Karen King, who is at least a third generation Rustonite, has shared some of her family's story. She is inviting others to share theirs as well at what will hopefully be the first of many reminiscing times just before the Council study session on the fire department's future:
Come to the next meeting on: Monday, Jan. 14th
At: 6 pm
Your neighbors, the Algeos and the Kings at 5227 No. Winnifred invite you to our home prior to the work session on the 14th, to share your memories of Ruston over coffee & light refreshments. Then we can walk to the meeting together (or ride) and listen to the "powers that be" - then chorus our "Keep Ruston” opinions.
A Sense of History
by Karen King
While reading the article Asarco: The End of an Era by EVE BYRON - Independent Record - 11/11/07 I realized that the Town of Ruston is almost a mirror image of East Helena, Mt. The article highlighted the legacy this small community, now all but a ghost town, inherited from ASARCO after the smelter was closed. And while reading about East Helena and comparing it to our Town of Ruston, I realized that all too soon our community will also have lost its history unless we embrace the past and insist on keeping the past alive.
As a young child living in my grandmother’s home, I can remember so many things about growing up in this town, both good and bad. Living in Ruston we had the extended family, three generations living together under one roof. It included my grandmother, mother, three uncles, (an aunt who was already gone), and me and my two sisters. Eight people living together under one roof and only one bathroom! How did we ever manage? The extended family wasn’t unusual for the times, as many families were just like ours. My grandmother became a widow at an early age, and besides raising three sons and two daughters, she now had responsibility for me and my two sisters, while my mother worked two and three jobs.
Memories are wonderful because we tend to remember the best of times, the roar of the lions before feeding time heard all the way to Ruston School; or my aunt going off to nursing school and two older uncles off to the navy, leaving us with our youngest uncle, Ed. He seemed more like an older brother to us since he was so close to his nieces in age.
What a devil he was, always pulling pranks and the incessant teasing. Now I think back to that time and realize how difficult it must have been to have lost his father (my grandfather) as such a young boy. On the other hand, I remember my oldest uncle, Rick, occupying the bathroom for hours on end come Friday and Saturday nights, anticipating dancing with the girls at the Big Bad Wolf until the wee hours of the morning then hitting the Three Pigs (both now Ruston Inn) for some early morning breakfast. I also remember my other uncle, Tom, serving in the Navy, then returning home sharing his bigger than life stories of travels and adventures around the world. My aunt, Mary Jane, was attending nursing school, living and working with another family in order to pay her way through school.
Ruston was a tight knit community settled by immigrants who came to this small company town more than a hundred years ago. These were our ancestors, great grandparents, and grandparents. As time passes and more of the old time residents die off, a little more of the history and flavor of this community is lost. It saddens me to think that we’re losing our sense of history and soon Ruston will be just another bedroom community of Tacoma, an extension with no distinction.