Who are YLPers? Why, all of us who call Yosemite Lakes Park our home. We’re more than an HOA, we are a community of people who love where we live!
More than just a place of majestic mountain views, YLP is people — individuals of all backgrounds and interests. In this series of periodic profiles, we hope to introduce you to many of these folks — to YLOA board members, to managers, to employees, to our valued volunteers and notable neighbors who share our 21 square miles of Sierra foothills. We hope you enjoy learning about these YLPers.
This week it’s Doug Dorsey, a 21-year YLP resident and current YLOA vice president who is an active volunteer and community booster despite a painful back-injury disability. He’s passionate about keeping up YLP’s amenities and making our neighborhoods better for all.
Tell us about your childhood, where you grew up.
I was born in Castro Valley, California, up in the Bay Area, and then my parents moved us to Fremont when I was one year old and that’s where I grew up. And I went to grammar school, junior high and American High School down the street from the house.
We still have friends that we grew up with. We’ve been friends for 50 years or more that are like family now, but, you know, I think we grew up in the right time where we could go run the neighborhoods and have fun. And you know, “just be back before the street lights come on.” You know, we didn’t have all the worries (they now do) in the East Bay.
What did you want to tell us about your family?
There was actually six of us. There was a set of twins first, one passed way at birth, the other one lived three days. Then I have my oldest sister who lives in Fresno now. Then my next sister… she lives in Modesto. And then there was me. And then, there was another one after me, who was three months premature, also who didn’t make it.
When I moved here in 2000, my parents moved to Turlock to be in the middle of us kids, in 2001. So we kind of all migrated east a little bit so we could be close. My mom passed away a year and a half ago. So it’s just my dad.
My dad worked for Stella D’oro Biscuit Company. He delivered cookies to the grocery stores and then my mom when we were little, she worked at the cafeteria, the school that that we went to. And then she went to work for a department store and then she was a seamstress at a drapery manufacturer, in San Leandro. And then they retired.
I started out my career working for Lucky grocery stores in the Bay Area. And then when we moved here, I actually commuted for a year back to the Bay Area to work. And then I quit there and then got a job with Clark Pest Control and their termite division doing construction work.
I graduated from high school in ‘81. I started at the grocery store in my junior year in school, and then I was there for almost 22 years. I was stocking shelves. I was working night crew for 20 of those years. I started off as a bagger and then made checker and then went into night crew and was on night crew for 20 years. I was in charge at night when we went 24 hours.
My wife, Lori, and I went to school together. She was in my sister’s class — my oldest sister’s class, and we also worked together and that’s where we met up. Been together 34 years.
She has a daughter from a previous marriage and then we have our son together, Michael. Our daughter lives now in Georgia, and my son lives with my dad in Turlock and works from home.
When did you come to YLP?
Well, my uncle has 11 acres over by Bass Lake and we were always coming up here for vacations and everything and helping him out on his property and we liked it so much that our son was just getting out of grammar school and in the middle school.
So me and the wife talked and we’re like, okay, if we’re going to move, we’re going to move now because I didn’t want to move my son during his junior high or high school years. And so she quit because she had neck surgery. And she didn’t go back to work after that.
Then while I was working, she came up here and was looking for a place and found here. And I commuted back and forth to the Bay Area. The first year we were here and then that got a little tiresome and then I got a job at Clark Pest Control in Merced.
Then there was about six months that there just wasn’t a job that I wanted to do. So, I left there and went to work for Home Depot down in Fresno on their freight team and then became night supervisor and then, I transferred over to the Madera store when it opened up and ran that at night. And then I left the store and went out to Home Depot’s sister company, driving truck and then I drove truck for seven years.
I got injured in 2009. I hurt my back. There wasn’t an actual day that I got injured. It was just more of a progression over the years because it’s hereditary. My dad has the same issue. My sister has the same issue. So it just finally, like the doctor explained to me, you know, you got a hundred thousand miles warranty on your back, and you put 300,000 miles on it. It just wore out. I have five bad discs, I have degenerative disc syndrome. Yes, I’m a hundred percent disabled.
Tell me about your dog, Georgia.
I’ve had a couple of dogs before Georgia. I’m training her to be my service dog. I’ve always had a dog in my life. Well, our first one was a lab mix when I was probably six, seven years old and then we had another one of her puppies, we kept. And then when those two passed away, I actually got me a golden retriever.
Me and my wife were actually dating at the time. When we lived in Tracy, we had a Weimaraner and then we had two Weimaraners up here. And then now we have Georgia, who is a Belgian Malinois.
I’ve had Georgia three years. We got her when she was 13 weeks old. I’m training her to be a service dog. She will be able to help me further down the road when I’m not going to be able to bend over and pick things up and bring things to me and help me in that manner.
Seems like you do a lot for YLP despite your disability.
Thank you, it’s very painful, but I’m in pain if I sit at home or I’m in pain if I’m out doing things and I’m not the type of person that’s ever been one to sit. So I just do what I can, I try to stay as active as I can, just because I don’t want my situation to control me. I would like to be able to control it. I’ve been more active lately in volunteering and stuff.
