Mrs. Ruby Didn’t Come to Florence, Florence Came to Mrs. Ruby

by The Flossip on May 5, 2009

in Famous Florentines


She sat across from me at the kitchen table, her eyes still bright, her mind still sharp.  The walker and pink pajamas during the day are the only indication that age is catching up with her.  She is a wisp of a woman, formidable still at half my size.  Looking at her, it is hard for me to believe that this tiny, elderly woman has sparked decades of rumors and half truths.
I begin by telling Mrs. Ruby that I am there because she is a Florence legend and people are interested in her.   She looks at me as if she is surprised. For a minute, I falter.  Do I tell her the rumors?  Do I ask her the unaskable questions?   I pause, unsure of my next step. Her son brings her a plate of lunch and places it in front of her.  The food is ignored as she begins to tell me the story that is her life.
Mrs. Ruby was born in Evergreen, outside of Florence.  She was the seventh child, born in the seventh month in 1923.  Her father did not like to stay in one place long, so they moved around a lot as she was growing up.  She mainly remembers her life after they moved to Darlington.  I listen without asking any of the questions on my list.  I quickly realize that she will tell her story in her own time.
Mrs.  Ruby was barely a teenager, a young woman coming of age during a time when money was tight and everyone worked hard for every penny.  She worked hard, her mother worked hard, everyone worked hard.   One of her most vivid memories was of a traveling Bible salesman that she met.  He was going around selling bibles to raise money for the seminary.  Every day he would pass by their house in Darlington, and she would invite him over to sit a spell.  They would sit together and chat on the loveseat outside.  Ruby felt like that young man was going to make an amazing preacher one day.  Later on, she was delighted when she started to hear that same young man was being well received across the South. His name was Billy Graham, and he left quite the impact on a young Ruby.  She talks about her faith freely and openly throughout the day.
It wasn’t long after meeting Billy Graham that her life changed forever. Her expression changes, and I see sadness when she tells me about the day her mother was injured.  Her mother was working in a field picking cotton and fell down. It wasn’t even a bad fall, but when she fell, a cotton stalk went through her mother’s eye.  Her mother spent a long time in the hospital, and came home an invalid and never walked again.  Her father died shortly thereafter from a stroke, effectively ending any source of support for Ruby or her mother.  Ruby grew up in an instant, transforming from the child to the mother and spent the next twenty years caring for her mother.

Ruby was always beautiful, though more important than her beauty was her brain. She was savvy in the financial arena, realizing quickly that she needed property to have financial stability. She worked shifts at the Boston Café on North Dargan Street in Florence and saved her tips carefully. She bought her first piece of property at 16 years old, moving her mother to a small house in Florence. That first house cemented her future as a player in Florence County real estate. She would pay off a piece of property and then scour the newspaper for auction sales. Her first love was farming, and she bought as much farmland as she could. She would buy land with timber, immediately clear the timber and pay off the land.
When she was a young woman, she met a nice young man named Joe one afternoon at a gas station. She stopped to get gas and stayed to eat watermelon with the young, charming owner. It wasn’t long before they married and had three children. Their oldest son served in Vietnam and later died from probable effects of Agent Orange. As we talk it is obvious that his death is still a troubled spot in her memory and her brow puckers as she relives the pain of the death of a child. Her son Kenny and her daughter still live in Florence.
It didn’t take long for her to make a name for herself as a farmer and landowner. People would flock to her truck in the afternoon to buy her goods. She smiled as she recollected a day when she realized they were going to be short on butterbeans. Without missing a beat she hopped in her truck and drove to the farmers market in Columbia. She bought 50 bushels of butter beans and headed back to Florence. Her husband was visibly relieved when she pulled up, he didn’t think she would be back in time. “I had to pull over” she told him, “and take the lids off so that it looked like the butterbeans were picked here.” All 50 bushels were bought immediately with no one being the wiser.
Men would ask her opinion and advice on land transactions and business deals. She would loan money, interest free, if she felt the investment was sound and would help someone get ahead. She enjoyed recounting the loans she made. I was amazed at the joy she had joy in their success. No matter how successful the business venture was, Mrs. Ruby never felt they owed her anything more than a straight repayment of the loan.
Mrs. Ruby’s life changed again when her mother died. She was used to caring for her mother day in and day out, so much so that she would literally pick her mother up and carry her to church on Sunday. “I was strong” she tells me simply. I know she had to have been, because the consistency of her life has always revolved around work. Farming, selling vegetables, providing for her family are the stalwarts of her life. After her mother passed away, Ruby decided that she was going to buy a car. She custom ordered the infamous pink Cadillac as a present to herself. When she “talked to the people at Cadillac, they told me that they had to make two Cadillacs at one time”. The other Cadillac that came off the line with hers was bought by Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, Elvis’ Cadillac died about three months after he bought it. As we talk, I watch her family move in and out. They add a bit to the story here and there, prompt her memory when necessary. The kitchen table is a comfortable spot; the family is open and welcoming. There is love here, a lot of love, but there is sadness. There are unasked questions and they silently wonder if I am going to ask them. They have lived their entire lives and raised their families under a shadow of suspicion and wonder. They read comments on Facebook, and they live in a town that does not know the real Ruby and has never cared enough to find out.

