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

Chester Chatter: Enjoying home, inside and out

Chester Chatter: Enjoying home, inside and out

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC For many of these past months have been like a step behind. However folks my age remember when everything was slower. Many folks are finding time to enjoy their homes. It has been a good time to turn of the television and read books. When was the last […]

Chester Chatter: The era of door to door salesmen

Chester Chatter: The era of door to door salesmen

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Every couple of weeks or so, a familiar vehicle would pull up in our door yard. With a knock at the door, the Raleigh salesman would enter bearing a wide variety of items for sale, ranging from lotions to medicated salves, spices, kitchen gadgets and vitamins. In those […]

Chester Chatter: Seizing the day with Abe Lincoln

Chester Chatter: Seizing the day with Abe Lincoln

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC History was my favorite subject in high school. In fact, I excelled so much that my teacher assigned me to do a profile on Abraham Lincoln. The assignment would take two weeks, so I set up my study in the library to research and write the profile. I […]

Chester Chatter: Ever more grateful for our health workers

Chester Chatter: Ever more grateful for our health workers

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Sap is a running. Birds are a singing and jump ropes are a swinging. Daylight hours are getting longer and there is a feeling of spring in the air. Somehow one can just smell spring. I’m getting restless to be outside poking around and planning where to plant […]

Chester Chatter: Sparking memories of a fire

Chester Chatter: Sparking memories of a fire

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Editor’s Note: This week — and this week only — Ruthie is turning over her column to Warren Mackensen, whose parents used to own the Chester Inn, which is now known as the Fullerton Inn. On July 25, 1956, at about 4:20 p.m., a brief but vicious late […]

Chester Chatter: Creating a home within a home

Chester Chatter: Creating a home within a home

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Newly married, Don and I lived in his upstairs bedroom in the big old farmhouse. There were three other connecting rooms that would be turned into an apartment whenever we had some money. A kitchen of sorts had a sink with cold-running water and some cupboards. When friends […]

Chester Chatter: Days of duckpin bowling, skating

Chester Chatter: Days of duckpin bowling, skating

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC With school out for the summer, my sister and I were not often bored. There was much we could do. The Community House across from the Post Office in downtown Springfield offered lots to do. They held a record hop on many Friday nights. There was duckpin bowling. […]

Chester Chatter: A call from an old friend

Chester Chatter: A call from an old friend

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Our town of Chester is a place to be proud. Most folks are following what our government has asked of us: Stay at home and don’t mingle in person. While those types of rules are hard for me to follow, in this instance I am doing as I […]

Chester Chatter: Keeping busy while cooped up

Chester Chatter: Keeping busy while cooped up

By Ruthie Douglas © 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC When I first bought the home I still live in, everyone asked if I liked the picture window in the living room. I responded that it would be perfect when I got older to watch traffic and see what is happening farther down the road. Now that […]

Chester Chatter: The gift of time

Chester Chatter: The gift of time

By Ruthie Douglas © 2020 Telegraph Publishing, LLC The coronavirus has brought about a chance to enjoy our homes, a chance to spend time with family who we love. Because we are supposed to stay home, inside and not touching many things, another chance is open and offered to us. It’s a time to lay […]

Chester Chatter: How now brown cow?

Chester Chatter: How now brown cow?

By Ruthie Douglas © 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC In the fall of 1959, while our new barns were being built, we were planning on the livestock. Don and I traveled down to Masschusetts to a huge farm auction. Don thought he would like to buy a few Brown Swiss to add to our herd. Brown […]

Chester Chatter: Friendship takes wings

Chester Chatter: Friendship takes wings

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC My sister Marie and I became the best of friends with Willy, who I wrote about last week.   When school began in late summer, Marie and I went off to school and Willy was left behind to wait for us to come home. Soon, our playtime changed. […]

Chester Chatter: Days of summer play

Chester Chatter: Days of summer play

By Ruthie Douglas © 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC When my sister Marie and I were very young, we met our neighbor Glen. He was a little younger than we were, but soon we became the best of friends. We called our new friend Willy as his last name was Williams. Each day we met to […]

Chester Chatter: Four Corners Club had the corner on friendship

Chester Chatter: Four Corners Club had the corner on friendship

By Ruthie Douglas © 2020 Telegraph Publishing, LLC The Chester Four Corners Women’s Club was in existence from the 1930s to not so very long ago. The club was formed so that women could be informed on topics that helped them run their homes. Keep in mind that this was in the days before TV […]

Chester Chatter: Drawing friendship over tea

Chester Chatter: Drawing friendship over tea

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Eve Dawson came to Chester from New York City some time in the 1970s. Eve had bought the Grist Mill on North Street by the bridge, where she set up an art studio and gallery. I went there on assignment for the Springfield Reporter. Eve and I clicked. […]

Chester Chatter: Lifelong strength in small town friendships

Chester Chatter: Lifelong strength in small town friendships

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC What is it about growing up in small town America? Making forever friends in our first years of school happened to many of us. Some 30 of us who started first grade at the same time often get together once a month for lunch. Over the years, many […]

Chester Chatter: Becoming a puppet master

Chester Chatter: Becoming a puppet master

By Ruthie Douglas © 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Our fourth grade teacher kept us busy with fun projects. One morning she announced we kids would be making puppets. My heart sank. I was not good at art or any kind of handicrafts. We would start making puppets the next day and, she added, “wear old […]

Chester Chatter: Skating down the Black River

Chester Chatter: Skating down the Black River

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC As a young couple, my grandparents left Three Rivers, Canada to start a new life in Springfield. They bought a newly built apartment building on Union Street, which grandmother turned into a boarding house. They soon got jobs and met new people. A group those new friends would […]

Chester Chatter: Fill the garden, fill the pantry

Chester Chatter: Fill the garden, fill the pantry

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC As the seed catalogs arrive, my mother-in-law and I would start to plan the vegetable garden. The kitchen table would be filled with our open catalogs. Selecting our seeds was a three-day project.  Our vegetable garden was large and awarded us just about everything we would need to […]

Chester Chatter: Joys of being a farmer's wife

Chester Chatter: Joys of being a farmer’s wife

By Ruthie Douglas ©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC Lately, I look out my big window above the hospital parking lot. It has looked more like spring than the dead of winter. The birds are chirping and hopping about. Looking back in time, now is the time we spread our seed catalogs out on the kitchen table, […]