The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Community News Network

December 6, 2013

A 67-year-old caroling tradition

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

The Navy catapulted her into a hidden world, a world of intrigue. After training, Ruthanna was assigned as an instructor in cryptology at the officer training school at Smith College in Massachusetts. Ruthanna was part of a tiny, highly classified, elite corps. Lives depended on the accuracy of the information it encoded. Ruthanna and the women she taught worked for hours every day, pushing for 100 percent accuracy. The material they worked with was so sensitive they burned everything at the end of each day. "It was very, very hush-hush, very, very secret," Ruthanna recalls.

But not even the war interrupted Ruthanna's music. Almost as soon as she arrived at Smith, she was asked to serve as music director for the WAVES choir. She held that position throughout her service, and even wrote the school's WAVES songbook.

A year after joining the Navy, Ruthanna met her first husband, Marshall Brushart, an oral surgeon, through mutual friends. A few months later on Dec. 4, 1943, the two married and moved into Brushart's new home in a neighborhood that was considered rural: Kenwood. Ruthanna has for 70 years lived in this house at the top of Highland Drive — untouched by renovations and with the floorboards her first husband pegged. The last 30 she has been by herself, having outlived both her husbands.

Little did Ruthanna know in 1943 how important this new community would become to her, and what an important part of the community she would be. From the moment she arrived, Ruthanna has participated in most neighborhood events. Or, more accurately, started many of them. And one in particular is one of Kenwood's most cherished.

"Kenwood is a great place to live," said Bob Shaffer, a real estate agent and former president of the Kenwood Citizens Association. "People don't know how warm the neighborhood is until they live here."

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014