Ruthann Carr

Tell us about a hobby you have.
I have to pick just one? Okay, I love to grow flowers, press them and arrange them into framed art.
Describe one of the highlights of your life.
I love spending time with my grandsons. I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like. I’m also proud of myself for returning to college and earning a Bachelor’s degree.
Describe one of the biggest surprises of your life.
Being without full-time work for nearly six years at a time in my life I expected to be working and saving for retirement.
Describe one of the tragedies/struggles of your life.
See above. I could go on and on, but I hear discretion is the better part of valor. I’ve never been discreet; now seems like a good time to start.
Describe a dream you have for your future.
Retiring to West Virginia to live in a home my husband and I design and build. To have my children, grandchildren and stepdaughters happily involved in our lives there. I’d love to have published the book I wrote about the last 10 years of my parents’ lives. I dream it will be the start of a successful career as a non-fiction writer.
Describe a fear you have for your future.
Being insignificant.
Here’s your chance to sound off. If you could give one public service announcement or one word of advice to the public at large, what would it be?
Ever since I was young, I’ve been aware that many people are bothered by the differences among us. I was 12 on April 4, 1968 and babysitting with a friend. The children’s grandfather came to drive us home. When we climbed into the car, he said, “They finally got the b*#%@*#d!” (referring to Martin Luther King, Jr.) I was appalled at his crassness and that he could be delighted with anyone’s murder. Years later I had a similar experience when a serial killer whose crimes I covered and who I’d interviewed hung himself. He was still alive when the guards found him. For a couple days he lay in a hospital on life support. I wondered if he was an organ donor, and if so, would people accept his? To my surprise, just about everyone I talked to said no. But if I needed a kidney, I don’t think I would have hesitated. I didn’t see him as fundamentally different from me. I believe we are all the same.
People fascinate me. There is so much to learn, and I think one of the best ways to learn is to surround myself with people who don’t look, worship, vote or think as I do. I’m not saying I’m free from prejudice. Far from it. But I have a firm belief we are more alike than we realize or care to admit. We are all connected. Each of us matters. I believe that living and working in community to make the world a better place is the best thing we can do with our lives. No one has all the answers. It’s so important to stretch yourself – to be open to thoughts and opinions different than yours.

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