Page 4 - Scene Magazine 46-02 February 2021
P. 4

As Scene By
  or, if he was trying to teach me about having manners... because I never thought to ask.
Zoom ahead 20 years to my new girl gang. My Mom found them for me. Frances Thorton, Liz Neumeyer, and Mary Butler. They were the sturdy columns at Battle Creek’s Historical Society. These girls and their fellow historians decided it was time to publish some books about Battle Creek’s history. They’d need somebody to put their words and pictures together to make Battle Creek’s history come back to life. They chose me.
A well placed, but awful pun, or
maybe a soft-spoken critique, dripping
with sarcasm. I knew how to get “the look.” Oh, she’d peer over her glasses expecting
a stumbled reaction... but my wide, guilty smile would always be my admission for coaxing “the look.”
So... pick a year. Let’s say from 1965, to gosh, maybe, 1972. Doesn’t matter which of those year’s you pick. That span of time is... my childhood. It’s also when everybody got to ride on the new expressways!
Mary would smile back at me, then,
turn sideways. Waive her hand at me with her ever-present pen between her fingers, smoothed her hair back to the knot on top of her head, and said... “Rick DeRuiter, what are we gonna do about you?” I sure did love Mary Butler.
Zoom ahead 30 years... I’m having Sunday’s lunch with my new girl gang. It’s become a tradition these days to share my lunch on Sunday with my wife, my daugh- ter, and my granddaughter.
So... my mother’s side of the family will be visiting today. The girls are in the kitchen having FUN! The guys are in the living room comparing the strategy they used to get to our house from Grand Rapids.
It was like being home. I was a prince, a king of kings. They loved me. The “usual” meetings were mostly details I couldn’t help with, but the after dinner hours, when Mary, and I had to pour over piles of pictures, or had to rewrite a paragraph five times... it was those times, yep, those times that fill my heart with pride when I think about how hard Mary and I worked. Oh, we laughed plenty, too – I promise!
So... I’m a kid. I’m not gonna lie – peeling potatoes, and peeling carrots, and chopping onions – ain’t fun. But it was with the girls! My dad would finally relax his hands and let me run off. Compassion? Or, maybe it was the fear that I was about to embarrass him with a coy remark. I don’t know – because I never thought to ask.
When you turn to page 15 of this issue of Scene you will find a mention, and an important picture of... “the look.” Now,
Here’s a circle of life moment –
the only girl that laughs now at every- thing I say... isn’t even three-years-old. Is she an old soul? Or were all my girl gangs filled with young hearts? I’ve never thought to ask.
Do you know who LOVED coy remarks? The girls! It didn’t matter what I said...
Be a super sleuth... join the ongoing hunt for Rick DeRuiter
Pour through the pages of Scene this month and find the
elusive DeRuiter. Warn your friends. Warn your neighbors. He’s in there somewhere, waiting for the one lucky detective to find him!
LOOK! - Now you can e-mail your detective work too! Include your name, daytime phone, and what page you found him.
OR on-line at...
I could feel my dad’s fingers bite into my shoulders.
I needed desperately to get away. Oh, he wanted to get away, too! I’ll never know if he just didn’t wan- na be left there alone,
I was a prince... a king of kings. They loved me! There was my Mom of course, my aunt Jerrie, my aunt Bev, and my grandma... those are the girls. They’re wearing aprons, slinging paring knives, teaching me how to cook, laughing at what I said, and... HAVING FUN!
there would be some folks who could find “the look” to be a little intimidating. But not me – I LOVED IT! In fact, during our time together I would carefully plan when
One of the Girls!
I might be able coax Mary into giving me “the look.”
  Have you found him in this issue?
If yes, call Scene at 979-1410 ext. 307 or email to have your name entered in the drawing to receive A GIFT CERTIFICATE TO A LOCAL BUSINESS. You must make your discovery by March 5, 2021 and the winner will be announced in the next issue of Scene!

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