"There is no loss, only the world's gain, of knowing a person who has lived through major events of the world, and tells it through her poetry..." -Eugene Tssui
RUTH WEISS, LAST OF THE SAN FRANCISCO BEAT POETS, AND COLLEAGUE OF ALLEN GINSBERG, GARY SNYDER, AND JACK KEROUAC, DIES ON JULY 31, 2020, AT 7:45 AM. RUTH WAS 92 YEARS YOUNG AND LIVED THROUGH THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST IN BERLIN, GERMANY, THE FORMATION OF THE BEATNIK COUNTER-CULTURE IN NEW YORK, THE CREATION OF ROCK-N-ROLL IN CALIFORNIA, THE WHOLE EARTH MOVEMENT, AND NOW, THE FIGHT TO PRESERVE THE EARTH. EUGENE TSSUI; FILM PRODUCER, ELISABETH MONTGOMERY; AND FILM DIRECTOR, MELODY MILLER, VISIT RUTH BEFORE HER DEATH. THE DOCUMENTARY FILM THEY MADE, RUTH WEISS: THE BEAT GODDESS, WON THE MUCH COVETED MAVERICK SPIRIT FILM AWARD BY THE FILMMAKERS GUILD OF AMERICA, IN 2019, AND THE DOCUMENTARY FILM IS CURRENTLY PLAYING WORLD-WIDE.
When we arrived, Ruth was asleep in the hospital and Eugene quietly recites the poem INVICTUS, to Ruth, from memory. Ruth’s enigmatic green hair lit up the room and was a stark contrast to the sterile white environment. She woke up, commented on how much she loves the INVICTUS poem, answered some questions, and began to recall the many harrowing experiences of her life.
Ruth referred to Eugene Tssui as “The Tin Man” because, when they first met, Eugene was wearing his self-designed, brilliant metallic silver jacket and matching pants, looking like a galactic space traveller from another planet and reminding Ruth of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz movie.
On her passing, Elisabeth Montgomery and Melody Miller cried happy tears…
Photos below by Mr. George Russell