The Telegraph welcomes Ruthie Douglas and ‘Chester Chatter’

I am pleased to announce that Ruthie Douglas is bringing her Chester Chatter column to Chester Telegraph readers. Before the internet and bloggers, there were community columns such as Chester Chatter that gave readers a glimpse into life down the street or on the other side of town. Her column has been a fixture for decades, and when she announced that she would be ending it at the Message for the Week, it just made sense to ask her to keep it going with us. 

Some might think it an odd fit. After all, we are a digital newspaper and as anyone who knows her will tell you, Ruthie doesn’t do computers. But she agreed and we couldn’t be happier. Included in Chester Chatter will be Ruthie’s Street Talk and the Object of the Week, which we now are calling What’s That? You’ll be able to find Ruthie’s column every week in the Community and Arts Life section of The Telegraph.

Please give Ruthie a warm welcome here and a wide smile when you see her on the street!

Cynthia Prairie, editor and publisher, The Chester Telegraph

By Ruthie Douglas
©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

It is always a great time when our high school alumni day rolls around. Perhaps outsiders cannot understand our fuss about this special time. But I feel it is because they did not grow up from kindergarten to high school with the same classmates.

Here in Chester we have developed friends that last for a lifetime, starting in kindergarten. Then watch out, once a year alumni weekend is a homecoming. There is a lot of hugging and kissing and much laughter and some secrets finally revealed.

As a former hot lunch lady at both Green Mountain High School and at Chester-Andover Elementary for 26 years, I have watched many kids grow up. I mingled with them Friday night at the American Legion and have a hard time remembering the seventh grade child who is now a gray-haired grandparent. I for one have always been so proud of our children. They are special.

The boys were always our best customers. We often handed out extra cookies to those who asked so nicely. And now they repay me with a drink at the bar! Our peanut butter squares were so popular. Every year, I am still asked for the recipe.  But, oops, I’ve lost it!

It was great to see folks I have not seen for a while waiting for the Alumni Parade to go by. Our two school bands were just great.  As usual, the Sons of the American Legion did a great job with the bar-b-que chicken. Most of all, there was no rain and plenty enough sun.

Good times

I was looking for a pick-me-up and most of all some laughter and I got it Friday night with the Springfield Community Players’ production of the Savannah Sipping Society, which my daughter Jean and I attended. It was super-great. What a good job the cast did. And I got my fix.

Benny and Kim Benson threw a huge party on Saturday night for alumni classmates and friends. Live music, good food and cold drinks made for a good time.

A gathering of the Fosters met at the Hit or Miss Club on Sunday. I am a branch off that family tree. A pot luck lunch was served with delicious desserts. Eddy Foster provided perch fish that he caught in the nearby river. He served them deep fried.

Corey Riendeau of Virginia is visiting her mother Donna Whitney for a few days.

And a big thank you to Kelly Arrison for donating his time and effort to get our historic LaFrance 1931 fire truck up and running, complete with a working siren. Having the fire truck in the Alumni Parade once against was special. Thank you Kelly!


My longtime friend and co-worker Doris Forbes recently passed away. We shared many laughs and good times. She will be missed.

Dick Howard lost his battle with cancer. Dick will be missed. He was a great person to know.

This week’s trivia – The Motel in the Meadow was once known as what?

Street Talk

Do you do anything with your school alumni?

 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 ChatterFeatured

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 more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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  1. Travis says:

    I’m SO glad that Ruthie is back! I grew up in Chester and I always liked “checking back in” through her column. 🙂

  2. Philip Atwood says:

    We need to encourage Ruthie to get a computer, I have been talking to her about it and I think she is weakening. I have lined her up with a computer service, right here in town, Cathy Hasbrouck.
    Ruthie’s pictures are much better in the Telegraph and lots of us appreciate her articles. I just called her and she told me she has over a hundred letters of appreciation. I can’t help but think that the Message did us a favor by pushing Ruthie out. You go girl! Thanks for keeping it real! You are the real deal!

  3. Mary Fraser says:

    All’s right with the world. Ruthie’s back.

  4. Glad you’re back as your stories bring back many fond memories!

  5. Peter diliberto says:

    Glad you are back!!

  6. Jane Davis says:

    Good news! I love Ruthie’s stories of a simpler time, when less connected really meant that we were more connected. Thanks, Ruthie!

  7. Susan spaulding says:

    And a good time was had by all

  8. Dottie Richardson says:

    So, so good to read Ruthie’s column once again! Missed her stories and wonderful “chatter”. Thanks to the Chester Telegraph for including Ruthie’ s wit and wisdom in their publication!

  9. Kenny forbes says:

    I’m happy that I’ll still be able to read your wonderful articles Ruthie. Sorry I missed you this trip home but will see you next time.

  10. Jenn L says:

    Wonderful! So glad Ruthie is continuing her column.

  11. Margie Straub says:

    This a great news. I was going to miss Ruthie’s column and now no one has to. We are looking forward to them, Ruthie.