Our paternal grandmother, Vera, who lived in Minnesota and raised eight children had a good friend who we have written about before by the name of Dora Wiese. Dora was quite a character and we always loved hearing tales told by Dad regarding her unusual voice and manner.
Dora felt very close to our Grandma Vera and often called her “Sis”. Now Vera was such a good person that she never stopped and corrected her. I think Vera actually enjoyed her and found her tales quite interesting.
One particular incident that I remember being told involved the Bible as Dora’s reason for her outrageous behavior. She had invited a “gentleman caller” to her home to spend the night. Upon waking, he abruptly left and unbeknownst to him, his wallet had been lightened by Dora. She shared this story with our grandmother and of course our grandmother was aghast that Dora had stolen money from this man.
Dora quickly said:
Well, Sis, you know what the Good Book says, The Lord helps them that help themselves, so I helped myself to their money.
Vera tried to explain to Dora that she did not think that was the meaning and that she should not have stolen the cash. Dora was not deterred from her behavior and no doubt continued this habit as long as she was able to pull it off.
Our Dora came along much earlier than ‘Dora the Explorer’, but she had plenty of adventures and misadventures. The fact her voice resembled Minnie Mouse was a bonus in the storytelling.
When my sister and I met her when we were old enough to remember, all we wanted was for her to yell for the kids to head to the cyclone cellar. We had enjoyed Dad’s telling of that story so much and wanted to hear that Minnie Mouse voice. Dora did not disappoint. Clearly and resolute, she yelled out the now famous (at least to us) refrain for all to hear. The laughter reverberated throughout the countryside and we still break up into gales of laughter whenever we hear Minnie Mouse and the mention of cyclones!