Friday in 'On the Trail of (a) Beauty', I said that I had expected Frances would turn out to be one of Aunt Lulu's daughters, but she wasn't. I mentioned that Lulu & Jack Fail's two daughters were Nellie Ruth and Lucylle Maxine and they were my Grandpa George's first cousins. I don't think I ever met Lucylle, but Ruth (the name she went by) was a part of my life. By the time I knew her she was Ruth Fail Wyatt, the Mrs. Wyatt who was the librarian at Corning High School.
A week later I wrote: "I worked in the library 6th hour. Typed for Mrs. Wyatt today. Really lots of fun. I like it loads." And a week after that I wrote that I had changed my opinion of that study hall teacher and decided I really liked him. I did not go back to study hall however.
Most of the work I did in the library was typing, sometimes cards for new books, etc., but quite a bit for Mrs. Wyatt's sorority work. I wish I knew now which sorority she belonged to.
In fact there's much about her I wish I had paid attention to. I know she talked to me some about how we were related and about other family members, but at that time in my life I wasn't too interested.
Mrs. Wyatt brooked no nonsense in her library. She was strict about following the rules: no gum, no talking, no cutting up, etc. If you were in the library it was to do research or to check out a book. She came across as crabby and some thought she didn't like kids because she had none of her own. But even on days when she wasn't overtly friendly toward me, I knew she liked me. Whether it was because I was family or just because I loved books and reading, I don't know; possibly both.
On November 21, 1960 I wrote in my diary, "Uncle Bill died." (Dad's uncle, my great-uncle.) On the 23rd I noted "Mrs. Wyatt went to Uncle Bill's funeral". Well of course she did. Even if I didn't grasp the connection at the time, they were first cousins.
Ruth Fail Wyatt was the only Fail directly in my life as a memorable part of it. My fail was in not paying more attention to her when I could have - how much I would appreciate her stories now!