Interview your favourite Fictional Character.
As I sit here in this stale cigarette scented jazz lounge in Reno, you can almost hear the 60’s vibe of The Ronelles echoing back at you from the stained and peeled walls. But today, with kind permission from Hunter Linneman here at the Nevada Club, I am about to talk with the founder member and star of that group, Ms Doloris Van Cartier.
Me: Afternoon Ms. Van Cartier, I can’t tell you how honoured I am that you have agreed to come down here to the infamous Moonlite Lounge and talk with me today!
DVC: Oh please honey, call me Doloris. I find Van Cartier so cheap these days…don’t you?
Me: Haha, well….’Doloris’ I couldn’t possibly say! Now, we both know that 21 years ago this year you were involved in a series of strange events that somehow catapulted you to superstar status in a matter of months of leaving The Ronelles here in Reno. Would you like to briefly explain to our readers what happened?
DVC: Delighted….so, as you know, I was bustin ass for peanuts here at the Moonlite Lounge 6 nights a week while I was seeing this guy….Vince
Me: Vince LaRocca, the renowned Western Nevada mobster?
DVC: Yeah, yeah, that’s the one…well anyway…one night he gave me a gift, a purple Mink jacket, and of course, I ‘love’ purple Mink, but then I seen it was for his wife so I just knew, that was it, enough was enough, I was going to show him. I was going to tell him no more…I was angry, of course I was! And I walked in on Vince doing something unspeakable….
Me: The murder of chauffeur Ernie?
DVC: Right! I mean, God! I should never have had to see that kinda stuff, you know? I was in shock, so I ran! But I realised, Vince wasn’t the type to just let things slide…he’d make sure I kept my mouth shut, I was just scared how permanent he was thinking! Long story short, I was put into witness protection, great I thought…but that was only just the start of the real story…
Doloris was asked to testify against her boyfriend Vince LaRocca, there were numerous crimes that the local police were just unable to convict him for, so to ensure they got him once and for all, they safely placed Doloris within the Parish of St. Katherine’s in downtown San Francisco, under a secure witness protection scheme while they were able to monitor Vince and gain vital Intel.
Me: It must have come as quite a shock to be placed in to such a ‘different’ location!
DVC: A shock? A shock! I was ready to bust a few unholy words right there an then trust me! I met with the Reverend Mother, and I just ‘know’ she hated me as soon as she saw me. I guess the feeling was pretty mutual at the time. I was given the title of Sister Mary Clarence and she suggested that to properly integrate with the group during my time there I was to ‘become’ a nun! A Nun?! …. Jesus….
Me: And did you manage to integrate successfully within your group? Did you make acquaintances with any of the Sisters in residence at St. Katherine’s during your time there?
DVC: Oh believe me, I got there in the end…but boy was it a task gettin started in there! So many God damn rules! It was tough! But thankfully, Sister Mary Patrick and Sister Mary Robert were a saving grace, quite literally. You could say they were my ‘buddies’ and definitely made my time there more bearable at the beginning. Obviously things got easier and time went on, I got involved with the Choir naturally..
Me: Yes, that’s right, but I believe that wasn’t your idea was it?
DVC: Well…..no. You’re right it was Reverend Mother’s suggestion, but she was obviously aware of the natural talent and star quality I had to offer these ladies, who were pretty awful quite frankly! I guess I was just happy to help and take my mind off all the other stuff going on.
Deloris was put in charge of the St. Katherine’s Choir under instruction from Reverend Mother, and as the week’s passed the choir improved immensely, so much so that attendance on Sundays had tripled after a month. This was of course down to Doloris’s unique direction….
Me: It’s fair to comment that Reverend Mother disapproved of the way you handled things with the choir?
DVC: Oh you could definitely say that! I was just trying to bring them up to date a little, you know, incorporate some of that soul and funk that I just knew people wanted to hear. I mean, if you gotta sit in church for 2 hours on a Sunday you a least want a bit of entertainment right?
Me: Well it was evident from the amount of support you got coming along to the services that it was a success! So much so that a very famous member of the church was to attend?
DVC: Yeah! The Pope! And I mean, The Pope! You don’t get bigger than that other than having the Lord Jesus himself pop down for a quick look around! I could see the Sisters were all pumped up and excited, and it was great, it really was. I was getting in to the swing of things there and I guess you could say I felt part of the group at that point and wanted them to be the best they could be for such a momentous occasion. But Reverend Mother had other ideas….
Me: Reverend Mother didn’t approve of the musical direction you had taken is that right, and felt that for The Pope’s visit, a more, traditional service should be provided?
DVC: Correct. But what I argued was, the whole reason he was coming to see us was because of the difference! He wasn’t interested in seeing a normal church service. Fortunately Mosignor O’Hara agreed with me, so we were to go ahead with the original plan…I guess Reverend Mother felt she couldn’t continue at St. Katherine’s after that, maybe her pride was hurt.
The newly improved choir were to perform for the Pope with their irreverent style of singing, but Vince and his crew had spotted Doloris on the local news report, when filming for a fundraiser at the church had been broadcast. During a tense pursuit, Doloris & Sister Mary Robert had been taken against their will, but Sister Mary Robert managed to escape the moving car, thus being able to inform the rest of the convent of Deloris’s abduction.
Me: So you were taken back to Reno by Vince and his crew? Had you any idea that the other ladies were coming for you?
DVC: No! Not at all! I mean I just prayed that Sister Mary Robert got back to safety that’s all. This was all my mess, I didn’t for one second think they would all get involved! I managed to get away again in the club so took my chance and ran…it wasn’t till I was ducking behind a slot machine that I saw Sister Mary Patrick and Lazarus and everyone else…I realised then, they included me as part of their own.
Me: There was a near miss though wasn’t there, it could have ended a lot differently for you!
DVC: Totally…I really thought that Vince was going to pull that trigger, and all I could do was stand there and pray again. Me. Praying. I could have never believed that 6 months before. Thankfully, just at the last minute Detective Tate and the other police officers had located us and taken Vince down before he could do anything…I dread to think if they had been even a second late.
Me: So he was finally put away, and you were able to move on with your normal life again, live out your days as Deloris Van Cartier formerly of the Ronelles here in Reno.
DVC: Of course, but not after one last concert…you forget, we had the Pope to see to!
Doloris and the Sisters of the Parish of St. Katherine’s performed to His Holiness the Pope to the largest capacity the church had ever held. It was a televised service on national televsion, gaining Doloris International recognition. After leaving the convent Doloris went on to write and produce 3 tony award nominated albums, and her Number 1 album ‘Sisterhood’ went Platinum in 14 countries. As I wrap the interview up, Doloris thanks me for the memories so I ask her one last question.
Me: What’s next for Doloris Van Cartier?
DVC: Well…I always said “Never say never”…and I love to sing, so maybe another album is due – it’s been 10 years!
Me: You must have missed it terribly!
DVC: What can I say…it’s a Habit.
With that knowing wink, and bright wide smile, Doloris turns and leaves the Moonlite Lounge once again, elegant, proud and sassy. Every inch the star she was 21 years ago when she last performed on stage here at the Nevada Club.
© Matthew T. Aspden
In response to the Daily Prompt: The Interview : http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/daily-prompt-interview