The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Community News Network

December 6, 2013

A 67-year-old caroling tradition

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Ruthanna has one son, Thomas Brushart, the Brushart Professor of Hand Surgery and chief of the Orthopedic Hand Surgery Service at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Laughing, he said his primary role during the caroling tradition was "to hold the flashlight so Mother could read the music." A job requiring steady hands, this could have been perfect practice for Brushart's current work sewing nerves together.

In nearly a century, Ruthanna has enjoyed many accomplishments, including helping open the National Museum for Women in the Arts, hosting first ladies at the American Heart Association's annual dinner and welcoming new diplomats with the Meridian International Center.

But her role in starting Kenwood's Christmas caroling tradition may be one of her most remarkable achievements. What makes it so impressive is that it has lasted so long and has brought people together in such a profound and timeless way. The scene calls to mind a Norman Rockwell painting.

So the question on that miserable Christmas Eve last year was whether that tradition was going to continue or end. The rain wasn't letting up, and it was obvious no one else was coming.

"Ready?" Ruthanna said as she gathered the seven of us around her. No way the 97-year-young Ruthanna was going to let this tradition, her tradition — begun before anyone knew the outcome of the Second World War, and continued uninterrupted through many other wars over three generations — come to an end. She had outlasted them all. So, huddled under a pack of umbrellas, our breath adding to the misty fog, we began to sing. The tradition is unbroken.

And no one is betting on this latest tree outlasting her, either.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • 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

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo