Mary Ruth Ferguson
Mary Ruth (1956 Deerfield, Michigan)
My books are my friends, my family. I am safe inside the covers.
After all the years of caring for Aunt Martha, I don’t quite know what to do with my self now that she is gone. I live in the house she left me, a small old bungalow barely large enough for one, but too big for just me. I’ve lived here with her since my mother died and my father didn’t know what else to do with me. When he died in the Pacific, I had no other option but to remain. Aunt Martha was displeased with my parents for the responsibility of me. She did not appreciate either of them getting themselves killed while leaving such an ungrateful person as myself behind to be a burden upon her. As soon as I was old enough to understand the sacrifices, she made sure I knew this was better than a foundling home.
Aunt Martha was a very important woman in the church, St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church. She made sure all the other Catholics in the neighborhood attended Sunday mass and confessed on Saturdays. I was lucky; I was allowed to attend mass with her every day, at least until I was old enough to attend the school at the Church. It was there I discovered books. Books gave me somewhere to go without leaving the safety of the bungalow.
I began working at the library while in school. I love being able to trail my finger across the spines on a shelf of books as they are lined up so very straight and precise. The order and logic of keeping the books where they belong calls to me. The magic between the covers entrances me. I still am amazed to be paid to be here with the books.
Mary Ruth, me, b 1934
Martha, paternal aunt (father’s elder sister) b 1894, d 1953 (Lingering Illness)
Arthur, father, d 12-7-1941 (Pearl Harbor Attack)
Frances, mother, d 3-18-1937 (New London School Gas Explosion)
Personality: naïve, shy, retiring, not assertive. Fearful of technology, plane-phobic, germophobe, doesn’t like loud noises. Seeks order and tidy, not quite OCD.
Appearance: mousy. Unremarkable dark hair, page-boy cut, shoulder length. No cosmetics, brown eyes dark as black frames of cat’s eye glasses. Long skirts (mid calf) socks and loafers. Button up blouses and cardigan sweaters in matching pale colors.