Dozie Herbruck is a longtime member and newly elected president of the Village Garden Club. Originally from Newark, New Jersey, she moved to Cleveland Heights in 1967. She discusses the garden club’s Cherry Tree Grove, how the club coped with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and ways in which the club has evolved in recent years, including welcoming the first male member in its 90-year history. She also offers her thoughts on the current debates over the future of Horseshoe Lake.
Herbruck, Dozie (interviewee)
Cameron, Caitlen (interviewer)
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:00] Alright, so today is Wednesday, August 25th. It's about 12:30-ish. It has been on and off rain all day and we are in Shaker Heights. My name is Caitlen Cameron with Shaker Historical Society. And I am with?
Dozie Herbruck [00:00:18] Dozie Herbruck.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:20] Alright. And how do you spell that?
Dozie Herbruck [00:00:23] D-O-Z-I-E, first name, and H-E-R-B-R-U-C-K.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:27] Alright, Dozie, I just want to go over first, do you consent to be recorded?
Dozie Herbruck [00:00:32] Yes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:33] Alright. And are you excited?
Dozie Herbruck [00:00:35] No.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:36] [Laughs] That's okay. Nobody is usually at the beginning, so it's okay. So just to kind of start off things, when and where were you born?
Dozie Herbruck [00:00:46] I was born on [...] 1944, in Newark, New Jersey.
Caitlen Cameron [00:00:53] Okay, did you go to school there?
Dozie Herbruck [00:00:57] I did. I went to elementary school and high school there. In Short Hills, New Jersey, not Newark.
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:04] Okay. What did your parents do?
Dozie Herbruck [00:01:09] My father sold life insurance and my mother was a homemaker.
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:16] Okay. Was it nice to have your home, like all the time, or was it more of a nick-nagging mom?
Dozie Herbruck [00:01:25] You know, back in those days, most moms stayed home. So it wasn't anything I thought about one way or the other. And she was not a nagging mom. I was the fifth kid of six...
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:37] Wow.
Dozie Herbruck [00:01:38] And the first five were in five years, and I was the fifth. So she didn't care much what was going on!
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:44] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:01:45] In my life.
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:47] Hey, that's good news. That's nice to at least have a mom around.
Dozie Herbruck [00:01:51] Yeah, she was there.
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:54] So did you have your mom have a garden at her house? S.
Dozie Herbruck [00:01:56] She did.
Caitlen Cameron [00:01:58] What did she grow?
Dozie Herbruck [00:02:00] I don't even remember what was in her garden. A lot of peonies. We had lots of rhododendrons and azaleas and, you know, those kinds of whatever you call those plants that you plant along the side of the house. But she did have gardens, and I can't tell you much about what was in them.
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:21] That's okay. Did she had ever have vegetables or anything?
Dozie Herbruck [00:02:23] No, no vegetables, all flowers.
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:27] So more a beautiful garden instead of a...
Dozie Herbruck [00:02:29] Yeah, it was it was very pretty. But, you know, we didn't pay much attention to what she was doing in her garden back then.
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:36] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:02:36] She did have a gardener, too, which, you know, nowadays, like, really?
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:40] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:02:41] I think Frank, an old Italian man came...
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:44] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:02:45] Either once a week or twice a week. And I don't know... He mowed, I guess, you know, but yeah, he didn't do the gardens. He just took care of the lawn.
Caitlen Cameron [00:02:56] Okay. Well, that's nice. So you said you were at high school and did you work when you went to high school or did you go to school after?
Dozie Herbruck [00:03:08] I just went to school and came home. I didn't work.
Caitlen Cameron [00:03:14] Okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:03:14] We were busy though. I don't know, you know, I was majorette in school.
Caitlen Cameron [00:03:19] Oh cool.
Dozie Herbruck [00:03:20] That was after-school stuff. But no job. I babysat a lot so I shouldn't say I had no job.
Caitlen Cameron [00:03:28] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:03:29] Babysat for fifty cents an hour.
Caitlen Cameron [00:03:31] Wow! [laughs] Yeah. That's, that's the bad wages now, if somebody says that it's like...
Dozie Herbruck [00:03:37] I know. I got up to seventy-five by the time I stopped and that's... Maybe I didn't make that much because my daughter was... When she babysat it was seventy-five cents an hour, I think. Or when my kids were little. That wasn't her. Seventy-five cents an hour. So things have changed.
Caitlen Cameron [00:03:56] Yeah. So when you graduated high school, did you go to college?
Dozie Herbruck [00:04:01] I did.
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:02] Where'd you go?
Dozie Herbruck [00:04:03] I went to Wells College. It was an all-girls school, very small. There were about five hundred and fifty women at the school. And it was in Aurora, New York, in the Finger Lakes area, right on Lake Cayuga.
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:19] Okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:04:19] Very pretty place.
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:20] What did you study?
Dozie Herbruck [00:04:21] I was an English major.
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:23] Oh, cool. What was your dream of what you wanted to degree for?
Dozie Herbruck [00:04:28] Well, that's a little bit embarrassing to say...
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:30] No.
Dozie Herbruck [00:04:30] Because I the only thing I knew I didn't want to do was to be a teacher. And back then you didn't have a whole lot of choices. You could be a secretary or a teacher. There weren't a lot of other options. And I so I had no plan at all. So the good news is I got married about three weeks after I graduated, so I didn't have to think about it. And I ended up being a teacher.
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:55] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:04:56] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:04:57] Huh. So how did you meet your husband?
Dozie Herbruck [00:04:59] Well, he went to an all-boys school, a male-only school in New York State, two hours away. But back then, two hours was nothing for a date because most of the schools, a lot of the schools were single-sex.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:13] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:05:13] And so we had a blind date.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:18] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:05:18] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:19] Where was it at?
Dozie Herbruck [00:05:21] The blind date, I guess was it at Wells College. I think he was coming down. Dave's cousin, who he roomed with at college, was coming down to have a date with somebody in my dorm. And she was out in the hall looking for somebody who wanted to have a blind date. And I said, well, I've never been out with anybody from Hamilton College, so I'll go.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:45] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:05:45] And that was it. Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:05:47] And it was like, was the dating game or dream did it go amazing?
Dozie Herbruck [00:05:52] Well, we had a nice time, but I remember going back after the date and telling my roommate that when we get married, we'll have two sets of books because he was an English major too.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:02] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:06:03] So I can't say it was love at first sight, but it was... This seemed like the right person.
Caitlen Cameron [00:06:09] Yeah, a match made in blind-date heaven, right? Yeah, right! [laughs].
Dozie Herbruck [00:06:14] That's nice. So once you guys once you graduated and got married, did you guys move together?
Dozie Herbruck [00:06:22] Yeah. Dave was in the Marine Corps. He was a year ahead of me at school. So he graduated. We were dating long distance while he was waiting for his commission. Remember this was Vietnam era, and at that time you either got drafted or you signed up. And so he signed up to be an officer, figuring that that was a little safer maybe than going in as an enlisted person. And so he was back in Cleveland waiting for his duty, I guess. And that was my senior year. And then and then I guess the second half of my senior year, he was in officer's training school. And then we got married in July of that year. And then we went back to Quantico, Virginia, where he was in officer... still in OCS, Officers Training School. And then we went from there to Beaufort, South Carolina, where he was stationed at the air station there. And I was bored. And so I called the local school district and said, if you need a substitute, I'm here. And they called back and said, would you teach full time?
Caitlen Cameron [00:07:35] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:07:36] And that's how I started teaching, which was sort of amazing.
