Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Meet Dottie*

*Not her real name

I met Dottie in Gatlinburg, she was participating in the TN State SquareDancing Convention taking place there. She is originally from Memphis.

We started talking when I complimented her dress - and who wouldn't. She told me about her outfits:
she finds shirts for her husband (square dancing shirts), and then designs her own outfits around them. She makes them herself, having some parts made special by a seamstress in Alabama.

These outfits, by the way, consist of the shirt and wide skirt, as well as a voluminous petticoat and frilly shorts, what I know as "mutandoni".

Anyway, this led to her telling me how she got in to Square Dancing. This is a cool lady.

In 1979 she was working in a manufacturing plant. Correction: she was managing a manufacturing plant. Actually four of them. That's a woman. In the 70s. She started square dancing as a way to relieve stress.

Before all this she was growing up in Memphis, with her 8 siblings. Her father was a local fire marshal, and had a hard time keeping a young Elvis Presley and his hell-raising friends from sneaking in to the movie theatre at nights. As Elvis got older he joined a band which included one of Dottie's brothers, who eventually got so frustrated with Elvis that he refused to work with him, claiming "the boy will never accomplish anything anyway". Oops.

Another one of her brothers moved to California and became a stunt double on Western films. He would bring his Hollywood friends back home to Memphis for his mother's biscuits and gravy.

Dottie is now retired. Her plans had been retirement with her husband, maybe a winnebago and to relax and travel around the country, I suppose stopping here and there to square dance. That all changed when they adopted her great grandson, and so she is now starting that fun all over again.

I hope you enjoyed Dottie's story as much as I did in the original telling.

I'm asking about the shorts

Dottie shows me her shorts

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