Dort was what I called my sister Dolly. She was ten years older than I and her full name was Dorothy Frances. I called her Dort because it fit her. She loved a good joke and she was a lot of fun. She was married three times, the first right after High School to Roy Buckner, with whom she had four children; Debby, Joyce, Tom and Benny Sue. She lived on Tyler Street in Eugene in an older two-story house with a full basement.
She later divorced Roy and married Bob Boyd, a machinist who worked on dams. She lived near the Grand Coulee Dam where she joined an Indian tribe by virtue of what little Indian blood we have left in the family. A benefit of joining the tribe was that she was able to buy her cigarettes on the reservation and avoid federal taxes. That may have been her sole reason for joining, knowing Dolly. They later moved to Page Arizona because Bob worked on the dam there and then to St. Johns Arizona where they developed a business buying and renting out mobile homes. Dolly thought she was a millionaire and fixed for life with all her real estate holdings but she divorced Bob and, apparently, he ended up with the better half of their holdings and Dolly lost all of her share. She was convinced the Mormons were out to get her and she contacted a nephew who had married into a Mormon family and converted into that faith to try to get him to intercede on her behalf. He called me to see what he should do and we convinced Dolly he really didn’t have that much influence with the leaders of the church.
I don’t know if her desire to get away from the Mormon Church was a major reason why but she then ran an ad in an Australian paper and found a husband in Perth by the name of Bill Sweeney. Bill was pretty well fixed and Dolly appeared to have landed on her feet again but pretty soon trouble developed. Dolly was a lot of fun but I guess a little hard to live with. She made friends easily and soon had a pretty good group of friends in Perth which I guess was OK with Bill until she told them that she felt she was very lucky to find Bill, especially since he was impotent (which she considered a real plus)! Bill was not amused and their marriage went downhill from there. Bill ended up in prison for wife abuse, apparently they take that quite seriously in Australia, and Dolly ended up with his house and a pension.
Anyway, that was Dolly’s life in a nutshell. She died two years ago with her eldest daughter Debby the only family within 5,000 miles of her. I talked to her on the phone the day before she died and she was in typically good humor even though she knew her time was near. I’ve regretted not being able to see her for the last 25 or so years but Perth is really a long ways away, even if you’re in Australia.
Like I said, Dolly was a lot of fun and there are a lot of stories about her that illustrates that fact. For instance there is the one about her trip to the gynecologist. I don’t know why she went to the doctor, maybe it was just a check-up, but Dolly was a little embarrassed to be lying on the examining table with her feet in the stirrups and with nothing on but a sheet. She really didn’t want to get into a discussion with the doctor about ANYTHING so when he came into the examination room she pulled the sheet up over her head so she wouldn’t have to look at him. Well, he wanted to talk to HER, so as he was examining her he pulled the sheet over his head too and proceeded to have a conversation. I’m sure she shrieked and made a bit of a commotion because I’ve seen her do it before.
Another one that is typically Dolly is about the house she had at 1059 Tyler which had always been used as a precinct polling place. When Dolly and Roy bought the house they continued to let it be used as a voting place. Well, one election year my brother Pete and Dolly decided that they would make some home brew which they produced in the bathtub. They bottled the stuff and stored it in the basement which is (you guessed it) where the voting booths were set up. The bottles were exploding and the place smelled …well, like a brewery! It created quite a stir amongst the voters. That was the last year that it was used as a polling place.
Patty and I visited Dolly and her second husband, Bob Boyd, in Page, Arizona one year while we lived in Denver. Bob told us a story about how he had saved Dolly’s Pomeranian, who had been electrocuted from biting an electric cord, by giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation. I don’t know why she would divorce a guy who would do that.
Well, that’s my sister Dolly. She seemed to be able to find the fun side of life and that is what defined her in my eyes.

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One Comment on “Dort”

  1. […] Dort  November 4, […]

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