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09 April 1911

Today is my Mom's birthday, she would have been 104.

Ruth Colton Ballard Butler.

She passed in 1996. One of the things that will always be endearing is that she supported my theater work both in high school and later on, through many years...while Dad certainly did NOT. It surprised me a little to find out about her own arts background, performing arts/music/piano. Though she'd been the only girl in a band of brothers, and they had all grown up on a farm in rural Georgia, Vermont --- after a year at BFA in St. Albans, she transferred to Montpelier Seminary in the state capital, won faculty prizes as a freshwoman, graduated in 1930. M-Seminary is now Union College, it's still there. So is the stage she performed on, lots of warm vibes when I went to visit in 2004.

Went off to the big city of Boston (where I live now), earned a lifetime degree in K-6 playground supervision and teaching, at a private school. Perry Kindergarten Normal School still exists too, not in the location she knew but as part of Curry College, also very much there.

She outlived my father by 23 years and everyone in Burlington who uses the public Fletcher Free Library benefits from her work: Fletcher is a Carnegie Library and it was built in the 1900's partially atop a submerged creek for some reason... Mom was a vital sparkplug in not only raising money to save and restore the old building, but also raising money to build a new state-of-the art addition on the east side. Multifloor, open shelves, meeting rooms, a computer research center. When I'd moved back to Vermont, briefly, before moving on to Europe, I used both buildings for rehearsals and performances of original work.

Mom loves kids and I know she's working on lesson plans somewhere, right now, as you read this.

The old truism comes to mind: A teacher affects eternity, you can never tell where her influence stops.

And a journalFriend and theatre actress/makeup specialist from Vancouver, Eva, died of CF five years ago, she's here in LJ as 65_redroses (which is how kids first pronounce "cystic fibrosis".) Eva said:

I will live forever in the hearts of those who love me.

Blessings Be.

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