It is with much sorrow that I announce the passing of my close friend, Becky Reynolds. Most of you knew Becky and are aware of the outstanding contributions she made to our community. She made Bailey Springs a better place for us all.

What most of you didn’t know, however, was that Becky was also a beloved columnist for this newspaper. As Dear Ruth, she provided valuable advice for over thirty years. I am sorry to announce that Dear Ruth is now on indefinite hiatus.

Becky is survived by her son, Bailey Springs Fire Marshal Bryce Reynolds, and by a large group of friends, students, and admirers. She enriched us all.

—Alma Bernard, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief



“HOW ARE you holding up?”

Bryce didn’t answer right away. Instead he firmed his jaw, gazed out the window of Louella’s Café, and watched a few intrepid pedestrians brave the slippery sidewalk. He’d been placing bets with himself on the likelihood he’d end up rushing out to administer first aid, but so far he’d remained indoors, enduring Alma Bernard’s sharp scrutiny. Since Alma wasn’t going to grant him mercy, he sighed and turned to face her.

“I’m fine. I’m thirty-eight, which is plenty old enough to survive without my mommy.”

“I turn sixty-five next month, and I still miss mine every day.”

Bryce patted Alma’s hand. “I’m sorry. I’m being… I’m being an ass. You knew Mom longer than I did. Her death hit you hard too.”

“It did. And the stories I could tell you about our teenage years!” She smiled as she sipped her tea. Then she set her cup on the table and peered at Bryce through her purple-rimmed glasses. “I really do want to know how you’re doing, Bryce. Your mother would never forgive me if I let you pine away.”

“She’d probably come back and haunt us both.”