RSSAuthor Archive for Ruthie Douglas

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.

Chester Chatter: Christmas shopping by Sears catalog

Chester Chatter: Christmas shopping by Sears catalog

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Christmas shopping was not easy when my two daughters were young. Because my husband Don traveled for his company, I was unable to take the girls shopping. Once they were in bed, I spread out the catalogs — Sears and Montgomery Ward — on the kitchen table. I […]

Chester Chatter: Gather 'round the table to share family lore

Chester Chatter: Gather ’round the table to share family lore

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC A holiday family dinner is a perfect place to recall family history. Over coffee and dessert, pass some photos around the table. Pass some treasures like war medals, a ring, a special pin. Read some pages from Aunt Jenny’s journal and share some love letters Mom wrote to […]

Chester Chatter: Lively summers at Tater Hill C.C.

Chester Chatter: Lively summers at Tater Hill C.C.

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC For 16 summers I works at Tater Hill Country Club as the food and liquor manager. We put on many banquets and weddings, and local folks showed up to lend a hand for these events. Some Friday and Saturday nights we held dances with a live band and […]

Chester Chatter: Magic working at Magic Mountain in 1960s

Chester Chatter: Magic working at Magic Mountain in 1960s

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC My years working at Magic Mountain were a great pleasure and made for a happy time. In the 1960s, when I was Magic Mountain’s base lodge manager, we worked hard to get up and running, yet we still had many laughs and good times. I worked there five […]

Chester Chatter: The excitement in preparing for Thanksgiving

Chester Chatter: The excitement in preparing for Thanksgiving

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC In the days rushing up to Thanksgiving Day, our farmhouse was filled with a delicious smells. It was the beginning of getting the holiday dinner ready. Mother Helene loved holidays and she was a great cook. Every kitchen should have a pantry and that was what we had. […]

Chester Chatter: Deer camps were a center of camaraderie

Chester Chatter: Deer camps were a center of camaraderie

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Once, back in time, deer hunting was a much-enjoyed sport at this time of year. In early fall, deer camps were made ready, cleaned out, supplied with firewood for the stove and stocked with freshly clean blankets for the beds and oil for the lamps. Hunting of […]

Chester Chatter: Time moved slowly, and a steeple clock dazzled

Chester Chatter: Time moved slowly, and a steeple clock dazzled

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Growing up in a hill town of rural Vermont in the 1920s, life moved at a slow pace. My mother-in-law Helene told me many stories of her growing up in Windham. Her father was a sawyer at the mill, and her family included three brothers and her […]

Chester Chatter: Farm life and the family business

Chester Chatter: Farm life and the family business

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC The family farm of times past was a great place to put down your roots. It was a comfort zone. When I married Don Douglas, I had never been in a barn before. Don wanted to show me the cows and calves. I was afraid of the cows […]

Chester Chatter: A home filled with dancing and love

Chester Chatter: A home filled with dancing and love

By Ruthie Douglas ©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC During the Depression, my mother was left a widow with three young children. She was a widow for five years when she met my father. They were married and soon had my sister Marie and me, making it a family of five daughters. Times were tough. But my […]

Chester Chatter: Let's not let art of letter-writing fade

Chester Chatter: Let’s not let art of letter-writing fade

By Ruthie Douglas 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Remember the joy of receiving a letter from someone you care about? Has it become a lost art? Recently, I received a letter — a complete surprise and a delight to me. It simply made my day. It also got me to thinking about a time when it […]

Chester Chatter: When radio news ruled the airwaves

Chester Chatter: When radio news ruled the airwaves

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Lately, I’ve been wondering about how we received the world news in the 1950s. When my father got home from work, one of the first things he would do is to turn on the radio for the 6 o’clock news. We girls would have to be quiet […]

Chester Chatter: Door-to-door salesmen to Tupperware parties

Chester Chatter: Door-to-door salesmen to Tupperware parties

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Remember a time, long past, of door-to-door salesmen? A knock at the door might mean the Fuller Brush salesman or perhaps the Knapp Shoe salesman. At the end of the Green Mountain Turnpike we even got a Sunbeam Bread man. Also there was Avon, Watkins products and […]

Chester Chatter: A short diary of a happy lunch lady

Chester Chatter: A short diary of a happy lunch lady

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Time spent working at Chester-Andover Elementary School made my job as supervisor of the hot lunch program a pleasure. It is very true, kids say the darnedest things. Perhaps time spent serving their lunch was short but they told me everything. The kids were so comfortable with […]

Chester Chatter: First day of school filled with anticipation

Chester Chatter: First day of school filled with anticipation

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Excitement was running high: Tomorrow would be the start of a new school year. We kids were anxious to get back to school and see our friends once again. That night, we had laid out our new school clothes so to have everything ready for morning. Opening […]

Chester Chatter: On the loving grandparents next door

Chester Chatter: On the loving grandparents next door

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC I had only one set of grandparents — my father’s parents died before I was born. My grandparents lived right next door. They were my biggest fans, they supported me always and stood by me. They nurtured and helped form my character. They did this by sharing […]

Chester Chatter: New mown hay on a hot summer day

Chester Chatter: New mown hay on a hot summer day

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC Oh the scent of new mown hay! Come summer and the hay was ready to cut and put in the barn for the winter months ahead. The entire family all helped with the job. Under the sun, it was a hot job, but once evening came around […]

Chester Chatter: The joys of an old hardware store

Chester Chatter: The joys of an old hardware store

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017-Telegraph Publishing LLC I came to live in Chester in 1957 and I knew it was where I wanted to live and never move from. It was the simple things: Stepping into the hardware store. Opening the door, just the smell of the oil on the wide-plank floors, the floor made […]

Chester Chatter: Swimming in the music of summer

Chester Chatter: Swimming in the music of summer

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017-Telegraph Publishing LLC Growing up, my family’s source of entertainment was simple and mostly inexpensive. Come summer, on warm evening, we went to the music concerts at Riverside, where the school in Springfield is now located. The band — the town band, played selections to suit everyone. Instead of clapping, you […]

Chester Chatter: Watching a grandchild grow up

Chester Chatter: Watching a grandchild grow up

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC The call came. My new grandbaby had arrived. I rushed over to Springfield Hospital, hurried down the hall and turned into the room. It was a boy, in his father’s arms. Kissing him on the cheek I knew I would love this baby, named Ben, forever. Over […]

Chester Chatter: Lessons from one-room school houses

Chester Chatter: Lessons from one-room school houses

By Ruthie Douglas © 2017-Telegraph Publishing LLC Chester at one time operated more than 20 one-room school houses. Once those schools served an important part in our outlying areas in hamlets such as Gassetts, Popple Dungeon and Smokeshire. They offered education and a meeting place for social gatherings. The teachers of these schools opened the […]