Letters to Dr. Du Bimo – the book

Letters to Dr. Du Bimo –  book coverMy mother’s name was Sunshine Epstein, but we all called her Grammy Sun. On the day after we laid her to rest, I found Grammy’s journals housed in orange crates on a shelf in the back of her closet. There were hundreds of journals, neatly filed, but one sat alone, boldly signed by someone named Sonia Velasquez. As you can imagine, the dust from all of those years was thick. I gently cleaned Sonia’s journal. As I thumbed through the amazing collection of writing, my head began to spin. The letters all began “Dear Dr. Du Bimo,” and the names signed at the ends were not only my Grammy Sun and Sonia Velasquez but also Candy Moon; Orchid Abowitz; Flavis Evenstein; Rose Riggs-Rocha; Leaves Blakemore; Valerie Van Landingham; Becky Baker, Bass, Brown, Bradley, Boyle, soon-to-be-Bloomberg; Ruby Harlene Watson; Uline Casey, and more. The writers explored their lives during their correspondence with Dr. Du Bimo. Who were these women, and who was Dr. Du Bimo? What role did Sunshine Epstein play in their lives, and how did she get all their letters?

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Sheila Clapkin is a wife, mother, grandmother, and friend who lives in Tarzana, California, in a bluff-side home in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. She recently came upon a solution to many ponderings by turning her chair toward the endlessly stirring landscape of sounds and smells in her backyard rather than toward the television streaming the reality of others. Sheila graduated from UCLA in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree and a California teaching credential. She received her master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from the Univer-sity of San Francisco. Now retired from the Los Angeles Unified School District, Sheila pursues her passion for writing and teaching memoir-writing classes at Brandeis University, Conejo Valley.

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