1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


The Tell Tale Sign

John McCurdy - April 8, 2012
 (originally published in 2008)

Mary Ruth Andrews was one of the Andrews of Alderson. She lived in a grand brick Victorian house up from the Baptist Church until she died. She drove a large, grey Cadillac and did not drive it very well. I often wondered why she had never killed herself or others while she was behind the wheel, she paid little attention to the signs that were there for one's directions and orders. Stop signs, speed limits etc. might just have well have been suggestions because she never really considered them as anything else! Compounding others problems with her driving was the fact that she had lost her left eye and wore in the empty socket a glass eye as a substitute.

My wife and I worked with her at the FRW for years, she was the Agent Cashier, handled the money and did it well and as it was supposed to be done. Not everyone liked her because of that; and besides she could be an irascible, sharp-tongued 'old sister' as Pearl's Mom used to say. Her main enemy and sometimes friend was Melvin Huffman, they carried on a running battle for years! Mary Ruth said what she thought, actually many times when it would have been a whole lot better not do have done so!

We had a few differences, but we finally understood that a smart mouth was sometimes necessary in dealing with each other, I admit she generally out-mouthed me. I liked her and so did Pearl.

After their retirements, she and Pearl found themselves in the same Bridge Clubs. One that played on Friday night and the Wednesday Club that met at some members home each week. God help any body or anything that came between the members and their Bridge playing

Mary Ruth and Pearl were both very good card players, very equally divided in skill, and although Mary Ruth might have been a little too explicit in her criticism of a partners play, sometimes using expressions such as, "dumb" and "stupid". They managed to stay friends, with perhaps, Mary Ruth holding a slight advantage in skill, but then Pearl was probably 20 years younger in age and years of playing Bridge.

It seemed to me that all of a sudden Pearl was winning more than usual, she'd come home ecstatic, gloating over her winning of 50 cents or a dollar! She finally told me how it had come about that she was persistently and regularly cleaning Mary Ruth's clock at the Bridge Table.

Remember the "Glass Eye"? Well, Pearl had found that if she watched Mary Ruth's eyes when the cards were dealt, that Mary Ruth's eyes opened just a little bit wider when she thought she had a good hand! If she thought she had a hand that would clear the table, her eyes would widen, and out would pop the "Eye!"

Pearl said, "When I heard the clatter of her eye bouncing across the card table I knew to take a defensive position. When it was ejected hard enough to fall to the floor and everyone had to help hunt for it, Beware!

All of the players, were, to put it kindly, approaching the prime of life and spoke their minds quite often and freely, Lettie Weikle, after Mary Ruth had lost her eye twice in the same day, told her, "Mary Ruth, I do wish you would keep your damn eye in your head"!

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