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Logan StoryCorps: A 101-year-old woman describes her youthful shenanigans

Dorie Thorpe and Ginger Payant at their StoryCorps appointment in Logan.  Dorie Stands smiling, looking to her upper right, wearing an oxygen tube, small hoop earrings, glasses, and a black and white buttoned blouse.  She has softly curled short white hair.  Ginger Payant stands close with her arm around Dorie. Ginger also has white hair, but hers is short and spiked.  She has dark rimmed glasses, dangling earrings, a necklace and gray v-neck tee. Ginger smiles into the camera.
Dorie Thorpe and Ginger Payant at their StoryCorps appointment in Logan.

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.


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.

Mary got hooked on oral histories while visiting Ellis Island and hearing the recorded voices of immigrants that had passed through. StoryCorps drew her to UPR. After she retired from teaching at Preston High, she walked into the station and said she wanted to help. Kerry put her to work taking the best 3 minutes out of the 30 minute interviews recorded in Vernal. Passion kicked in. Mary went on to collect more and more stories and return them to the community on UPR's radio waves. Major credits to date: Utah Works, One Small Step, and the award winning documentary Ride the Rails.
Kirsten grew up listening to Utah Public Radio in Smithfield, Utah and now resides in Logan. She has three children and is currently producing Utah StoryCorps and working as the Saturday morning host on UPR. Kirsten graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor's degree History in 2000 and dual minors in Horticulture and German. She enjoys doing voice work, reading, writing, drawing, teaching children, and dancing. Major credits include StoryCorps, Utah Works, One Small Step, and the APTRA award-winning documentary Ride the Rails.
Check out our past StoryCorps episodes.