One resident, numerous anecdotes

Name: Peggy Scott

Occupation: Dentist

Age: 53

Where we found her: Assessing our teeth at Lakeside Dentistry

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Are you originally from Rochester?Yeah. I grew up on a little hobby farm northeast of Rochester. Growing up, we would always have something outside to do—chores, gardening, little ponies to ride. They were not nice ponies….

Why?They were always running into the fence. We had one pony that we’d get on in the middle of the pasture and it would run you back to the fence and brush you off. We’d bring her back to the middle of the pasture, and back to the fence she’d go to scoot us off. … My husband grew up in Montana on a cattle ranch. When we first started dating, I asked him [about the rodeo term] "bulldogging." He said, "That’s when you jump off a horse and rope a cow." I asked if he’d ever done that in his ranch work. He said, "I’ve never found a good reason to jump off a perfectly good horse."

How did you meet?I had finished college, my four year, and was in Rochester working. I’d graduated as a dietitian. My sister was in nurse anesthesia training, and Kenny was a resident anesthesiologist [at Mayo]. We met at a bar. That’s our story.

OK, tell me more.We started dating at my sister’s wedding. We had known each other for a couple years, but I wasn’t really interested in him as a boyfriend so I’d pawn him off on girlfriends. But the light bulb went off at my sister’s wedding. We danced at the wedding dance, and he ended up driving me home. That was our first kiss.

How did you go from dietitian to dentist?I always knew I wanted to be in a health field—pharmacy, nursing, dietetics. I was working at Methodist Hospital as a diet tech while I was going to school, and I liked it, but I just knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I thought I’d finish my degree and then figure it out. My mom told me that one of her friends had a dentist that just loved what she did—and maybe I’d want to do this. I thought, "Yuck! I don’t want to be a dentist—I don’t even like going to mine!" But I met with this woman and she was just kind of wild and crazy and out there—not your typical dentist. She described dentistry as art and craft and engineering and medicine all tied into one. And it totally is.

You have two kids?Our son Cy—Cyrus—is at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. He’s a junior. He works as a nursing assistant at Charter House in the summer. Our daughter is a freshman at Iowa State in Ames.

How’s the empty nest?I was worried it was going to be really quiet—and it kind of is. It is. I’m OK, but I get weepy once in a while. … I have a whole list of things I want to do with my time. I need to walk more—I try to get in four miles a day. I want to get back into a little sewing. In high school, I sewed a lot of my clothes.

Wow.My mom taught me to sew. For my grad gift in high school, I got a sewing machine. I made a lot of my prom dresses and stuff. My daughter, Anna, said she’d love to learn to sew … so she learned how to sew on my old machine.

What a cool connection. She got to be in the homecoming court at Mayo and you have to come up with a white dress in a week’s time. She had just made her cute little dress for homecoming, and I said, "We could make the same pattern and make it long." She said, "Think we can do it?" So we went to Ginny’s Fine Fabrics and we really cranked it out! I cut, and she sewed all the next week. She hand beaded the mid-piece and stitched it together. She’s a rock star.

Scariest thing that’s happened to you?This might not be the scariest thing, but it’s the grossest thing. We have a little property—an older, 1960s rambler with a pasture and a little old horse and woods. It’s been a great spot for raising kids. We’ve been there 25 years. A few years ago, I went out to the barn to get horse treats off the shelf and I noticed how light [the bag] was. … So I watched carefully, and all of a sudden, there was some movement. It was rats. In 25 years, we’d never had rats!

Yikes.We’d walk out to the barn and you’d see things move—just scurry! Truly like rats off a ship. They started coming across the yard to the birdfeeders. It truly creeped me out. We eventually found these traps at Fleet Farm that were like tiny mailboxes. Sixty rats later—I kept a tally on a Post-It and there were 60!—they were gone. They never came back, but now when I see movement, like a squirrel, I panic and think it’s a rat.

What about an adventure?I met my friend Shari in chemistry 127 at RCC—and she’s my best friend to this day, 35 years later. We went to Ireland five years ago for a wedding. She was invited and I was her date! It was a huge adventure. We rented a car, and, oh, those roads—they only have clutches over there, and you drive on the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of the car! The wedding was on the coast, and it was just the best time.

What a great experience.Shari is a really inspirational person in my life. There’s a lot of good memories there. There was a group of six of us that spent two years at RCC—just this cool group who struggled through two years of chemistry, anatomy, math together. Shari lives in Stewartville and I don’t see her often enough, but there’s always a connection. A lot of people have a lot of friends—but to have one really, really good friend is good. And that would be her.