Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


THIS IS A CELEBRATION OF WIFE DOTTIE, known to many of you as Dorothy Clendenin. A person-to-person get-together was planned for relatives and friends for today, July 23, the date selected as the weekend before Dottie’s July 28 birthday. Alas, Covid BA.5 precluded this actual assembly, but here today SimanaitisSays offers some of its interaction.

The Posters. Here are five posters celebrating Dottie’s life, pals, and adventures. These were meant to be displayed at the cancelled Celebration of Life event, but I am glad to share them with you here. Click on each poster to view it in a larger size.

El Centro Childhood.
Albuquerque, Disneyland, and Elephant Races.
Pet Pals.
Other Pals.

Bridges Like Music. A Poem. You might not have heard of the poet Todd Tschoia. A hint is provided in the Pet Pals poster.

These posters were great fun to assemble. You’re free to copy or print any or all of them. If you’d like 8 x 10 copies of any on card stock, please drop me a line ( with a mailing address.

Please Share Your Memories of Dottie. You’re encouraged to engage in interaction through the website’s Comments section below. WordPress protocol invokes an approval process for first-time users. Please don’t expect an instantaneous appearance of anything submitted. Grandkids Lily and Carter have been enlisted to perform the necessary quick Approvals. Also, it asks for name and email info which are protected by security software.

And, of course, you’re encouraged to interact with others who post comments. 

Thanks sincerely for taking part in this Celebration of Dear Dottie. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022 


  1. Tom Austin
    July 23, 2022


    A heartwarming tribute to Dottie!

    Tender too.

  2. Andrew G.
    July 23, 2022

    Wow, what a great presentation! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    The photo of Dottie with Max is the one I most recall from reading R&T. I also reckon it was her at the wheel in a few test car pix. She accomplished so much at a time when women were just beginning to be given a fair chance.

    Bon voyage, Dorothy!

    • simanaitissays
      July 23, 2022

      Thanks, Andrew,
      Selecting the images for these montages was great fun. Limiting them to five was the challenging part.

  3. Jack Albrecht
    July 23, 2022

    This is a beautiful tribute, Dennis. It will take me a while to check out all the details on a big screen!

    • simanaitissays
      July 23, 2022

      Hello, Jack,
      Thanks for your kind words (about this and so many other SimanaitisSays listings). By the way, in my usual 6:06 a.m. check of posted items, I found this morning that the posters were amenable to iPhone-enlarged viewing.

      • Jack Albrecht
        July 23, 2022

        You’re very welcome. As I’ve said before, I love your eclectic content.

        I’m an Android user, but even more importantly, I love to look at things in close detail. Since I work on computers all day long I have dual 32″ screens to check out all the history you posted.

        Apropos history: A day later and I see so many comments from well-known (to me) names from R&T from the 80s and 90s. What a great community you all obviously had there to still be in contact so many decades later. It’s beautiful to see how humans can take a “job” and make it an extended family.

    • simanaitissays
      July 24, 2022

      Hello, Jack,
      You are spot-on about the old R&T. We had a job for which one said, “Monday! I get to go to work today!”
      Our travels and adventures equaled those of our most fortunate readers.
      And Dottie was an essential part of all this.
      Thanks for taking part in today’s Celebration.
      Two “32s,” eh? I get by with a mere iMac 27, plus an older iMac 27 partitioned as a slick-looking PC running Windows XP for my GMax and flt sim. (“What’s ‘XP,’ Grandpa?”)

      • Jack Albrecht
        July 24, 2022

        XP?! Yikes. I hope that is a technical requirement for your GMax / flight simulator programs. That is old software and slow. Windows 10 is nice. Windows 11, not so much.

        I do control work and lots of documentation thereof, and proposals and spreadsheets for new work. I resisted going paperless (caveat here) for a long time, but with two 32″ screens I can have multiple documents and spreadsheets open, or when doing technical work, I can be logged into multiple systems looking at multiple parts of the system at once. It is very efficient and saves untold trees!

        I do keep my most important to-do list on little pads of paper on my desk. It is a wonderful, visceral feeling to cross things off, and when the page is full to transfer/start anew. I read somewhere that this feeling of accomplishment helps to get more things done. It works for me.

        I’m very much enjoying the posters. What a labor of love!

  4. Andy Bornhop
    July 23, 2022

    Dennis, thanks so much for sharing these boards. What a lovely life. I always will remember Dottie’s wit and great sense of humor. She had great travel tips, too, turning me on to great Italian food in El Centro (Grasso’s?) and the Wisteria Candy Cottage. Honored to have been one of her R&T interns (and later staffer).

