The Men in Ruth’s Life

November 3, 2010

I must admit my blog so far has been a bit one-sided in the gender department. My grandmother Ruth was, after all, of the female persuasion and her interests and activities were feminine in nature. Even within her family, the number of females outnumber males by quite a bit.

But that’s not to say there weren’t meaningful men in Ruth’s life. We’ve already mentioned her father, brother and beloved husband George. But let’s take this time to recognize the other very special men in her life—her sons-in-law, grandsons and great-grandsons.

Ruth once told me she felt blessed to have such wonderful sons-in-law. She said she couldn’t love them more had they been her own sons. Perhaps I’m biased but I easily see her point. I think my father Duane (Carol) and my Uncle Art (Judith) are awesome men.

In 1958, Art and Judy had their first child, Philip, who also was Ruth’s first grandson. Not having had any sons of their own, Phil was surely a highlight to George and Ruth. That’s them together in the photo above — George, Phil and Ruth, in Johnson, MN, where Phil was born.

In the years to follow, Dave, Jon and Joel were born to Duane and Carol, and Jonathan was born to Art and Judy. Ruth loved them all and was so proud of them, as she was of all her grandchildren.

Then came the next generation. In all, Ruth has 24 great-grandchildren. Fourteen of them are girls and nine are boys (someone please check that I’ve counted right:-).

My photo supply is limited to my side of the family, and only to certain years. We need more! So men, send me pictures of you together with your families, and pictures of you together with Ruth and George.

Dave and Grandma, 1994

Here’s Ruth dancing with Dave in 1994. I love this picture. The look on her face totally expresses the adoration she felt for her grandsons.

Three handsome men!

What handsome men Ruth had in her life, yes? Here is my dad Duane, and brothers Joel (left) and Dave in a 2010 summer get-together.

Art and Judith and familyHere are Art and Judy, together with their children; (from left) Jonathan, Ruth, Rachel and Phil. The picture was taken in 2007 for their 50th wedding anniversary. Such a beautiful family!

I think genetics are fascinating. When I had lunch with Phil earlier this year, I repeatedly saw glimpses of my brothers in him. A turn of the head, a lilt in his voice…amazing.

Going further back in time:

jonathan-and-grandmaEver the teacher, here in 1985 is Ruth demonstrating to Jonathan the fine art of crochet. (And oh, the complacency of a youngest child—to patiently sit and show interest in his grandmother’s needlework.)

grandchildren 1968

granchildren-names

How’s this for a lineup of kids! George and Ruth had a new grandbaby every year for six years. I love this picture and my grandmother’s listing on the back.

grandpa-&-rachel

Recognize this chair? It’s the rocker from the back room of the store. Here it is 1963, and Rachel’s sitting with her Grandpa Larson. Oh, the special rocking memories this chair holds.

grandkids 1961

Here’s Phil, Terri and David in 1961. Notice Carol and Judith’s wedding pictures above them. We grandchildren grew up seeing these pictures on the walls of every home George and Ruth lived in.

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