The conversation moves on to the time that she bought what she calls the corner house. The corner house now sits at the intersection of Cashua and Second Loop. When she bought the house, it was at the dead end of Second Loop; the road ended at Mrs. Ruby’s. The house was on sale at auction, the previous owner had come upon hard times. She looks at me then and tells me that no one would bid on the house at the auction and she had to bid against herself in order to buy it. Her son Kenny asks her to explain why no one would bid on the house. Mrs. Ruby pauses as if she hates to tell me. “No one would buy it because ___________** lived there.” That is all she says, as if that answers all the questions. Another prompt from Kenny, “Why is that?” She gets a twinkle in her eye then, she tells me “OH!! Well, she had GIRLS there!” I can’t help but laugh with her, her laughter is contagious. I also can’t resist asking, “What KIND of girls?” “You KNOW”, she replies but still hesitates to say the word. She leans closer as whispering, “The previous owner had prostitutes living there.” I ask her then, “You mean that is what the house was when you bought it?” There is no hesitation in her voice now, “It sure was. No one else would touch it for that reason, but I loved the corner house and I got it for a deal.” Her son looks at me then and quips, “Got it for a deal then, but paid for it for the rest of her life.”
Kenny is right of course, there is no price to be put on what stories then followed. Ruby doesn’t seem bothered. She is a simple woman, who does what she believes in and believes in what she does. I don’t think the opinions of others are high on the list of things that Mrs. Ruby worries about. Perhaps, the words of Margaret Mitchell are true of Mrs. Ruby, “Until you lose your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.”
Mrs. Ruby tells me of the late night knocks on her door. The caller would inevitably wonder what happed to the prior owner, and Mrs. Ruby would tell them through the door “If you want her or her girls, you better head on to Bennettsville, because that is where they moved.” She looks at me earnestly then, “I couldn’t live it down that I wasn’t a madame.” Her gaze doesn’t break. The reality is that as with every urban legend, Mrs. Ruby’s has taken on a life of its own.
Rumors aside, Mrs. Ruby loves the corner house. Years ago, when the city of Florence told her that they were going to bring Second Loop through her living room, she worried she would lose the charm of the corner house. While stories abound that she was able to keep the house in the county because of her connections, the reality is that there was nothing she could do to stop the expansion of Second Loop Road. If the rumors and stories of Mrs. Ruby’s connections were true, the road would stop at her house today. Instead, the road came straight through her property and the corner house was moved to make room. Kenny sums the situation up when he says, the truth is “Mrs. Ruby didn’t come to Florence, Florence came to Mrs. Ruby.”
As the seventh child born in the seventh month, Mrs. Ruby has connections all over town, but they are almost all through blood, marriage, or real estate deals. She doesn’t see me as an opportunity to set the story straight, she is more amused that anyone is interested in her or her life. Simple and straightforward she tells me all of her life that she can remember, and what a life it has been. When I first sat down at the table with Mrs. Ruby, I was unsure of what to expect. She was an enigma to me, part human, part living legend, part urban myth. I left with a very real sense of a woman that worked hard all of her life, a mother, a wife, a daughter. She is an example of hard work, fortitude, and perseverance. Her family may have lived under a shadow of suspicion and curiosity, but they can be proud to call Mrs. Ruby their own.

