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When I was 12, my family moved into the St. Paul house my dad grew up in. “Ruthie and Ripper” were Ruth and Dick Yore (yep, Dick Yore), a couple who had lived down the street since Dad was a kid. Ruth was a very heavy woman who would sit on her porch and invite the neighborhood kids up to chat. I’m not sure where Dick got his nickname, but it may have had something to do with his golf game. He hired me to caddy for him a few times, which was certainly a better gig than caddying at the Town & Country Club—my first and worst job.
This card must have been in acknowledgement of my high school graduation, in 1993; Ruth died soon thereafter, and Dick lived in the house for several more years, walking daily around the block and complaining if we didn’t de-ice the sidewalk well enough. At Christmas, he’d go out and throw a single string of lights up in the tree in his front yard and that would be that for his holiday decorating.
After Dick died, a young family moved into the house. Every Christmas they create an attractive display of lights—but I still drive past that house and miss old Ripper’s single string of white lights, tossed up into the low branches of the tree.
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