Ruth Finch
Fictional Character
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: United States
Religion: Judaism
Occupation: Houswife
Spouse: Aaron
Children: Leon
Relatives: Chaim;
Ben (brothers)
Bernice (sister)
Fanny Seraph (aunt)
Roxane Bauman (cousin)
Political Party: Democratic

Ruth Finch was the wife of Aaron Finch. Her cousin Roxane had introduced her to Aaron after World War II.[1] They married in early 1948. Their son, Leon was born in mid-1949[2] (Ruth had miscarried before Leon was born, and Ruth's health was such that they didn't risk another pregnancy).[3]

In January 1951, on the eve of the outbreak of World War III, Finch was a deliveryman working for Blue Front, an appliance company that served the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and Ruth was a housewife.[4] Like most of the rest of the country, the Finches watched with increasing horror as the U.S. and the Soviet Union exchanged atomic bombs,[5] until the ground war in Europe began on February 17.

In the early morning of March 2, Ruth woke Finch to tell him that the Soviets had successfully atom bombed Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Aaron concluded that San Francisco would be hit next, followed by Los Angeles. With nothing to do but wait, Aaron ate breakfast, showered, and got ready for work.[6] When Ruth expressed objections, Aaron pointed out that if a bomb didn't reach them, he might be out of a job. The radio announced that San Francisco had been attacked. Again Ruth protested, but Aaron argued that downtown Los Angeles would be the target, and that the hills would keep Glendale safe.[7]

The Soviet bomb destroyed downtown Los Angeles shortly after Aaron arrived at work. He immediately headed back home; as he predicted, Glendale was unharmed. Armed only with a pocket knife, Aaron captured the Russian and took him to the Glendale police department.[8] He became a hero, much to Ruth's pleasure and horror. Moreover, while downtown Los Angeles was gone, Glendale proper was essentially unharmed, and able to plug along, and so was her family.[9]

Even with Glendale being more or less intact, Ruth and her family were impacted in measurable ways by the bombing. Fuel prices were up, and people wanting to buy appliances were down, and Aaron's hours were cut to part time accordingly. The family had to change habits, such as buying chickens and eggs from their neighbors, Elizabeth and Krikor Kasparian.[10]

Life carried on for the Finches throughout the end of winter and into spring. In May, his brother invited the family to his home for a small gathering.[11] At this party, Roxane, whose politics were nearly Marxist, needled Aaron about his capture of Yuri Svechin. After some back and forth, Ruth convinced them to stop arguing.[12]

As summer progressed, Blue Front continued to get orders every so often, and Aaron brought in enough money to keep the family going.[13] Unfortunately, someone stole Aaron's car one day in August.[14] While they were able to replace the car, it added more stress to their situation. [15]

In December 1951, Ruth threw a surprise party to celebrate his 50th birthday for him. Despite the presence of Marvin and Roxane Bauman, things remained civil. Everyone present was a Democrat, although each favored a different candidate in the newly wide-open field. All also agreed that they did not like Republican front-runner Joseph McCarthy.[16]

However, as 1952 moved towards the party conventions in the summer, the Finches were starting to see the real possibility that McCarthy was going to become the Republican nominee. Closer to home, the Finch family continued to carry on as normally as the world would let them. That wasn't always possible: a young refugee, likely from Chavez Ravine, tried to steal groceries from them. Aaron caught him, took back the groceries, then gave the kid $5.00 anyway; Ruth pointed out that the back the young man had taken probably contained less than $5.00 worth of groceries.[17] In May 1952, the Finches could do nothing more but watch the aftermath of the Soviet attack on the East Coast on television.[18]


  1. Bombs Away, pg. 362, ebook.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 34-35, ebook.
  3. Ibid., pg. 262.
  4. Ibid., pg. 34.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 88-93.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 151-152.
  7. Ibid., pg. 153-154.
  8. Ibid., pgs. 153-155.
  9. Ibid., pg. 167-168.
  10. Ibid., pgs. 207-209.
  11. Ibid., pg. 360.
  12. Ibid., pgs. 360-364.
  13. Fallout, loc. 662, e-book.
  14. Ibid., loc. 2348-2428.
  15. Ibid., loc. 2898.
  16. Ibid., loc. 4135-4194.
  17. Ibid., loc. 6063-6125.
  18. Ibid., loc. 6762-6821.

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