Goodbye, Island Girl

To the Valley News:

Sometime during my youth in the ‘70s I noticed a vanity plate outside the library that read “ISLANDGIRL.” I thought, “Whoa, she must be hot! She must be some olive-skinned beauty from the Caribbean!”

I loitered to spy this “Island Girl,” but I never spotted her. Her car would show up in the oddest places, but I could never pick her out of a crowd. I asked my mother who the “Island Girl” was and she didn’t know. Years later, I finally spotted the “Island Girl.” It was someone who looked nothing like they were from a poster for a Jamaican vacation. It was a woman who looked like…somebody’s Mom, or Grandmother! I learned the “Island Girl,” was Ruth Young. The “Island” was Long Island.

I also learned by observation that there weren’t many wife/husband teams in Willsboro that cared for, or volunteered more, to try and benefit the welfare and preserve the virtue of living in Willsboro. I gradually became acquaintances with the Ruth and coincidentally, when my wife and I bought land for our home on Willsboro Bay, it was a parcel of property owned by her and her husband.

Time rolled on and age does what it does to people and Ruth didn’t get out as much as she once did. I heard stories about how she was failing and had an oxygen tank, etc. I didn’t see her ever again. I sadly, really didn’t want to. I wanted to remember her as that Caribbean Queen she once was. Now I hear she’s gone. Now I’m sorry I didn’t see her one last time, to thank her once again for the beautiful place we live in. God bless you Island Girl. Sleep tight. You deserve it.

Doug Ferris, Willsboro

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