Friday, December 17, 2010

Maya Angelou and Aunt Ruth

Aunt Ruth served our country in various jobs.  As part of the "greatest generation," there was a lot more service than there is today, and Aunt Ruth's involvement impresses and humbles me.  She drove military vehicles, worked as an accountant during the war while her husband was in London.  Her accountant's job was to  ferret out inappropriate naval expenses.  During the Carter administration, she was one of two women chosen for a 12-person committee to review applicants for federal judgeships in the state of Ohio.  She had a reputation from her years of work in the Women's Auxillary of the Ohio Bar Association.

Yesterday, I asked her which of her achievements gave her the most pride, and without hesitation, she said, "when I read resumes for the federal court.  That is a lifetime appointment, and while on the committee, I noticed a common pleas judge who had said he had never been divorced on his application.  He lied.  I knew his first wife!  I reported the lie knowing that if he was dishonest about his marital status, he was not someone who should be a federal judge!  He never got over being rejected, but I like to think I saved a lot of people from rulings handed down by a dishonest man."

Maya Angelou says, "People show you who they are the first time."  Aunt Ruth says that she never met Maya, but I wonder....

Thanks, Aunt Ruth for standing by your principles.  (we could sure use her now!)


  1. Aunt Ruth, We are honored by your service. Thank you.

  2. I love that Maya Angelou quote. Have heard it before..and always found it inspiring and true.
    We are all forever indebted and in awe of those who served this country. Aunt Ruth - among them!!!!

  3. It strikes me as not only an honorable stint of service but a really fascinating one to have been part of screening those resumes. Go Aunt Ruth, indeed!

  4. My mother was of aunt Ruth's era (she had me late in life), an era when
    your word meant something, it was who you were. When honesty, and integrity were of more worth than a sizable back account. And over the years, I've felt like an anachronism, and that the playing field might not be level. Thanks to you, and aunt Ruth for reminding me that being able to look one's self in the mirror is a pretty good goal.

  5. Hooray for Aunt Ruth! Where is our moral compass today???? I just love a woman who is not afraid to stand for her principles. I love Aunt Ruth more and more with each blog you post!