WLM Member Monday – Dodie Shea


Victoria Twead‎:

It’s Monday and lovely WLM member Dodie Shea has agreed to answer all our questions. She’s in the US so she’ll be along a bit later. Lovely pair of pajamas, Dodie!

Dodie Shea MM


Janet Hughes: Hi there Dodie Shea, I know it’s still early over there, so here’s some coffee to wake you up Have a lovely day



Charlotte Smith: Hands off those pancakes you lot – they’re Dodie’s. Sorry, I can’t resist pinching that crispy bacon

Janet Hughes: Zap anyone who come too close, then tag ’em Charlotte Smith!



Charlotte Smith: Dodie, as you like Christmas here’s a cheerful thought to start your day



Victoria Connelly: Hi Dodie – I am in awe of your 51 years of marriage. How wonderful! Have you any tips for a novice who has only accrued 14 years of marriage?

Woofie Wotsit: Please tell us how you coped with being postmistress in your garage

Micki Stokoe: Good morning Dodie! How many Christmas books have you got, and have you a favourite?

Laurie A. Grundner: Hi Dodie, How and why did you get involved in getting Special Ed mandated in schools? At the time this happened wasn’t there anything available in the school districts?

Valerie Robson: Hi all – Doing my logging on thing so I can follow this fred through the day… be nice, see xxx

Frankie Knight: First Response? Wow! How did that happen?

Becky Corwin-Adams: Good Morning Dodie!

Dodie Shea: Good morning everyone! Hate to disappoint you all but took off my lovely, comfy pj’s and am fully dressed! Except for my slippers that is. Another sip of coffee and on a roll.

— Hope I do as well as you did yesterday Charlotte. I’m going to get your book next!

— Thanks for the breakfast Janet but Charlotte is a bacon thief!

–Victoria Connelly, I think the secret to our 51 yrs of marriage is perseverance(sp). Also, the fact that Bob was constantly on the road. So, now that we’re both retired it’s probably habit:))

— Hi Woofie – When I became Postmaster there wasn’t an office in our town. I set a little corner of my living room aside at first but that didn’t work. So, it ended up taking half of our garage which was just outside our kitchen door. There were many drawbacks (our children grew up in a fishbowl) but it let me be there for them as they grew.

–Yes, I love Christmas, though as Charlotte Smith so kindly just pointed out there are only 242 days til next. (Shudder)

— Micki – I probably have 75-100 Christmas books. I purged the lot last year and took out the really cheesy paperbacks. As for my favorite? – all of them though I love the illustrations in children’s books.

— Good morning Laurie A. Grundner and Becky CA

Shirley Ledlie: Hi Dodie, I hope you enjoy your day, I am sure you will . 51 years married is amazing, we are 30years next year so I so hope we reach your 51. Can you explain a bit about the first response?

Frankie Knight: Tried it once – lasted 7 years, didn’t like it, been single for 45 years! I always really admire and envy people who have been together for as long as you have Dodie! Amazing!

Dodie Shea: Laurie – Back in the late ’70s our youngest was diagnosed with a form of dyslexia(sp). When I tried to get help for him through the school there was nothing. When I stated that since there was help for those who would never be a useful member of society while he just need extra help, I was told I had no Christian charity. Well, you don’t say that to a mother who wants the best for her child. Sometimes it was like hitting my head against a stone wall – especially when I received a letter from President Reagan who stated that while he understood the problem there wasn’t enough funding to extend Special Ed. From that was formed our group which helped reform the system.

— Good morning Valerie Robson

Julie Haigh: Hi Dodie, sure you are enjoying yourself. Now, your love of Christmas books, do you really go to town when you decorate your home for Christmas (like my mum!) Is it like a grotto? Have you got pictures of some of your favourite decorations? Also, I’d like to know is your name short for anything like Dorothy or something or is it just Dodie?

Dodie Shea: Hi Frankie. We live in a small town with an all volunteer fire department. To receive first aid took at least a half hour. Therefore, there were 6 of us who formed the FirstResponse group. We took our first aid courses and some went on to become EMT’s. The group is still in town though I no longer am. However, the training has come in handy between the office and my family.

Frankie Knight: “another sip of coffee then I’m on a roll”! No brandy, Dodie? Always have a brandy with my coffee every morning to start the day right!

— Dodie, I am in the mountains and our nearest fire station is 40 mins away!!! I am terrified of fire, especially after we have not had our winter rains this year! I am a first aider as well… Think it is something EVERYONE should know about!

Charlotte Smith: I love to cook too Dodie. What is your favourite dish to create? I’m a paella queen!

Jacky Donovan: My favourite Christmas book as a child was “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement C Moore. Written in 1822 it still makes me smile And I can quote it start to finish as we had it read to us so often as children. Do you know it? Dodie Shea

Dodie Shea: Julie Haigh – Yes, this is fun! As for my decorations I like to think of them as tasteful. Bob thinks it’s just the opposite. Every Thanksgiving day, after dinner my family goes overhead and brings down all the Christmas decorations while Bob sits there and complains about the number of boxes there are. (We ignore him as it’s gotten to be a ritual). Years ago, when the children were little we decorated him while we were doing the tree as he was fast asleep. Wish I could find that picture! One of a kind.

