* The Courtship of Ruth Radman and Leonard Meyer

as recorded in the diary of Ruth Radman, January – June 1925

After my mother’s death in 2000, I found among her effects a small diary. On the inside cover, in my grandmother’s handwriting, is the notation Ruth Radman, 1107 E. Clay St. Richmond, Va, Age 17. The diary’s first six months are filled with entries, but the small script and additional entries in the back pages made it difficult to decipher the contents and chronology of the diary. I realized I would need to scan and enlarge them, but it was a project that eluded me.

In the autumn of 2008 my father gave me a thick binder containing photographs and mementos of my grandparents that my mother had distilled from the multitudes of pictures and papers saved by my grandmother. I carried this album back to Israel with the intention of scanning the contents so they could be easily shared digitally with my siblings and cousins.

In the spring of 2009 I finally scanned the pages of the diary and the earliest photographs of Ruth Radman and Leonard Meyer. As the pictures and the pages of the tiny diary unfolded on my computer screen, I felt as if I had opened a time-capsule of the Radman-Meyer family. While the diary’s main theme is the love story of Ruth Radman and Leonard Meyer, the backdrop is George H. Meyer’s cancer and its effect on the events that unfold in the pages of the diary.

It is amazing to read the teenage Ruth’s words, to sense her consuming love for Leonard as well as the routine of her daily life more than 80 years ago. More astounding are entries in which Ruth unknowingly provides glimpses of events and personalities that eventually evolved into memorable episodes and figures in the Radman-Meyer family history.

In order to share this family gem with you, I have transcribed the handwritten text. I have also reconstructed the chronology of the entries, added photographs of Ruth and Leonard from the years before their marriage, and inserted images (found on the Internet) that reflect the places and events mentioned in the diary.

I have uploaded the manuscript to Google Docs website. I recommend you download the file and read it on your own computer screen using Adobe Reader (version 6 or higher).

Click here to access the diary

This file can be printed, but resolution has been reduced to make the file size small enough for online use.

For high quality printing, get in touch with me, and I’ll get you a high resolution file.

Ruth Radman and Leonard Meyer, 1926 (Engaged)

Ruth Radman and Leonard Meyer, 1926 (Engaged)

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