Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ruth and the Bear - 1972

Via Flickr:
My Grandmother Ruth and a curious black bear taking a good look at each other. This was at a place called Bear Skin Lodge in Minnesota. I guess the bear wasn't aware of the name...

** Some notes about my grandmother**

Ruth (my grandmother) decided at a young age that she was going to see the world, have adventures, and not let any damn fool get in her way. She started off by becoming stewardess on TWA's DC-2s and DC-3s in the 1930s. There she met and eventually married a young pilot named Tommy Roscoe, my mother's father. Tommy was killed flying a PBY for the navy in 1942, and Ruth went back to work as a nurse to support herself and my infant mother.

Shortly after the end of World War II, she met an army photographer named Lon Wilson, who'd been badly wounded at Okinawa. They became married and Lonnie adopted my mother. Together they saw the world, with Ruth calling the shots and Lonnie taking the pictures.

Lonnie died in 1988, but Ruth continued to travel the world. In 1999, at the age of 84, she spent a week in Churchill, Canada, seeing the polar bears out on the tundra. A bad hip joint failure in 2000 forced her to stick to less strenuous trips, like a boat tour of the Rhine River in Germany, but she never stopped travelling and seeing the world. Until now.

Ruth passed away yesterday at the age of 91. A massive infection of an antibiotic-resistant bacterium brought down the strongest and most determined person I have ever known in just over a week. I admired the hell out of that lady and I'm sure going to miss her.

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