Have you always had an interest in YLP and how it was run?
Yes. My wife and my son, actually, both worked for the association for 12 years. My wife was the liaison to the board. And so I kind of stayed out of everything because I didn’t want no conflict of interest. I didn’t want nothing to come back on her, you know, with her job or anything. So once she left the association, I was able to come in and run for the board and help the community. The next election after she left, I ran for the board. I’m going into my third year right now.
My son started off as a dishwasher when he was in high school and then he worked his way up to a bartender and he worked his way through college. He graduated from Fresno State three years ago with a degree in geomatic engineering. He works for an engineering company out of the Bay Area, BKF engineering.
Why did you run for the board?
This last time, there were some things I wanted to see if I could, you know, improve on and change, the pool for one. I just could not understand why we had an amenity that we could only use three months out of the year because it was only open basically when the kids are out of school.
Well, there was a lot of seniors and a lot of adults that use the pool for therapy reasons and, and, you know, that’s their relaxation and stuff.
So I just found out what the process was and found out it was covered under the Trails and Rec Committee. So I started working with Marie and and Jonathan. I bug Jonathan every single day. I met him at the front door and we talked every day about getting the pool open longer and stuff and it finally came to fruition. And so now the least the hot tub is open all year round. The pool is open a couple months longer and longer hours. So I think more people are getting enjoyment out of it.
So, I’m not on the Trails and Rec Committee anymore. I moved on to the Engineering Committee, the ECC Committee, the Golf Committee, keeping busy. I’m vice president now.
What are your priorities?
I really want to focus on the amenities. You know, I don’t think we should ever lose an amenity and I’ll fight as hard as I can to keep every single amenity and keep them up and running. And then just be very wise in how we spend our money, you know, and make the community better for everybody.
How do you stand on some of the issues that have been discussed a lot like the impact of social media and keeping a cap on the dues.
Well, I won’t say I will never raise dues, I’ll work hard at keeping them to the least amount, you know, if we have to raise them. Because as a board member our fiduciary duty is to keep the association up and running. I mean when the cost of living goes up and gas goes up and everything else goes up. I mean, we can’t run the place on 1970 incomes, you know.
We’ve let things slide in the past and now we’re having to pay the consequences for that in the maintenance of everything, and if we would have just kept our dues increased a little bit each time, we could have maintained all those issues and we wouldn’t be in the position we are in.
So in the social media thing, I think it hurts the association more than it helps the association because once the wrong information gets out there and people react to it, you know, they don’t want to change their mind. They think that’s the correct information. And then it just causes more headache and more work for the employees and the board.
And, you know I think people, if they have a question, come to our board, our meetings and ask the question and get the information directly from us.
So, how important is volunteering?
I think volunteering for the association is important because we all own it. So you’re only helping yourself, you know what I mean? It just makes me feel good, you know, going back to my days working in the grocery store, stocking the shelves at night. You’d leave the aisle in the morning. It looked perfect. You come in that night. It’s like just destroyed. You start all over.
I volunteered to help build the pizza kitchen. It’s such a good feeling to see that there is something there that’s going to last for years. And everybody in the community gets to enjoy it. It makes you feel good. And the more you can do that for your community, the better everybody is.
This place would be so much happier, and that’s just what we want. Yeah. I mean, we moved up here to God’s country to enjoy it. Let’s not argue about it. Let’s just work together and make it a beautiful place to live.
I’ve always been one just to help anybody who needed help, my whole life, you know If I see somebody who’s broke down on the side of the road, you know, I stop and ask if they need help. I mean, I also helped redo the bar in the clubhouse, I did a senior project with Jadyn Carter. We redid the horseshoe pits. Even volunteering weed whacking around the lake, you know, to help the trail stay open. I volunteer to answer phones to help out in the office since they’ve been so short-handed over the last couple months.
And I made the cornhole boards so we can have an activity here at the clubhouse. I would love to start a league like on Thursday nights and then have like a once-a-month tournament on a Saturday and Sunday, you know, just to get people out and enjoy the outdoors.
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
I make time for fishing. I love going shooting, I go to the range. So yeah, as a matter of fact, Sue Beck, may she rest in peace, had just gotten me into sporting clays over at Sun Mountain Gun Range. Every time we went, we had a blast.
Where do you go fishing?
Bass Lake, Shaver Lake, Blackhawk. My dad just bought a pontoon boat for the family. He just turned 80. So I’m trying to keep him out on the water as much as I can, you know, so he can enjoy what time he has left. Yeah, I grew up fishing with my dad sitting on the bank of the delta in Antioch, freezing our butts off trying to catch stripers.
What would you like to see happen here in the coming years?
Obviously, I guess (improving) the pool. We are starting on the roads project. I think that’s a real big issue. I know that the following year would be the Equestrian Center. We need to bring that up for the safety for the horses and you know, the enjoyment of the riders and stuff like that. I think we should just try to keep beautifying the place and keep it up and running.