Caitlen Cameron [00:07:40] Wow.
Dozie Herbruck [00:07:40] Because I had no training in teaching.
Caitlen Cameron [00:07:44] What was that like to, I guess, have a husband in the war and, you know, everything that was going on?
Dozie Herbruck [00:07:51] Well, it was stressful, but more so for him than for me because he had to go.
Caitlen Cameron [00:07:58] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:07:58] We were down in South Carolina for a year and actually we were in Baltimore for three months of that year. And then we went back and then he went to Vietnam and I finished teaching that year. And then I went to Rhode Island for the summer. My parents lived up there and took three courses at the University of Rhode Island and then came back to Cleveland and found a place where... and lived with his parents for a while while I found a place for us to rent. So I was busy for the month. I mean, the year.
Caitlen Cameron [00:08:30] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:08:30] It was literally eleven months.
Caitlen Cameron [00:08:33] Were you were worried?
Dozie Herbruck [00:08:34] I guess you're always worried. But he was in an officers... He was in a headquarters. So I was less worried than I would be if he was out in the field.
Caitlen Cameron [00:08:44] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:08:45] You know.
Caitlen Cameron [00:08:46] So I am kind of a novice, I guess, for anything in that era. How would you guys remain in contact? I mean, was it like you got to talk to him every day or...
Dozie Herbruck [00:08:59] No, he sent home tapes, reel-to-reel tapes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:06] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:09:06] I don't have... We have them up in the attic and I don't have any place to play them and I've never listened to them again. And he sent letters home but that was it. You didn't call. There was no cell phones and...
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:17] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:09:18] You didn't call, so...
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:21] Wow.
Dozie Herbruck [00:09:21] And I don't remember how often I heard from but pretty regularly I think.
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:26] Yeah. You need to listen to those again. You need to...
Dozie Herbruck [00:09:29] Don't want to listen. See, I don't go back, I don't, I don't need to listen to those again.
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:34] So why, why don't you go back? What's, what is it just you're always striving for the future?
Dozie Herbruck [00:09:42] Yeah. I'm always thinking of now. I live now and for the future but I don't, I don't delve in the past.
Caitlen Cameron [00:09:52] Mhm. That's good though. I wish I could... I think I prioritize the past. I think about everything that happened. And sometimes it's bad because it cripples me, you know.
Dozie Herbruck [00:10:02] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:10:03] But that's good.
Dozie Herbruck [00:10:03] No, I don't. And I don't have a good memory either. So, you know, it's hard to go back if you can't remember.
Caitlen Cameron [00:10:10] That's true. So I know. I hate that I'm asking these questions, but I know you don't remember, but it's okay. It's no worries. So you came back. How did you get back to Cleveland eventually?
Dozie Herbruck [00:10:26] You mean did I drive back?
Caitlen Cameron [00:10:28] No. I mean, so you were all over the place, back to Rhode Island and then back here. So when were you finally settled in Cleveland?
Dozie Herbruck [00:10:35] Well, I came back here when Dave... He went to Vietnam '68 and '69. And so it was the summer of '68, I guess. Must have been the summer of '67 that I came back here and rented a house and then he got home in February and we were already in that rent, you know, we were in the rental house. So I had spent that year furnishing it and whatever, collecting furniture.
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:12] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:11:12] And I think I was substituting in a school, schools around here. And then he came back and we were here.
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:22] Really? Was it this house?
Dozie Herbruck [00:11:23] No, it was... We were in a two-family rental in Cleveland Heights and then three years later moved into our first house near there and the second house on the street that his parents lived on in Cleveland Heights, Woodmere Drive. And then we moved over here after the kids grew up and left.
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:41] Okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:11:42] We upsized.
Caitlen Cameron [00:11:44] So what did you what did he do after the war? What was his...
Dozie Herbruck [00:11:47] He went into business with his brother and they owned a company that did corporate insurance and key man insurance and business types of insurances.
Caitlen Cameron [00:12:05] That's cool. And you continued teaching?
Dozie Herbruck [00:12:08] Well, I got pregnant the minute he got home.
Caitlen Cameron [00:12:11] [Laughs]
Dozie Herbruck [00:12:12] And so I substituted that year. And then I had my baby and I substituted that year, I think, when she was little, not a lot. And then I had my second baby, 18 or 19 months later. And when they were two and four, I went and taught in the nursery school and took them with me.
Caitlen Cameron [00:12:37] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:12:37] So I've always done something.
Caitlen Cameron [00:12:41] Yeah, that's great. How many kids?
Dozie Herbruck [00:12:44] Two.
Caitlen Cameron [00:12:45] Just two? Okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:12:45] My baby's turning 50 in two days.
Caitlen Cameron [00:12:48] Oh my gosh! Wow. Hey, that's an accomplishment though, I mean you can still say that. Yeah, that's great. So you moved to Cleveland. Did you have... Okay, throughout your moves, did you ever have gardens when you moved?
Dozie Herbruck [00:13:07] Yes, not in our rental, but always after that, I always had gardens, and that's pretty much why we moved here, because our last house was very much shady and we pretty much filled up at all the garden beds. And there wasn't... There were a lot of things I wanted to plant that I couldn't because they were shady and...
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:24] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:13:25] We were out on our bikes one day and we weren't looking to buy a house, but there was an open house in that house and this one.
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:34] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:13:34] And we just decided to go in and look and, I don't know, this one sort of caught our fancy and so we bought it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:40] Fell in love, I guess?
Dozie Herbruck [00:13:41] We have a lot of gardens here.
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:43] Wow. It does look like an English major's house, I'll tell you that.
Dozie Herbruck [00:13:48] [Laughs].
Caitlen Cameron [00:13:48] No, it's very beautiful. But that's great. So when you start gardening, when did you start growing, because I remember you said when you grew up, it was kind of like a like a passive act. Did you start once you got your own place?
Dozie Herbruck [00:14:08] Our first house I gardened, but I don't remember... I don't remember what I did and what I planted. I don't remember what was in the yard but I know... And maybe I didn't garden very much in our first house.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:23] That's okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:14:23] I'm trying to think because I remember one little garden along the garage, I don't know, I wasn't really into it. And the second house I got into gardening more, but not till this house.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:38] Yeah, more space.
Dozie Herbruck [00:14:39] Well I was working all the time too. I mean, I didn't have the kind of time I have now.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:47] Mhm. I know I've heard that, too, like if you're working, it's a very close second. It's nice. It's a nice stress reliever, but...
Dozie Herbruck [00:14:55] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:14:56] But the dedication that people put into it.
Dozie Herbruck [00:14:58] Just don't have the time.
Caitlen Cameron [00:15:00] Mhm. So. Okay, so I guess the big question. How did you get involved with the garden club?
Dozie Herbruck [00:15:09] Well, that's sort of an amusing story. I think Mickey Horner was a stalwart in this club, longtime member. She was in charge of that Cherry Tree Grove. I think she took care of it all by herself. I didn't know anything about this club. I was not interested in joining any clubs.
Caitlen Cameron [00:15:28] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:15:28] And I had just retired, I think I had just retired from University School. And she called me one day, and this was maybe in May. And she asked me if I would be interested in coming to the Garden Club meeting first Monday in June. And I said, oh, no, sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm busy that day. I mean, it just immediately out of my mouth because I don't join clubs.