— So far Frankie, the scotch is the closet. Guess it will depend on how rough the grilling gets:)

Charlotte Smith: Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse……..great choice Jacky Donovan. I love that too

Julie Haigh: Wonderful-and try and find that picture!!!

Frankie Knight: Yes, love to see it – he needn’t know!

Dodie Shea: Yes, everyone should have first aid. We have bought the families smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and given them first aid books. Have a very large first aid kit at camp. Like I’ve told them I’ll be really upset with them if I had a heart attack and they didn’t know what to do.

–Well Charlotte, I usually cook with whatever I feel like that day which might contain at some times an unusual combination. Think that comes from my mother who always made up her recipes as she went along. I do make a lot of soups. If my grandsons come to the house and there’s no soup they are so disappointed! I do, however, make a pretty mean curry. My son is a great cook and our oldest grandson won a chili contest with venison and moose meat over about 30 contestants.

Micki Stokoe: That’s a lot of Christmas books! I agree about the children’s ones. I love Raymond Briggs illustrations & the Father Christmas letters by Tolkien. My husband is a Bah, humbug! person when it comes to decorating too, but would miss them really. Have you got a special Christmas ornament?

Dodie Shea: Oh yes Jackie, we have always had that book about at Christmas. I bought each family a copy for their first Christmas. However, the grandchildren are at the age the magic has gone. I think visions of gift cards dance in their heads now.

Julie Haigh: Here’s one of my mum’s creations! Apologies to those who’ve seen it before-Christmas village complete with Santa train and even the tree decorations light up!

Dodie Shea: There is a book I read a couple of years ago that I will read again before next Christmas. It is Dutch’s Gate by Stephen Gerard. It’s about a Christmas miracle.. It’s a very unusual book but very thought provoking.

Frankie Knight: I moved here to Spain 10 years ago and all my Xmas decs are still unpacked…. Seemed daft with just me ‘n the cats to see them….

Dodie Shea: That looks like how I used to decorate Julie. Now it’s a little more downsized. Very pretty.

–Frankie – After losing several friends and family members I found Christmas to be something I dreaded. Then a friend told me they had thought of me when they put one of their decorations on the tree. Now, with each ornament I place on the tree I give special thoughts to those who aren’t with me anymore and special wishes for those who are. Now the tree has an all new meaning.

Micki Stokoe: I haven’t read Dutch’s Gate, but will have a look for it!

Dodie Shea: I also decorate a pair of elk horns that adorn our living room wall. You’d be surprised how many remarks this brings!!!

— For some reason my feed isn’t showing up. If I miss anyone try again.

–While there’s a lull I’ll tell you about my claim to fame. About 10 years ago we were at a casino when I was asked if I’d like to be in their advertisement. Well, they gave me $14 and told me to play one coin at a time while they filmed. Whatever was left over I could have. Well, I ended up with $8 to the good. However, a couple of months later people started telling me they’d seen me in their commercial. Well, over the next 2 years and several different commercials I stayed on it. My grandchildren and their friends would come thundering into the room when they heard the music yelling “It’s Nana, it’s Nana.” It was so funny!

Julie Haigh: You mention you may write your memoirs- I hope you do-it never ceases to amaze me how interesting everyone’s stories are on these member Mondays-always something different.

Laurie A. Grundner: My husband is in Literacy Volunteers. He works with a man in his 60’s that is dyslexic and the progress is slow but he’s not getting discouraged this time around. It’s great that after all the trouble you had that you didn’t give up and got the help for your child and others to come.

Janet Hughes: Anyone for some pasta salad? Mmmmm smells gooooood!!



Frankie Knight: Dodie, I love that idea and may think about it next Xmas!

–Too late Janet, just had tuna salad!

Janet Hughes: More for everyone else then! Brandy snifter anyone?



Frankie Knight: Ah, well, if you’re offering…..

Janet Hughes: Eggnog Dodie Shea?



Dodie Shea: That eggnog looks delicious Janet. Much better than my cup of coffee. Is it high test?

–Hoping you do Frankie. Decorations don’t have to be elaborate. Just something to lift your spirit. My memory tree makes me feel happy every time I look at it.

Janet Hughes: High test?



Dodie Shea: Micki – my special ornaments are from the children and grandchildren. I have mostly handmade ornaments which are lovely, also many that were given me over the years while I worked. However, ornaments made with their little hands are so special though worn over the years. Also, there is a gnome of sorts with wild bushy yellow hair that my daughter put on the tree when she was little. So ugly it has been sent to the back of the tree but it’s a ritual and everyone checks to make certain it’s there.

