To the editor:

I read with great interest the fascinating (and well-written) article by David James Heiss on Mr. Bill Ruehle, who will soon preside as grand marshal over the upcoming Stage Coach Days event in the city of Banning.

Regardless of political persuasion, anyone who read the article—who occasionally pens a Letter-to-the-Editor to the Gazette—most certainly recognized the name of one of its most noted contributors.

Ruehle and I may rarely agree politically, but one cannot but admire a man of such strong convictions—with such a wealth of life experiences.

Though limited in formal education, Ruehle definitely proves the point raised by my father, a college professor, who claimed his most valuable education was not earned in a classroom or lecture hall, but during the process of living his life. “And,” he was quick to add, “it also resided within the one-room country schoolhouse I attended along with my four brothers.” (This sometimes involved riding to school on their old horse, Betsy; slapping her on the rump to send her home; and then, when school let out, walking back to the family farmhouse in time to do their chores.)

I’d say that—other than politically—Mr. Ruehle and my father had much in common.

Come next election, Mr. Ruehle and I may cancel each other’s votes at the poles, but we can simultaneously celebrate our “privilege” to do just that—within a country we mutually cherish.

Happy 89th birthday, sir, and thank you for your service.


Mary Shea, Banning


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