This is my latest book. As you can see, its title is Raising Ruby. The little girl on the front cover was my mother, Ruby Ellen Scott when she was about 8 years old. On the back cover is a photo from about 1938 when she worked at the Paris Coffee Shop in Fort Worth, Texas.
From my earliest years, my mother told me stories about her childhood and her life growing up. I heard the stories multiple times, and I heard discussions between my mother and her friends about some of the stories. Kids might not pay attention all the time to the stories the adults around them tell, but eventually, the brain of said kid will mark out a place for “stories my mother told me.” I suppose that is one big reason for the book.
The other reason has to do with history. The older I get, the more I’m intrigued. History happens every day, although many people don’t seem to understand that. As I studied history in school, and then later on when I became interested in books about history, I realized all of us are born, raised, and live our own history. I became fascinated by the history my mother and her parents and grandparents lived through. My mother’s maternal grandparents were born in 1870. Her mother was born in 1896, and she was born in 1919. There’s a lot of history going down during all those years. I thought it might be intriguing to attach their history to the history we’ve all studied at one time or another.
Many folks born after the year 2000 are now considered “adults” and the lives they’ve lived are very remote from the time in which my mother, her mother, and her mother’s mother lived. I believe it helps younger people understand their elders better when they know something about the times in which they grew and developed. Some day, say in about 2040, huge new groups of “young adults” will look back at the stodgy old ways their parents (born in the year 2000) lived their lives. Won’t that be a hoot?
Or maybe— just maybe— they will begin to understand that they are destined to become the relics their parents were, and time marches on.