Ruth Alice McLaren, 15-year-old runaway, has turned up in Ann Arbor, Michigan after her overly generous tips to a beautician raised the snipperâ€™s suspicions. Now her mother is heading East to reclaim the young lady from the local juvenile hall, while Ruthâ€™s invalid father Russell steams at home at 23 Fano Street.
What of the $2400 in cash (meant for the girlâ€™s college education) that she pinched from the fruit jar last time she left the house? While the girl initially told officers she was a war widow on the run from her in-laws, she quickly â€˜fessed up. Seems she met a man in a Pasadena movie theater, and agreed to pay both their ways to Ann Arbor, where her friend said he planned to enroll at the University.
Ruth was a big spenderâ€”but mainly on herself. In addition to visiting the beauty parlor, she bought a fur coat, flashy duds and a radio. So who can blame her pal for taking a powder with $1000 of the fruit jar bounty soon after they reached the Mitten State?
But thereâ€™s $402 left in the kitty. Which should be just about enough, after travel expenses, to pay Ruthâ€™s way through beauty school, where if sheâ€™s very lucky sheâ€™ll run into tippers as big as herself.
Suggested reading: Delinquents and Debutantes: Twentieth-Century American Girls’ Cultures