God never loses any golf balls in the grass."
These are words of wisdom from The News' long-time Jot 'em Down community correspondent Dorthy Fay Schultz.
She said this saying has come to fit her life because, through all of its ups and downs -- hardships and times of straying -- like a wayward golf ball, the good Lord has always gotten her back on course.
Dorthy was one of 16 children cared for by her mother and Baptist minister father during the Great Depression. She spent the early years of her childhood in Lake Port, Fla., in an area that is now a Native American reservation.
Like all other families during this era, Dorthy's was poor. However, despite their struggles, Dorthy said her childhood was a happy one. "We were poor but didn't really know it. Growing up, the only thing we really knew was beans and rice and Jesus Christ," Dorthy said laughingly. "But we really were just so happy."
Dorthy said she realized at an early age that she had a passion for writing. "I was, and guess I still am, non-stop talk. I guess my writing's just another way to talk to people."
She said one of her earliest memories of writing is when she was about four years old writing on a fogged window. And since then, she hasn't stopped.
Dorthy said she mostly wrote poetry and gospel songs growing up. A song she wrote as a teenager in honor of her grandfather's death -- "Those Nail Scarred Hands" -- was published. "I wrote ("Those Nail Scarred Hands") the day my grandfather died. It was put in seven different publications, and I was tickled when I got $5 worth of free books from the company (that published the song)," she said.
As an adult Dorthy worked in a variety of jobs. She was a telephone operator for 18 years and a successful Century 21 real estate agent. "I learned a lot (working for Century 21). I definitely enjoyed my years wearing the gold coat," she said.
However, according to Dorthy, her professional achievements do not compare to her personal accomplishments.
Dec. 26, 1980, Dorthy married Raymond William Schultz.
"My Raymond," Dorthy lovingly said of her husband, "he was definitely a character."
Raymond died April 5, 2006, after a quick, yet painful struggle with lung cancer.
According to Dorthy, though the two married late in life, their marriage was "truly a gift from God."
"My Raymond and I, we had over 25 wonderful years together. With things like they are nowadays, that's hard to find anymore," she said. "In our time together we really had a lot of love. Thank the good Lord for My Raymond; he was such a wonderful man."
After My Raymond's passing, and years of chronicling their lives together, their friends and neighbors in Jot 'em Down and the adventures she shared with the bull-headed rooster PinHead, Dorthy said she knew she needed to move closer to town.
Dorthy moved a few miles down Highway 9 inside the Salem city limits. There, from her stoop on the home she has named Beulah Land, she can keep an eye on My Raymond's grave.
And from there she will continue her writing. Though no longer the Jot 'em Down news, but instead the Beulah Land news, it will still be Dorthy writing for the friends she cherishes.
Like she said, "I really do love these people I write for."
From the editor: Dorthy is just one of our community correspondents who do a great job of keeping us up-to-date about people and happenings around the area.
Over the next few weeks, we will feature all of our correspondents. If your community is not covered by a correspondent and you would like to volunteer to write a weekly article call Erma Harris at 895-3207.