Caitlen Cameron [00:15:57] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:15:58] And she said, oh, that's too bad. But how about next September? I couldn't think of an excuse, so I agreed to go and I had known Mickey from University School. Her husband taught my husband and he was the wrestling coach I think, and the football coach and one of his teachers.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:18] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:16:18] So we had known them over the years. But I tried not to accept, but I couldn't get out of it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:25] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:16:25] So when I went to this first meeting—it was down at the City Greenhouse—and I walked in and there were all these people I knew from the Skating Club. I had no idea they were in a garden club.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:37] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:16:38] And so I thought, oh, well this could be fun. I know these people. [laughs].
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:40] Yeah. Not intimidating once you've actually done it.
Dozie Herbruck [00:16:44] So that's how I joined.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:46] Okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:16:47] Against my better judgment. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:49] What year... Do you remember what year that was?
Dozie Herbruck [00:16:51] Well, the book says I've been in ten years, I think, which amazes me because I still feel like a newbie in the club.
Caitlen Cameron [00:16:58] Yeah, I know. The first time I met you said no, I'm just a newbie.
Dozie Herbruck [00:17:02] I am new. I don't, yeah. I don't have the history of this club.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:07] Yeah. But you are the president now which is great.
Dozie Herbruck [00:17:10] Oh, well, that's the problem with this club.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:13] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:17:13] We're getting old. And, you know, when the when the president of a club is 78 years old, you know you've got a problem.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:20] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:17:21] And, you know, we need to get younger people in it, and but that's what happened. We have two people on our board right now that just joined this year.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:30] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:17:30] I mean, that's not the way it should be.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:32] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:17:33] [Laughs] So we need to work on it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:35] That's I'm glad that you guys are progressing though. It seems like a lot of movements are being made.
Dozie Herbruck [00:17:41] We're getting some... We've got three young, younger members, young members. So that's a good thing.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:47] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:17:48] So hopefully they'll bring in some of their friends and we can get that whole new generation going.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:53] Yeah. Oh, that would definitely be really good for it to sustain the club too.
Dozie Herbruck [00:17:59] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:17:59] So when you joined, which is the ten years ago now, what do you remember, some of the events that you participated in or some of the club meetings that were good memories?
Dozie Herbruck [00:18:10] That I can't tell you.
Caitlen Cameron [00:18:13] Really? Okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:18:15] I can't. Oh, I only had one. Nancy Schriner hosted a flower ranger who I've since gotten to know through my other garden club. Now I'm in two—don't go there—and she did a flower arranging thing and that was really fun. And we've had a few of those. Helen Schreiber has done it a couple of times and those are always fun to go to. But as far as our horticultural meetings, Hank Dahl came once. He's a local guy who grows dahlias, and I hosted it at my house and he came and talked to us about dahlias and that got me interested in dahlias.
Caitlen Cameron [00:18:57] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:18:58] That was interesting. So...
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:02] What does a dahlia look like? I guess I can't recall one right now.
Dozie Herbruck [00:19:06] Well, if the rain stops when we leave, I can show you. I've got three of them in bloom in my yard. They're round and sometimes they're this big and they're just full. And then there's with some spider ends...
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:18] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:19:18] And a lot of different kinds of dahlias.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:22] Hmm. That's cool. I can't wait to see them.
Dozie Herbruck [00:19:25] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:25] So were you when you watched the flower arrangers, did you try it and were you good at it and did you like it at all?
Dozie Herbruck [00:19:35] I like flower arranging. I don't know that I'm particularly good, but I like some of my arrangements.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:43] That's cool. I know I was talking to Helen and some of the arrangements she's done and some that stood out.
Dozie Herbruck [00:19:51] Well, she's amazing. I mean, all of hers are beautiful. Every single one of them.
Caitlen Cameron [00:19:56] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:19:56] So, yeah, she's a professional. I'm just, you know, put flowers in a vase.
Caitlen Cameron [00:20:03] That's okay. She, you wanna know [inaudible], she said the same thing. She said, I just, I do it for fun.
Dozie Herbruck [00:20:09] Yeah, well, she's got the eye. She really is an artist.
Caitlen Cameron [00:20:14] That's good. And I looked at some of her pictures too. And she said [inaudible].
Dozie Herbruck [00:20:16] I do dried flower arrangements. I grow those and dry them and that one's getting tired. I need to make a new one. But...
Caitlen Cameron [00:20:26] How do you...
Dozie Herbruck [00:20:27] That's what I do.
Caitlen Cameron [00:20:27] Dry flowers and make them still look...
Dozie Herbruck [00:20:29] I hang them upside down in my basement? These guys, these are straw flowers and those you have to take out and put on a wire. You, I mean, you have to stick a wire through because the stems don't last. But the other stuff is all hung upside down. The hydrangeas are best to dry by putting them in a vase of water or in something in a vase and letting the water just gradually evaporate and they don't curl up. If you just take those and hang them, they'll just all shrivel up.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:01] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:21:02] Yeah, but the rest of it is all stuff that I've pulled out of the garden.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:09] Well, that's beautiful. I think you should give yourself some credit there.
Dozie Herbruck [00:21:13] Yeah. It's just that they do get tired. You know, they... I take them down in the basement and I have a mess down there and I take them out and then I can reuse these. But mostly the new ones from this year would be much yellower and, but sometimes the combination is good. So you can use 'em, you know...
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:28] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:21:28] If you perk it up with fresh stuff.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:33] Gosh.
Dozie Herbruck [00:21:33] But... This stuff's growing right now in my garden.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:36] Oh really? What are those?
Dozie Herbruck [00:21:36] Something called pearly everlasting.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:43] Huh.
Dozie Herbruck [00:21:43] And I need to get at it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:21:45] So it does it have to dry in like a cool, dark place or can it dry like in a window?
Dozie Herbruck [00:21:50] Well, it should be... It should not be in a window. It should be in a dark place, I think, and it should be best if it's cool. I don't know. I've got 'em hanging all over the place downstairs and I need to get down there and do some serious cleaning.
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:07] Well, that's okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:22:07] Because I make a mess when I do this and when I hang 'em they're a mess.
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:11] I've tried to hang like my boutonnieres and things and they wilted. And I was like, mmm, it's not even worth it anymore and like, but I know it's definitely an art, and you do a good job so.
Dozie Herbruck [00:22:23] Well, thanks.
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:23] So have you ever, while you're in it, did you ever participate in any of our shows or anything?
Dozie Herbruck [00:22:33] Have I entered in a flower show?
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:36] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:22:38] Oh, this garden club, the Village Garden Club, hasn't had a flower show since I've been a member. They did in the olden days.
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:46] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:22:46] The other garden club has had flower shows, not for the last three years or two years.
Caitlen Cameron [00:22:52] Okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:22:54] And I don't know if I've entered them. We've had... I can't remember if I've ever put a flower... No, I haven't done a flower arrangement in show. I've entered a photography contest. I take pictures of my garden.
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:15] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:23:17] Where and we had a photography contest in the other club and that was fun. And actually I got them to invite this club to enter. So some of our members won. There's no prize or anything. It's just for pride.
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:33] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:23:34] So I've won some, you know...
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:35] That's cool.
Dozie Herbruck [00:23:36] Blue ribbons.
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:36] How do you take pictures? Like, do you take close-ups?
Dozie Herbruck [00:23:39] I love the macro picture.
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:41] Yes!
Dozie Herbruck [00:23:41] I like to put my mine.... You have a fancy camera there. Is that a Canon?
Caitlen Cameron [00:23:45] Yeah, it's a Canon.
Dozie Herbruck [00:23:46] I had one with a... That's a fancier lens than I've got. I turned mine that took various lenses, I turned it in for the Canon, I think it's called the EOS. But maybe that is... That only had... That you can't take the lens off, but it has so much better telephoto and so much better macro right on it, so I don't have to put other lenses...