–Laurie, my mother was also a Literacy Vol. Though hard, she was so proud of her student’s accomplishments. I remember one of them getting their driver’s license because he could finally pass his test. What a happy day. And yes, our son did end up getting the help he needed. At first we had to take him for special help that we paid for but later years there were programs that accommodated his problem and helped him deal with learning in a different manner. Now you’d never know that he’d had such a rough start.

— Julie, I had thought at one time of writing something about all my years in the PO. However, another PM recently came out with an adorable book called Pigs Under the Post Office. I’d had a very similar experience with pigs all over my front yard one morning as I went to open up. No one dared to come in and I couldn’t find out who they belonged to. So, since they wouldn’t shoo away I started throwing empty soda cans at them. (Drew the line at throwing empty beer cans though.) Finally their owner located them and drove them home. Never a dull moment!

— Yes Janet, some of your pasta salad to go with my egg nog!

Julie Haigh: Is Dodie an abbreviation for something? It’s just it’s not a name I’ve heard before apart from author Dodie Smith?

Frankie Knight: I’m off up onto my roof now, but will be back later – please behave everyone while I’m gone…..

Dodie Shea: My given name is Dolores. I was named after my Dad’s Sgt. in WW11 who pulled him to safety after he was wounded. Sorry to say he never reconnected with him after the war. In those days you came home and were told not to talk about it and the families were told not to mention it. Dad never spoke of the war until he was in his 90’s. Then we put up a wall for him with his medals, pics, etc. He took great pride in showing it to people. So, getting back to my name, when I was little I called myself Dododumpdump. Fortunately it became Dodie:)

Julie Haigh: What a lovely name! (Don’t think Lorna Penfold would agree as it means something different in Spanish-similar word-mentioned in Alan’s second book) Dolores sounds really nice and I had a chuckle at your childhood name!

Steven Whitacre: Dodie – I think that is *awesome* that you were able to push through Special Ed for a non physical issue! I’ve had to deal with that myself, so thank you for paving the way!

Dodie Shea: I believe Dolores means sorrow. Growing up I hated the name, but I guess most people feel the same way. Of course, looking back, it was actually quite appropriate as many soldiers never were able to return to meet their children. I never saw my father until I was over 3 years old. Can remember meeting him at the train, a total stranger.

— Steven – Special Ed has evolved so positively over the years. Not all children should be expected to learn in the same manner. I hope you have had good results with the program.

Janet Hughes: So Dodie Shea, why do your Grandchildren call you Ba and Nana? Is it because you go Bananas on your mower?



Terry Bryan: Hi, Dodie…been reading…gotta go water walking…y’all have a snack ’till I get back.



Steven Whitacre: I did. I had to fight like crazy to get it, but we got what she needed!

Frankie Knight: I’m back briefly for a loo break and to cool off for a minute… In Spanish Dolores is akin to pain/suffering. Suspect a great many of us War babies may have experienced similar to you Dodie. My father had white hair when he returned and my mother did not recognise him. Like yours, he never spoke of the things he’d seen and experienced until much later in life. Don’t know that it is that much different now as my son rarely speaks of his time in Afghan, Iraq or any of the other war zones he was in.

— I do like the small snack that Terry has left for us all….

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Just joining in. Love reading all the comments. Frankie Knight, you really should reconsider putting up a Christmas tree. Two years ago I just put up a tiny tree since my kids would not be over for Christmas and it was just me. They were horrified that I didn’t do all my usual decorating, and feared I was getting “old”! Last year I went back to the full decorating, even tho it was just me and my cats (family Christmas was at my daughter’s house). I must admit I loved the atmosphere. I too have ornaments that mean something to me, so decorating the tree and looking at it brings back lots of memories.

Dodie Shea: Hi Janet – Don’t know where the Ba came from a Russian book about a lost mitten my daughter used to read my granddaughter. The Nana is Nana Dodie as there are many Nanas in their lives. Actually, I do occasionally go bananas so it’s rather appropriate. However, I’m dangerous on the lawnmower so leave it to my husband. Actually, after this morning I don’t know if that’s a good idea. More later.

–That’s some snack Terry. What is water walking?

–That is all part of the process Steven. I feel badly for the children who don’t have someone to fight for them.

— Frankie, war does such horrible things to people. There has to be a different mindset but until everyone changes war will continue .Is your son still in the service?

Janet Hughes: Oh dear, nothing serious I hope!

Dodie Shea: That’s the spirit Nancy. I was going to put up a small tree one year that Bob was away and my son came by, said to get in the truck and wouldn’t come back until I had found the perfect tree. Actually, I felt better after I’d done it and the Christmas spirit peeked out.

Dodie Shea: We never celebrate Christmas on the actual day. Our children want to make their own memories which is important. Also, Bob was gone on so many actual holidays we never knew what day we’d be having it and they are used to it. We celebrate when we can all be together – usually 1st Saturday after Christmas.

