Seven siblings reunite for the first time since childhood

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 30, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Sporting homemade bonnets decorated with white lace and bright pink azaleas Sunday afternoon, the Douthit sisters could easily have been mistaken for true Southern belles.

But for six of the seven Sioux Falls, S.D., natives the past weekend was the first time to set foot on Deep South soil.

Reuniting this week for the first time in 25 years, Kathy Pfeipher, Vicky Douthit, Debbie Bolger, Connie Anderson and Dorothy Olshove, all of Sioux Falls, S.D., Diane Cook, Grand Junction, Colo., and Sue Carey, New Braunfels, Texas, sat by the pool Sunday afternoon chatting about their plans for the week and reminiscing about their childhood.

Email newsletter signup

Part of their trip will be spent touring antebellum houses of Natchez, which are of special interest to the sisters who also grew up in a large historic house in Sioux Falls.

&uot;I think we’re fascinated with old historic homes because we grew up in one,&uot; Carey said.

The sisters shared a bedroom with at least one or two of their sisters in the three-story home

Each bedroom had its own name that referred to the type of wallpaper in the room &045; the Bunny room, the Horse room, the Rose room &045; and their mother’s was the Goat room because she loved farm animals.

The sisters remember their mother as an animal-lover and their father as very artistic.

&uot;Our mother kept us down to earth,&uot; Douthit said.

Meanwhile, the sisters’ father owned a nightclub and later turned the family’s summer farm into a country club.

Talking about their parents, the sisters recalled some unusual times in the family house.

&uot;Remember when mother had a birthday party for a chicken?&uot; Carey asked the others.

As Pfeipher explained, their mother once held a formal birthday party &045; with everyone dressed-up at the dining room table &045; for their pet chicken.

Olshove recalled that the youngest sister, Bolger, would run away from home as a child to her playhouse &045; but their mother didn’t mind as long as she didn’t take the ironed clothes with her.

Sometimes the other sisters followed, bringing dry Duncan Heinz cake mix with them for food, Olshove remembered.

Growing up with six sisters was fun, Pfeipher said, because &uot;there was always someone to play and fight with.&uot;

The sisters were invited by Natchez by Sheila Thompson, the daughter of Sue Carey. They arrived in town Saturday.

The last time some of the sisters were at Carey’s, Pfeipher said, they had discussed traveling to the South.

&uot;We’re hear to visit the South and get the flavor of it,&uot; Pfeipher said.

&uot;The people are very polite and friendly,&uot; Anderson said.

Besides touring Pilgrimage, the sisters are also going to the Natchez Visitors Center, Natchez Under the Hill, New Orleans &045; and anything else they can find to do. &uot;We’re going to experience everything,&uot; Pfeipher said.