    • simanaitissays
      July 23, 2022

      Hi, Andy,
      Thanks for your kind words.
      I haven’t been to El Centro in years, but Wisteria Candy Cottage is a regular online joy. Their chocolate-covered peanuts and divinity are super!

  5. kim reynolds
    July 23, 2022

    What a beautiful and touching walk through Dottie’s life you’ve given us, Dennis. I remember a few of these moments and heard about others, but put together they paint a memory of a truly unique, adventurous and caring soul. My prime mental image of her was that impish look on her face when she’d look up from her desk – her mind spooling the perfect crystalline comment – as I’d turn something in … just a little bit late in my opinion! But in her twinkling eyes was actually, and always, always, so much love… A few minutes ago I was driving, with NPR playing in the background. I was thinking about Dots when suddenly I realized the show was about grammar and punctuation with a series of very funny examples I was subconsciously smiling at. Why, hello there! And yes, you did make us laugh with so much witty humor, too. Thank you, Dottie – and Dennis

  6. Richard Baron
    July 23, 2022

    Dennis… such a wonderful remembrance of our dear friend Dottie. What a full and rich life she had, and I am so glad to have known and worked with her all those fun years at R&T. We will always remember her great laugh and wonderful sense of humor, and today celebrate her enriching our lives. Good memories. Happy memories. Godspeed Dottie…

    • Dennis
      July 23, 2022

      Hi, Richard,
      Thanks for your kind words. It was a ball putting the montages together.

  7. christinecookwaaolcom
    July 23, 2022

    Hi! Charmaine and Christie here

    • simanaitissays
      July 23, 2022

      Hi, Christie and Charmie,
      As introduction to others, Christie is a Dottie niece (pictured on the Other Pals montage); Charmie is her daughter. Thanks for coming.

  8. christinecookwaaolcom
    July 23, 2022

    We just went through the posters and found some surprises. One of Charmaine’s favorites is the shot on the Vienna Orient Express, and mine too. So much history. Loved the captions about the USSR, and progressive timeline as it unfolded. I remember the stories about her stay in Moscow. Everything she did was fun. She is so missed.

  9. christinecookwaaolcom
    July 23, 2022

    Glad to see you Dennis

  10. christinecookwaaolcom
    July 23, 2022

    Charmaine would have been 10 when Dorothy was in the USSR. I told her the story about the coat hangers there.

  11. christinecookwaaolcom
    July 23, 2022

    We saw one cat picture we didn’t recognize. Wait, Charmaine says Captain Kid is Cappie….I remember him well.

  12. christinecookwaaolcom
    July 23, 2022

    Charmaine says her fondest memory about Dorothy is her voice, and we both are enjoying the pictures. I hadn’t seen the one of Rose close up before, and know you must her too. Sweet face on her.

  13. joe ruszkiewicz
    July 23, 2022


    What a great tribute to Dottie and what a great walk down memory lane. You have truly outdone yourself, although that’s to be determined. As remembrances go, the one that comes readily to mind is when during our racing days, we were tasked with getting one of Dottie’s family heirlooms from El Centro, which is near Holtville, where we’d been racing, to your home in Santa Ana. Because our Ford Super Van was fitted with a regular bed, we figured we could place said heirloom, a grandfather clock, on its back on the bed. Done. And Donne (wait for it). Suffice to say, the trip went smoothly except for one thing: You could hear the clock’s works banging against each other all the way back to SA. “Ask not for whom the bell tolls,” I guess.

    We’ll raise a glass to Dottie and to you and the kids. Godspeed.

    Joe and Carolyn

  14. Karen Heersink
    July 23, 2022

    Thank you Dennis for sharing Dorothy’s adventures. I feel very fortunate to have been able to spend time with her in her later years. She gave me good advice, I still hear her voice in current situations.
    She would tell wonderful stories of her life and her reactions to situations that needed to course correct. Her sense of humor, over the top and into hyperspace. Also her silent cat hiss was an 11 on a score of 1-10. 1 being more like coughing a hair ball up, 10 being totally intimidating.
    I miss her. She gave life a great ride. I am forever inspired by her 💝🦋🌈

  15. John Dinkel
    July 23, 2022

    There’s something fishy happening here.

    Roe great cover b blurbs. My original story said, “Wrote great cover blurbs.” So my MacBook must be having a Siri-ous problem!

  16. John Dinkel
    July 23, 2022

    Word Press is a site for sore eyes. It didn’t publish my original story, only the correction. I have corrected that below:

    I worked with two managing editors at BondParkhurstBondCBSDiamandisHachette. At Car Life it was Barbara Fortner, who gave me the single best piece of advice I ever got in this business: “Don’t listen to XXXXXXXXXX.”

