Doree Steinmann, BS, MA After graduation from Syracuse as a Radio major in their School of Speech, College of Liberal Arts (because my parents didn’t want me to be an Actress and go “on the Wicked Stage”), I got married as so many of my friends did, and had four daughters.
My paid jobs in New York City during my summer vacations from college had been as a Page and then the first TV receptionist for CBS Television at their Grand Central Station Studios and another summer as a Radio Estimator at Young and Rubicam Advertising Agency. So working on Radio for free on the air as the Storybook Lady in Rochester, New York while i was pregnant was the real start of my career. I rewrote fairy tales or wrote some original stories, sat at the piano for my musical backgrounds and sound effects, looked at my script as i took all the parts myself, changing my voice for each character. This led to doing this for KVIE, the PBS TV outlet in Sacramento after my husband and all of us were transferred to California. However for TV, now children could see me with a castle, magic wand and storybook reading the stories and changing my voice. Not as good as radio! Then I heard that Channel 10, KXTV, was looking for a Women’s Editor to host a daily “Women’s World” program, so I and ten other women auditioned for the job. I got it and had a wonderful time learning how to interview people who were doing great things in the city or visiting from Hollywood. In the 60’s there were all men in the newsroom, but one day they decided to put a woman on the Noon News Report, so since I was doing well on interviewing, they put me into the job along with a male anchor. However I kept hearing that women were not on the air after 40 and I was approaching that age, I decided to take a number of classes at Sacramento State University in courses behind the camera, so I could be a director. After taking all they offered, an academic friend suggested that since I had the right number of courses I should go for a Masters. So I developed a “Creative Dramatics” course for teachers which would qualify for my Masters programs in TV and Drama. Luckily my old PBS station had a grant to develop a Children’s Program, so that would pay for taping it there in their studio. I got $1.00 to do it. It played in the classrooms there for ten years. I would set the scene on each of the 13 programs and the teachers would then go ahead with their class to follow thru with the students acting out what I presented. I had to write a teachers guide to go along with it. Lo and behold, as soon as I got the MA, my friend told me that a new college called Cosumnes River College, was being built with a television studio, and that it would be part of the district with American River and Sacramento City colleges. Also that all three colleges would be using it for programming. He suggested that since I had a Masters, I should apply for the opening Speech position with the understanding that I would develop a new Department called Communications Media with Television and Radio courses to be designed. I did this the first year and then moved over to that department teaching all of the classes until we could hire new teachers for some of them. I was Department Chair for a time, but returned to teaching when I realized that my love and talents were there. After 22 years, when I was 66 and wanted to move to the Condo in Capitola right on Monterey Bay that we had bought as a summer place, I decided to retire. I was the only one at my college to do that at that time, until with budget cuts they decided to declare a “Golden Handshake” giving us the same Medical plans for the rest of our lives, the same that the teachers will get in the future! What a deal. Nine other teachers decided to retire that year, and of course I was replaced by someone at half of my salary, since I had reached the top! Most of these other teachers also took the five year deal of teaching there half time and adding to their years of retirement. But I was anxious to move to the Santa Cruz area. My husband was a Broker in Real Estate, so we figured that he could work anywhere. So we bought another larger Condo to live in Capitola and rented out the smaller one, which I just sold this year. I decided that I could videotape weddings, which i did and do some Video Memories which I have just decided to do again, but when Community TV started up in this area in the 90’s, I became a part of it and started my half-hour weekly program called “Your Second Fifty Years”. I had already done several programs back in Sacramento at my old TV station and we tried to find a sponsor but none of the advertisers were interested in reaching “older people”. For my Cable program, I started interviewing people who were doing interesting and different things during the second half of their lives and today after more than 500 programs, I put some of these ideas into a book by the same name. It went on Amazon.Com as an e-book and for the Kindles, and now is a paperback selling for $5.00. I’m not going to make a lot of money, but i feel that if I can help the lady who told me she couldn’t wait to retire, and I said “Then what are you going to do?” She answered “I’m going to travel!” I said “Oh, then what are you going to do? You’ll have 20 or more years left and you seem very healthy to me!” She looked as me shocked “Why…. why I don’t know!” She needs my book called “Your Second Fifty Years”! i’ve only used first names, but they are all real people and have ideas for others, ways to spend your retirement. In between going to Capitola Fitness every morning, playing bridge at Mid County Senior Center twice a week, being a docent at Seacliff and teaching school groups about the tide pools, I’m writing another book this time for children, a fun interactive one about the Old Testament characters, they will later find in literature. I’ve also started doing more Video Memories, spending two sessions with the person, first interviewing them, but spending most of the time shooting photos, pictures on the walls, collections they have, and giving them four DVDs for their family members. As far as OLLI is concerned, I’ve been a member since 1994 and was President for three years in 2003-06 when we had 350 members. Now we have over 800! We are all Lifelong Leaners, people who want to learn and/or can contribute their own knowledge to others. I love so many Interest Groups, which are the key for new members to get acquainted and I recommend the many classes which are taught just for us by many retired professors. The subjects are varied and the money is deductible and goes to scholarships for returning students. It’s a win/win for all!