Phil was born at home to Louis & Evelyn Barber of Millville, New Jersey in 1938. Phil’s dad and his brother owned the Barber Iron Foundry in Bridgeton, New Jersey and his mother Evelyn owned the Milady Shop in Millville; a popular women’s clothing store until her retirement.
Phil had two older brothers Louis Jr. and Edward.
Phil’s father Louis was an avid hunter and outdoorsman from an early age, who kept food on the family table during bthe Great Depression with his duck hunting ability. He taught these valuable skills to his three boys. Phil was only 8 years old when he began shooting and hunting in the woods of Cumberland County surrounding Millville and in the waterways along the wild and scenic Maurice River and the Delaware Bay.
Phil was introduced to Trapshooting by co-worker Jack Rossi of Bridgeton, New Jersey sometime around 1966. Jack’s buddy Jimmy Glaspey and his father had set up a regulation Trap on their farm in Greenwich, New Jersey to shoot clay targets. Mr. Glaspey (Jimmy’s dad) was a former New Jersey State champ and knew many old timers in the sport across the area including Ed Schober from Schober Apple Orchards and other big farm owners in the area who loved to shoot Trap. The Glaspey’s obtained a Trap machine and had local kids set up the Blue Rocks clays. The old timers shot for money and Phil learned quick that you had to be good to shoot with the big boys at Glaspey Farms. In 1967 Phil shot his first registered shoot at the Delaware Bay Trap Club in Port Norris, NJ founded by “Pop” Robbins and his two sons Lee and Dave.
Phil soon introduced Trap to his lifelong buddies: Bill “Trouty” Trout, Tom Kates, and Eddie Whitehead all from Millville who along with Jack Rossi and Dave Robbins from Port Norris enjoyed the sport of Trap Shooting together at local clubs including Pine Belt in Shamong, NJ and Pine Valley in Atco, NJ along with many other clubs in the Mid Atlantic region. Phil has fond memories of many shoots with the “Southern Boys” in Delaware and Maryland at many different clubs.
The group of buddies shot together and had many good times while competing and teasing each other. All the guys made fun of Phil’s rather unique stance preparation and body positioning and have many stories going back decades. Phil’s favorite happened over 40 years ago when he won a silver ice bucket at a Westy Hogan shoot in New York. On the way home, Phil bet Eddie Whitehead that he couldn’t shoot the ice bucket if it was hand tossed into the air. Eddie took the bet…and the guys quickly pulled into an abandoned gravel pit for the challenge. Phil threw the bucket and Eddie took a shot, that missed! After the bucket hit the ground with a thud, Eddie took a second shot, and still only managed “to hit the bucket with one pellet”. Phil still keeps this ice bucket with the single pellet dent as a keepsake.
During Phil’s shooting career, he has registered 77,800 singles, 68,200 handicap and
5,000 doubles targets.