–Well, happy day. Bob just came back from the store. His truck rolled across the road directly into a parked Subaru. He left his info. Can’t wait to get the call. He thinks the Sub. might be totaled. So, bring on the booze!!!!!

Janet Hughes: Booze iz here



Dodie Shea: That’s about the right amount Janet. Anyone want to join me in a tipple?

Charlotte Smith: Dodie – has that tipple sent you to sleep?

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Hello Dodie Shea. Just signed in. Well actually I signed in about 15 minutes ago and lost the post. I had to re-enter thru a back door to hook up to the thread. I near had a fit b/c I didn’t think I could find you. Oh well all solved and will know for the next time. I love Christmas too. When we were young my parents choose birthdays for Christmas setup. Three is us had our birthdays in December. On the 3rd the outdoor decorations went up, on the 7th the indoor (minus tree) appeared and on the 19th the tree was decorated. I have basically followed that tradition throughout the years. We moved our Christmas celebrations to the cottage. All the family comes and we have a wonderful time. What a wonderful though to remember those who are no longer with us as we decorate the tree. My son is heavy into tradition he is 36- but you don’t want to miss his childhood home aid ornaments nor do you change Christmas meals, especially the turkey stuffing. Will sign off for a few minutes. Have to get my morning chores on the go. Talk later. I hope your not too full – I saw those lovely pancakes!

Frankie Knight: Hope Bob is OK Dodie? No, my son, a Rob, finally retired as a Media Op (cameraman) working with the Army in various War zones. He was 48 and found carrying his kit, along with cameras etc too much for his knees. Then he finally got married and is now living safely in Germany with his wife and 3 year old daughter (I’d given up on being a Grandma!).

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Wow Frankie Knight, I’ve given up on my 39 yo son getting married tho he still is looking for the right woman. Maybe there is hope for him! Jo-Anne Himmelman, my kids are also adamant that Christmas meals stay the same every year! I have tried to switch things up and it has always been met with much opposition! Some traditions are just sacred! One year I suggested sandwiches so no one had to be tied to the kitchen. That was a big NO!

Micki Stokoe: Back again! Phone ran out of charge, friends popped in for coffee & dog needed walking. Love the story of your ugly ornament – we have an ugly robin that my husband loves & checks for – it goes round the back of the tree too! It’s one thing the cats don’t go for.

Nancy Gould Gomoll: My treasured Christmas ornaments are 2 ratty looking painted pinecones my mother made when my dad was in WW11 and they didn’t have much $ for decorations. Many of the little pieces of the pinecones have fallen off over the years and i have hot-glued it back together where I could. I really love them though. Also have a few ornaments of my grandma’s that are nothing special but very old and part of the family! Of course there are the things my kids made when they were little too. My tree is far from elegant, but a treasure of memories!

Dodie Shea: Sorry I disappeared everyone. Had to deal with Bob’s fender bender. Luckily no one in the vehicles.

Micki Stokoe: Glad no-one was hurt.

Dodie Shea: Jo-Anne Himmelman – Sounds like you have wonderful celebrations. It takes your family to keep you in the spirit. I know mine wouldn’t put up without with certain familiar things we do. I put little stockings across the mantle for each person with scratch tickets. Don’t know that we are teaching the children a good Christmas habit but they love it.

— Bob is fine Frankie. He was in the store when the truck rolled down the hill and across the road into 2 vehicles. Luckily no one was around. It could have been terrible. Counting our blessings. Congratulations on becoming a grandmother. I told my son there was a saying that if I’d known how much fun having a grandchild was I’d have had them first. He didn’t think it was funny:) I’m certain you’re relieved to have your son safely out of the service.

–2 years ago Nancy I fixed lamb, ham and chicken plus mac and cheese for non meat eaters. I’d had it. So, now when everyone is here we have spaghetti. They say it’s not very traditional but nobody has offered to take over. So, there’s sauce with meatballs, sauce with sausage and plain sauce. Then we have have rolls and tossed salad. It’s so much easier and I can enjoy it too.

–Glad we’re not alone Micki with our crazy ornament. I also have a glass ornament that my mother had as a child that’s scratched and ugly but goes near the top of the tree.

Frankie Knight: Although I am on my own I still do traditioanl Xmas dinner – turkey, roast spuds, pigs in blankets, all the veg, followed by Xmas pud and cream. All eaten before Queen’s speech and toasted with glass of shampoo (or Spanish equivalent!). Boxing day is ALWAYS cold turkey plus bubble and squeek plus pickles. Anyone else have this?

Dodie Shea: Bob is so happy I’m doing this today as I’m not very happy with him poor fellow. He’s getting a little reprieve!

Charlotte Smith: Awwww. Don’t be cross with poor Bob Dodie

Dodie Shea: Sound nice Frankie. However, did spell check get you? Have never celebrated with a glass of shampoo at Christmas:))

Julie Freed: Dodie can you talk a little about the special Ed programs – this was in Vermont I’m guessing?

