Ruth Bayard Smith
May 3, 1950 - May 26, 2002

I first met Ruthie in 1978 when we worked together on a project for Westinghouse Television finding people to appear in a film based on the book Passages. We decided to meet a few days before the job began at the former Coffee Connection in Harvard Square. We began our first conversation politely enough, as women do, immediately cutting to the chase about who we were, where we were from, what we had done, marital status and so on. At that first meeting - I knew her last name was Smith, she knew mine was Booth - neither of us knew for sure if the other one was Jewish. Each of us was dying to find out. Ruthie told me later that she'd worn a star of David necklace, prominently displayed outside her blouse, to get the point across to me. I might have been oblivious, I'm not sure. Eventually, one of us broke the ice by using a Yiddish word or expression, and from that moment, there was no stopping us. Ruthie was always someone who, from that first meeting, felt to me like home.

        --Marlene Booth, from the eulogy she wrote for Ruth
        Bayard Smith

barnard center for research on women

©S&F Online, 2003.