The Story Of Ruth

By  John Derby
Times Publisher

November 17, 2016

Thirteen years ago, Ruth Reyes was a sophomore at Atwater High when she showed up for her first day of work at the office of the Atwater-Winton Times newspaper.
It was all new to her because she had never had a real job which paid a wage.
She had been recommended by Erma Wentz, an English teacher who said she was a “ bright” girl.
She took to the job naturally, and before long was managing the legal desk for the newspaper.
This was not easy, because it was just when the housing market crashed, and there were long foreclosure notices which needed to be typed perfectly for publication.
The “legals” were the savior for the newspaper because the country was knee deep in recession, and many businesses were closing.
Castle Air Force Base had closed in 1995, and the full impact of that closure was being felt.
At the time, we were still publishing nine weekly newspapers a week, with one Hispanic paper called El Tiempo, and Ruth who spoke excellent Spanish was a Godsend to the company.
Everyone liked her because she was so cool, calm, and collected in a business which was anything but cool and calm, specially when every day deadlines had to be met.
She kept her legal desk humming, and after school let out, she continued to work through the summer and the next winter.
When she graduated from high school we gave her a college scholarship.
We had a motive, however, because we wanted to keep Ruth as a permanent member of the staff once she graduated.
However, that was not meant to be. Ruth had her heart set on becoming a nurse.
That meant another six years after high school, but Ruth was up to it, and loved the challenge.
She attended Stanislaus State and interned at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock.
This was exceptionally hard work, and more than once she told us she wished she had stayed at her job with the newspaper.
Her life was changing in many ways, and she met and married Jose, a fine young man who adored her and who was hired by the Winton Elementary School as a teacher.
Ruth was now well into her nursing career at Emanuel Medical Center, and seldom did she have time to stop by the newspaper office.
We didn’t see her for several years, but we heard that she was working in surgery at the medical center.
Many of our readers may have heard that not long ago, we were diagnosed with colon cancer, and our surgeon, Dr. Bailie, performed all his surgery at Emanuel.
Two weeks ago he scheduled us for surgery and we checked into Emanuel. The surgery was preformed without problem, and we were moved to one of the surgical floors for recuperation.
As part of the recuperation, it was very important to start walking as soon as possible, and while on one of our walks, we met a nurse, and asked: “Do you know Ruth Olguin (Ruth's married name).
“Yes,” came the reply, “Everyone knows Ruth. She is a wonderful nurse.”
“In fact, Ruth will be the head nurse on your floor Thursday night.”
When Thursday night came, it was like a class reunion with the one-time sophomore, who was now all grown up and professional, and the old publisher who now was under her care.
And that’s the story of Ruth.


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