Ruth Fontaine Scott (Ma)
born: December 12, 1887
in Paris, Arkansas
died: March 14, 1976
married: Jan 22, 1908, Walter Lee Scott
pictured at right: 1904 at age 16
(high school graduation)
Ruth Fontaine had a sister and three brothers, but brother Charlie died as and
infant. Here is a picture of Ruth at 12 years old (in
1900?) pictured with Aunt Diva, Uncle David and Uncle Jess.
This letter from Mary Peyton Dent of Los Angeles to William Allen Scott of Stith Valley in 1943 mentions Ma's visit during the trip described below.
|At right: Ma with Lottie Wilson in Los Angeles November 1941 just before
BUS TRIP TO CALIFORNIA OCTOBER @ NOVEMBER 1941
I'm sold--completely sold on bus travel--and Greyhound at that. Lottie Wilson and I have been traveling by bus for 8 days, and feel fresh as lilies yet! When I announced at home that I was going to California - friends said "by train or plane?" they lifted their eyebrows and said "how dreadful".
All my days have wanted to see California--but kept debating with myself the safe way to cross the Rockies--but why not shut my eyes and try it - and have I!
The Westerners had really gotten ready for us-- Such lovely bus stops, modern rest rooms, and real restaurants. ( At our every two hour stops I would find rest rooms and Lottie would consume a coke and ham sandwich.)
The most courteous bus drivers--but they are every where. At a stop in Oklahoma a driver rolled baby buggy to door as mother had arm full. We spent four nights on bus - and had things down to a fine point. (This was on way out ) At the half hour stop in morning we showered changed clothes, and even washed stockings. To dry them? Pin them to towel on seat in front! We were glad we had taken a cushion, wool motor robe, sweater. Besides used bus pillows.
We spent two weeks in Los Angeles traveled 7,000 miles in 6 weeks.
Written in L.A. Ruth F Scott - Lottie Wilson
More on trip from letter from Ma to Mary and Rena Lou.
Notes from Aunt Alice (Minnie Alice Bondurant Scott), August 1, 1998:
I want to say something about the white dress in some of
the old pictures. Ma had a beautiful white dress that had been her graduation dress. She
attended high school in Arkansas and graduated there. It was customary for girls to wear
white dresses for that occasion, usually an especially nice one. Ma's was made with a
fitted bodice and a full skirt with ruffles and, if I remember right, it had lace on the
ruffles, or maybe it was embroidery. We can only imagine that a skilled seamstress in
Arkansas made it for her, and since Ma's father doted on her, he probably did not spare
the expense, being a lawyer on the frontier where land business was thriving. Her mother
would have been quite busy with several small children, and the work on the dress
indicated a specialized workmanship. The dress was at Ma's house in Brandenburg when Jack
and I were married in 1941. It was put away carefully in the closet, but Ma would get it
out occasionally and let us look at it. Young girls and women in the family especially
enjoyed seeing it. She lent it to girls to wear in plays or other performances on stage,
always with the implication that it was very valuable, and proper care should be taken. In
later years Ma could remember only that she had lent it to someone (perhaps a renter's
daughter) , but she could not remember whether or not it came back. The war was in full
swing, the sons going off to war, all of us in a most transitional time, living here and
there, and with all of that Ma went to work herself, teaching, and then to work in
Washington, so that she really did not think of the dress for a long time. And then she
could not find it. So it is a thing of stories, of drama, of romance; but it was
quite real, and a few of us remember the times when she would let girls have their
pictures made in it. I believe it may be the dress Jessie is wearing in a photo you
reproduced recently. When we find Ma's graduation picture, we will know for sure. You may
have already found the picture; otherwise, we will look here in some old boxes.
Ma's life in Arkansas is a story in itself; I mean her childhood, riding Indian ponies across "the line" into Indian Territory, attending the convent school where she learned fine needlework and beautiful table manners, and trying to get out of work at home. I always liked to hear her tell of those days.