- Nancy Lee Chalfa Ruyter
La Meri (13 May 1898–07 January 1988), dance artist and educator, was born Russell Meriwether Hughes in Louisville, Kentucky, the daughter of Russell Meriwether Hughes, a businessman, and Lily Allen. Russell Hughes and her sister Lilian became acquainted with a broad spectrum of the arts as they were growing up. After the family’s move to San Antonio, Texas, around 1902, the girls received public school or private lessons in music, dramatic art, painting, and dance, and from then until Lilian’s death in 1965, they often collaborated in performance and teaching. Before she was twenty Russell was active on a number of fronts in San Antonio. In addition to playing violin in the local symphony orchestra and publishing her first two collections of poems, she sang, danced, acted, wrote plays and songs (both lyrics and music), and painted. Between 1921 and 1938 four more collections of her poems were issued by publishing houses in Boston, Philadelphia, and Italy....