Chester Chatter: Memories of a devoted father

By Ruthie Douglas
@2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

My father had a dream. His dream was that I would become the first woman governor of Vermont. Even though that dream did not come true, my father always believed in me and was there to support me in my often-times crazy ventures.

Do you know what it means to have someone always there to support you, to always know that you are loved and so very special? It is a wonderful feeling.

My father, who was quite a bit shy, liked to have me hang out with him. On a hot summer evening after supper, we would go up to Lake Rescue to go fishing. That is where I got to know him: waiting for a fish to bite while sitting in a rowboat, he would tell me about his growing up in New York and swimming in the Erie Canal.

My dad loved history and reading and he always listened to the news with Edward R. Murrow on the radio. He also thought that President Franklin Roosevelt was the second coming of Christ.

For 40 years, he worked in the paint department of Fellows Gear Shaper in Springfield, spraying machines without the benefit of a face mask.  And he often worked 10-hour days. For many years, we did not have a car.  In all kinds of weather, he walked to work from South Street hill to the plant on River Street.  He usually didn’t get home for supper until after 6 p.m.

That was my dad, steady as a rock.

A Springfield reunion and notes on friends

Springfield High School Class of 1959 gathered at my home after the Alumni Day Parade on a recent Saturday. With platters of food late out on tables under the tent, classmates ate lunch and visited. We recalled times gone past and shared many laughs.

Judy Cenate, president of the American Legion Post 67 Auxiliary, spent the past week in Montpelier with Girls State. This year, Chester sponsored three girls for the experience of learning about their state government and how it operates. Judy then attended the attended the Legion State Convention in Rutland.

I have a nest of four baby robins living in my patio. It is fun watching them grow.

Get well wishes go out to David Bryant, who now lives in Florida and is recovering from recent surgery for throat cancer.

Judy LaVallee visited her daughter Liz Smith and granddaughter Adeline in Lancaster, S.C. Judy’s mom and sister also visited for a week, making it four generations.

Bob and Carol Ploof are up for the summer months from their home in Florida.

Thank you!

I want to thank everyone for the hundreds of cards and calls I in support of my new venture with The Chester Telegraph. Thank you so much.

This week’s trivia: What president signed Fathers Day into law? What year was it?

Answer to last week’s trivia: The Motel in the Meadow was once known as Vails Motor Court.

Street Talk

What do you like best about summer?

What’s that?

If you think you know what this object is, give Ruthie a call at 875-3260.

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Filed Under: Chester Chatter

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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  1. Good to see your name and the down to earth news. Mom must be looking down and giving you a great smile. I remember going down the old road by your home. Dad taught me how to drive on that dirt road. I miss Chester but now live in a small community similar to Chester in Western NY. where every one knows each other. I look forward to reading your news. Thanks, Judi Naylor

  2. Cheryl Cook says:

    So happy to see Ruthie’s column in your paper!!! Nice going Chester Telegraph!!!