Dodie Shea: If I wasn’t cross with Bob he’d think something was wrong. Wouldn’t want him to get confused!! Sometimes I’m afraid I’m not sweetness and light,

Janet Hughes: Time for tea



Dodie Shea: Are you involved with Special Ed Julie? It’s been quite awhile but my daughter is a teacher and my daughter-in-law is a special ed aid so I maybe could find out info if you want.

Julie Freed: Sorry Dodie just read above ..

–No but I do quite a bit in local school districts and know how hard new programs can be to get off the ground. Great for you and your family you kept pushing!!!

Dodie Shea: It has improved so much. Not that there aren’t still hoops to jump thru but it covers so many more children than it used to.

— Thanks Janet for the tea. Are there drinks served or just tea?

Janet Hughes: Crumbs Dodie Shea have you emptied the bar already! What would you like….?

Dodie Shea: Well, everyone seems to be pretty jolly so maybe the bar needs restocking. Think while I was gone they made a pretty good dent in it!

Charlotte Smith: Where’s Roberto slunk off to Janet Hughes?

Janet Hughes: Here’s a couple of bottles to keep you going…. *Right bunch of alkies these are*



Janet Hughes: Roberto! Roberto! Oh there you are, I think Charlotte Smith needs servicing. Sorry? Yes again! Don’t pretend that you don’t enjoy it…..

Dodie Shea: Think that might get us through. It reminds of when the lottery first started here. Our son wasn’t very old and only wanted us to buy him Kaybee Toys if we won. Guess I know what I’ll buy if we win!

–Was wondering, did anyone ever attend a 1 room school? I did thru 5th grade. At least for the younger students it helped advance your studies because you were always learning from the older ones. Remember we used to do 2 years in 1.

Linda Kovic-Skow: What a fun thread Dodie Shea. I love that your grandchildren have fun names for you:) Congrats on your marriage of 51 years. Maybe I missed it, but how and where did you and your husband meet?

Gramma Lupcho: How wonderful you’ve had 51 years together!! So what keeps you busy in your retirement years??

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Goodness me! 51 years, well done you must be a lovely lady cos my husband would not put up with me for 51 years…much too ornery! Yes I went to a village school which was one room divided into two areas with no sound blocking but we managed

Frankie Knight: Dodie – champers, shampoo? Spanish Chapagne/cava!

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Dodie Shea in fact at my school we had just two classes from 5 years until 11years

Susan Joyce: Dodie, finally getting to stay on line long enough to connect. Having internet interruptions all day today. So happy you are sitting in the hot seat today. I have admired you each and every time, I’ve read your humorous comments on the WLM site. You are a joy to know.

–I’ll finish reading your long and so interesting thread and then ask a question that hasn’t been asked.

–Just read the part about Bob & his accident. Glad to know Bob is OK and thinks you’re mad at him. That should keep him in line for a few hours.

Dodie Shea: Gramma – My roommate and a friend double dated one night. One of the fellows was Bob. He came to the apartment to pick them up. The next day he called. The rest is history.

–As for what keeps me busy?? Well, I am rather disabled which stops us from traveling. That’s what we had planned when we retired. I feel sorry for Bob but you deal with what’s dealt you. My sister isn’t well and I’m basically her caregiver. So, life goes on.

Susan Joyce: Loved hearing about your PO days, and your important work to further special education. You seem to always be so up-beat. What’s your secret?

Nancy Gould Gomoll: That is scary to think about how Bob’s accident happened today. He must have been parked on a hill, but to just roll backwards when no one was in the car… Where do you live?

Dodie Shea: Well Jennifer, think as I said earlier, perseverance is #1 in dealing with a marriage. Besides, he’s a pretty tolerant fellow.

–When I started first grade there were only 6 students in the school. Bob also went to a 1 room school. He was hired as the janitor his 7th and 8th grades. Had to start the wood stove every morning.

— Thank you Susan. That was so sweet of you to say.Yes. Bob is fine. Just a little sheepish at the moment:)

Susan Joyce: Where was your one room school house?

Dodie Shea: It was in Panton Vermont. It had been closed until the year I entered 1st grade. Guess they figured 6 students were enough to open.

Susan Joyce: Where did children go to school before it opened? Home-school?

Dodie Shea: Well. there was East and West Panton. Both had schools open. Then there was Panton which I attended. I stopped by the school a while ago. I felt so sad when I peeked in the windows. It now sits near the town garage and they have filled it full of junk. Suck a shame. Poor little school.

–Back then there was a school every 5 miles more or less.

Susan Joyce: Dodie, yes always sad to see something you love reduced to shambles. My old elementary school in Tucson, AZ became a part of the school district offices. I was so sad not to be able to revisit it as a school I enjoyed attending. My husband elementary school became a parking lot. How long have you lived in the home you are in now?

