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Stories from the Hill: Dirt Woman

Featured Image: A. Currel

We are starting up a monthly column with stories coming directly from residents from the East End that make up the fabric of our City and neighborhood, including some of its notorious people. #StoriesfromtheHill

This week was officially named “Dirtwoman Week” by Mayor Stoney. Donnie Corker, better known as Dirtwoman, once ran for Mayor himself in 2008. A frequent at Poe’s Pub in the bottom, this drag queen captured the hearts of a lot of folks who love the weird and unique. “Donnie Corker was an icon, a legend and an early advocate of sorts for gay Richmonders,” writes Colleen Curran from the Richmond Times Dispatch, and our reader and next story agrees.

Learn more about Dirtwoman by checking out this Style Weekly story from 2007.

SA Chaplin writes:

Although Donnie “Dirt Woman” Corker was more an Oregon Hill icon than a celebrity of Church Hill, I would like to share this anecdote about the illustrious Mr. Corker. 

The year was 1988 (roughly) and I owed my former law partner, Tom Papa, a bit of revenge for what he had done to me for my birthday one week earlier. I drove the short distance to Oregon Hill and found “Dirt Woman.” I told Donnie that I would give him $10 if he would come to our office and plant a kiss on Mr. