Tahlequah Daily Press

Get the scoop!

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
Get the scoop!
Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Stocks