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My best friend, Ruthie, has died. She was 81 years old; she was born in the Black Forest region of Germany.

She lived through World War 2; she told me that she threw food over the prison fences to the allied prisoners, at her Mother's direction.

She was actually hidden by her Mother with friends for a time, because she was the perfect blond, blue-eyed example of the breeding stock Hitler wanted for his "Master Race".

She married a soldier after the war and came to America, where she raised a son and a daughter. She saw two of her grandchildren married and saw the third grow to maturity.

As a child in Germany, she cut off ONE of her big sister's braids while her sister was sleeping. Told to share her chocolate bar with her sister, she licked it all over before offering it to her.

She held my Mother's hands with me when my Mother was in her coffin.

This was my friend. I'll never forget you. Aufweidersehn, Ruthie.

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That was the purpose of Fahrenheit 451, wasn't it? (Your 2-foots should still read "Dandelion Wine" by Ray Bradbury. It's one of my favorite, maybe because I relate to a simpler time). I shall miss my Ruthie.

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