Caitlen Cameron [00:24:08] Wow.
Dozie Herbruck [00:24:09] But it's... It's about that size. But I wasn't fooling around with all those lenses.
Caitlen Cameron [00:24:14] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:24:15] It was...
Dozie Herbruck [00:24:16] Yeah. I just got this one and it's something that I like. But at the same time I've had cameras that are all like their own base model, and that's all you use. But the macro is so much fun. Plus, buying lenses is so expensive. You could spend more on a lens.
Dozie Herbruck [00:24:34] Yeah, no, I just I had a lot of lenses. I actually took them, my other camera and all my various lenses, down to Dodd Camera and I think they gave me a hundred dollars off on my new one, which was only, I don't know, it was only a three or four hundred dollar camera. But I like it a lot. It's got... The lenses are just better even on one which doesn't have...
Caitlen Cameron [00:24:54] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:24:55] But I love taking the macros of flowers.
Caitlen Cameron [00:24:58] Yeah. Me too!
Dozie Herbruck [00:24:59] That was fun.
Caitlen Cameron [00:24:59] So that's cool.
Dozie Herbruck [00:25:00] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:25:00] Oh, that's, see, I never even thought about photography for your group, so that's really interesting.
Dozie Herbruck [00:25:08] We should get it going more with this club because a lot of... Oh, not a lot, but there were five or six people that got interested in and entered. It's a good idea. Maybe I'll do it this year...
Caitlen Cameron [00:25:18] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:25:18] Try to get a...
Caitlen Cameron [00:25:19] It's easy to do...
Dozie Herbruck [00:25:19] Photography contest.
Caitlen Cameron [00:25:20] Over the Internet.
Dozie Herbruck [00:25:21] It sure is. And I've got a... I've got it set up... I use, shoot, a Google Drive we use and they've got Google Forms? And Google, maybe it's Google Forms that I use to set up the pictures and the and the...
Caitlen Cameron [00:25:41] Oh yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:25:41] And the voting and stuff. And so it it's real easy to do to send it out to the whole members nds they vote on this. Oh, good idea!
Dozie Herbruck [00:25:49] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:25:49] Yeah, there you go. I'm helping facilitate.
Dozie Herbruck [00:25:51] There you go. I hadn't thought of doing that.
Caitlen Cameron [00:25:54] That's good. Especially while gardens and including for, you know, the fall too.
Dozie Herbruck [00:26:00] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:26:01] That would be great.
Dozie Herbruck [00:26:01] You better tell people right now.
Caitlen Cameron [00:26:05] So I guess, so who are some of your friends in the group? Who have been your friends over the years?
Dozie Herbruck [00:26:12] Well, from when I walked into that group, I saw Bunny [Katherine] Haffke, and I saw Barb Shockey, and I saw... I can't think who else, I don't have my book here. I should have brought my book down. Oh, Susan Pim I knew and of course, Mickey Horner and... I don't know, I'm blanking on the rest of them.
Caitlen Cameron [00:26:41] That's okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:26:42] Nancy Schreiner I played tennis with, didn't know she was a member. I'm trying to think.
Caitlen Cameron [00:26:52] Is there anyone that has passed away that you would like to mention that you were friends with?
Dozie Herbruck [00:26:56] Well, Mickey Horner was not a close friend of mine, but she was a big loss to the club.
Caitlen Cameron [00:27:05] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:27:05] Sad. And, you know, she came to our last she came to a meeting like within a week of her dying and her son brought her in a wheelchair, and Pat was having the party next door. I mean, that luncheon and by golly, you know, she wanted to go and he brought her to that meeting. And it had been her birthday shortly before that and we all sang door. And it was it was a wonderful time. It was just a really neat thing we did, or that she did by coming...
Caitlen Cameron [00:27:34] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:27:34] And her son said she appreciated it so much. So that was really sweet.
Caitlen Cameron [00:27:40] That's great. I know a couple of people have mentioned her and some of the things she's done, but...
Dozie Herbruck [00:27:47] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:27:48] It's nice to hear some perspectives.
Dozie Herbruck [00:27:52] She was neat, but knock wood none of my younger, younger friends my age... We just keep on going.
Caitlen Cameron [00:28:03] Yeah, that's good. Hey!
Dozie Herbruck [00:28:04] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:28:05] Live long and prosper in the club, right?
Dozie Herbruck [00:28:07] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:28:08] So, I guess, how would you describe the club? Is it like a family? Is it like a gathering? I mean, for somebody who's never even heard about it before?
Dozie Herbruck [00:28:24] Well, I'd say it's a very casual, friendly club with a lot of really nice people interested in the same things that I'm interested in, you know, interested in gardening. There aren't a whole lot of us that still garden.
Caitlen Cameron [00:28:38] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:28:39] I'd like to get more people in who actually garden because I think learning from each other is what is really important, I think. But it's a good club. It's not a fancy-dancy club at all.
Caitlen Cameron [00:28:54] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:28:55] And we have our meetings. I don't... I think we could upgrade our speakers and our programs, but that's another story.
Caitlen Cameron [00:29:07] That's okay. You have time, right?
Dozie Herbruck [00:29:10] Anyway. I don't know how else to describe it. If you're interested in gardening, this might be a club that would be of interest to you.
Caitlen Cameron [00:29:21] Mhm. I know, Pat, she told me a lot about what you guys do. She loves the Grove. That's like her child. I know.
Dozie Herbruck [00:29:29] Well, she's in charge now.
Caitlen Cameron [00:29:31] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:29:31] And it's so funny because she... I got her in. She was very reluctant.
Caitlen Cameron [00:29:36] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:29:36] And she didn't know anybody. And she stayed back. And I was sort of the same way. I, you know, didn't feel like I really belonged in the group. Until you get a job on the board, and her job is now... She's adopted this Grove that she's in charge of and I was treasurer. And, you know, once you're in the groove, at least for me, I need to be really involved or I don't feel like I belong.
Caitlen Cameron [00:30:03] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:30:03] That's just the way I am. And so once I was treasurer for a year, you know, you get to know the idiosyncrasies of people and who are late with their duties always and who don't return phone calls. And who's this and who's that and who the helpers are, who the donors are, and...
Caitlen Cameron [00:30:19] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:30:19] You know, you really get to know people. So now I feel like I know everybody.
Caitlen Cameron [00:30:24] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:30:24] But I didn't I remember first being a treasurer and having to stand up and give the monthly dues report or the balance in our checkbook and feeling uncomfortable doing that. So I didn't know these people, but...
Caitlen Cameron [00:30:41] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:30:41] You get till you know 'em when you're working with 'em.
Caitlen Cameron [00:30:46] So what is it like to be president?
Dozie Herbruck [00:30:50] I don't know. We haven't had our first meeting yet.
Caitlen Cameron [00:30:53] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:30:54] Next Monday.
Caitlen Cameron [00:30:56] Are you excited? Nervous? How do you feel?
Dozie Herbruck [00:31:00] I'm not excited. I didn't want to be president. So this is a reluctant job. I am a back... I'm a... I don't want to say I'm a backseat driver, but I'm a back-office person. I'm a... I'm a doer. You know, I get the job done. And I've been doing a lot of jobs for the club for other people who can't...
Caitlen Cameron [00:31:22] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:31:23] In terms of technology and stuff. And, so I don't like I don't like to be on stage. I don't like that.
Caitlen Cameron [00:31:31] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:31:32] I'll do it and I'll manage. But am I looking forward to it? I have a great board. I'm, you know, I'm looking forward to working with the board and letting them do the work.
