A few years back I received a phone call from Dorothy, the woman in the picture next to me. She just happened to go to Starbucks on a particular Sunday afternoon and picked up the local paper, The Desert Sun. On that day, there happened to be an ad in the paper talking about my memoir writing workshops. I remember that call so clearly as Dorothy has such a sweet voice and she began to tell me that she didn’t really want to write her memoir, but was wanting some help in finishing up her late husbands memoir and asked if I could help her. I asked her why she didn’t want to write her story. I told her I could help her with his book, but thought she should try out a session 1 class and learn more about who she is. I remember her telling me that her husband was a famous comedian, but probably before my time and I probably wouldn’t even know who he was. I asked her who he was and she replied, “Don Adams.” I quickly said, “You mean, Don Adams, from Get Smart? Of course I know who he was, I used to watch him after school!” Well, it has been over two years since Dorothy has been coming to class and I am happy to tell you that she has been working on her memoir! You see, Dorothy has had quite the exciting life. Not only was she a June Taylor dancer, but she was also a former Rockette, performed on the Pat Boone Show and the Jackie Gleason show as well. Her stories are wonderful as she shares what it was like going to parties at Rock Hudson’s house. Those who have been in classes with Dorothy love her sweet spirit. It has been such a great joy and privilege to teach Dorothy. I have watched her blossom and grow as she learns more about who she is. Dorothy is a great example of my belief that nothing is ever by chance. Dorothy rarely reads the newspaper and on that particular day she saw my ad. She told me something called to her that she just had to contact me. I am so glad she has because she has become one of my dearest friends. A few months ago she asked me if she could bring her best friend to class. I said of course…it happened to be Patty Priest, who played Marilyn Munster from the TV show The Munsters! Another one of my favorite shows! Now if I could only get her to bring into class Mary Ann and Ginger from Gilligan’s Island!
Today in your writing think about those times when you happened to go somewhere that you normally wouldn’t go or you ventured off your normal route. Who are those people you met through “chance” circumstances? Those are fun memoirs to write about and share! Keep your eyes open to watch for what memories emerge!