Franklin Countys First News

Someone You Know: Dot

Dorothy Gordon helps a customer at Ron's Market.

Dorothy Gordon helps a customer at Ron's Market.

Dorothy Gordon shows off one of her nine Michael Jackson tattoos.

Dorothy Gordon shows off one of her nine Michael Jackson tattoos.

Someone You Know, written by Amber Kapiloff, is a new column spotlighting the good people of Franklin County.

FARMINGTON - Anyone who has ever stopped in at Ron’s Market, whether it be for a growler of local beer or a 30-rack of PBR or just a slice of pizza, has probably been helped by Dot at one point or another.

“I sort of came with the store when the owners bought it. I’ve worked here for 11 years,” Dorothy Gordon says.

We’re sitting outside the store at an old fast food booth. Dot is having a cup of coffee and a cigarette before her shift starts. She pauses occasionally throughout our conversation to talk with customers walking by, everything from the weather to how their kids are doing.

“Out of everyone that comes in here there are probably four or five people I really don’t like dealing with. But I just ring em’ up, hand them their change and they leave. I treat everyone the way I want to be treated,” Gordon explains. She tells me about the UMF students, who seem to have adopted Ron’s Market as their campus convenient store. “A lot of people complain about the college kids. But I have never once had a student treat me badly. Half of them call me mom. I even got a shout out in a graduation speech once.”

Gordon was born and raised in Farmington, leaving only for a brief stint in Florida where she met her fiance and got a degree. “I put myself on a train heading south. Left everything and everyone I knew.”

Gordon put herself through the Motorcycle Mechanic Institute in Orlando and graduated with a degree specific to repairing Harley Davidsons. She was the only woman out of 375 men. After graduating she worked at the Orlando Harley Davidson Dealership for five years, where she ended up working on her future fiance’s bike. They came up to Maine for a two week vacation and he fell in love with it. A year later they packed up all of their belongings and moved back to Gordon’s hometown.

Now Gordon splits her time between her grandkids, the Market or, her third passion in life, collecting Michael Jackson memorabilia. “I have probably almost $3,000 worth of memorabilia. Customers have given me shirts, records, photos ... people know how much I love him.” Gordon even went to Las Vegas to see the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson show, Immortal World. She had a front row seat and got interviewed after the show by the Las Vegas Sun. One of her nine MJ tattoos was photographed for the paper. “I have five different costumes. When his birthday comes around I like to dress up. But I can’t moon walk or anything.”

Maybe Gordon can’t moon walk like her idol did but she is definitely a legend in her own way. Dorothy Gordon is the type of woman who can work at a liquor store for 11 years, not drink a drop of alcohol and still gush about how much she loves her job. “I don’t even think of it as a job. If I can’t have fun when I come to work then I don’t want to do it.”

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10 Responses »

  1. Good to know you better, Dot. Thanks for sharing your story. You are what I call A REAL MAINE WOMAN!

    And thanks, Amber Kapiloff, for writing this new column.

  2. I always look forward to seeing her

  3. This is really a great idea for a column!

  4. Good idea for a column. I've seen her for years, always enjoyed our interactions, but never knew anything, really, about her. It's nice to finally meet you, Dot.

  5. She is a pretty great lady!!

  6. This is a great idea for a column. And I am glad to know a little bit about Dot now. She is very good at her job...efficient and patient.

  7. Great idea for a column. Interesting article, too!

  8. My daughter would call Dot "good peeps", and that she is!!!

  9. Since we are all about community and the unique individuals that it takes to create and sustain a vibrant one, the idea for this feature is fantastic! Am so much looking forward to learning more about the future community members who will be spotlighted. Very nice to 'meet' you, Dot. :)