Caitlen Cameron [00:31:45] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:31:46] But I hope I can do it. I hope I can have a short meeting. They went on too long, they have been going on too long. Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:31:57] So...
Caitlen Cameron [00:31:58] I'm sure you'll do great, Dozie.
Dozie Herbruck [00:32:00] We'll see.
Caitlen Cameron [00:32:02] Do you see this new Covid stuff putting a burden on anything for the club?
Dozie Herbruck [00:32:08] Well, it's, yeah, put a big burden on us because we ended up having too much money and not knowing how to deal with it all. And people thought we had too much money. But in fact, now we have not too much money because we finally got the bench over there and put the trees in and we made up for two years' worth. So our balance is now where it should be. But, you know, it's not overflowing. And we've... The good news about Covid is we learned how to use Zoom...
Caitlen Cameron [00:32:38] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:32:39] And we can still go back to that if we have to. And we managed to have meetings during Covid with Zoom, so we were lucky there. So we've all learned something new and... But it's back and we're having our first meeting in person and I'm wrestling with what we say to people in the invitation. Do we insist that they either come if they're not vaccinated, have a test before you come or what? I mean, what should we do? I don't know.
Caitlen Cameron [00:33:15] Or wear a mask the whole time or not, you know.
Dozie Herbruck [00:33:15] Well, but it's hard to wear a mask and have a meal.
Caitlen Cameron [00:33:19] That's true. Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:33:22] So I don't know how forceful we can be or how...
Caitlen Cameron [00:33:25] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:33:26] I don't know. That's that's my biggest worry right now...
Caitlen Cameron [00:33:31] Mhm. Well, it's hard because I know a lot of people... It's not... It's people governing themselves, right? It's not always your responsibility to decide what other people are choosing tjheir health to be with, but you also want other people to be safe in the group too. So I know that's a big decision, but...
Dozie Herbruck [00:33:50] Yeah, well, we'll figure it out. I don't know what we'll do. I think most everybody is vaccinated, but I do believe we have one member who's not.
Caitlen Cameron [00:33:58] Really? Gosh.
Dozie Herbruck [00:33:58] And she knows I know, so that's a problem.
Dozie Herbruck [00:34:04] Yeah, that's a hard... That's a hard rock and a hard place, right?
Dozie Herbruck [00:34:09] It is.
Caitlen Cameron [00:34:11] But I mean, I'm sure the meeting will go okay. I think you're I think you're a very organized person.
Dozie Herbruck [00:34:17] I am organized, so I'm hoping it'll go okay. [laughs]
Caitlen Cameron [00:34:23] So. Oh. So I kind of want to know... I know that you guys work on the Grove and I know you guys have some meetings. How do you get involved with the community?
Dozie Herbruck [00:34:36] How does a club? Well, more and more than before. We've had... Barb Shockey gave a talk, a history talk, in the Grove years ago or so—maybe it was before Covid—and invited neighbors. I think we maybe had something in the Sun Press about it. I sort of forget how that happened. But that was, you know, opening it. And we now have this adopt-a-tree program that I'm not sure everybody loves the idea, but it was my idea. [laughs] I'm not sure how it was that...
Caitlen Cameron [00:35:16] Did you come up with that idea?
Dozie Herbruck [00:35:18] Well, we're realizing that we have a lot of trees and with a lot of trees need a lot of help. And Barb, Pat can't do it all herself. And she had a small committee and I don't know, it just popped into my head one day. What if we... I think it was because this nice man and a little girl named Grace, you probably have heard about her, Grace and her father. I think his name is Matt. We're walking through the Grove one day and looking at the trees and admiring them, and I don't know, I must have said, I don't remember how it happened, but we got them to adopt a tree.
Caitlen Cameron [00:35:56] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:35:56] And so we've gotten a few other outside people and we've gotten some grandchildren to help and hopefully perpetuating the idea that the Grove is there. When I joined, I didn't even know about the Grove.
Caitlen Cameron [00:36:07] Really?
Dozie Herbruck [00:36:09] I think that was not a high priority in the club, which it needs to be.
Caitlen Cameron [00:36:16] What was... So when you joined, was it more about like the luncheons and stuff?
Dozie Herbruck [00:36:23] Mhm. More about the lunch. Oh. Oh, yeah. The lunch that... It was... It was all so proper. There was there were hostesses, you know, which we still have. We call them hosts now as of last week, they're no longer hostesses because we have a male member, and you'd have three people in charge of making sure that the food is out and stuff. But one of them would be sitting at the end of the table with the silver tea service and pouring tea as you came by with your tray to pick up your tea and your water and your lunch and stuff. And we haven't seen that silver tea service out or somebody pouring for a while.
Caitlen Cameron [00:37:03] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:37:04] If they want coffee or tea, I think they have to walk over and get it out of the urn.
Caitlen Cameron [00:37:08] Oh yeah. Now everybody uses a Keurig, or they push the button and stuff. Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:37:15] Right.
Caitlen Cameron [00:37:17] Okay, well, that's cool. I like to see kind of how the Garden Club has progressed over time, like it was this very proper, highly dressed society type of group and how it's morphed into this more dynamic and down to earth...
Dozie Herbruck [00:37:36] Yeah, I think so. And I think some of the pleasantries, I'm sure there are some people that would be... Are not happy about the fact that we, you know, don't have somebody pouring tea or that we don't, you know, do it quite as properly as they might like.
Caitlen Cameron [00:37:57] But things have to morph., right, with the times?
Dozie Herbruck [00:37:58] Yeah. It's interesting when we do the directory every year, we have the person's name and the significant other or husband underneath and then, see, we need to change that. We can't put husband, significant other. We've got to put just significant other, I guess, or husband, wife, see these things are changing. And we had to change all the references to hostess to host and the he/she thing. But under that we had a place on the sheet to say, how would you like your, like an invitation addressed to you because some people are like Mr. and Mrs. David Herbruck and now mine is, I changed my mine to Dozie and Dave Herbruck. And some people want Ms. So-and-so and some want Mrs. So-and-so, the widows. And it's all gotten very, you know, we're in that state of flux. And so none of it is consistent all the way through.
Caitlen Cameron [00:39:04] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:39:04] And I'm thinking for next year, we just leave that line off. And if we have to address them, we just say Dozie and Dave Herbruck, the first name and the first name and the last name and be done with it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:39:16] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:39:16] But things changed that way, you know?
Caitlen Cameron [00:39:19] You're in a position where I'm seeing a lot of changes like, like I think the club is getting very dynamic and things are evolving and stuff. How do you think... What do you think is the impact of adding a man to...
Dozie Herbruck [00:39:36] Well, it was very interesting. You know, you probably heard the story of how that happened. I'm sure Barb told you.
Caitlen Cameron [00:39:42] I'd like to hear from you, too, because I've read a little bit, but not everything.
Dozie Herbruck [00:39:46] Alright. Well, Barb Shockey's in charge of membership. And Pat Agatisa had been in the Grove one day, and I forget how this, exactly how this happened. But Chelsea and Max and Amber, a husband and wife, happened to be walking by, I think, and chatting with her. Pat chats with everybody You know, she knows everybody. And I would have had my head down doing my thing [crosstalk] and I wouldn't know. But she chatted with them and she said, well, we're having a Grove clean-up next Saturday. If you'd be interested in coming, we'd love your help. And they, the three of them all came. They weren't friends. I mean, the husband, wife, they didn't know each other, but they all showed up that Saturday. So then Pat said, you know, if you're interested in joining, we would love to have... We're going to have a meeting next week or she emailed them, we'll have a membership meeting or a meeting—we did it on our patio—to tell you a little bit more about the club. I know she said that to Amber and to Chelsea, the two women. And so I said I'd be here. Barb was here, Pat was gonna come. And we were just going to tell them the two women about it. And they showed up and Max came.
