An Iconic Photo of “The Bubblegum Lady”

I have a story about bubblegum and a picture to go with the story that shows how amazing photos are, and how important our job is.

This is my grandma – probably my favorite person in the universe.

We lived in a small town of fewer than 3000 people. Everyone in town knew of her. No, not by her name, at least not her given name. She was known as “The Bubblegum Lady.”

I don’t know if anyone in my family could even tell you how it all started. Being such a small town, and that it was a different world back then, kids would roam the streets alone until dark without a thought. It was like Halloween year round at my grandma’s house. These kids would come and ring her doorbell, and she’d give each of them one gumball.

One, per day, per child.

They didn’t try pulling a fast one on her. They knew if someone tried coming back a second time that day, she’d send them packing. We’d go over to my grandma’s every day and visit her, and you could always count on that doorbell ringing multiple times per visit.

When she passed away, it wasn’t Ellen Marie Dooley’s obituary. It was “The Bubblegum Lady’s” obituary.

She was such a special lady.

This Iconic photo + story was contributed by Phil Mayhew

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