Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

May 1, 2015 •
…And no, she isn’t “all of us” or some similar sentiment. She was real, and she lived in Deepwell, and I know almost all of the story. Grab a cup of tea or some popcorn, and settle in; it’s storytime.

Honestly, I had given up. Padma and I hit a brick wall in our database inquiries a few years ago, and with all the other things going on in town and my PODCare commitments, I just didn’t have the time or the energy to push further. I knew Ruby must be an alias, or a nom de plume, but I wasn’t getting any hits on that name. Then Nora went to France with her French class for their new Study and Care Abroad program. She came back with a charming accent and an iPod full of French music, among other things. The evening she returned home, she hung out in the kitchen with Brian and me, chattering away about the Louvre, and volunteering at l’hôpital, and plugged her iPod into the dock so she could set the mood. While we made supper (bouillabaisse, in Nora’s honor) we listened to Charles Aznavour, and Edith Piaf, and even some Maurice Chevalier. Then the song, “Puits profond de mon coeur,” poured into the room, with a smoky, sad voice. It’s been a long time since my one year of high school French, but even I could recognize the words “deep” and “well.” Oh yeah, Nora exclaimed, I thought that was cool, a French song with “deep well” in the title. It’s by an old singer named Rubi du Bois. I dropped my ladle in shock. It couldn’t be a coincidence!

So now I had a name and a place. Rubi du Bois in Paris, circa 1970, the year the song came out.  Was this really our Ruby?  I learned everything I could about her, depending on Nora and Google to translate as most of the material I found was in French.  The best I could piece together was that Rubi had moved to Paris in the 60s, and, most important, there was a mention of a sister named Evelyn who lived in Chicago.  I knew I was on the right track.  Evelyn must have lived in Deepwell at some point.

There haven’t been that many Evelyns in Deepwell over the years, which helped.  If you’ve lived in Deepwell for as long as MeelieSue and Brian’s parents and a few others have, you may have heard the sad story of Richard and Evelyn Broward.  That family was in the newspaper quite a few times over the years, none of it good.  Out of respect for the family, I’ll not repeat the stories here, but the curious can come down to the library and read the microfiche just like I did.  Just keep in mind that this is someone’s personal history, and there is still a lot of pain out there.

So things being what they are, I have put faces to those long-ago names and I know something that Etta doesn’t, for probably the first time since we both moved to Deepwell, heh. Ruby was originally Rosemary, and she is Etta’s aunt.

Rosemary Alice Carr, aka Rubi du Bois, aka Ruby Wood, died September 12, 2009 in Paris, and was cremated and interred there, the only place she truly felt at home.  Her gift to Deepwell was her attempt to reconcile with her past, and give hope for the future.  There is one other person who plays a part in this story, but I think she needs to tell her side of things for herself.  And no, it’s not Etta.  Although I’m sure Etta has a few questions of her own.

R, if you’re out there and you’re reading this, please speak up.

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Dec 18, 2013 •

It’s weird not going home for the whole holiday.

And to be quite honest, I haven’t really felt like Deepwell has truly been my home in maybe the last year or so.

I know, before you start yelling at me, take a listen: it’s that I don’t feel like I deserve it. The timing was sort of terrible, you know? Here I am, just some ordinary kid (my theory is that I am a kid until at LEAST 30), feeling the borders of my town closing around me like a big hug or some similar metaphor, and then Ruby comes along and questions that.

At that age, I guess, it was stereotypically time for ME to to question things. Mostly, I was irritated at Ruby, and then I began to see what she meant. And then I left to go to college, and I found out how much I liked words (essays were the WORST for me in high school), and how much I liked the world getting bigger, and suddenly no borders could hold me. Deepwell was a place where life continued to happen, but it was all stuff I thought I had already figured out. I had new people to get to know, to get to care about in my own way in all of my classes, in every roller derby in the hallway outside my dorm room.

You wonder sometimes why it’s hard to get younger people into caring? Well, I’ll tell you one reason: their worlds open up, and suddenly, there is so much new stuff, there is so much to do! Slowing down and returning home feels impossible, sometimes backwards. It takes a great effort for me to maintain a grip on all of the pieces of me that are scattered at home and all over Deepwell and in the dorms at school, and each lecture hall on campus. Because I am healthy, my brain often tricks me into feeling invincible. It’s in all the coming of age stories. It’s one of the first things they teach you – the nasty downside of The Hero’s Journey.

And now, I am heading to Ithaca.

Why Ithaca?

I was actually home for the weekend recently for an engagement party for my sis when I ran into Kerrek at the library. He was on the computer getting his internet time in, like he always does, and he had maps up on the screen of New York State. He was pointing and smiling, and said that there was a ‘an old Deepwell of the future’ there.

Intrigued, I grabbed the terminal next to his, and did my own search.


The HOURS of Ithaca.

Part of me wants to go just because I can’t believe it. How can a town thrive on what essentially amounts to paying for your groceries with Monopoly Money? Part of me wants to feel inspired by it – maybe I can find a piece of my own Deepwell in a new place, and then I will feel less guilty about coming home from now on.

Plus, uhhhhhhhhhhhhh, there may or may not be a cute girl who lives in Rochester who’s in my Math recitation on Tuesdays.

Look, I wasn’t kidding about the world opening up, OK? I’m multi-tasking, here!

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Mar 6, 2010 • Ruby is not, repeat NOT related to the Jacksons. I’ve gone back through five generations and there is no Ruby Wood anywhere in there. The closest thing I could find was a Ruletta back on Chance Jackson’s side, but no Ruby. RULETTA not RUBY.

So Tubby, you can take a breather.

Next theory?

Oh, and Padma has too many hits for “Wood” on her dbs so that avenue is going to take a little longer to go through. I am helping her narrow her results.

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Feb 18, 2010 • I’ve been combing through the town records when I get a few minutes, but there’s nothing about a Ruby Wood living anywhere in town in the most recent census. I’m starting to dig deeper into the historical records, but it’s slow work since nothing is computerized, so if anyone has a few minutes come stop by the library and grab a book or two. I am getting asthma from the dust! Also, I have a sister-in-law who works at the university library in the city–I’ll ask her to look too. Heaven knows she has access to more databases than I do here.

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