Caitlen Cameron [00:41:07] Oh.
Dozie Herbruck [00:41:08] And we all sort of looked at each other...
Caitlen Cameron [00:41:10] Yeah!
Dozie Herbruck [00:41:10] And said, so are you interested in joining me? And he said, yeah. Said, Well, there's nothing in our bylaws that says you can't join, but you do realize that you will be the first. You still want to join? Oh, yeah, I'd like to join. Said, Well go for it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:41:26] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:41:26] So that's how it happened. We didn't seek a man out to try to diversify this club. It just happened. And so we just we proceeded with doing our normal. We sent the three letters, they each had a proposer letter and a seconder letter, and we sent them out to the membership and the way our bylaws are now, which is something I changed with Barb a few years ago, that the club membership does not have a vote on a new member. Only the board votes on a new member.
Caitlen Cameron [00:42:09] Okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:42:09] And but the club members used to always vote on every member. And they... Some of them don't know that they don't have a vote now.
Caitlen Cameron [00:42:19] Oh, okay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:42:19] If they haven't read the fine print. And I'll tell ...I'm going to go back, tell you another story, and that is when I first became a member, I went to the first meeting and I wasn't a member yet. I went to the first meeting, and they asked me to please leave the room while they voted on me. And I found that demeaning. And I think that's why shortly after that, we had to update the bylaws for some reason, Barb and I and somebody else, a few other people slaved over rewording it and stuff. And that's when we changed it so that the board has the vote on it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:42:55] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:42:55] But because of that. And because the fact that the members used to have a vote, we now have a procedure where we send the letters out to the membership for their input before the vote, before the vote of the board.
Caitlen Cameron [00:43:08] So the board can read the input.
Dozie Herbruck [00:43:10] Yeah. So if, you know, there was a big scream, it might affect how the board decides. So we went ahead and did that. And not one negative comment came back. Only one said, I'm a little nervous about this, but I'll go along with it, something like that. But everybody else, all the naysayers, all the people that don't want it, because we've had discussions before and people did not want to go coed in this club.
Caitlen Cameron [00:43:35] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:43:36] A lot of people, including especially Kathleen, who was president at the time. So the people who were really against it were afraid to speak up or didn't speak up or had a change of heart. I don't know.
Caitlen Cameron [00:43:52] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:43:53] But we didn't get any negative, so we voted him in.
Caitlen Cameron [00:43:56] That's good.
Dozie Herbruck [00:43:57] And I haven't heard anything. He hasn't come to a meeting yet. So...
Caitlen Cameron [00:44:00] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:44:00] But he did go on the garden tours this summer. And everybody I mean, he is the perfect first member. He's the principal bassist in the Cleveland Orchestra. So, I mean, that gives a lot of these members, the older ones especially, you know...
Caitlen Cameron [00:44:16] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:44:17] Gives him some cred. So that's, that's what's happened.
Caitlen Cameron [00:44:22] That's great though. See, I haven't heard... I haven't heard all that. So that's amazing. Because I wondered how if he was just invited or what happened, so that's funny that he just showed up with the women and was like, oh yeah, I'm going to join too.
Dozie Herbruck [00:44:37] And I had heard that you asked somebody, should I interview Max? And I said, no, no, no, no, no, because we don't want to make a big deal...
Caitlen Cameron [00:44:48] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:44:49] About the fact that he's a member. He's a new member and he happens to be male. But we're not... I don't want the members to feel like we are on a tear to change this club because...
Caitlen Cameron [00:45:00] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:45:01] We're not. And I even heard one time he went to one of these garden clubs—I heard this secondhand—to one of these garden meetings this summer, tours, and he turned to somebody and he said, you know, I didn't realize you could come. I could have come with you as just your guest to these things. I didn't have to join, did I?
Caitlen Cameron [00:45:22] Oh, yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:45:22] [Laughs] So I don't know how long he'll...
Caitlen Cameron [00:45:24] I think he'll... I think he'll find enjoyment. Your club is wonderful, and the stuff you guys do is really interesting. So I think he'll want to stay.
Dozie Herbruck [00:45:34] Well, I hope so. And people have, you know, when I have seen them at garden meetings, people have really sought him out and been very friendly to him.
Caitlen Cameron [00:45:41] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:45:41] So and he's a nice guy. So, he's my daughter's age.
Caitlen Cameron [00:45:45] Yeah. So that's good.
Dozie Herbruck [00:45:46] Yeah, it's fun.
Caitlen Cameron [00:45:48] Well, I'm glad that you guys are being a little progressive, but I even talked to somebody and said I'm not going to interview him especially... At least not yet. Maybe down the line one day and ask him his opinion on what it was like to do that.
Dozie Herbruck [00:46:04] That would be a different story. But right now with... It just yeah, [crosstalk] I don't want to make a big deal about that. And we, actually at the last garden tour, Linda Sandhaus brought a neighbor of hers who's African American. She was lovely. She's from Africa. I mean, she's from like the... She has a lovely accent from the Gold Coast or somewhere in Africa. And her husband's a professor, I think, something like that. Anyway, she's decided she's not ready to join. I thought, shucks, but maybe once a year we move slowly into the twenty-first century.
Caitlen Cameron [00:46:43] Yeah, I know. I know a lot of members are eager to do that, and eager to add more diverse and...
Dozie Herbruck [00:46:50] Yeah. Have you had anybody that you've interviewed say that they don't like the road we're taking?
Caitlen Cameron [00:47:00] Nope. I haven't had anybody say anything negative about it at all.
Dozie Herbruck [00:47:03] Well, good.
Caitlen Cameron [00:47:04] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:47:04] That's good.
Caitlen Cameron [00:47:04] If you listen to all the recordings, everybody has been very progressive and very accepting of moving forward and adding more diverse and more different gender and everything members. I think everybody has been accepting.
Dozie Herbruck [00:47:21] Well, that's good news, but that... So, we were very pleased at how this has gone through, because we were, you know, there are people with strong opinions. But, you know.
Caitlen Cameron [00:47:34] I think everybody is more concerned about the legacy being continued, the things that... They want the club to continue. And if younger members are, you know, different races, different genders, different, this, that, they're continuing the growth. They're continuing the purpose. Right? It's not just continuing luncheons that are closed off, you know.
Dozie Herbruck [00:48:00] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [00:48:00] Like, it's...
Dozie Herbruck [00:48:00] Right.
Caitlen Cameron [00:48:00] Actually a legacy, so I think that's what they're more interesting in.
Dozie Herbruck [00:48:05] Yeah. Good.
Caitlen Cameron [00:48:05] Which is really a good thing for the club.
Dozie Herbruck [00:48:08] Yeah, well, mainly we need younger people. I mean, we need younger people. We need doers, you know and workers. So.
Caitlen Cameron [00:48:17] What would you say to a younger person trying to get involved with the club?
Dozie Herbruck [00:48:24] What would I say to them? Say we need you and tell them about the Grove, and a lot of people in this neighborhood know about that Grove because there are people walking over there all the time. I mean, it's a fairly important asset to the community. And we need you guys to be our voice and to be our legs and help us with that. And we need... I'm hoping to get the new members to agree to be on the program committee because I think we need new ideas in our programs. I feel like we've gotten a little stale.
