Logan StoryCorps: A 101-year-old woman describes her youthful shenanigans
It's time again for Utah StoryCorps, everyday people sharing their stories at the StoryCorps recording booth in Logan.
GINGER PAYANT: Hi, I'm Ginger Payant. Dorie Thorpe is my interview partner and she is my very good friend.
DORIE THORPE: My real name is Doris. But I've gone by Dorie for many years; that's what my husband called me.
My birthday is June 3, 1922. I'll be 101 on June 3 '23. I've lived in Logan all my life.
My dad was a Swede and my mother was a Dane. When my father, Franz Oscar Blomquist, lived in Sweden, he was a tailor. He wanted to come to the US, but because Italian tailors made more money than Swedish tailors, he changed his name from Blomquist to Britzelli. So I was known as Doris Britzelli.
GINGER PAYANT: Do you have any favorite stories from your childhood?
DORIE THORPE: When I was just a small child, probably eight or nine years old, my mother taught me how to use the Singer treadle machine so I could make doll clothes on the machine. Later on, I learned to sew and make clothes for myself.
I've always enjoyed fashion design and clothing and sewing. So when I got in senior high school, Mrs. Brown's sewing class, she was a wonderful teacher. And they had electric sewing machines, and it was so nice to not have to use the treadle machine to make and to sew.
And I'd always stay after the last class and help her clean up the room. And I would always make sure one of the windows was not locked so I could sneak back in and use the electric sewing machines.
GINGER PAYANT: So did anybody ever find out about that?
DORIE THORPE: I don't think I ever got caught.
GINGER PAYANT: That's wonderful.
DORIE THORPE: Well, I remember I attended Wilson Elementary School, and after going almost to the sixth grade, I was having a hard time seeing. I sat on the front row in the classroom and I still couldn't read the blackboard. So my mother took me to an optometrist who fitted me with gold rim glasses. I hated the glasses, but I wore them because I could see.
When I was a junior, softball was a big thing in Logan. And one time I was the catcher on the team and I wore my glasses and I didn't have a mask. And the umpire stood behind the home plate. And he came harassing me and giving me a bad time because I was in that position wearing glasses. I finally turned around and said to him, "If you'll take those damn dark glasses off, you can tell the difference between a strike and a ball." That made him mad and so he walked behind the pitcher and finished calling the game. And every chance I had to throw the ball to second base, I tried to hit him.
GINGER PAYANT: Okay, I have one more question. I would like to ask you how many times you won the women's championship?
DORIE THORPE: I won the women's golf club championship 10 times.
GINGER PAYANT: You've had quite a life.
DORIE THORPE: Yes.
GINGER PAYANT: You are a remarkable woman and I've always admired you.
Support for Logan StoryCorps comes from Cache County and from USU Credit Union, a division of Goldenwest.