news, if one can call it that, of a most minor sort.
Old Bristlecone — that’s me — a
California senior activist and a longtime weekly
columnist, is a’fixing to leave sunny California
and move to Ohio.
Those who have never been in my situation won’t be able to fully appreciate
my feelings of brooding sadness as my wife and I prepare to move.
While it’s true that we are most glad to go to Ohio to join our loving
daughter, her husband and our three grandchildren, it’s also most true
that Bristlecone, an 88-year-oldster and a 30-year resident of Sacramento,
has to painfully uproot many dear and deep human relations here.
Here it was that I became involved in what turned out to be extremely important
state legislation to aid the elderly, such as the establishment of a multimillion-dollar
Alzheimer’s statewide diagnostic and treatment program. I became
a staffer to the state Assembly Committee on Aging. Later, I helped to get legislation
approved that set up geriatrics department chairs at the major state-funded medical
schools. Along the way, I even won a six-year federal lawsuit that had charged
the state Department of Aging with age discrimination in its hiring.
All this became possible through the kindness and help of many. These activities
gave me much satisfaction and suffused my inner psyche with a poetic serenity
by giving worthwhile purpose to my life.
Here, in Sacramento, sorrowfully, we also lost our precious son Frank, for whom
I still quietly grieve. My loving wife, Magnolia Nan, who has shared more than
sixty years of her life with me, now shares trepidation about our future. We
as we pack up to go to Ohio, are motivated by our fond hopes that we will somehow
again find solid purposes in our future lives. Wish us well.
Ruhig, 88, has enjoyed a long and distinguished history of
community service at the local, regional and national
levels. Most recently, he has served with the Gray Panthers
of Sacramento, the Older Women’s League, the Carmichael
and state chapters of AARP, the Council of Sacramento Senior
Organizations, the Congress of California Seniors, the National
Silver-Haired Congress and many more.
who taught aging infrastructure to nursing
home and allied personnel at American
River College, was named Poet
Laureate of the California Senior Legislature
while serving as a founding member and its first chair. He was a founding vice
chair of the Area 4 Joint Powers Board, and was a chair of the Sacramento County
Commission on Aging.
On May 21, 2002, Ruhig received a resolution from the Sacramento
County Board of Supervisors for his service as chair of the
In-Home Supportive Services
Advisory Committee, and his service on the California Senior Legislature.
Supervisor Muriel Johnson called Ruhig “the glue that holds the
senior advocacy network together.”