Have You Met?

We all know Dottie Lamm as former first lady of Colorado, a high-profile job she performed for 12 years. We also know her as a pro-woman newspaper columnist at The Denver Post and a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Not as many of us are aware that Dottie Lamm is also a 20-year breast cancer survivor, and that today she is a popular speaker and teaches risk-taking and leadership classes at the University of Denver.

When I met Dottie Lamm, I discovered that her most impressive credentials are not her numerous accomplishments, but her strong presence and her enthusiasm for life. She is always looking to challenge herself, grow and stretch. This is evident in her speech topics: “Conscious Risk Taking” and “Living Creatively with Success or Failure,” for example.

After college, Dottie moved to Denver to be a flight attendant with United Airlines. One night, she and her girlfriends had a small party. One of the guys at the party was Dick Lamm and the rest, as they say, is history. They are both athletic and enjoy scuba diving, skiing and mountain climbing. Dottie has climbed 35 of the 54 “fourteeners” in Colorado, and Dick has completed 51.

This January, the Lamms are embarking on a four-month trip to New Zealand where Dick will study the health care system. They are looking forward to exploring the mountain scene down under and, of course, will go to the Great Barrier Reef for scuba diving.

Favorite Clothing Stores:

Barbara & Co. and Banana Republic

What gives a woman her style:

It is not what she wears but how she wears it.


Scuba diving, skiing and mountain climbing

Favorite restaurants:

It changes by the month!

Saturdays are likely to find you in:

Work-out clothes, biking clothes or hiking clothes.

Favorite books:

The “Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver and “Personal History” by Katherine Graham


A 2-year-old female English Springer Spaniel named Roxie

Favorite quote:

“Find out what you care about and live a life that shows it.” -- Kate Smith

What three things do you always have in your refrigerator?

Orange juice, sharp cheddar cheese and Coronitas (small bottles of Corona beer).

What’s your favorite comfort food? Junk food?

Oatmeal raisin cookies and onion rings!

What was your most memorable meal?

It was a meal we did not have at the “Trece Monedas” (Thirteen Coins) in Peru in 1963. It was considered the best restaurant in the world at the time. We were on our honeymoon and trying to live on $5 a day and the meal would have cost $3 a piece so we had to skip it.

What food can’t you live without?

Salad greens, cheese and salt. I love salty foods.

Where do you go in your home to feel completely relaxed?

In the summer, the shaded patio and in the winter, the big chair in my own study.

If money and time were no object, what dream project would you do (to your home).

I would totally remodel the kitchen and enlarge it to double the current size and extend it to the deck.

What was the most unusual thing you’ve ever decorated your home with?

An artist’s wall hanging. It is shaped like a warrior’s or king’s robe. It looks like a million dollars but is made entirely of recycled material, including egg cartons!

What tool have you purchased that you’ve never used?

I don’t buy many tools but I did buy a drill and actually used it.

What have you lost in your home that you never found – and would love back?

Oh Help!! Once I lost my good jewelry for six months over the winter and then found it under my summer running shorts.

What will your home tell its next owner about you?

It will say that I left a lot of little things behind and I “squirreled” things away in corners.

What one word describes you best?


What word would you like others to use to describe you?

Smart and kind.

If your life were a movie, what movie would it be? Who would play your part?

“The Contender.” The actress Joan Allan would play the part of a principled, accomplished, female U.S. senator who retains “grace under pressure.”

Who is your hero? Why?

Amelia Earhardt. She was daring, yet still caring.

What is your pet peeve?

People who don’t follow through.

Where can you be found at midnight?

In bed reading a novel.

What was your first job?

I spent a summer as an assembly line worker for Hewlett-Packard. My first career job was a flight attendant for United Airlines.

What would you do if you were queen of the world?

Stop global warming and give women full equality.

What word or expression do you use too much?

“I can’t” when usually I can.

If there were one thing you would change about yourself, what would it be?

Make decisions faster.

What is your greatest indulgence?

Lying in bed, day dreaming, when I should get up and get going.

Best gift you ever gave?

After our mother died, I gave a little statue to my sister that mother had given me but I know my sister wanted.

If you could have a no-holds-barred shopping spree, where would you go?

Any good furniture store and totally re-furnish and re-decorate our home.

What is one thing nobody knows about you?

Something nobody will know.

Which social event is your favorite?

The Human Rights Campaign Dinner. It is a fundraiser for the gay and lesbian community and they always have great speakers.

If you could be something other than what you are, what would you be?

A U.S. senator or an airline pilot.

What is a favorite childhood memory?

Skiing with my dad at Badger Pass, Yosemite. Laughing and falling off the rope tow.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you ever met?

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. When I was first lady of Colorado, we were hosting an event for the film industry and I met Douglas Fairbanks. He was concerned a joke he told offended me and later sent me a hand-written note apologizing. It was so kind of him to take the time to write the note.

I’ve also worked with the United Nations when President Clinton was in office and have enjoyed knowing Madeline Albright.

What makes you laugh?

My kids, my dog and self-deprecating humor.

What is your favorite item of clothing in your closet?

A Carol Mier rose colored silk, knee-length jacket bought, on sale, at Tapestry when they went out of business.

What do you consider your proudest achievement?

Raising two kids to be great, independent adults. Seventeen years of “cutting edge” column writing at The Denver Post.

What’s the most recent book you’ve read?

“The Deep End of the Ocean” by Jacqueline Mitchard, and “New Zealand” by Elizabeth B. Boose

What is your greatest regret?

I regret I didn’t win the 1998 U.S. Senate race.

What is your personal motto?

“Dare, Care, Share, and Be Fair”

What might your epitaph read?

“She Cared”.

What is the best advice your Mom/Dad ever gave you?

Don’t worry about winning or losing. Just always do your best.