|Love at first sight for both of us|
Middlesboro, Kentucky, 1961
Myrtle Ruth Lane was her full given name, though I didn't know that until I was a teenager. (Aunt Ruth hated the name "Myrtle," and she never wanted my mom to tell me that was her name.) Ruth Lane was the seventh of William and Martha Lane's children, and was nine years older than my mom, Betty. Ruth was born on January 25, 1917, in Eagan, Tennessee, another small coal mining community close to the Tennessee-Kentucky border.
|M.yrtle Ruth Williamson|
After graduating from Lafollette (TN) High School, Aunt Ruth attended Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, for a couple of years. She played basketball while at LMU and this was when women were only allowed to play half-court. They played only offense or defense and only on one end of the court. At the time, full court play was considered too taxing for women.
In 1940, according to the U. S. Federal Census, Ruth, then age 24, was living at her parents' home in Middlesboro, Kentucky, and working as an assistant photographer.
|Joe and Ruth Lane Williamson|
Aunt Ruth married Joe Williamson and they settled down in a log house on Pinnacle Road just outside of Middlesboro, Kentucky. Their first child, Betty Jo, was born in 1942. Joe enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1943 and fought in World War II, while Aunt Ruth continued to work and raise her daughter. In 1949, a second daughter, Cynthia Ann, was stillborn. Joe and Aunt Ruth divorced soon after.
|Ruth Lane Williamson and|
Betty Jo Williamson
|Me and my Aunt Ruth|
Christmas Morning, c. 1978
|Ruth Lane Williamson|