May 29, 2022

Over the Teacup Sunday “The Book of Ruth Taming Ghosts and Saving History”


In this episode: Growing up after WWII in a small Southern town, struggling with the patriarchy, an anxious mother, panic attacks, artist block, and finding a husband who would support her twin passions of raising children AND having a career; a doomed romance with a dashing French man, participation in guerilla tactics to preserve historic buildings in Raleigh North Carolina, physically moving and renovating an historic house. We going to have a conversation with the Author of the memoir “The Book of Ruth, Taming Ghosts and Saving History” which narrates fifty years of saving historic places in North Carolina, creating art, raising two good kids to adulthood, and ultimately finding the right partner. I’m your host, Michael Herst, this is One More Thing Before You Go and welcome to Over the Teacup Sunday, The Book of Ruth, Taming Ghost and Preserving History.

My guest in this episode struggled between a career that demanded a good deal of travel to document historic buildings and landscapes, and acute anxiety triggered by that travel. Ruth Little’s life as a child, adult and professional woman involved investigating and battling ghosts. As a historic preservationist, she explored North Carolina’s past, making new discoveries, and fighting to preserve physical evidence that otherwise would have been destroyed and lost. At the same time, she was dealing with her own ghosts and self-preservation. She grew up with a mentally ill mother and grappled with their relationship until she died. At age 21, she suffered her first panic attack, which felt like a near-death experience. These attacks, which Ruth kept secret, continued to plague her for decades nearly every time she traveled.

She created a memoir as a record of what it was like to be a professional woman and artist when such pursuits were actively discouraged. Welcome to One More Thing Before You Go. Find out more about Ruth here: https://beforeyougopodcast.com



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M Ruth Little Profile Photo

M Ruth Little

Author, Historic Preservationist

I grew up after WWII in a small Southern town and struggled with the patriarchy, an anxious mother, panic attacks, artist block, and finding a husband who would support my twin passions of raising children AND having a career. My book, The Book of Ruth, Taming Ghosts and Saving History, narrates fifty years of saving historic places in North Carolina, creating art, raising two good kids to adulthood, and ultimately finding the right partner.