Caitlen Cameron [00:48:58] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:48:58] And maybe it's because after a while you've heard everything and you could recycle back and start over.
Caitlen Cameron [00:49:03] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:49:04] Maybe if we had another meeting on dahlias, people wouldn't remember that we'd done it, you know? I don't know. But I just think we need new ideas.
Caitlen Cameron [00:49:14] Yeah, I think I... My first interview with Bobbie. She was telling me how about beekeeping and more local greenery, things that are native plants and stuff.
Dozie Herbruck [00:49:26] Mhm.
Caitlen Cameron [00:49:26] I thought that was really interesting.
Dozie Herbruck [00:49:30] Yeah, we've done several with native plants and yeah. And we're doing a lot with sustainability and the environment and that sort of thing. And maybe we've gone overboard in that area. We have two meetings coming up, one about sustainability and one about specifically about Horseshoe Lake and then Doan Brook and what's going on over there.
Caitlen Cameron [00:49:53] Mhm. How do you feel about that?
Dozie Herbruck [00:49:56] Oh, I'm personally not happy at all about it. I think the lake should be there, but I think it's a losing battle.
Caitlen Cameron [00:50:05] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:50:05] And part of my reason for being skeptical about it is because we just had our lake done and it was a mudflat for two years and we lived through that and we watched them do it. And they said they'd dredge to six feet, but they didn't dredge within 30 feet of my shore. It's still two feet deep. And they didn't... They didn't dredge to six feet deep, I'm positive. And they put in this dam that is like the best dam going. It's probably as good as Hoover Dam, but it's as ugly as anything. And I have to look at it because the Sewer District has no interest in aesthetics. That's not their job. And the town put not one iota into aesthetics. No, they never planted anything. They never did anything. And I don't see them maintaining it. So when I see what's happening over here and I'm thinking, if you're gonna do this, who's gonna maintain it? And I'm not seeing. So.
Caitlen Cameron [00:51:02] Do you think people care more if something's more like aesthetically pleasing?
Dozie Herbruck [00:51:07] Of course. Yeah, of course. But I just... I don't have faith in people's foresight and their ability to keep it clean. This is covered with... I'll have walk you out there—I hope it won't rain—but it's covered with slime and weeds and those things are going to all sink and then it's going to need to be dredged and they're not going to have any money to dredge it. And there's debris by the dam. There's trees that are down all over the dam. And if they don't take them out, a big storm is going to wash them over. And then there's going to be a logjam down the way and then somebody [crosstalk] and Pat's been calling the city about this junk over here. And they said, well, it's not it's not affecting the flow over the dam, so we're not going to touch it. You know...
Caitlen Cameron [00:51:55] They don't think about the longevity.
Dozie Herbruck [00:51:56] They're not... They're not thinking forward and they're not planting things that look nice. And that's just my little rave.
Caitlen Cameron [00:52:06] Mhm. Do you think the garden club can have any power in, like, Horseshoe Lake?
Dozie Herbruck [00:52:11] We've gotten them to agree that our little Grove is to be preserved at all costs. But I don't... A. I don't think we're activists. My other garden club is much more inclined to be activist in this situation. But I don't see I see about maybe eight people in our club here that are interested in following it and going to meetings and, you know, that sort of thing, tuning in, I should say, to meetings, but I don't, I don't see us being able to affect the outcome.
Caitlen Cameron [00:52:51] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:52:53] It's too bad.
Caitlen Cameron [00:52:54] It's sad. I mean, I think. I take it you mean a giant, what do they say, quicksand or something?
Dozie Herbruck [00:52:59] Oh, yeah, it's just a terrible mess. So and they're not even gonna start it to 2024. Meanwhile, they're going to spend 48,000 dollars just on having consultants come in and tell them how to fix the dam for immediate safety. And then that's money thrown out the window once they start the job.
Caitlen Cameron [00:53:22] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:53:22] So I mean, it's like...
Caitlen Cameron [00:53:23] What do you think, say, if you had any authority, what would you do? What would you do to help or fix the situation?
Dozie Herbruck [00:53:33] Well, I'd figure out how to come up with, however [many] millions of dollars they need to rebuild the dam and put the lake back in.
Caitlen Cameron [00:53:42] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:53:42] They have to dredge the lake—that's expensive—and rebuild the dam. But this lake over here, which is one of the Shaker Lakes, but it's not accessible to the public the way that one is and we don't have as much traffic, this lake, when it was built, was owned by our house and all the houses on this side of the lake and all the houses on Parkland. And I guess the homeowners got smart and said they didn't want to have to maintain it. So they ceded the lake to the city under the proviso that the city would maintain it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:54:18] So that's why it's still...
Dozie Herbruck [00:54:19] Nobody's maintaining it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:54:23] Yeah, yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:54:23] They let it go and let it go until it gets so bad that they have to have dire... And then they can't afford it so they bring in the Sewer District to do it, you know, it's...
Caitlen Cameron [00:54:31] It's so much cheaper to maintain now than it is to pay the big bill later.
Dozie Herbruck [00:54:34] I know, tell them that. So I don't know. It's discouraging.
Caitlen Cameron [00:54:46] I hope... I know the Grove will remain to be beautiful, so I have... I'm glad they're making sure that that stays, but I hope they do something and officials in that area in the future...
Dozie Herbruck [00:55:04] I do, too. I just don't have much hope because of what I see here. So, too bad.
Caitlen Cameron [00:55:14] Dozie, you're making me sad here!
Dozie Herbruck [00:55:17] [Laughs] That's why I don't think about it. I'm not an activist by nature, so I just have to close my eyes.
Caitlen Cameron [00:55:25] That's okay. Do you think—this is just a random question that popped in my head—but do you think the club will ever change the way they accept members to make it easier or more accessible? Because I feel like you have a process that has to be approved and you have to be recommended. Do you think that will ever change?
Dozie Herbruck [00:55:46] I don't know, probably, you know, one step at a time. The other club has three letters you need to give, you know, and a two year provisional period.
Caitlen Cameron [00:55:57] Was that your idea?
Dozie Herbruck [00:55:57] That's, you know, I think it will. Sure. I don't know if we'll just be open for anybody, but, you know, when we get desperate, when our numbers go down and we, you know, our average age is 80, then we've gotta do something. So, yeah, I don't know if it'll end up being open to everybody or if it's, one letter's enough, which...
Caitlen Cameron [00:56:22] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:56:23] I think should be the case now. Maybe we'll change it.
Caitlen Cameron [00:56:27] Yeah. I think it's just that I know from an outsider's perspective it's a little intimidating to be like, okay, I have to know two people to be able to...
Dozie Herbruck [00:56:36] Well, what's happened over the last couple of letters that have come in, the letter has been from one person who is proposing and then the other letter takes the first letter and sort of writes the same stuff because they don't really know the person. So that's something... We're gonna rewrite our bylaws this year. That's one of my my plans. There were a few things in them that I wanted to change. I can't think what they are right now, but it's just, oh, I know what, our structure. We have a person in charge of horticulture, but then we have somebody else who's in charge of the garden. We just need to consolidate our positions in the club, our board positions and what they do. And you can't do anything without rewriting and then having a vote to the whole membership we have... I mean, it's a pain in the tail, but...
Caitlen Cameron [00:57:31] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [00:57:31] I put the new ones and the old ones side by side and then send them out to everybody and then we wait for votes to come. Anyway, it needs to be done. And so that could be something to be brought up at the time.
