My mother was 39 when she was widowed with 3 young daughters. I always thought that this circumstance was the reason she counseled us to make certain we "kept our own money" when we married. When I began photographing Aunt Ruth for loving aunt ruth, I discovered that it was my grandmother who gave this advice to her daughters. They listened to her, and throughout their lives, they kept "a little something" for themselves. They were careful and cautious women who learned from the Depression and from young widowhood that nothing is certain.
I photographed Aunt Ruth leading a meeting discussing her taxes, because I admire her business acumen and confidence when it comes to taking care of herself beyond the kitchen! She is 89-years-old in this photograph! Aunt Ruth is definitely a woman of independent means, and she means to stay that way.