Thursday, February 2, 2012
Close to Nowhere
Ms. Dottie was one of a kind...
Dottie Chumney passed away last week after a long bout with cancer. If I’m not mistaken, she was on her fourth round of chemo/treatment.
She was one of the first people around here that I wrote a story about. And boy, was she interesting -- then and now.
I’d never met her before, when I traipsed to her store in Red Banks. Boots ’N Spurs was probably the first Western store I’d been in also.
The store itself was fascinating. Full of “stuff” -- Western, cowboy, junk, you name it, you could probably find it there. I was delighted to find a spindle -- round heavy bottom, thin pointed spike to poke papers on. Dottie gave me that spindle and I still have it -- full of poked papers that I’m sure I’m gonna need some day soon.
Dottie herself though, made a great story. Tall, blonde, attractive, dressed in cowboy boots, jeans and a checked shirt, she epitomized my idea of a “Western” woman.
At that point in my life, I was still shy and reticient. (Yeah, I know, but this was years ago!) Dottie was confident and a real people person.
She told the most interesting stories -- most of which she asked me not to print. I was delighted to hear stories about her days in Army Intelligence and all her escapades overseas.
We became friends over the years -- she calling in ads and what-have-you to the paper and my daughter, granddaughters and I shopping with her.
Dottie was always confident, always cheerful and always a saleswoman. If I brought my granddaughters in with me, she could find something for me to buy them. Or for her to give them.
As a non-horse person, I often didn’t know what I was looking at in the Western side of the store, but over on the Tradin’ Post side, I was a happy camper.
As a “junk” addict, there was always something interesting over there. I bought a beautiful burled wood wardrobe and a paper maché rabbit butler that’s as tall as my waist. He has on a green waistcoat, black pants and spats and has a jaunty smile to go along with his wonderful tall ears. As any good butler, he’s holding a tray out and I keep all kinds of stuff piled on it -- right at the moment he’s holding a wooden basket full of stuffed cats and assorted other critters.
Dottie visited CrossPointe Church about a month ago with Marion and Sonny Pryor. She wasn’t happy and cheerful anymore, she was sick. She looked tired, although I never heard her complain.
I’m betting she’s smiling and cheerful again now!
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