Caitlen Cameron [00:57:46] You were telling me you were, like this laid-back, behind-the-scenes person but you're doing a lot of things for this club to make it last and changing things that would hopefully help in the future.
Dozie Herbruck [00:58:00] Well, I'm just by personality, I am a serious anti-elitist, you know, even though I, you know, I live in an elite society and I'm lucky, but I don't like the trappings of elitism.
Caitlen Cameron [00:58:15] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:58:15] And you know, I'm just not a person that feels like we need to have everybody vote on whether you're acceptable. You know?
Caitlen Cameron [00:58:26] Yeah. I mean, because it kind of it kind of makes me feel like, I don't know, like, it's like did you make the team or did you not make the team because you are not popular enough?
Dozie Herbruck [00:58:37] I know.
Caitlen Cameron [00:58:38] You know, like...
Dozie Herbruck [00:58:39] Yeah, no, I'd like to get rid of it altogether, but I don't like to step on too many toes either. So we'll see.
Caitlen Cameron [00:58:50] Well, I guess we're getting towards the end, and is there anything else you'd like to add or say? Hopeful things for the future? Or any memories that you'd like to talk about or anything?
Dozie Herbruck [00:59:04] Oh my. Well, I can't think of anything. I as I said, we have a great board coming up and a bunch of them have worked really hard this summer. Sally Cantor has done a great job with outreach, which we never had. That was my idea too a few years ago. I said we ought to have an outreach committee, so I hadn't thought of that. That was my idea. [laughs] So, she's taken that and run with the position and really made a difference and get us in getting us out there.
Caitlen Cameron [00:59:36] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [00:59:36] So that's good. And Pat, you know, always worried about the Grove and she's been talking to the people over there. So she's been busy even this summer when we're not. My frustration with the club is that our main meeting is a memorial meeting. We don't have a speaker, usually. We just have a luncheon, a fancy luncheon. And we memorialize the people who have died that year and we plant a tree. June meeting is our annual meeting. We don't have a speaker. We just go over, give prizes out to everybody. Those are the two prime gardening months. Those are the times when you should be having meetings, talking about what to do in your garden.
Caitlen Cameron [01:00:16] Yeah. What to plant or what to... Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [01:00:20] Anything having to do with your garden. We don't have those meetings. We didn't... And then we didn't meet all summer. This year—It was my idea, I'll take credit for this one—that was my idea to start visiting other people's gardens. Why wouldn't we go to other people’s? We're all gardeners. Well, come and look and we'll talk about it. We'll walk around. And, you know, those have been great. We haven't had a huge turnout, 10 or 12 people, but the people who have gone have loved it. And I think that's how many people are really into gardening.
Caitlen Cameron [01:00:49] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [01:00:51] But I just wish we could have more speakers in good weather when it's gardening time, and I don't know what the answer is.
Caitlen Cameron [01:01:06] Mhm. I mean, could you, like, pitch, like... I don't know. Is the problem you can't find people, or is the problem people don't?
Dozie Herbruck [01:01:15] You know, it's just tradition, we've always had this luncheon and...
Caitlen Cameron [01:01:18] Well, you can still.... I know the luncheon's important, and I know a lot of people appreciate that because it's a big part of the club and has been there forever. But you can still... I think you can still add little tidbits, like how you have the teas. I think you could add those like where, I don't know, one week is vegetable, what do you plant or you know what should this do or... I don't know. I feel like that would be really great addition to the group.
Dozie Herbruck [01:01:48] Well, we started the newsletter. There's another one of my ideas. We started the newsletter last year. And fortunately, now I have Pat Chokel helping me this year. So she's my vice president and she's learning the program. And I wish I had when I started doing this—Mailchimp is what we're using.
Caitlen Cameron [01:02:10] Mhm, I've used that.
Dozie Herbruck [01:02:10] Have you? It's not altogether intuitive. You know, the fact that you have to write over here and the stuff's appearing here and there's some glitches in it that I wish I had had somebody like me to say, oh, yeah, that always happens. Here's what you do. You close it and [crosstalk] open up to something. But so she's helping me and we haven't... I'm trying to get a communications committee going so that we talk about these sorts of things, and we need to use that more for... We used to have a horticulture report every month. What you should do in your garden and this and that. And now the hort person started by not doing that. She thought that's kind of old. We've all done it. And so she was putting in horticulture articles about whatever her fancy was. And now this year, she's thinking that we should get other people to participate in that. So we need to work on that, getting more people to say what should you be doing or how to do this or get ready for that or plant this or...
Caitlen Cameron [01:03:16] Mhm.
Dozie Herbruck [01:03:16] What tool is your favorite tool in the garden or...
Caitlen Cameron [01:03:19] Yeah.
Dozie Herbruck [01:03:19] How to sharpen your tools, which I never do. Stuff like that.
Caitlen Cameron [01:03:23] Yeah, I think tips and tricks are so helpful. And that's why I always ask everybody I interview, like what advice you would give to other people because, like, I think that's where I... That's what I would want to know. What do you do that somebody might not know? You know, like I didn't know that you're supposed to cut the stems diagonal so that when they get in the water and, like, it seems so simple, but I did not know that.
Dozie Herbruck [01:03:49] Yeah.
Caitlen Cameron [01:03:50] And, or like arrangements that you change the water every day, and again, it's self-explanatory, but...
Dozie Herbruck [01:03:58] Well, that's the stuff that Helen is so good at because she knows all that stuff. I just throw it in, you know, and...
Caitlen Cameron [01:04:04] Yeah. Or like Anne, Anne de Coningh. She told me that you take off the old buds off of rose bushes, so that way it encourages the new ones to form. Again, didn't know that. I just let 'em go and let 'em run free and watch 'em and then they all die.
Dozie Herbruck [01:04:22] Do you have a garden?
Caitlen Cameron [01:04:23] I do. I do. It's small but mighty. I have a vegetable garden and I have a couple of rose bushes.
Dozie Herbruck [01:04:30] Mmm, good. What do you have in your vegetable garden?
Caitlen Cameron [01:04:32] Pumpkins, watermelon, tomatoes. I had peas, but they died. And peppers.
Dozie Herbruck [01:04:42] And you could get peppers? I never had any luck with peppers. You must have a great sunny spot.
Caitlen Cameron [01:04:47] It's on the front of the house and it gets sun most of the day, and then it's a great spot but I've been having some finicky little cabbage moths that loved to eat my plants.
Dozie Herbruck [01:05:03] I have rabbits very much.
Caitlen Cameron [01:05:06] Yeah. I've been lucky. I haven't, knock on wood, had any rabbits this year.
Dozie Herbruck [01:05:09] This is our first year that they've eaten all my kale, had a whole bunch of kale out there, and it's chew it away.
Caitlen Cameron [01:05:17] Of course. I've gotten fortunate but... Alright. So, anything else at all, my dear, that you would love to add?
Dozie Herbruck [01:05:27] Can't think of anything. If it weren't raining. I'd love to show you my garden out back, but we could take an umbrella if you want to see it.
Caitlen Cameron [01:05:35] Yeah. Thank you so much for your time, Dozie. You did a wonderful job.
Dozie Herbruck [01:05:38] Well.
Caitlen Cameron [01:05:40] And thank you for being a part of this project.
Dozie Herbruck [01:05:43] Well, thank you. You've done a good job as an interviewer.
Caitlen Cameron [01:05:46] Thank you.
Caitlen Cameron [01:05:47] You should make a business of it.
Caitlen Cameron [01:05:49] I know. [laughs] That would be fun. Alright.
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"Dozie Herbruck interview, 25 August 2021" (2021). Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. Interview 918009.