(Comments are moderated. May only be reprinted with written permission from the author.)


1 Crystal August 20, 2010 at 9:36 am

Thank you for doing this interview. I enjoyed finding out about this interesting woman.

2 Rhona Creel Davis July 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I was born and grew up in Florence. I went to school with Sammie. He was one of the nicest boys in school. I never met any of the others in his family. However, I do recall seeing the house and the pink caddy for as long as I remember. I moved away when I was 19 but every time I returned, I remember seeing that corner and the chickens and I knew I was “home”. We drove 2nd Loop road coming from Columbia and passed that corner every trip. Sad she passed away and now I guess the corner is being cleaned up and something else will be there when I go home next. Over the years, so much has changed in Florence and so many loved ones have gone on. I am sure, Ms Ruby’s family has a sad place in their hearts too for those memories you have written so well and shared with all. Looking forward to reading the remainder of your article. Thank you.

3 Jan Beverly July 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

Great Story………kind woman

4 Beth Hanna May 4, 2010 at 7:02 am

AWESOME story…

5 Robert Kirby April 19, 2010 at 9:02 pm

My family has lived outside of Florence for 250 years. We have always spoken of Mrs. Ruby, her corner lot, Pink Cadillac, and rooster. My parents have passed away now and I do not know how well they knew her, but they always spoke so highly of her. Some people may not quite understand her, but I was so pleased to read your article, the kind comments and understanding you had for Mrs. Ruby.
Maybe one day I can meet her. I would certainly enjoy it.

Robert Clinton Kirby

6 Katlyn. April 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm

i think mrs ruby was a wondeful person ; and only a few people see who she really is. my mom has known her all of her life ; everyone judges her because of how she kept her place. well my point is thats how she wanted it. she loves her chickens and her house. so let her live life how she wants it. its her land , she can make those decisions. On one of the other websites there was comments posted about how junnky it was. honestly thats no ones business. she kept it that way for a reason. if yoou agree say WHOOT WHOOT. (:

7 SKG April 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Would love to see a book and movie about Mrs. Ruby’s Life. It would very interesting if half of what I’ve heard is true.

8 Minister Darryl Cunningham March 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm

i live right up the street from where mrs. ruby used to live and i say used to because i saw them cleaning out her house some weeks ago and i want to know is she dead or in a nursing home? they sold her car and cleaned up the yard so i am not sure i met her once at the kangaroo across the street and it was such a blessing to come in contact with her.

9 Tonya March 24, 2010 at 11:25 pm

I first learned of Ms Ruby (TONIGHT) in class and it sparked my interest so I set out to google it. I heard all the rumors and being that I am not from Florence I became very interested. I began to read the story and couldnt stop,,,,I Really Couldnt…This woman is amazing and yes a book is in order. This is a prime example, one that we all have been through if we lived.. of Rumors, but the facts is what amazes me further. We all need to be careful of the words that flow from out of our mouths. How do we feel when ill rumors are stated about us, but the difference between us and Ms Ruby…she wasnt angry or upset and have the one’s that made the comments didnt and never will accomplish what she has….I just met you tonight Ms Ruby, but your a WOMEN HERO ICON TO ME!!!!…

