Picture: Ruth Mims, front, and her tutor, Emily Hopkins, meet twice a week at Tye Preston Memorial Library in Canyon Lake.
Mims was first exposed to the world of books through her friendship with the little girl whose parents owned the farm on which Mims' parents worked. The girl would read storybooks to her when Mims was 5 or 6 years old; that experience sparked in her a lasting desire to read....
"I said, 'I'd like to learn to read that myself,' and she said, 'You have to go to school. You can't learn by listening to me read, that's not how it's done,' " Mims said. "And I said, 'OK, one day I'll find out how it's done.'
It would take her seven decades to learn the secret. In the meantime, life got in the way."
She began working with Emily Hopkins, a volunteer with 38 years of experience teaching preschoolers through eighth-graders. They began with the first volume of the "Laubach Way to Reading" series, which starts with phonics....
"I sat down and started with that very, very basic curriculum and realized she had some skills," said Hopkins, 70. "People at her age have learned to cope, so Ruth had quite a few coping skills."
"I'm going as far as my education will take me, darling. I have no intention of giving up," she said.To get a real feel for this lady, the life she's lived raising several successful children, and the spirit that inspires her to keep going full-speed ahead, read the whole article. It's a great way to start off the weekend.
And of course, she plans to go through all the books in her house.
"When I had money, I bought all the things I wanted, and it was books and more books and more books. I have a full set of encyclopedias. I bought them in 1994," she said. "I knew one day I was going to learn to read them. I got enough books here to read the rest of my life and I have every intention of reading them."