By Richard Karns Special to the Herald Review I met Ruth Ford and her son, Roger, at the Seven-Slot Grill and asked if I could do\u00a0an article about her family. She said that she was from Grand Rapids, so not too many\u00a0would know her family, but would be glad if I wrote one about her husband\u2019s family. Ruth is 94 years old, and was a delight to talk to.\u00a0In 1922, the Rev. Alva and Blanch Eastman family lived in Gagetown in the\u00a0thumb area of Michigan. The family traveled to Grand Rapids at that time so Ruth could\u00a0be delivered by Dr. M.G. Bassett, her grandfather. Her other siblings were Faythe, Rhea,\u00a0John and James. One of the things about being a minister\u2019s daughter was the moving\u00a0about every three years or so. Ruth said, \u201cI was able to meet a lot of people, but it was\u00a0difficult to make long lasting friends.\u201d She told me that until they moved to Reed City,\u00a0there were some meager times. Being raised during the depression, and because her father wasn\u2019t\u00a0paid very much, many of his parishioners would bring in food\u00a0\u2014\u00a0most of which was\u00a0chicken. \u201cEvery Sunday it seemed we would have chicken.\u201d Her father didn\u2019t own a car\u00a0when he pastured the churches at Bay City (served there twice), Muskegon and in\u00a0Durand. Rhea died while in Durand at the age of 8. Ruth\u2019s father was able\u00a0to purchased a car just before coming to Reed City. Ruth\u2019s father was a pastor of the Church of the Nazarene on Slosson Avenue in Reed\u00a0City from 1935 to 1938. The church then was across the street from McDowell\u2019s Funeral\u00a0Home. They lived in the small house next to the church going west where Judy and Jane\u00a0Johnson live today. Ruth was 13 when they moved to Reed City along with her siblings\u00a0Faythe, and Rhea. Both John and James were born in Reed City. Life for the Eastman family\u00a0was much nicer in Reed City; not that there was more money, but because of the\u00a0farming in the area, the parishioners would bring a greater variety of foods to supplement\u00a0their pastors income. To have the meat, potatoes, other garden vegetables and fruit\u00a0that could be canned was wonderful. While here in Reed City, one of the families Ruth was the closest to was the\u00a0Albert and Elila Ford family, who lived on Todd Street. Their children were Lamont (called\u00a0Monty), Evangeline (called Toots, who was Ruth\u2019s best friend), and Marvin, who all attended\u00a0the Nazarene Church. Lamont was in World War II, serving from 1941 to 1945 in Europe. During that time, he\u00a0asked his sister if she would ask some of her friends to write to him, and Ruth was one of\u00a0those that did. During this correspondence a relationship formed, and when Lamont\u00a0came home on leave in 1942, Ruth and Lamont were married. Because he was still in the\u00a0service, she continued to live in Grand Rapids. When Lamont was discharged from the\u00a0service, they started housekeeping in Big Rapids before moving back to Reed City, and\u00a0rented a house from his Uncle Orie Erbes. Lamont and Ruth\u2019s family was growing to to\u00a0the extent that the house they were renting was too small. Their children included Rhea,\u00a0Janis, Monica, Roger and Ronald. They started building a new house further south on\u00a0220 Avenue where Ruth still lives today. \u201cWe lived in the basement until we could afford\u00a0to finish the upstairs, doing much of the work ourselves,\u201d she said. Lamont worked at Hanchett for a while, and then worked at Nelson\u2019s Hardware.\u00a0When Alvin Nelson sold the store to focus full-time on the propane business, Lamont and\u00a0Milton Wirth bought into the hardware store. Ruth helped Alvin Nelson keep some of his\u00a0books. She also played the organ for funerals at McDowell\u2019s from 1954 until 2009, when\u00a0she was in a car accident and didn\u2019t feel she could go back. Lamont died on Dec. 26, 2003, and Ruth told me Christmas that year was\u00a0hard to get into the mood for. \u201cWe did have the family together in January. We were\u00a0married 61 years, and it just wasn\u2019t the same.\u201d I have known Ruth for many years, but always called her Mrs. Ford. She is a\u00a0wonderful organist. She has accompanied me many times on the organ, when I sang for a\u00a0funeral at McDowells, and occasionally at Pruitt\u2019s. She not only a skilled organist, but\u00a0knew how to follow the soloist, which makes all the difference. When I was just about\u00a0finished getting this information, I told her, \u201cMrs. Ford I really appreciate you letting me\u00a0write this story.\u201d She said that was all right, and by the way, I could call her Ruth.