Jewel Ruth, 93, believes in befitting busy. Most canicule of the week, she active to the capital for a good, continued walk. Many hot summer days, she’s in the pool, accomplish alfresco her light, bright, chichi East Dallas apartment.
She lives to biking and loves to work.
Ruth works one day a anniversary at the Stein Mart in Hillside Village. For added than 15 years, she has formed in the women’s bazaar department, which sells artist clothing, usually for appropriate contest and parties.
“Customers accurately ask for her. We adulation her. She’s wonderful,” says Ricky Juarez, the store’s accepted manager. “We try to appoint assorted people, and she is the highlight of the store.”
Ruth and I accommodated at her apartment. She is dressed impeccably, the apotheosis of appearance and grace.
“I’ve consistently been this way. I feel put calm to dress and adapt for the day,” she says. “I consistently laid out my clothes on the bed for the abutting day, alike as a little girl.”
Next to her, I’m angled and accessory-challenged.
For years, I had noticed this well-dressed, accessible woman in the store. A lot of barter bethink her. Ruth treats bodies like they are family.
“People alarm the abundance to see if she is alive that day, and if she’s not, they will not appear until she is,” Juarez says.
“I adulation to fix ’em up and they assume to be blessed with it,” Ruth says.
Jay Stein, administrator of the lath and CEO of Stein Mart aback 1989, popped in on her aback she hit the 15-year mark to present her with a plaque. She has the affidavit and gold pin to appearance for it.
After a abatement that larboard her with burst bones, she cut her assignment agenda to one day a week, but that one day is important to her.
Life and love
I am counting on audition some acceptable activity belief from Ruth. She has a affair to allotment appropriate off the bat.
“That’s the acceptable allotment of the story,” she says, with a abysmal animation and a smile.
Her adventure is about John Phillip Ruth, her “one accurate love.”
“He was a acceptable ol’ San Antonio boy,” she says.
“His appellation was Happy, and aback then, the big affair was to go get a Coke.”
So they did.
“I looked at him and he was dressed beautifully, and I aloof acquainted my affection beating,” she says.
Ruth was alive at S.H. Kress & Co. She started there aback she was 14.
“It was the aboriginal one with air conditioning. I was affairs beard materials, and I anticipation I was a appealing big shot.”
One day, John Ruth waltzed into Kress with a armlet that had both their names on it.
“He was a adventuresome guy,” she remembers.
She additionally remembers seeing him at an Ella Fitzgerald concert and ball in San Antonio.
They danced all night.
She capacity their courting from the alpha to their wedding.
World War II started and John abutting the Navy, traveling the world. Two years anesthetized and on his return, there were adjustments. Ruth had lived with her mother while he was away.
“There was article altered about him aback he came home,” she says.
He was transferred to California. Ruth was afraid about abrogation Texas, but she got on a troop alternation and headed west to be with her husband.
“I got off the alternation and I aloof knew it was right. I admired him. I don’t apperceive why that consistently makes me cry,” she says.
She admired California. The brace had two daughters. John was beatific to Washington, D.C., and became a aggressive pilot.
“From address to plane, he admired it. He absolutely admired flying,” Ruth says.
With addition babyish on the way, John got boot orders again. The ancestors relocated to Iran. It was a adamantine three years.
“We saw the Shah consistently benumbed about in his convertible,” she says.
They lived in a afflictive admixture with aerial security.
“The bodies there didn’t like the Americans at all,” she says. “It was the affliction affair I’ve anytime done in my life, except for accident John.
“When I got aback to New York, I kissed the ground. I was so blessed to be home. It was hell over there.”
In the aboriginal 1960s, John was aftermost stationed at the Naval Air Station Dallas (Hensley Field) in Grand Prairie, which was decommissioned in 1998. Today, the armpit is the Grand Prairie Armed Forces Reserve Complex.
Ruth says she had an affecting acknowledgment to Texas. She authentic it as a “nervous breakdown,” but she describes it abundant like a soldier ambidextrous with post-traumatic accent disorder.
“My doctor told me, ‘Young lady, you’re activity to accept to do what I say. You got to get a job or accompany a abbey and you got to assignment at it, or we accept places area we put bodies like you,’” she says.
“I anticipate that he was aggravating to alarm me into absorption on something.”
Back to work
Ruth eventually took an authoritative job with a Lake Highlands dentist, area she remained for 31 years.
After she left, she and John traveled. They lived an adventurous, airy and adventurous activity calm until he died in the mid-1990s.
“It was one of the hardest things I accept anytime had to accord with,” she says.
She downsized her activity and took an apartment. Her three daughters kept abutting acquaintance with her afresh and still do.
Ruth took the job at Stein Mart, but afterwards the abatement a few years ago, she feared accident her job.
“I went into the appointment and the administrator at that time told me to appear in aback I acquainted like it. I couldn’t accept it,” she says. “I anticipation to myself, ‘Tomorrow I will try to accomplish it through three hours. And abutting week, I’m activity to accomplish it five.’”
She kept her admired job and recovered from her injuries. Barter accurate her comeback, too.
It took a few months to get an account with Ruth because she had several trips planned and weddings to appear this summer.
I acquaint her that she should address a book, and assumption what? She’s been there, done that. She wrote a baby adorning book alleged A Airing of Faith (Lovett Press International).
The tiny religious book is committed to her mother and her three daughters. And it is abounding with belief about her hero, her husband, John. The book’s affair is about not giving up.
“You know, don’t accord up. Bodies accord up. I aloof never appetite to accord up,” Ruth says.
Clare Miers is a Dallas freelance writer.
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