RUBY RIFFLE …
You know by now that Anniston voters, tired of up-chucking over their City Council’s comedy show, have sent most of them home.
I can’t tell you that Ruby Riffle had a hand on the broom because it is a secret ballot, but she showed up and voted.
The rest of that story is Ruby is 100 years old, had to be the oldest voter in Anniston’s municipal elections, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say she was probably the oldest voter in the state this past Tuesday.
Ruby remains active in First Baptist Church and puts music in the hearts of friends by playing the piano now and then at NHC Place where she resides.
A good guess is she was listening to the radio Friday night as Saks lost its opening game of the season.
Not that she’s a big Wildcat fan, but that her son, Harry Butler, did some of the play-by-play for the Wildcats and will do so again this week for the Saks-Wellborn game. That’s on WCKA 810.
‘Course you can date yourself pretty good if you can remember two things.
1. Radio station WSPC.
2. Harry Butler’s voice from there on news, sports, and other things.
Harry left here in 1953, worked radio in Birmingham, Talladega, and Gadsden before hanging up the mike, so to speak. Friday night’s game was Harry’s first in 10 years.
Oh, one other thing … WSPC.
That was the acronym for World Soil Pipe Center which was Anniston … a long time ago.
THE OLD soldiers who went off to World II and came back are leaving swiftly. I read somewhere that they are dying at the rate of 1000 per week.
Artemus Gay was one.
Mr. Gay, who called Cleburne County home, hit Normandy on D-Day plus 2, was severely wounded in the drive across France into Germany. Before that, he was also at Anzio.
I first heard of Mr. Gay in reading Danny McCarty’s book, Men and Women Who Served With Valor. In the book, Danny told the stories of 60 such survivors of World War II.
Mr. Gay, 91, died without a lot of notice Aug. 24 and I’d like to pass along just a couple of lines from an email sent to me by his daughter-in-law, Reba Gay:
“His granddaughter said he just took a deep breath and died. I can’t tell you how much we will miss him. He was a wonderful man, and he always treated me more like a daughter than a daughter-in-law.”
If you’ll read those lines again and take a moment to think about what she’s saying … well … there’s more than just the three sentences.
ANOTHER QUIET going-away a week or so back was that of Della Webb, who called Saks home.
She was a quiet, dignified lady, who was just a few weeks shy of her 105th birthday.
Mrs. Webb was also the mother of the late Donald Webb, a really good guy who was fine basketball coach at Spring Garden for a number of years before becoming a principal.
Don was a good friend of mine from the years I was doing sports for this newspaper.
YOU THINK things haven’t changed since you wore football pads?
Friday, while discussing a college football team, ESPN’s Jesse Palmer had this to say:
“They’re not very big across the front. They only average 289-and-a-half pounds.”
Two of those would probably have outweighed the entire line at, say, Ohatchee back in 1952.
Have a nice day …
George Smith may be reached at 256-239-5682 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org