Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Wishing Ruth a Happy 104!

Wishing Ruth a Happy 104!

Today, July 7th 2015, marks the 104th birthday of Ruth Ford. As I work my way through what feels like bottomless boxes of papers and photographs that Ruth left behind, I come across lots of little gems to remind me of Ruth’s extraordinary life. I came across this photograph for example, from 1967, in which Ruth is seated with Bobby Short, Tallulah Bankhead and Rex Reed at a table in what looked to be a restaurant. 
Ruth with Bobby Short, Tallulah Bankhead and Rex Reed, 1967.

The matchbooks on the table say “The Living Room,” and doing a little detective work online turned up a few details in an old newspaper clipping. It seems that Ruth and Rex Reed gave a party for Bobby Short, and they asked guests to come either as themselves or as a favorite movie star. This is why Tallulah Bankhead came dressed as Bette Davis. I didn’t know until now that Bette Davis was Tallulah Bankhead’s favorite movie star, but life is much better now that I know.

On the wall behind Ruth is a poster for the movie Forgotten Women, made in 1949. Ruth wasn’t in that one—I checked—but she made her share of movies, and had more than her share of fun, excitement, glamour and evenings like the one in this picture.  What I want to tell her, wherever she is, is that she’ll never be called a Forgotten Woman, not now or ever. I think she would appreciate knowing that. Being forgotten wasn’t Ruth’s style.

Happy Birthday, Ruth. May glamour always be your guide.

JULY 7, 1911 - AUGUST 12, 2011

Indra Tamang
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