Ruby Smith…. A Century Of Life

My mother had two best friends in her lifetime.   One was Connie Collier and the second was Ruby Smith.    On Saturday, Ruby’s 100th birthday was celebrated by her friends and family.   Here’s a picture of my sister, Pat,  and Ruby that was taken at the event.


Pat wrote about Ruby on Facebook, and she expressed her thoughts so well, that I’m just going to copy them!   Everyone wanted to stop by and say hello to Ruby.  So much so that it was hard for Pat to slip in and get her picture made with Ruby.    Pat observed that “Ruby was surrounded by friends and well wishers…serenaded by jewels of a lifetime, her grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

This next picture is a picture of Ruby and her husband.   I never met him.  He died at a young age.  I do know, as Pat mentioned on Facebook, there was no social security for Ruby to rely on.   Her resourcefulness was her social security.


She had to be resourceful.  She had two daughters to raise.    Pictured below–and I’m so afraid of misspelling names– are Wilhelmina, Ruby and Frances.   Wilhelmina’s life was cut short by breast cancer.    When I was little,  I loved slipping over when Mom and Dad were visiting and asking Frances to let me play in her makeup.  I thought she was so exotic because she owned eyeshadow.


Ruby told me once that she contacted a doctor (I think) who owned a small piece of land and asked about buying it.  She wanted to have a tobacco allotment so that she would have a regular income.   He sold the land to her and she paid it off over a period of time.   Mother and Daddy helped Ruby by “sharing” the allotment.  It was “bottom land” behind the Mendota Baptist Church.   Pat said that there were lots of jokes between the three of them about this being “Ruby’s bottom.”    It went right over our heads.

Here’s my father working in tobacco.   When he died someone said that all of the widows cried along with our family, because who would keep their refrigerators running…their furnaces…their stoves?   W. T. Barker could fix about anything and he did not charge if someone could not afford it.


And Mother…there just are no words.  Like Ruby, she was extraordinary.


I am fortunate enough to own quilts that Ruby has made.  I gave the one below to my nephew, Will, and it will be given to his daughter, Faith, at some time in the future.   It has pieces of our mother’s clothing in it.

Will Gardner Quilt

Here’s another quilt she made.   I adore this quilt and every time I see it, I think of Ruby.

Yellow Guest Bedroom After Photo Corner View

Here’s my grand niece, Ari, and my brother in law, Gerald, eating cake.   Ari told her Uncle Gerald that she “didn’t know Miss Ruby until today but she was glad she made it to 100!”    We are too. 

Can you imagine all that Ruby has seen in 100 years?   Happy Birthday Ruby.


Please Help Me!

Next Wednesday I am off and I’m taking my camera with me to see (and maybe help a little) the progress of the Mendota Cemetery Quilt.  I’ve heard it called “stunning.” 

Quilting fills so many roles in a rural life.   It’s a necessity, an art, a magnificant gift, a frusteration, and a great way to raise money.  Everyone could use a good quilt, and most everyone can spare a dollar for a chance on a quilt.

In just a few weeks, this sweet quilt will find its way home with someone.  It was quilted by Ruby Smith.  Ruby is 96. She was my mother’s dearest friend.    I “sharpened” this image.  Look closely.  Tiny, perfect stitches by a hand that has known 96 years on this earth. 

Goodson Kinderhook Fire Department Quilt

All of the proceeds will benefit the Goodson Kinderhook Volunteer Fire Department.  No matter how you vote, who your family is,  whether you talk Yankee or Southern, or whether you go to this church or that church, if you smell smoke, you’re going to call 911.   Following that call, as soon as humanly possible, a big red truck with the sole purpose of putting a fire out– or  saving your life or even sometimes your pet’s life, is going to pull in your driveway.    

Please help us raise money for the the Goodson Kinderhook Volunteer Fire Department.  Tickets for this quilt are $1.00 each.  Please consider buying….just $5.  If you live a long ways off, please still consider buying the tickets.  If you send me your address, I’ll send you the tickets with a self addressed stamped envelope for you to return your check and the stubs for drawing back to me. 

If you live nearby, yet it’s still not convenient for you to hook up with me, just send me your address.   We’ll do the same as if you live outside the area. 

I would love to sell 100 chances on this quilt.  Please help me. 

Thank you.



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