Dodie Shea: Bob’s mother gave us the land in 1966. We built the house the following year. So, Bob has lived most of his life either next door or here. It’s a ranch style house so perfect for an older couple. We turned what was the Post Office into a washroom. The PO hasn’t been there for over 8 years. The other day we had someone walk in with a puzzled look on their face and they said “Where did the office go?” Word doesn’t’ always get around in a timely manner.

Susan Joyce: LOL! about the PO comment. 1966. You must remember when rock was young?

–Did you and Bob have a favorite hang-out?

Nancy Gould Gomoll: You sound like me, Dodie, once you live somewhere you like to stay put! I like that comfortable feeling of familiarity. I would have stayed in the house I raised my kids in except that it was a big 2 story 5 bedroom colonial and I was a single person living in it once the kids grew up. It became just too much for me to keep up with and work full time too. Besides I felt that a 1 story house was wiser for me as I got older. I really miss the old place though and the neighborhood.

Susan Joyce: Nancy, where do you live now? Are you in the same community as before?

Dodie Shea: Heck Susan, we remember before rock was born. Think I was rather what was referred to as a beatnik. Or you all too young to know that term? Black and dangly earrings were in.

Susan Joyce: Dodie, a beatnik? Go on then, tell me how you dressed?

Dodie Shea: Bob was and is a real country boy. Our first date he asked me to a square dance. When we arrived I asked him if we weren’t going past the ticket stand. He said no because he didn’t dance. Can’t believe we got married as dancing was such a part of my life.

Susan Joyce: Did you teach him to dance?

Dodie Shea: I know the feeling Nancy. There’s a rock in our backyard that Bob and his siblings climbed, our children and grandchildren climbed. The woodwork has growth charts marked in it.

Nancy Gould Gomoll: I was from the hippy/beatnik era too! Was in college during Woodstock (for all you US people!) I was raised in Dertoit, Michigan then went to undergrad at Michigan State Univ. in East Lansing, Michigan. After grad school I got married and we moved back to East Lansing. When I sold my house, I only moved 2 miles down the road! Love East Lansing and being near the university.

Susan Joyce: Nancy, how nice for you to still be in a community you know and love. That’s great!

Terry Bryan: Hi again…y’all need a snack. I gotta catch up….



Nancy Gould Gomoll: How funny Dodie that Bob asked you to a dance for your 1st date when he didn’t dance!! I remember square dancing. We learned it in school, and I went to some square dances in grad school! Fun, and a lot of exercise!

Charlotte Smith: Any chocolate Terry Bryan?

Susan Joyce: Perfect snack! Thanks Terry!

Charlotte Smith: How many Grandchildren do you have Dodie?

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Where are you Susan Joyce?

–Oh chocolate! A lady with my taste Charlotte Smith! I love anything chocolate!

Susan Joyce: Nancy, I live in Uruguay now. Born in LA, spent a great deal of my childhood in Tucson, AZ. I’m a travellin’ kind of gal.

–Dodie, I have the perfect title for your memoir … Going Postal! What do you think?

Dodie Shea: My dress was quite simple and of that time while I worked in an office. Not like what is allowed now. However, afterwards like I mentioned there was a lot of black, dangly earrings, black tights and longer skirts. That was before flower power though my daughter swears I’m an x-hippy.

— Bob finally did learn to square dance and would sometimes get up on the floor though it was always more fun in a group. Either you’re a dancer or you’re not.

Nancy Gould Gomoll: I love traveling but have not had the opportunity to actually move away. Now I could never leave the proximity to my kids! I bet Uruguay is beautiful! No cold like we have! I have been to Guatemala several times, El Salvador, Mexico several times and Peru twice. Love the area. How long have you been in Uruguay?

Dodie Shea: Chocolate – did someone say chocolate???

Charlotte Smith: Here you go Nancy – give one to Dodie for working so hard today


Susan Joyce: Dodie, you’re definitely a hippie at heart!

Dodie Shea: We have 2 children and 3 grandchildren Charlotte, who all teenagers now. Two have their driver’s permits. Told their parents that gray hairs were just their payback for when we had to teach them..

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Speaking if the dress when we were younger, I wore hot pants and knee-high white patten boots on my homeymoon! I thought I was pretty stylish!!!

Dodie Shea: I think that would be the perfect title Susan. It certainly would get people’s attention!

Susan Joyce: Nancy, hot pants? Hot-diggity! Go girl

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Fantastic treat Charlotte Smith! Love the little mice! I should probably stay with Terry Bryan’s fruit though. The Dr. told me to lose 8 pounds by the next time I see him. I told him if I could lose 8 pounds, I would have done it by now!!!!

–Wish I had a picture of the hot pants outfit! It would be priceless now and my kids would love it (or be embarrassed to death by it!).

Dodie Shea: a The picture would be priceless Nancy. You were so cool!!

Susan Joyce: Nancy, LOL! Find that photo!

Dodie Shea: My doctor used to always be understanding as he said he couldn’t ask me to do something he couldn’t. Unfortunately he died of a heart attack.