10 marie March 24, 2010 at 6:58 pm

i met ms ruby when i work at mckenzie bar b q on 76 she would come in to eat lunch ..after she had feed her hogs .she would say.. i love ms ruby she was always so sweet i would stand and tolk to her while she ate ,she would tell me stories ,i love to her she was a beauitful lady i hate to see her stuff on go thur, she love her stuff it wasnt mush but it was to her ,,,she is my friend

11 Eddy "O" March 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm
12 Eddy "O" March 24, 2010 at 5:57 pm

1959 Cadillac

I have been asked many times if Elvis ever had a big-finned 1959 Cadillac, the model that is so collectible today. As far as I can tell, no he did not, probably because in 1959 he was stationed with the US Army in Germany. However at the Car Life Museum in Prince Edward Island, Canada there is a 1959 Cadillac reputedly formerly owned by Elvis.
As a side note, in August 2001, actor Nicholas Cage bought a 1959 Caddy at auction in Carmel California as a gift for Lisa Marie Presley!

13 Eddy "O" March 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm

This was copied and pasted from Elvis News on the internet I was wondering why it doesn’t match the article and if this could be made clear
Thanking You In Advance,
Eddy “O”

Elvis bought the Pink Cadillac for his mother (although she never drove) in July 1955. According to Art, who lived next door to Elvis in Lamar St in 1955, he made the pink paint for Elvis and is the only one who knows the formula, he named it “Elvis Rose.”

14 Eddy "O" March 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Elvis bought the Pink Cadillac for his mother (although she never drove) in July 1955. According to Art, who lived next door to Elvis in Lamar St in 1955, he made the pink paint for Elvis and is the only one who knows the formula, he named it “Elvis Rose.”

15 pmuldrow March 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Thank you, Flossip for taking the time to get it straight from Ms Ruby’s mouth. Everyone reading her story should have learned a lesson. There is always two or more sides to a story. Ms Ruby we apologize for assuming that the stories we heard about you were true.

16 MJames March 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Glad to have of the rumors set straight.

17 Linda March 24, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I too have known Mrs Ruby and her family all my life, I went to school with her children and Kenny drove the school bus. We use to hear all kinds of rumors, never knowing if they were true or not.
It never really mattered to me if they were!. She was a great lady and the kids were just kids like all of us, only they bared a cross most people didn’t realize until your story today!
I moved away from Florence when I was 23 and just returned 5 years ago. I couldn’t believe that the house and caddy were still there. Now that felt like Home! A part of my childhood still existed! I rember hearing someone ask Mrs Ruby about a piece of land she had bought years ago in Coward. They wanted to know if she still owned it. She replied, ” if I ever owned it, I still own it”
then she chuckled and went own her way… Her sense of humor is what I remember most about her. What a great lady!! I feel blessed to have known her and her family.
Just goes to show you, don’t judge the book by it’s cover!

18 Barbara P March 5, 2010 at 4:04 pm

It is a very interesting story. I feel it is the gospel according to how she would like it to be. There are several discrepancies that are known to be true facts. This article is like ,”The Prince of Tides” some truth and some fiction but based on real experiences. Makes a great read.

19 Tonia M. March 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm

When I first moved to Florence, I worked for Kenny for several years. I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know his late brother and conversed many times with his mother, Mrs. Ruby. I found them all to be very hard working and kind people. They were always good to me. This article is wonderful.

20 David Timmons February 23, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I really liked this story. I’ve always heard the rumors but never from the source. Only trust half of what you see and none of what you hear.

21 sandra dennis February 11, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I don’t know what to believe but like the others I would love to see a movie of her life

22 Ricky McGIll February 7, 2010 at 11:30 pm

I moved to Florence back in 1979 and have heard so many rumors about Mrs. Ruby. From the time I moved here till today, I have often wondered what was the real story behind the Pink Caddy, and the partially built house just North of the corner lot.

Even though I love this article, which happens to be the best first hand accounting of Mrs. Ruby’s life I’ve read, it is also leaving me wanting more! I want to read more about this women we’ve all heard so much about.

