Listen: Dorothy Bremer Kohler, memoirist

The Enterprise — Elizabeth Floyd Mair
Dorothy Bremer Kohler

 

The cover of Dorothy Bremer Kohler’s book depicts the farmhouse in Gilboa — her Shangri-La, where she was raised — painted by her granddaughter, Jacklyn Kohler. Kohler, who is 89, wrote the stories of her life as part of a memoir group at the Voorheesville Public Library under the tutelage of Dennis Sullivan, who is also an Enterprise columnist. Kohler will read from her book and sign copies at the library on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m. Although Kohler’s stories are firmly rooted with details of a particular time and place — first, Astoria in Queens where her father, from Germany, drove a horse-pulled milk truck in the 1930s; then the farm in Gilboa, which Dorothy always considered home; and finally, the home in Voorheesville her father and uncle built for her own growing family and where she has lived for more than 60 years — they offer universal lessons about work and faith, about love and family. Even as a child, Kohler thought for herself. When her Sunday-school teacher told her only humans had souls so only they would go to heaven. Kohler, who loved her terrier, Skippy, decided, if her dog wasn’t going to heaven, she didn’t want to be there, either. She also writes, “We don’t always get what we think we want.”

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