Monday, September 17, 2007

everyone knows Dot Conklin

Those who've been around the past decade or so have seen Dot Conklin around the dining hall, before meals and between meals, cleaning the bathrooms, walking in and out of the kitchen, eating her meals in the staff dining room. Before that you'd remember Dot at the laundry and driving around to various lodges in one camp vehicle or another, delivering linens, hauling out laundry.

Dot started at Frost Valley in 1967--forty years ago--although in my recent chat with her (which you can hear by playing this mp3 recording) it became clear to me that Jim Whyte hired her, and Jim was gone by '67. So I'd guess that she was first hired in early 1966.

Dot is an original Catskills denizen. She has family scattered all across the region, she knows all the old stories about one-room schoolhouses, what this Claryville house was used for in the old days, and so on.

Dot was the first recipient of a recent annual staff award, and when she received this honor everyone stood and applauded, tears in their eyes. Finally a chance to recognize a true community elder - hard working, honest, a kind & beautiful soul.