    Most of the rest I learned from the likes of Allan Girdler, Ron Wakefield, Bill Motta and Dottie. Taskmasters, one and all. But, Dottie, for sure, had the toughest job of all: Herding cats. She had lots of practice from the domesticated home variety and those feral versions who took up residence in her backyard.

    Her office cats were everyone at R&T not name Dottie Clendenin. And I have to believe Dottie was a closet psychologist because she knew exactly how to interact with every other staff member to make sure very period was Dottied, every T was crossed and every piece of missing type had been plied loose from Chuck Queener’s loafers.

    R&T never missed a deadline. That’s because Dottie refused to accept that as an alternative. The Managing Editor who managed to get everyone else driving around race track on the same line and in the same direction.

    We played Uni, Roy and Al at a Bondurant driving school at Sears Point. I don’t remember which of us, Mike Knepper or me, was Roy or Al. But Dottie was Uni. And she understood how to make a Datsun Z car go fast around Sears. No Sears sucker, our Dottie!

    When Dottie had an opportunity to go galavanting around the world, she always came back with wonderful stories. And she brought the best out of contributors such at Rob Walker, Innes Ireland, Bill Warner and dozens of others.

    Dottie was a great ambassador for R&T. Liked by everyone, friend to all. I never heard an unkind word. All done with the sort of Southern charm that only comes from growing up in the environs of Southern El Centro. That’s farm country. And Dottie had a head for lettuce . . . and ditches!

    Loved her Fiat.

    Wrote great notes about the test cars she drove. Corrected all the missspillings in the notes Chuck Queener wrote.

    Found and destroyed most of the puns I wrote. Even the good ones!!! LOL

    Was NEVER late to any of my editorial meetings.

    Was NEVER afraid to tell me I was late!

    Wrote great cover blurbs.

    Was NEVER afraid to admit she was wrong, like the time she said, “I blamed Chuck Queener for the missing type, but I actually found it on Bill Motto’s shoes. And I apologized to Chuck and didn’t mention that he was wearing Bill’s loafers!”

    Too long to re-tell here, but an editor getting the Nickname, Dead Weight, came from two tests of station wagons that Dottie and I did. Send a check to Dennis care of Dottie’s favorite charity and I’ll divulge the name of this person! And the rest of the story . . .

    • christinecookwaaolcom
      July 23, 2022

      Great stories and tributes.
      Thank you all.
      Christie a niece
      Charmaine a grand niece

  17. Maxine Devlin
    July 23, 2022

    Dennis, the posters are amazing! Such a lovely tribute to Dottie. Not sure which part I liked best – Walt Disney, elephant races, the giant Dixie cup, or the rock solid parenting advice! What a rich life she led. Sorry today didn’t go as planned, but I hope it was full of great memories, healing, and love.

    • simanaitissays
      July 24, 2022

      Hi, Max,
      Thanks for your dear kind words. As you know, your providing a vintage slide projector was part of this project. Bless you. Hugs.

  18. Joseph Kemp
    July 24, 2022

    Thank you both for the Thanksgivings and Birthday hosting, so generous. Proud to be a family member and in close email communication with Dorothy. A very genuine, loving and caring person who gave me the best advise. Thanks Dennis for her incredible life story.

    • simanaitissays
      July 24, 2022

      Hello, Dear Joe,
      As you can imagine, assembling the montages of Dottie’s adventures was a delight. Thanks for joining in it today. Hugs.

  19. Duane and Peggy
    July 25, 2022

    Dottie enhanced the lives of all who knew her with her good nature, great wit, compassion, intellect, & so much more. Although we mourn her passing, we celebrate the life of a great lady.

  20. Ron Thomas
    July 26, 2022

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to Dottie.
    What a life, and what a lady!
    Ron and Tina

    • simanaitissays
      July 26, 2022

      Hi, Ron and Tina,
      Thanks for your kind words. As you would expect, I agree completely about Dear Dottie.
      Hugs— d

  21. Myrna Dillon
    July 29, 2022

    Dear Dennis, I have looked at the pictures and text of Dottie several times. It’s all a keeper! As well as I knew her I found even more interesting items about her life. (She rarely talked about herself; a classy gal.) A quick story: When I first knew Dottie — working at AAA — I told her that my favorite toy as a child was a tin globe that an aunt gave me. Instead of taking a doll to bed with me at night, I slept with that globe on my pillow. The following Christmas Dottie gave me a globe. As I write this the globe is still on a shelf in my home office. We had several common denominators; one being that we both had siblings a generation older. A rural life; several other similarities growing up. Griff and I send our love to you and family. Myrna

    • simanaitissays
      July 29, 2022

      Hi, Myrna,
      What a sweet tale about the globe. It reminds me of when Dottie’s father explained a globe to her—and she had trouble sleeping because she worried she’d slide off.
      Love and hugs to you and Griff.

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