Remembering Ruth & Mark

Published 10:32 pm Thursday, November 21, 2019

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Remember When column


I learned from the Bulletin of the recent death in California of friend Artie Hamilton’s wife, born Ruth Hannon in Lynn in 1930. Artie was confined to a special motorized wheelchair at White Oak Medical for several years, where I visited him on Sunday afternoons.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox


I never knew Ruth, and never met Artie until I found him in a room with friend Joe Wray. I think they lived in California and raised their children there, and that is why I did not know them before. Ruth and I share birth years, and I lived on Rippy Hill above Lynn for many of my growing up years (from 1940 to 1948). 


I note from her obituary that Ruth was buried in Tryon; like so many of our people who seek their fortunes elsewhere, she ultimately came back here.    


The untimely loss of another friend leaves a hole in the fabric of Our Area that can never be filled. Mark Schweitzer was larger than life as he contributed so much to our community. Not only his big singing voice (as Tevye in Fiddler for instance), or leading our Community Chorus so creatively, but also contributing his special brand of humor in his series of mystery novels.


Art Brown told us that Mark printed out chorus parts on his computer, with annotations and asides not usually found in music scores. His approach to conducting the chorus was masterful, of course (doctorate in music), but entertaining as well. Sometimes the chorus’s response had to be more than a smile of appreciation!


Mark was also a presence in the Tuesday morning breakfasts of the “Men Without Jobs” gang, now meeting at Nana’s. We (remnants of Aunt Mildred’s breakfast group that Fran called “The Girls”) call them “the noisy boys”—they first make a lot of noise moving the tables and chairs together to accommodate at least a dozen of them (some of whom actually have jobs).


Then they are a boisterous bunch—swapping stories and comments to appreciative loud laughter—until Christy brings their food. I always thank them for the resulting quiet so we can talk, too. Of course, we enjoy hearing them enjoying their breakfast together. 


Most of them are retirees, still very active in their volunteer roles, so their group’s self-chosen name belies their worth to Our Area.


The parking lot for our apartment atop “the Hill” of White Oak Manor opens onto Markham Road, so I go down Berry Street when I am heading to Columbus. As I do so often, I think of the people who used to live in the houses I pass.


First on the right is the log cabin Dick Kell built for his family. When his daughter Gelolo Iris returned to Tryon, she asked Holland Brady to design additions to the cabin. The result is a most happy marriage of old and new, one which Fran and I enjoyed when visiting Gelolo and Bob.


On the left is another house much enlarged since one of my employers during my high school years, Archie Covington, lived there with his wife and daughter. I remember when the big stone house known as Mill Farm was built on the east end of Harmon Field Road. The “pink house,” built later next door, so called because its concrete blocks were originally painted pink, was long occupied by our friend Louise Averill Thompson. Fran and I also enjoyed many fine luncheons there.


The W. Y. Wilkins house was on the corner where the Triangle Stop is now, and the McKaigs lived in another house; seems to me that there were several houses there along NC 108 then. A lot happened while I was gone for those 40 years; a lot more has happened in the 31 years since I retired and moved back here!

By Garland O. Goodwin