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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Andrew on Ruthie

photo from Ruth Friend's Facebook page. She's on the left with Sophie Harris. Sophie posted a bunch more there.

Andrew Atkeison sent his thoughts on our dear friend, Ruth Friend, who died recently. (See post here from the 14th). Am posting

Ruth Friend, known to most as Ruthie, was truly a friend to all without regard to perceived social status of wealth. I sometimes wondered what she saw in her husband, but could only conclude that love works in strange and wonderful ways, and that he was certainly a lucky man to have her.

One time when I was in Sacramento helping our fledgling organization, The California Blacksmiths association put on our first international blacksmiths conference, I visited Sim and Ruthie. The subject of the blacksmiths conference came up and immediately Ruthie said, “oh I want to go … can I come and check it out?” I was kind of stunned that a lady of Ruthie’s high social status would want to check out an event attended by mostly working class men and their wives, but she did and needless to say, she was a hit. My blacksmithing instructor was an extroverted wildwest actor who liked to forge hot iron wearing a bearskin vest with no shirt underneath. He tried every move he had on her but to no avail. When Sim and Ruthie would visit Farallones Institute in Occidental, Ruthie would always stop by the Blacksmith shop to say “hi”. That was over 45 years ago but I still remember her as if it were yesterday. What a beautiful and elegant lady she was.