b. 15 June 1912, Steubenville, OH
d. 29 January 1998, McConnelsville, OH
Margaret “Margie” Ruland was my paternal grandmother, married to my grandfather Ralph Ruland. They had two children, my aunt Dorothy and my father Frederick.
Things I remember about my grandmother:
She was allergic to buckwheat.
She had a cat phobia.
She liked to hum when she walked.
She taught me to use the CB radio.
She had to have her Sunday New York Times and her lottery tickets.
She read every Civil War book she could get her hands on.
My mother was the lesser known of the Sloop girls. While a year older than her sister, my mother failed to thrive and weighed less at one year than her sister’s weight at birth.
She grew up, in town, close to the Ohio River, and the family lived not far from the ‘red light district’. Around the age of six my mother was hit by a car which broke her leg. In those days you went to bed with sand bags holding your leg in position and weights as traction. A basket appeared on the doorstep with fruit or flowers along with a note, “From the girls.”
My mother’s father played piano and organ for the silent movies. Both my mother and her sister also played, however, the sister was exceptionally talented, sometimes substituting for their father at the theater. Not being aware, I once asked my mother if she also played the piano, she said yes, but. . . . Musically, she was quite overshadowed.
Both my mother and her sister went to college. One year after starting, the stock market crashed, and they returned home, knowing that money was short.
Later the sister became well known playing on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, and is often considered the inspiration for the song ‘Hang on Sloopy.’
I remember as a child going to the grocery store with my mother. I remember her buying our groceries on credit. The cashier would write her name in a book. This was during the Second World War.
The family revolved around my mother, which I suppose was typical of the day. My sister and I had a happy childhood.