Updated: Apr 5
If you saw Ruth puttering around in her back yard, you would assume she’s a nice lady with a green thumb. She would be very happy to take you on a tour, or show off the seeds she’s started in milk cartons. In calmer, pre-virus times, Ruth would probably invite you into her house, where she’d offer you some coffee and protect you from an overly enthusiastic dog who has just now discovered you’ve come to visit.
If you ran into her at a meeting of the Lehigh Valley Photography Club (where I met her), you would be impressed by her energy and her eagerness to help. If this gathering included an exhibit of club photographs, hers would be among the best. She actually paints with light. Her photos make you think you’re looking at a still life from one of the old masters, not a 21st century digital photograph!
If you showed up at the Club’s annual exhibit at the Allentown Art Museum, she would be a blur. That smorgasbord of goodies in the middle of the room, all that cheese and fruit and other delectables? She’s been planning that for weeks, and shopping for it all over the Valley. She’ll probably ask you to keep an eye on things, to let her know if any of those trays need refilling.
But today, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, she has found a purpose, a calling. In this, she truly shines. She works tirelessly, up and running early, going full tilt until late at night - making phone calls, working on paperwork - and of course, sewing masks. After the rest of us have stumbled off to bed, she’s still going.
And if you scold her for burning the candle at both ends, she will simply smile at you and say, “I’m having a great time. I’m needed.”
So - there’s Ruth. Our leader, visionary, and all around hero. She’s saving lives. Please, ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause.
Photo: Diane Richter Photography