her childhood growing up in Kentucky. A Burke resident, Barton is a retired government analyst, and she is this week's People Profile.

Number of years in the community: 12 years in Burke, 38 in Fairfax County.

Family: Husband Paul E. Barton, daughter Noelle Willett; four stepchildren and eight step-grandchildren.

Education: Madisonville (Ky.) High School.

Primary occupation: Retired analyst, U.S. and Fairfax County government.

Achievements: Family is very important to me; my crowning personal achievement is being a mother. My proudest professional achievement is having been instrumental in leading the Fairfax County Park Authority to establish the Fairfax County Park Foundation. In retirement — which only means that I sleep eight hours a night now and wake up naturally instead of being blasted out of bed by an alarm clock — I am pleased to have brought my family's story to print in "Rainbows in Coal Country."

Activities/interests/hobbies: Church music and women's activities, reading and writing.

Favorite local restaurant or place in the community? Fairfax County Parks: Colvin Run Mill and Sully Historic Site.

What are your community concerns? What are some ideas you have on ways to improve your community? I encourage financial support of the Fairfax County Park Foundation, which works to bring private (non-tax) dollars to improve the Fairfax County park system, and to preserve the cultural and natural resources of Fairfax County.

What brought you here? Work with the U.S. government. In the late 1960s, the U.S. government brought equal opportunity to the workplace, and I enjoyed those benefits.

What community "hidden treasure" do you think more people should know about? The Fairfax County park system is the finest local park system in the U.S., and while the parks are not "hidden," many county residents still have not discovered the parks' treasures: trails, open space, recreation centers, tennis courts, golf courses, lakes, historic properties. They are wonderful!

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you "grew up?" A wife and mother. And I accomplished that.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Still enjoying life, reading, writing, singing, being with family and friends.

Personal goals? To publish more. I love the writing process, even the drudge work of editing and revising. And if someone reads what I write, that's icing on the cake.