Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bill And Ruthie Wharton- Heroes Of Mine

When I spoke of the friend I got to visit with the other day whom I have known forever, I did not mention her name or who she was but when she posted the video you see below on her Facebook, I decided to give a little history here and share the video.
Her name is Ruthie Wharton and I met her husband, Bill, the same exact day I moved to Tallahassee back in January of 1974.
She and Bill had been high school sweethearts and had two children and were, in a way, the proxy mother and father of all us young Tallahassee hippies. They had a big old house downtown with two giant living areas and very little furniture and people would gather almost every night to play music.
Ah. Those were the days.
There were classical musician students playing flute and violin, and guitar players and bass players and horn players and singers and people like me who just sat and listened.
It was a transcendent time. A very different time.
I used to babysit the Wharton daughters now and then and of course, they are grown up now, one an artist, one an Emmy award winning documentary maker. All of that crazy good creative energy leaked into their growing bones like milk.
Ruthie ended up having her third child, a boy named Floyd, a few weeks after I had my first child, Hank, the summer that every hippie woman in Tallahassee had a baby. My then-husband was, by then, in a band with Bill.

There is so much more history here. So much more but I will just say for now that I am fully aware that meeting Bill and Ruth Wharton was one of the luckiest blessings ever laid on me and that whenever I meet up with them now, it is a very good thing.
Bill is still a musician, has never stopped being one in all of this time, and he is amazing. He's a songwriter and a gumbo maker and a hot-sauce creator and an advocate for the homeless. And when he plays, he is hypnotic. I always say that he is the snake charmer AND the snake, bringing the blues to all of us who are lucky enough to be in his audience, and then he feeds us gumbo, sending us off into the night, our souls and bellies full, knowing once again that magic still exists and that some people are here on earth to deliver it.

For the full article with the video, click here.


  1. So goodto connect with old friends! Yes, those were the days.

  2. What a beautiful, cool, cool man.

  3. Syd- Absolutely.

    Elizabeth- Isn't he?

  4. Man, dude is a character. Wish I had his energy.

  5. What a great couple. Blues, gumbo and hot sauce? The Actor would be there like a shot! Bill is amazing, what brilliant friends you have. Love you xx

    PS. I watched all of his film and I shall come back when I've had some sleep as I want to read all your posts and it's 4.30am here again. What am I like?


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