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In the Spotlight: Dorothy Sanchez plays pool
Hi Dorothy! I know you don’t like a lot of attention, so thanks for talking to us today! Some folks may have seen you and your granddaughters here playing billiards. How long have you been coming here to play?
We started coming in about four years ago. I played as a teenager on Main Street in Longmont and I wanted a low cost way to spend time with my granddaughters that was more fun than watching television. When we come in, we play doubles or learn about strategy and critical thinking. Of course, they’re better at playing now than I am!
What first brought you in?
Well, I came in do the income tax program and saw all these tables in here. I made a mental note to return and teach my granddaughters. At first, it was quiet and there were a handful of men playing here. Now, there are a lot of folks who come to play and sometimes if I’m here with just two of my grandkids and we want to play doubles, one of the men will join us. We’ve learned a lot from the others who play during the day even though we can only come on school breaks.
You’ve worked since you were very young—do you enjoy being retired?
I do, but I still keep very busy working with St. John the Baptist Catholic Church all week. I visit people who are home bound to give communion and I sit with families who have just experienced a loss. When someone dies and they need someone to go say a prayer, I go sit with them.
What a gift to give your community. Is that hard for you?
You know, it was hard for me at first because I wasn’t very comfortable talking in front of others. I felt unworthy or like I wasn’t not doing anything right, but people needed it; it’s a very hard time when someone in your family passes away, but I gather my strength to do it by going to church.
Does it give you pause about getting older?
I feel it’s good to get older. I have lived my life to the fullest. I have five children and eighteen grandchildren. I had a lot of difficult times but that was a gift to teach me how I was going to accept the things that happen in life. When I was younger, I didn’t understand it, but I feel good about my whole life because I learned so much along the way and I’m much quicker to accept what life brings these days.
What’s one of the life lessons you can share?
As a single mom I learned to do things by myself and I believe it makes us stronger people when we understand what we can do by ourselves or, if we need help, to ask for it and accept it. I had a down syndrome child to care for while I was working full time and the other children had to learn to be independent. I’m proud of all of them.
So, Clarissa, what’s something that you have learned from spending time with your grandmother?
So much! I’ve learned that you do have to be independent but you should still have something to come back to when you’re done. Life life to its fullest, get out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to try new things. Like, it’s always an adventure to be with her.
Oh? Dorothy says she’s a quiet homebody but you’re saying something different. Can you share a story or two with us?
One time my grandma and my sisters and I lit fireworks in the house and got burn marks on the carpet, so we covered the burn marks with nail polish and my mom walks in the door and she asks us why it smells like gunpowder and nail polish—haha! Or when my grandma taught me to drive in a cemetery. She said “You can’t kill anybody here, they’re already dead!”
Hahaha! I suppose there’s truth in that. Do you have any parting words of wisdom for us?
Will we see you around the billiards tables for a while? Oh, yes. we love coming here to play. And I guess the thing I’ve learned about life is that you can’t control everything so deal with what comes using the knowledge you have at the time and maybe some day you’ll get smarter.