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Dooley does plenty to heighten spirits and stresses teamwork
Sitting in the Screven County Chamber of Commerce office minutes before she would head virtually next door to the First Baptist Church Social Hall for the annual chamber banquet, Barbara Dooley voiced a rather shocking revelation.
“I don’t plan things,” said Dooley, the keynote speaker of the Jan. 29 event. “I didn’t plan to get married. It just happened. I didn’t plan to have children. It just happened.”
And the wife of
“I wasn’t looking that,” Dooley said. “This career path that I am on now, it was dumped into my lap.”
Married to Vince for nearly 50 years and the mother of four,
Dooley said a speaker came to
Dooley, at first, dismissed the notion, but then embraced it. Now she makes speeches throughout the South four or fewer times a month.
For a lady who admits she does not make plans, Dooley’s life
has fared very well and
“She was a hoot,” said Darlene Anthony, who first talked to
Dooley in the chamber office and then sat with the keynote speaker at one of
the head tables in the social hall of the
Dooley gave the 300-plus in attendance at the 35th annual meeting a dose of just some of the hijinks she has experienced as the spouse of man who was revered as the UGA head football coach and athletic director. She used her stories of mayhem as a humorous way to promote the night’s theme of “teamwork.”
“The way you see her here is the way she has always been,”
said Tom Avret, who graduated from
Her Thursday evening visit to
“I didn’t make a very good impression,” said a smiling
Dooley before heading to the social hall. She said she did learn during her
last stop in
In front of a crowd seated at circular tables at the banquet, Dooley added some comments about her last visit this part of the state.
“The last time I was here I was begging for votes and I don’t think I got one vote,” Dooley said. In actuality, Dooley received 122 votes to Burns’ 1,408 in August 2002.
Barbara, however, wasn’t the only occupant of the Dooley household who had possible political aspirations. Vince himself considered a gubernatorial run in 1989.
“Vince was thinking about running for governor and it was
big news in
With such a candidate possibility floating out there,
various media outlets jumped on the chance to weigh in on the issue – including
personality Ludlow Porch, who broadcasted a radio talk show out of the
Radio listeners initially called in to the show with positive comments about Vince Dooley, said Barbara of her husband.
“I just love Vince Dooley,” one said. Another: “I just love Vince Dooley.”
But that would change.
“I hate the
Even when someone was happy with the Dooleys, it may not turn out too well.
When the couple was going to Bulldog Clubs throughout the state, the Dooleys stopped at a convenience store. While Vince was using the bathroom, a man at the next urinal over abruptly turned toward coach Dooley when the gentleman noticed who was standing next to him. This sudden action got coach Dooley wet – but not with water.
So he came out and asked his wife if she had a hairdryer. When Vince told Barbara what had occurred, Mrs. Dooley said “You are going to need more than a hairdryer.”
“If you were to ask Vince how long have ya’ll been married,
he would say ’45 happy years’ and that’s not bad out of 49,” she said of her
husband who was in Camilla the night of the
Dooley, however, did have her serious moments that involved love and team.
She said that when she travels in an airport, Dooley routinely hears people say “I love you” to those who are arriving and departing.
“If there is this much love, why are there so many problems,” Dooley said. “Love is volunteerism. Love is helping your neighbor.”
Mrs. Dooley said people should not judge others. Instead, she urged individuals to “get to know those people.”
She said individuals must consider the “integrity of a person and are they trustworthy. Are you trustworthy?”
Dooley backed up her statement with
“You have to have faith,” Dooley said. “Boy, do I need faith. We should be on our knees. We must be working as a team.
“We know who is in control and it is not us,” she said. “No matter what you have done God will always love us. He is steady in his love.
“The greatest gift you can leave your children is your name,” Dooley said. “That is the greatest gift.”
To conclude her speech, Dooley sang her favorite song “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” with Stevie Wonder’s providing most of vocal punch. Dooley then asked everyone to rise to their feet. When her song finale was done, the crowd clapped.
“I told Vince I would get a standing ovation,” said Dooley, who autographed her new book “Put Me in Coach” during the evening.
A silent auction to raise more funds for the