The funny thing about Mrs. Ruby is that we have has some really famous people come from Florence, Like Harry Carson, a hall of fame linebacker for the New York Giants. You ask most people from here who he is, and they probably would not know his story. But if you ask those same people who Ruby is; you’re probably going to get a story about her in return.

In closing I have to say that I am sad to actually see that her corner property is for lease! I have seen people cleaning it up. I even have seen a yard sale going on this weekend! It’s like tearing down a Florence landmark. Will we still remember Ruby without the chickens running around our tires while we wait at the stoplight, will we forget that there was even a Pink Caddy covered underneath all that scrub brush… only time will tell. I wish her and her family all the best.

23 Whitney Lee February 6, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Having grown up in Florence County and always visiting my grandmother right down the street, I always loved going down second loop and seeing Mrs. Ruby’s. In fact I visited my grand mother this weekend and we spoke about Mrs. Ruby and were curious to know how she was doing. My grandmother always talks about how wonderful of a lady she is. It’s so nice to see the truth beign told. Thank you so much for sharing her story. I hope she is in the best of spirits :)

24 Paige Self Thomas January 31, 2010 at 10:17 am

I read this not long after it came out. . was sent to me recently again. Thank you so much for writing it. Having lived down the street from Mrs. Ruby for 13 or so years, it is nice to meet the real lady. At times, when I have run into her in town. . .at the post office, market, or store, it has been a treasure. She is a friendly and loving lady!

25 Lauren Taylor January 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

This is a fantastic article that I have been waiting for. Having grown up in Florence, the infamous Ruby was someone I have always wanted to meet. I feel this is a way that I was able to do that. Thank you.

26 Sara September 18, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Very interesting article. Enjoyed reading it and I also enjoy looking at your site..keep it up Flossip!

27 Ruth Harter August 30, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I loved this story. I too would love to see a movie made on her life or a book.

Ruth Harter

28 Suzanne August 30, 2009 at 10:39 am

I have known Miss Ruby since I was 9 years old. Miss Ruby loves to pull people’s legs. I realize some of what i remember are tales but some are actual facts. The cad sits like it does because back in the early sixities a man ran into right under the carport. The insuran ce company would not give her enough money so there it sits. Ruby enjoys people falling her to find her hidden money. You would see Ruby around town with no shoes on (in the bank) noone says anything to her. Groups have tried to clean she would refuse. The house in the back maybe a rumor but It was said to be give to her by a long gone MD. who was the financer of her business.
Miss Ruby would be a wonderful book about a wonderfully odd woman. Like I said I have loved her from afar all my life

29 Rosalind Storm August 30, 2009 at 7:38 am

Is she doing ok? Her house is overgrown and there is just one lonely rooster there.

30 Ben July 21, 2009 at 8:17 am

Nice story but it has quite a few flaws. I think she was playing with your head. She has told me entirely different tales.
I do remember pulling to the red light in the new extension and waiting for a green light while also watching Ms. Ruby making supper in the house with the whole side of the house open and missing and later when the weather got colder they put up clear plastic to cut down on the cold. You could still see through it.

31 Jack July 7, 2009 at 1:55 pm

So the stories I remember was she ran the biggest red light district on the east coast during WWII and the pink Caddy was from a customer who didn’t pay his bill. Amazing how stories become real and twisted. Thanks for the real scoop!!

32 Judy M May 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm

that was very very well written

33 Dave Hicklin May 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Ruby’s last name is Kemmerlin, Kimmerlin or something similar to that spelling.

34 Michelle May 19, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Fabulous story! I agree with libby, it was time for Mrs. Ruby’s story be told again. In a new light! Great work!

35 ashley May 19, 2009 at 1:49 pm

whats rubys last name?

36 john May 18, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Not long ago, I moved away from Florence after 25 years there. And now it looks like I have found a source for really learning something about the place. I can’t wait to hear more.

37 Dave Hicklin May 13, 2009 at 7:19 am

I thought I remembered Ms. Ruby saying in an interview several years ago that the ’59 Cadillac was bought for her mother. Then when her mother died she could not make herself drive it so it is and has been under the shed at ‘Peacefull Valley” all these many years. It was also rumored that the Cadi was used to transport moonshine.

38 Libby May 12, 2009 at 9:40 am

I really enjoyed your story, Flossip. You did an excellent job of paring down a lot of info into a readable, compelling story.

It has been many years since the Morning News published a feature on Ms. Ruby — and, yes, it too addressed all the rumors, etc. — so the time was ripe to tell her story again for all those transplants out there who didn’t know the truth. (I did not write that particular story — it was before my Flo Mo days. Can’t remember the writer.)

So kudos to you! Keep up the good work.

39 Josh Rainwater May 11, 2009 at 9:17 am


40 Angie Hutchinson May 11, 2009 at 9:14 am

The story was compelling and so very interesting. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I hope it’s ok, w/ you, that I add it to my notes and to myspace. I will include your facebook info. Be Blessed!!!

41 KRISSY CROMER May 10, 2009 at 10:15 pm


42 Scot Carnell May 10, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Ms. Ruby’s story would make a great Lifetime movie. :-) Start writing, Flossip!

43 Bryan May 8, 2009 at 8:30 pm

OMG! What a wonderfully written story. With all the news stations that use to be in Florence giving us everything Myrtle Beach all the time its great to have a local source and feel right here in Florence.
I love it keep it up!

44 Angela Polen May 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm

A great reminder that we should do more listening than talking. I wonder why no one else has taken the time to set the record straight about the rumors surrounding Mrs. Ruby? It’s a modern day Scarlet Letter! Shame on us all! You have done a wonderful thing, to have written this article. As I once read in Madonna’s children’s book; rumors are like tearing open a feather pillow and trying to put all of the feathers back!

45 Cathy May 8, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I have so enjoyed reading this story and look forward to sharing it with my family. It really is a blessing to find out things really aren’t what they seemed (or what they were implied to be). I have had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Ruby and Kenny on a handful of occasions and they are all very sweet people- business minded for sure, but still genuinely sweet. I’m sad that their family has had to put up with the rumors but how nice it was of you to go out of your way and put them to rest and bring her true story to life. You REALLY should write a book- you have a gift. Thanks for sharing your interview with the rest of us nosy Florentines!

46 R. McCormick May 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Well written and informative, and personally I do hope it will help to set the record straight about Ms. Ruby.

47 Anna May 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm

You did such an amazing job with this story. I agree with the others that you are definitely talented enough to write a book. There are so many great people from Florence that we could learn so much about. I would love to see some more interviews with some of these amazing people. You are doing a wonderful job.

48 HAP May 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Wonderful story! Thanks Flossip!

49 Robert LeMaster May 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm

What a great story. Thanks for sharing this.

50 Jessica Anderson May 8, 2009 at 8:34 am

What an intriguing & well-written article!! I moved to Florence about 11 years ago and immediately heard the rumors and stories that surrounded her. Thanks for shedding light on the truth and helping to put those stories to rest. Well done!

51 Roxann Wrightson May 7, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Wow, Flossip! I really admire you for taking the time and effort to find out the REAL story. It practically brought me to tears. I can’t wait to hear more, and yes, you should write a book as the others have said. Mrs. Ruby sounds like a remarkable woman in so many ways. I just hate that she and her family have had to live under a cloud for so many years.
Thank You!

52 Joanine Wilson May 7, 2009 at 8:29 pm

I remember as a child and living down the street from Miss Ruby, my mother bought alot of vegetables from her. That was also my 1st experience with…my mom always said Miss Ruby was a hard worker.
I also remember going to school with Kenny. I vividly remember the pink cadillac:)

53 ES May 7, 2009 at 7:53 pm

It is hard to believe that this false story about Ruby has lasted so long — literally generations. Thank you for answering the question all of us have had for our entire lives and for focusing primarily on what truly makes her her. The stories about Billy Graham and Elvis Presley were really interesting (although I couldn’t help but think of Forrest Gump and his chance encounters with so many celebs). You have guts, Flossip. I’m truly impressed.

54 mypookiesma May 7, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Excellent story. Loved reading it. I like most native born Florentines have heard the scandelous rumors all of my life. Thanks for bringing us the REAL truth. Just goes to prove the saying “Judge not lest ye be judged”.

55 FreeinFlorence May 7, 2009 at 6:26 pm

This makes me want to cry! This was so well written and hopefully put a lot of people in their place. Anytime there is mystery surrounding a person, they are automatically the center of scandal. Thanks for showing us the real Mrs. Ruby.

56 SB May 7, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Thank you!

57 renee broach May 7, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Word! As others have said, I can’t wait to read the rest!

58 Janice Morris May 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm

This is just too priceless! Thank you Flossip!

59 from marion May 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Stories like this is what our kids should be reading in school ,it teaches us all so much. Can’t wait to read the rest of Mrs. Ruby’s story!!
Thank you from Marion

60 Libby Harris Padgett May 7, 2009 at 9:50 am

She inded is a special Lady. My Dad and her were friends. I am still nurturing the plant she gave my Dad at his 89th birthday party. She even got up and danced while there, (Creek Ratz, Aug. 2008)

61 Maribeth May 7, 2009 at 9:47 am

It is really great that you are writing about this wonderful woman. My mother, aunt and I had an encounter with Ruby, many, many years ago in a grocery store. My mother was just simply commenting on how pricey the diapers for me were becoming. Ruby had somehow overheard the conversation, approached my mother and told her to grab as many as she needed and she would pay for them. Shocked, my mother replied, “No, No!! I do have the means to pay, I was simply commenting on how much they were becoming!” My mother said that Ruby just smiled and nodded and proceded on with her shopping. Still to this day, any time I see Ruby, and hear about all of the rumors, the one thing I think of is the story my mother told me. Even though I was just a baby, I can strangely picture the entire thing. I am really glad someone has finally asked Ruby her “story”. She has fascinated me for years.

62 Anne May 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Wow! Great interview! You should write a book! Can’t wait til tomorrow…read it out loud to my husband! He said he wishes we were that smart of a businessperson!

63 Donna McLaughlin May 6, 2009 at 7:04 pm

After reading your 2 post,I must say,you should write a book!

64 Diane May 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm

I just read your first day of Miss Ruby’s interview. You are doing an outstanding job! Thank you!Diane

65 Melissa May 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm

You know, it really doesn’t matter to me whether the more lascivious rumors about Miss Ruby are true or not – it wouldn’t change my opinion of her one bit. She was (and is) a shrewd business woman and I’m sure that didn’t sit well with a lot of folks at the time. She had a family to take care of and I’m sure she did it the best way she knew how – and she and her family should be proud!

66 Kelly from Florence May 6, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Great story. It’s unbelievable to me that her *real* story hasn’t been told in print before. This is awesome! Your story will be part of the History of Florence.

67 SB May 6, 2009 at 3:35 pm

What an absolutely amazing story right under our noses all these years and you, Flossip, have uncovered it. Great story and writing.

68 Misty Kempson May 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Mrs. Ruby has always been a wonderful (but misunderstood) woman. It is about time people hear about the real woman not the rumors. Thank you.

69 burt harrington May 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm

i have always admired ruby and this is a wonderful read

70 Jordon Orr May 6, 2009 at 1:26 pm

It is like a real life “BIG FISH”. Can’t wait to read the rest.

71 lynn May 6, 2009 at 1:25 pm


72 Travis Allen May 6, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Great story, nice marketing ploy with the installments too.

73 Tara May 6, 2009 at 1:01 pm

She sounds like an amazing woman regardless of the “witch-hunters” and the poor, negatively handed down rumors about a women that was put-down and ridiculed because she was successful. Remember, the era in which she was pushing Feminism was not the best time for women – it but she was successful regardless of that. Props to her paving the way and thank her for me :)

I would rather hear her accomplishments than responses to the Florence rumors… Thank you for publishing this in a positive light and allowing her to talk! Looking forward to people getting the true story – or at least the one that matters to Mrs. Ruby and her family. It’s amazing the amount of wisdom you can get from the elderly if you just listen… If anyone reading this has grand-parents, parents, and even great grand-parents still alive…ask them their story. It’s a piece of history you’ll wish you had when their spirits are gone to be with Our Lord, and it means so much to them that you care enough to know their life story and appreciate where the have been. We are so blessed!

74 LeeAnn Nealey May 6, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Very interesting already, can’t wait for tomorrow’s post!

75 KRISSY CROMER May 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm


76 Ingrid Lee May 6, 2009 at 7:05 am

Finally! Someone does the interview that should have been done years ago! This is awesome. Thanks, Flossip!

77 Sheila Harrison May 6, 2009 at 5:37 am

I love Florence, all of its history, being community involved . . . and Ruby has been a part of it for many years, she deserves to be recognized. Looking so forward to the rest-thanks for all that you do!

78 JHL May 5, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Mesmerizing! Itching for more…. (Because of this post, I have passed this link on to several nonFacebookers.)

79 Michelle Bailey May 5, 2009 at 9:05 pm

OK…does this mean I have to hold my breathe cuz I don’t think I have the patience…and my swimming days are far behind me, so I’d proably pass out, and are you trying to be like JK …withholding the chapters like she did with her books, come on this is not Harry Potter, this is Mrs. Ruby!! UR Killin’ us! lol…very interesting…and can’t wait for the juicy stuff!

80 dawn May 5, 2009 at 8:53 pm

awesome… a nice story to take our minds off the work week.. keep it coming!! I think we all have a Ruby story from our childhoods- would make for a great book- you write the introduction about her & many people share a story or two about her- you include your interviw of her.. pictures… I would buy the book :)

81 Scarlett Knight May 5, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Great idea Flossip! Will be “tuning in” tomorrow…

82 B.Watkins May 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Is that really true about Billy Graham? Awaiting the next installment!

83 Jamie Carsten May 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Can’t wait to read part 2.

84 Renee May 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Such a sweet beginning to what I’m sure will be an intriguing (and much anticipated) story…yet another reason to look for forward to tomorrow! Thank you :)

85 Jennifer May 5, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I can’t wait to read more about her. Thanks

86 Cookie May 5, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Thank you, Flossip!! I am so excited to hear Ms. Ruby’s story! Brilliant…

87 RickEstes May 5, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Don’t know what you do for a living but you have definitly been given the gift of writing. Look forward to reading more!

88 Keith May 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm

I have a feeling these posts will double your readership. Well done!

89 KRISSY CROMER May 5, 2009 at 1:12 pm


90 SB May 5, 2009 at 1:03 pm

This is great…can’t wait to read more. Thanks, Flossip whoever you are.

91 K. Nance May 5, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Great stuff. Anticipating tomorrow!

92 FreeinFlorence May 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Can’t wait until tomorrow!

93 Collin M. Smith May 5, 2009 at 12:32 pm

This is fantastic!

94 Angie Hutchinson May 5, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Is it tomorrow yet??? It has to be tomorrow somewhere. You could pretend that we’re in that place…
So very interesting…excited to read what’s to come.

95 Elaine Dean May 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Can’t wait til tomorrow. Can lunch be earlier?

96 Vickie Greenan May 5, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I can’t wait until tomorrow to read more… I taught one of Ms. Ruby’s grandchildren years ago and had several lovely encounters with her… She beamed every time I mentioned his name…

97 Aron Smith May 5, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I’m so excited about this interview, Flossip! Can’t wait to learn more about this remarkable woman that I have heard about all of my life!

98 DeAnna Rasberry May 5, 2009 at 11:59 am

I hate to wait till tomorrow. I have alway wondered about her.

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