Barbara Jean Daniels was born October 9, 1975, to Marty and Tina Daniels in Robinson, Illinois. Marty was a foreman at a nearby coal mine, and Tina was a stay-at-home mother. Marty was a loving husband and father, and Barbara was raised in a happy family. Her childhood could be described as average, her teen years unremarkable. She made friends easily, and she always had a date for the weekend.

After high school, Barbara chose to attend the University of Mississippi. After a tearful farewell to her parents, Barb made her way to Oxford. She couldn't wait to begin her studies and to learn how to be the best actress she could be. Her dream was to make it in Hollywood.

After opening night of an Ole Miss production she co-starred in, she met Victor Jennings. He said all the right things, and soon he and Barb were an item. 

The first months they were together was good, but then the relationship began to fall apart. One spring, some girls on campus said Victor had made passes at them and didn't stop when they said no. Barbara confronted him, and he told her if she thought wedding bells were in their future, she was sadly mistaken.

Barbara was heartbroken. She took her finals and went straight home to Robinson for the summer. She had hoped that being back home would help her get over Victor, but shortly after she got there, she discovered she was pregnant. 

She couldn't bring herself to tell Victor after how he'd treated her, and she knew she couldn't go back to school in her condition. She dropped out and got a job as a clerk at Walmart while she waited for the baby to be born. On December 10, 1998, she gave birth to a daughter, Troy.

They lived with Barbara's parents during the early years of Troy's life, while Barbara worked hard to help out with the household expenses and build up a nest egg. Eventually, Barb and Troy moved into their own apartment, and Barb moved up the ladder at Walmart. 

No matter how tight things got, Barbara never sought child support from Victor. She said she'd rather skip two meals a day, every day than ask him for help.

Barbara returned to Oxford in 2017. Her daughter had gotten a dance scholarship to Ole Miss, and Barb wasn't going to let her go alone. She put in for a transfer with Walmart and made a lateral move from her management position at the Robinson location to one at the Oxford store.

In January of 2019, Troy was invited to tour Europe with a dance troupe over the summer. If she wanted to go, she needed to come up with $3,000 to pay for the trip. Barbara didn't have that much cash to spare, and she knew the time had come to tell Victor about his daughter and to ask him to supply the needed funds.

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