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January 1, 2016 • Welcome, weary web traveler! You’ve come upon the blog chronicling a very interesting time in the life of Deepwell USA – the years from late 2009 to the end of 2015, when a strange last will and testament by someone named Ruby Wood wrought some pretty far-reaching changes in our town. If you haven’t yet been to RubysBequest.org, make sure you do so – that’s where all the action took place. (And if you think something’s amiss, better read this.)

Deepwell mourns its friend

Deepwell mourns its friend

As the people of Deepwell struggled with the challenges posed by Ruby’s will, they posted their thoughts here in this blog – as well as events in their lives and the occasional bit of news about the bequest. Most of it is mundane I guess, but some of it I find quite profound. It’s all in reverse chrono order, so best if you start with the oldest posts and work your way up.

But maybe you don’t want to read it. You’re time-pressured, darn it! You shout, “Etta, GET TO THE POINT!” Okay. The point is: It was really hard to think about caring – but it was really necessary, too. It was really hard to talk to others about caring – but that was really necessary, too. In the end, thanks to the hundreds of people who shared, some amazing things happened and some really true things were revealed about the future of caring.

I especially want to thank the people who wrote to us about loss, who gifted us with wisdom they learned through hard experience. Because we in Deepwell are in loss today – one among us, Phil Geddings, has died of leukemia. You don’t know Phil – he didn’t post to this blog, or end up telling his story at Ruby’s Bequest. Like so many people, he was too caught up in caring for real to afford the luxury of talking about it in the abstract. But most of us here in Deepwell knew Phil, many of us worked with him (or wanted to).  He was one of those people you can openly like right away – he was so clearly a team player, and everyone was on his team. Regarding Ruby’s Bequest, he was very much with us in spirit – he still is – and our hearts go out to his family and friends.  Photo by Shad0.

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lamps
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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Here’s the answering machine message from Ashleye Blackbourne, the lawyer. This is not anywhere near what I expected on sooo many levels.

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Dec 31, 2009 • Time to poke a stick into the Spokes of Rumor which has apparently been spinning overtime over the holidays. Below is what has happened so far – everything else is exaggeration and confabulation:

Dec. 7 – Keith gets a call from a woman, pretty pushy and lawyery-sounding, who tells him that Ruby Wood has left the town of Deepwell a “substantial” sum of money but there are conditions and “I would begin examining how you take of your citizens if I were you” (Keith paraphrase). She may have said more but you know how Keith gets.

Dec. 11 – Mari sits down with Keith and they manage to find the lawyer (Keith wrote her name down wrong). She’s in LA. We try calling but the legal secretrary won’t put us through, tries telling us “there’s no more new information” in the case.

Dec. 14 – Over the weekend we come to the conclusion that this has got to be some kind of prank. Marta calls her son Don who lives near LA and asks him to check out this law office. Don of course fobs the job onto his wife, Sophie, and she goes and finds the office is real, the woman is real, and apparently the bequest is real and “substantial.”

Dec. 18 – While searching for the lawyer Mari had sent an email to a guy at the LA Times, and he or some other reporter calls back wanting to know more. She’s at the farm so he leaves a message.

Pre-Holidays: people go a bit nuts saying we need to get lawyers and sue sue sue, as if they were going to get any of this money personally and waiting a month or two would be fatal. Calmer heads prevail, however.

Holiday: different folks go a bit nuts in another direction and Ruby is now (a) a Soprano (b) a Roosevelt (c) a remorseful wife of an investment banker (my favorite) and (d) connected to the Obama campaign. Somebody TOTALLY MAKES UP the number “One point two billion” and now everyone is quoting it like gospel?

That brings y’all up to date. Cool your jets. Happy New Year, everyone.

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