b. January 14, 1911, Zanesville, OH
d. January 2, 1992, Columbus, OH
Ralph Ruland was my paternal grandfather. He passed away nearly thirty years ago. He played trombone during the Big Band Era, including a stint with the Sammy Kaye Orchestra. He and my grandmother, Margie, had two children, my aunt Dorothy and my father Frederick. Later on he worked in a steel mill in Weirton, WV. Things I remember about him:
He was a fantastic artist, but he was colorblind. I remember he once painted a very pretty ocean wave, but it was green and not blue.
He loved puzzles, including crosswords and cryptograms.
He smoked a pipe.
He was one of six boys.
My father was a baby when the Titanic sank. He was a teen when Lindberg flew the Atlantic. While he lived into his eighties, witnessing TV and the moon landing, he considered the greatest invention, or achievement, to be radio.
He was a musician during the big band era playing venues all over the east. However, after marrying and the arrival of my sister, he and my mother considered being on the road an unhealthy environment for a child. My father then took a temporary job in the steel mills – temporary, that is, for the next thirty-five years.
My father, although not graduating for high school, made sure that both my sister and I had a college education. I often wonder what his big dreams were. He did mention once that circus musicians – this was during the days of the big tops – were the cream of the crop.