In 1996, I drew several short series of cartoons that involved Gene in telephone conversation with his friend Ruth, who was spending the summer with her father in another town. They turned out well, I thought, and provided an excellent opportunity to work outside the usual A&J confines. The telephone dialogs provided a natural conduit of free-ranging conversation that might not have existed had the participants not been in different cities. Today, they would text.
Ruth was mentioned several times in the discussion of the recent Gene-and-Mary Lou drama. Many readers remember her fondly; she was a strong character. I wonder what happened to her.