In Her Words
Candid profiles of strength told by the women of Northbridge
Throughout the month of March we have collaborated to celebrate Women’s History Month and the rich history of the amazing women living in our communities. Their candid stories are brimming over with love, happiness, passion, family values and the markings of individuals who have truly lived well and loved life.
Ruth’s Story (Resident of Carriage House at Lee's Farm)
What is your name?
What are the names of your parents and brothers and sisters?
My fathers name was Alphonse Kamp, I had a brother and a sister, Joe and Joan.
How did your parents choose your name? Does it have a special meaning? Did you have any nicknames?
I am named after my Godmother who was a very special friend of my family’s. A couple of my nicknames were Kampy and Slugger because I was a tomboy growing up.
When and where were you born?
I was born in Boston in 1927
What kind of things did your family do together when you were young?
We played all kinds of sports together. We went on picnics, to the beach, to the movies, and we played lots of games like Parcheesi!
What did you love to do with your friends?
We played outdoor and indoor games. We liked to explore! We grew up in Roxbury which is obviously a city but we would like to find things outside the city, for example Franklin Park. It had a large variety of wild animals and was a great place to run and have fun!
What schools did you attend? What were your favorite subjects?
Nathan Hill Elementary School, Dilaway, Girls Latin School and Teachers College of the City of Boston. My favorite subjects were math and science.
If married, what is/was your husband’s name? How did he propose?
I married Richard when I was 27. He asked me one day what I wanted for Christmas, I said “I think you know what I want for Christmas.” He said, “We are going to wait on your birthday for that.” He then proposed on my birthday!
What are your children’s names?
I have twins, Margaret and Patricia and then Joannne and Richard.
What are some special memories you have about your children?
My children’s birthdays always had themes. For example, if someone’s birthday was in March, we would have a St. Patrick’s Day birthday party.
Where have you lived?
Boston, Norwood, Milton and Harwichport.
Have you had jobs? What did you do?
I began working when I was 12 years old. I was a waitress, a tutor, and a math teacher.
What are your hidden talents?
I was a good ball player, I was also a good pitcher. I’m also able to read and analyze books. I like to write, but I don’t do much anymore. I love poetry!
What did you do to get through the difficult times in your life?
I talked a lot with my family. My mother was an amazing woman, and I always loved to talk to her. She was very understanding and very empathetic.
Do you have holiday traditions? What do you do for the holidays?
For my kids' birthdays (I know that is not necessarily a holiday) but I would hide clues all over, and they would have to use the clues to try to find their gift.
What are some of your favorite things?
Book-Weathering Heights by Emily Bronte
Song- Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Pet- Dogs and I am also a bird watcher
What are some personal experiences that have especially touched your heart?
There was one day when my family and I were swimming at Charles River and my brother who is 6 years younger then me (I was probably 11 at the time) started to drown and I saved him.
What are your favorite things to do now?
Read, Walk, and Bird Watching
What are your favorite experiences to partake in at your community?
All the social activities, especially playing bridge. I’m looking forward to a knitting group here, I’m hoping that will materialize into something.
What do you hope for your children and grandchildren?
Successful parenting and a world that is peaceful. I also hope for more challenging jobs.
What is your biggest piece of advice?
Enjoy other people and don’t judge them too quickly.
Sum up your personality in one word...