A Soldier In Skirts Trivia


10MINUTE BREAK

  • This is the DoubleTroublets’ fourth documentary.


  • The film was completed two months behind schedule.

  • This is the DoubleTroublets first documentary not done in EAST. 

  • The original reader of the Ruth Memoir was Emma’s Pre-Cal. teacher, Summer McFarland. She is credited in the documentary under “Special Thanks To.”

  • The original focus was on another Arkansas WAC, Era Hardy. Instead of a memoir, the narration was to include clips from her letters that she wrote home to her parents every week. The focus changed in January when the DoubleTroublets came across Ruth’s memoir.

  • The DoubleTroublets found Ruth’s memoir in the last file of the last box they looked through at UCA. They had considered not even looking at it, but decided too anyway. After reading the first page, they changed their focus.

  • The title remained in dispute right up until the day of their first competition. It was actually registered under a different one. Some of the options were “Lots of Love, Era,” “A Soldier and a Gentleman,” and of course, “A Soldier in Skirts.” “A Soldier in Skirts” was their first and last title although Sarah still prefers “A Soldier and a Gentleman.”

  • By the end of February, it was still unclear if Ruth was living or dead. The DoubleTroublets knew nothing about her life pre and post war. They eventually tracked her based on a newspaper article written in 1998 saying that she worked at the Bald Knob Area Chamber of Commerce. From there they found her number and got in touch with her daughter, Emma Jean Frippen, née Chaney. They completed her life story a week before the first competition.

  • One of the interviews, Marvin K. Bailin, is their grandfather. He insisted that his entire rank was listed in the film.

  • There were more interviews, but the DoubleTroublets decided they needed to make a choice: either they could tell the story of the WAC or the story of Ruth. They chose Ruth’s and consequently cut interviews.

  • In the subtitle under Merle Wilson, it states that she was a WAVE and a WOW. A WAVE was the equivalent of a WAC only in the Navy not the Army. WOW stands for Women’s Ordnance Workers. Basically it means she was a Rosie the Riveter except she worked with explosives.

  • The person that plays the music, Maureen Adkins, is the DoubleTroublets piano teacher. They’d have done it themselves, but they decided they wanted the audience in the theater not running from it.

  • A girl in secondary school sang the songs.

  • The narration was actually written around the memoir instead of the memoir being placed in later wherever it might have worked.

  • The picture of the present day female soldier is Leah Babb, Ruth’s step-granddaughter. She is a member of the National Reserve and has just returned from Iraq.

  • The documentary’s nicknames is SIS.

  • The opening line “They were the daughters of suffragists, the mothers of feminists.” comes from a poem Sarah wrote entitled “These Women of War” for fun a few weeks into the research. (click here to read “These Women of War”, keep in mind that poetry is not her strongpoint.)

  • Ruth's younger brother was at Pearl Harbor on December 7th. He was not harmed. 

  • One of Ruth's barrack mates in Europe was the sister of a member of the crew that dropped one of the atomic bombs on Japan.
  •  
    Ruth was a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy. 

  • This marks the first time Sarah has been heard in any of their films. She was the voice of Ruth.

  • Even the DoubleTroublets themselves had problems differentiating between the narration and the memoir. At one point Emma congratulated herself for pronouncing the name of the German general correctly only to realize that was in fact Sarah's voice. 

  • Emma was nervous about reading the names of so many foreign cities. As it turns out, the only thing she mispronounced was Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia, or so she's been told. The correct pronunciation is still unclear. There is still also some debate over whether Sarah correctly pronounced General Gustav Jodl's name. 

  • This was the first documentary to use the DoubleTroublets' current lighting set for interviews. 

  • The Marvin K. Bailin interview marks the first interview of a non-Arkansan they have ever done. He is from South Dakota.