In 1949, when Ruby A. Washington was 11, her brother was struck by a drunken driver.

But because the injured boy was black, the emergency personnel refused to help and he died before doctors could attend to him.Her father called the family together and implored them not to hate white people for what happened, explaining that it was an isolated incident and that things would one day change.

That was one of many childhood memories that has influenced Washington, the American Mothers Inc.'s 1993 Mother of the Year, who was in Salt Lake City Saturday to share experiences with the local chapter.

A mother of seven children and foster mother to more than 200 troubled youths, the vast majority of them boys, Washington said people often ask her how she managed it.

"We usually had eight to 10 young men in our home with the rest of our family," said Washington, originally of Los Angeles but now living in Nebraska. "How did I do it? Very carefully and with God's help."

And with a strict set of rules.

"I had several mottos, like `This is not Burger King. You get it my way or not at all,' and `Which part of NO don't you understand?' "

Admitting she's a disciplinarian, Washington said youths need strong direction today, including lessons in respect.

"As young men are growing up, there is a respect due to each one of us (parents) and I teach them what respect is . . . I teach them how to love and appreciate."

She said she also takes time to listen to each child, reserving an hour a day for that purpose, if necessary.

"If you listen to what they're trying to tell you and hear what they're saying, you'll have a child for life."

The organization's 1993 Utah Mother of the Year, Betty June B. Larsen, also addressed the audience of about 75 in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square.

Decrying a litany of evils in modern society, Larsen urged women to become "high-tech" mothers, tuned and trained to give children what they need.

It will no longer suffice to just "tell fairy stories . . . or make apple dumplings and invite them over the river and through the woods," said Larsen, a mother of seven. "We must strengthen moral and spiritual foundations to make these evil influences vanish."