Ruth Truett was born on December 11, 1924, and at 88 years young has a favorite saying: “We go on, and we do the best we can.” She grew up in Cullman County, and her dad was in sales. She married as a young teenager, and had one child from that marriage. He went on to become a Colonel in the United States Army, and his name is Howard Hicks.
She remarried, and after her husband Howard returned from serving in the Philippines during WWII, they ran a general mercantile and gas station near Heflin, AL for “many years.” That took up most of her time. She says she “didn’t enjoy cooking, but her husband didn’t complain.” She also added, “I like chicken, if someone else cooks it. You can’t beat fried chicken.”
Miss Ruth is a lifelong Baptist, and attended Union Hill Baptist church in Cleburn County. She pokes fun at her own denomination and says, with a chuckle, “Baptists are the most stubborn people in the world; we’re set in our ways.”
Her son Harold and his wife Pat had two boys, Keith and Jay Hicks, and she has several great grands. She describes Harold as “a fine son, couldn’t ask for no better, even if I picked him out myself.”
Without a moment’s hesitation she told me her favorite color is red and her favorite movie is “Gone With The Wind.” She loved Gregory Peck’s performance in “To Kill A Mockingbird.” I told her I wholeheartedly agreed with her, and that it is one of my favorites, too.
Her favorite President? “Bill Clinton, because he seemed so down to earth.” Her least favorite President? “Harry Truman, because I never felt like I knew very much about him.”
Her favorite Bible verses? John 3:16 and Psalms 23.
She was told by her mother, “Date no soldiers.” Apparently that was not advice she chose to follow, but she does have advice for young people: “Make it count, and do your best.”
She continued on, “I try to be patriotic and to support soldiers.” The biggest change she has seen in her lifetime? “I think that things have smoothed over and got better.”
In regards to her life at Athens Rehab she says, “Couldn’t ask for nothin’ no better.” She went on to tell me that she “likes to play Rook, and they say I am a champion.” She also said of the staff, “They are nice people.” Indeed, while we were chatting, two attendants came in to take Miss Ruth for her walk, and were so polite about coming back after we were finished with the interview.
After they left, she waxed philosophical again and said, “You know, you be good to people, most of the time they’ll be good to you.” I couldn’t agree more, Miss Ruth, and I am glad you are happy in your new digs.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner