Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Satisfied Mind

at the Brown Family Christmas 2007, great aunt Minerva Brown told me of an unauthorized biography of Porter Wagoner that told of his life with Ruth. I found "A Satisfied Mind" on, written by Steve Eng, copyright 1992. Is this the same book?
what I have found so far...
p.53 picture of Ruth Olive Williams 1943
pp54-55 a farm girl from Winona born Feb 27 1924, working as a nurse at Christa Hogan Hospital, met Porter Wagoner in 1945, they dated, & were married at his sister Lorraine & brother-in-law Ed's house Jan 25 1946 by Ed's brother Rev. Frank Hall. Their son Richard was born in 1946. They lived with Porter's parents for 5 1/2 years.
They were going to visit family in a Jeep when they were hit by another car & wrecked. Baby Richard was only a few months old, he was unconscious for 3 days after the wreck. He recovered to get kicked in the head by a horse at his Williams grandparents, he became deaf in one ear.
p. 58 Ruth worked at International Shoe Company Factory from August 4 1947-April 16 1952. Once she got her hand caught in a stamping machine & fainted, two mechanics carried her to the first aid room, when she came to she asked her sister-in-law Lorraine "Was my dress down as they carried me here?..."
They were obviously poor. Porter began sending his clothes to the dry cleaners & getting barber shop shaves.
p.65 Porter was an assembly line cobbler in a union shop shoe factory, his wife even had to work there. If he found this an embarrassing comedown from his Opry dreams, his wife Ruth must have found it embarrassing to have a husband who left home whenever there was music to be played. It was becoming clear he would rather be scrunched up in the back of a car going to a gig than home with his family.
p.67 a picture of Ruth & Porter from the late 40s.
p.68 in the 1968 divorce trial, she admitted she never approved of his musical career. She was married to a shoemaker & sometimes butcher apprentice who was always out singing somewhere.
Porter said, "I did love Ruth, and I never met a woman that was better quality than she was.
Porter's band members testified to Ruth's hospitality.

to be continued?...

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