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The Glass Was Always Half Full by Helen Chappell

I used to come slouching and grouching into her Bellevue Store full of the frustrations and woes of the life of a mid-list writer. I’d toss myself into a chair behind the counter and whine. Dotti would listen, or at least pretend to, murmuring encouragement. “Oh, darling girl,” she would exclaim, her hands busy with whatever project she had at that moment. “It can’t possibly be that bad! Look at all the people who love your writing. Things will get better.” All the time she’d be pounding nails, painting, gluing or sewing. She was never still, our Dotti, filled with the restless energy of the artist. For her, the ideas never stopped coming, nor did the encouragement. Her relentless cheerfulness often drove me crazy – I wanted her to agree with me that my life was one giant stinkfest – but she never did. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. And I was just one of probably hundreds she buoyed with her love and optimism. She was like that. She always believed in the best in everyone, even the most awful people like me. Dotti Heimert died in November,

after a long, painful sumo wrestling match with cancer. It’s not just a great loss to her beloved family and friends; it’s a loss to the whole regional art community, and the community at large. She was just that special. And special doesn’t come along that often. When she and her husband, Bert Heimert, bought the long-empty old Bellevue Store and remodeled it into a gallery, store and apartment, I had my doubts. I

Dorothy “Dotti” Joyce Heimert 11

February 2012 Tidewater Times  

Tidewater Times February 2012

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