Terry Bryan: Here we go…fruit and chocolate…



Nancy Gould Gomoll: Oh, that looks good Terry Bryan!

Charlotte Smith: That’s better Terry Bryan Dodie, would you like a chocolate covered strawberry?

Dodie Shea: Just what the doctor ordered!

Nancy Gould Gomoll: I wonder if I could find a photo of that outfit for when I am on the hot seat, Dodie! I really don’t think i have one though

Susan Joyce: One for me also, please. Make it two. Who’s counting?

Terry Bryan: Dodie Shea, I was a beat gal too…wanted a pink and black bedroom. My mom wouldn’t let me paint the walls black, so I got a pink and gray room. Were you an Elvis fan? Still love rock music?

Frankie Knight: Dodie, looks like you and I are in trouble elsewhere…..

Dodie Shea: Think we are Frankie. Got call it like you see it.

–Nancy – You have to look. It would be a hoot!

Charlotte Smith: Making inappropriate suggestions about chickens – BIG mistake when Victoria Twead is around

Dodie Shea: Yes, I loved Elvis. Have a 45 with “Come Home It’s Suppertime”. Loved that song but no way to play it now. Also loved Ricky Nelson. I’d been in love with him since we were youngsters:)

Susan Joyce: Dodie, I loved Ricky Nelson too. And I had an Elvis sighting one day while driving on the LA freeway. It’s in my book. I swooned and almost had an accident.

Terry Bryan: Ah yes



Dodie Shea: I knew someone who knew him when he was in Germany. Does that count?

–Charlotte – think Victoria is the vengeful type??

Susan Joyce: Something to take your mind off your troubles .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0janfcZ8LUw&feature=kp

Charlotte Smith: No doubt about it Dodie!

Frankie Knight: I’m revising my opinion of vistoria -picking on the totally innocent…. Humph!

Dodie Shea: That’s what they all say Frankie Knight.

–Thank you Susan. That sure brought back great memories! He was singing that song to me of course!

Frankie Knight: Vistoria? Where did that come from?

Dodie Shea: Think you must have drunk the duck Frankie.

Susan Joyce: Dodie, Ricky gave me the desire to read his lips and keep travellin’. He had such a smooth voice.

Frankie Knight: No, just having cocoa, it’s past my bedtime and I cannot stand the pace…. Nighty, night all. You’ll all be much better tomorrow….. (maybe!)

Charlotte Smith: Sleep well Frankie

Dodie Shea: Night Frankie. Pls don’t dream about chickens.

— Sounds like you really took his song to heart Susan. I envy you your travels.

Jo-Anne Himmelman: I’m back. Chores took longer than I thought and had a lot of reading too catch up. Dodie Shea, Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone and all those who commented on the 1 room school, I went to a 2 room school which was a little unique. It was on a radar base in Northern Quebec (the black flies were so bad they sprayed DDT from a tractor up and down the roads -anyone remember running thru it – I do). OK to get on with the school. In Quebec, they had Protestant and Catholic schools and never the 2 shall meet. In this armed forces base they had one 2 room school on one side of the school yard and one on the other side. Both schools had the same set up – grades 1-4 in one room and 5-8 in the other. When you finished grade 8 you were transferred. The unique thing was when you were in the playground the first question you asked was ” what religion are you?” When you found out you remembered for time immemorial on and off school hours. If you were caught playing with someone, not of your religious persuasion, there were consequences. Today I party with everyone!

— Uugh, Canada blocked your Ricky Nelson video Susan Joyce. Copyright issues. I’ll have to look for another now that the song is in my head. Hmm mm maybe I can sing it. No that won’t do – not a sexy voice!

Dodie Shea: Wow, they were strict. In the church when I grew up one half the Irish sat on the other half was French. When I went with my mother’s side I sat with the Irish. When with Dad’s family I sat with the French. Never knew where I belonged. At least at school there wasn’t that problem.

–My grandparents lived in an apple orchard. There were days we couldn’t go outside because the spraying was so heavy, When it cleared we’d go out. At least there weren’t any black flies. Nasty stuff in hindsight,

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: I think we were well served with having school rooms consisting of different ages and levels..we normal kids just muddled along and those who had learning difficulties perhaps met others of the same level without realising it ie those younger, I would like to think they had an education which at least gave them some confidence….unlike the current system

Susan Joyce: Jo-Anne Himmelman, that’s an amazing story about your school. Wow!

–Jennifer, I totally agree. Which is why the one and two room schools worked for so long.

Dodie Shea: I loved those days and think anyone who attended them did too. You didn’t lose your identity.

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Wow Jo-Anne Himmelman, your town in Quebec really took things to extremes. I never had that experience though my father was a very prejudice person. My sister and I made every effort to raise our families with no biases. In fact I deliberately exposed my kids to other cultures and wanted them to respect other cultures.

