|San Francisco, 1970|
A constant parade of unemployed writers, between-gig actors, labor organizers, and fellow progressives showed up at the L.A. apartment, arguing politics over red wine and plates of pasta long into the night. Hugs and handshakes always followed the loud voices and f-bombs at evening’s end. Things were not like that at my house.
|photo courtesy of the Potrero View|
During her three decades at the paper, Ruth was honored for her service to The View, and to the Neighborhood House, a community center where she helped organize after-school programs, classes for adults, and events that celebrated the scrappy diversity of the “nabe.”
|At the Potrero Hill Scamper|
At an event honoring my aunt for her work, the mayor read a proclamation loaded with “whereases,” and declared a day in her honor. When he finished speaking, my father leaned toward me and pointed proudly at his “baby” sister. “Look at her—she’s the richest person in this room.” And I knew what he meant.
|Staying cool, 2007|
When I went back to graduate school at age 58, I hoped I could model myself after Ruth. She was always able to engage effortlessly with everyone: young and old, well-off and well-connected, or down-on-their luck.
I often asked myself: what would Ruth do? And I knew that she would act like it was no big deal to be sitting in workshop with students a few decades younger. I could imagine her saying, “Get over yourself and do the work you came to do.”