Over the years, I managed to accumulate a number of blogs-there are those I will continue to “update” and those that can no longer be accessed. It is because of the latter (Dear Dottie Blog)I have decided to bring many of my more interesting and popular posts across here to Deliberately Debbie. Enjoy!
Will the real Dorothy Dix please stand up!
I can still hear the words of my father, “Here comes Dorothy Dix!” and yet for years, never quite understood who this character was, and why my father insisted on comparing me to her? “WHO ON EARTH IS DOROTH DIX?” I’d ask. He would never explain, but came to an understanding this mystery woman, had some mighty resemblance to me, it was always Dorothy, never any other name. As years went by, there’d be moments where I’d recollect and associate the moments this statement would be made to me. “Why you want to help so many people all the time, is beyond me….” this usually right after I would be sharing my concerns for another in need…my concerns often proceeded by news that I’d managed to find a way to assist someone, or pleading with my parents to allow some ‘lost sorry old soul’ into our home…”Ahhhh! Dorothy Dix!” my dad would mutter, and so I became to believe this person just must have been like me, the ‘good samaratin’, the one who ‘had all the answers’ yet had such a hard time sorting out her own life?? haha Well, after a search of Google and the helpful folk from http://www.ask.com/ I finally investigated the name, I had to know if this woman existed! Surprise surprise!! She did! Thanks to the history pages of the internet I can now identify the reasons behind my father’s constant remark.
Born November 18th, 1861, as Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer, this lady and I do share some similarities….spooky! Please read on!
At the age of twenty-four[I married at 20] she married George O. Gilmer. “Having finished school, I tucked up my hair and got married as was the tribal custom among my people,” Elizabeth said. Her marriage was not a happy one,[nor mine] but Elizabeth remained married to George, who was mentally unstable and something of a misfit, until his death in 1929. After eleven years of marriage Elizabeth suffered a nervous break down, and her family brought her to the Gulf Coast for relaxation and time away from her husband.
Here she met the owner and editor of the New Orleans Picayune newspaper, Eliza Holbrook Poitevent Nicholson, who bought a story from Elizabeth for publication in the Picayune. Soon thereafter Elizabeth was hired by Mrs. Nicholson as a reporter for the newspaper. This is how Elizabeth got started on her journalism career. Elizabeth took her work seriously, “I had a passion for newspaper work, and I set about learning my trade with the zeal of a fanatic,” she explained. Soon she was writing a weekly column for women titled “Sunday Salad,” which was followed by her most famous writings “Dorothy Dix Talks.” Readers liked her views on women, and she became a great success in a very short time.In 1901 Dix, her pseudonym, accepted an offer to work for the New York Journal, owned by William Randolph Hearst, and for whom she was asked to write “dramatic accounts tersely written in a personal style,” depicting the temperance crusaders of the day, followed by murder investigative reporting. However, she continued to write the “Dorothy Dix Talks” column which by 1908 had become a daily, prominent and widely read column. During her years in New York she published several books on relationships between husbands and wives, foibles of society, and domestic life in general. Her books were mainly collections of her column writings and became best sellers at the time they were published. Her writings were published in newspapers across the world, and she became known as the most widely read, as well as the highest paid journalist writing for newspapers. She said people told her things they wouldn’t even tell to God, she became known as the “confidante of the nation” and the “mother confessor to millions,” as she received thousands of letters each week from readers around the world.
Dix was the most widely read woman writer of her times, women and men sought advice from her for over fifty years. At the peak of her popularity around 1940 her writings were printed in 273 newspapers and read by an estimated 60 million people. Her career as an investigative newspaper reporter included twenty years as one of the most widely known woman reporter of her time.
Miss Dix died of a heart problem at the age of 90. “For over fifty-five years her name appeared over the column in which she gave advice to the lovelorn and which was noted for its sympathy, common sense and realism.” She left an estate to her family of two and a half million dollars. Much hard work, diligence and smarts had made the lowly paid reporter to the best known and highest paid woman journalist in the country.
During the years of my 1st marriage, I too had dreamed of becoming a journalist, but those aspirations never came to pass, not until later in my life where my writing took me down many new paths! Gaining more information about this woman, has placed a special place in my heart, an endearment for a lady I never knew yet have a great deal of respect for. Thanks dad!
The story behind Dear Dottie began here: http://deardottie.wordpress.com/dottie/