TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Sheila

With her passing this week, lots of stories are being told and retold about the bigger-than-life “First Lady of Medora,” Sheila Schafer. I can’t resist relating my favorite.

It was told to Ginny and me by a very close friend of hers. Almost too good to be true, I believe it is.

Home alone in the Bismarck apartment she shared with her husband, Harold Schafer, she was rousted from a shower by a ringing telephone. It turned out to be a sales call.

The salesman on the other end of the phone began pitching the virtues of a particular credit card. Sheila listened to the sales pitch for a few moments before declining the invitation to buy.

Eventually, the wife of the founder of the Gold Seal Co. said something like, “Young man, I don’t appreciate being dragged out of the hot shower. Furthermore, I don’t need your credit card. I am married to Santa Claus.”

She really meant it, too. After Harold’s death, one day we got a thank-you note acknowledging a memorial, one of hundreds she must have handwritten. The last line was pure Sheila. “He was my Santa Claus.”

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