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: I am not, nor having ever been an educator so must be silent…just know the system I experienced worked with me AND I know the challenged children in my classes were never aware of that fact. I think once one makes an issue of a limitation it becomes a bigger issue.

Dodie Shea: In small classrooms this can be done more easily than when when there are overcrowded classes. That’s what was so wonderful in the one room school.

Susan Joyce: Jennifer, totally agree with that. “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.’ Illusions by Richard Bach.

–Dodie, were you also a singer?

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Dodie Shea, you wonder now how many people died of cancer from those chemicals. Children like us, for me it was 59-60, would have never been aware of the damage these caused. Our parents wouldn’t have known either. Luckily for me, I didn’t run through it too often because my mother was dead against it. It caused her to wash the clothes. She had 7 children so we really got it if we came home smelling of DDT.

Dodie Shea: I sang in the church choir and school chorus. However, when I would drive with my children and the radio would be playing I would start singing and they’d turn off the radio with the directive “Don’t sing Mommy!” I love folk music and I told a friend of mine who is a folk musician the one thing I would love to do is go up on stage, barefooted and sing like Joan Baez. She told me it would never happen as she tried to help me. So much for that on my bucket list!

–Well Jo-Ann, my mother, her 3 sisters and my grandmother all died of breast cancer. I now have 2 sisters and a niece that have been struggling with it. Yes, it’s taken its toll.

Susan Joyce: Very sad indeed, the harm humans have done to the earth and themselves as a result. See no evil …

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Same with me Nancy Gould Gomoll. My son attended a school having many cultures until grade 9. He was in the minority. When he was transferred to a school having a white/English majority he rebelled as he had to leave most of his friends behind. This is still a bone of contention with him.

Dodie Shea: Well everyone, it’s been a fun day except for a brief interruption. It’s 5 and Bob’s looking for his dinner. All of you have a great night.

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Dodie Shea, so sad to hear that.

Dodie Shea: Thank you Jo-Anne. We have to count our blessings.

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Got to go now. Supper bells are ringing – husband on cooking duty today. Thank you Dodie Shea, what a great day. Won’t be around next Monday. Off to Morocco with my sister on Friday. Getting excited. Will join you again on the 19th.

Charlotte Smith: Dodie you’ve entertained us all today. Enjoy your dinner and thank you

Nancy Gould Gomoll: It has been a long day for you Dodie,and you have generated some good conversations. Job well done I have to get doing things for dinner now, and have a meeting tonight. Take care everyone and have a good night!

Terry Bryan: Thank you, interesting lady.



Susan Joyce: Dodie, You’ve been marvelous. Thanks for your time today! So enjoyed getting to know you better. Have a great evening! xx

Julie Haigh: Thanks Dodie, very interesting and enjoyable.

Micki Stokoe: Thank you, Dodie – a great Fred!

Laurie A. Grundner: Thanks Dodie. I asked a question while getting ready for work. I’m home now and tired. You also were working all day and I’m sure you’re tired. I’ll catch up with all the conversations that went on today. Thanks again for opening yourself up.

Victoria Twead: Dodie Shea, I remember you saying to me that you didn’t think you were interesting enough to be a Monday member!!!!! Thank you for a fantastic Fred, and thank you for being so interesting and entertaining. When you have a couple of minutes, please pick a couple of winners to choose books from the header.

Terry Bryan: Hey, Laurie A. Grundner…I was going to tell you the answer to your question but when I went back to see your question, I realized you have a lot to read. The answer is there.

Susan Jackson: Dodie Shea I just noticed you were up–congratulations–married for 51 years that is fantastic. Have you always lived in Vermont?

Jo-Anne Himmelman: Lived in Vermont entire life Susan.

Dodie Shea: Wish I could pick so many of you that have made today so much fun. However these are the two I picked to receive the free books:

–Jo-Anne Zimmerman and Frankie Knight

Terry Bryan: Jo-Anne Himmelman and Frankie Knight



Julie Haigh: Well done Jo-Anne and Frankie!

Micki Stokoe: Well done Jo-Anne & Frankie!

Becky Corwin-Adams: Congrats, Jo-Anne and Frankie!

Susan Joyce: Jo-Anne Zimmerman and Frankie Knight are winners! Congratulations!

Victoria Twead: Jo-Anne Himmelman and Frankie Knight, congratulations! Please PM me your book choices when you’ve decided.

Frankie Knight: OMG! Cannot believe it’s now 2 in a row!!!! Why me, I’m a fraud as I no longer write……

Terry Bryan: You can always take up writing again, Frankie Knight.

Frankie Knight: I’ve seriously been thinking about it since my Monday………

Jo-Anne Himmelman: I just signed on today and oh my goodness. Thank you Dodie Shea. Will send my selection soon Victoria Twead.

Victoria Twead, there are so many good books it is hard to choose. I think I will ask for Dancing in the Fountain. I will be reading this on my way to Morocco this weekend. Thank you again Dodie Shea.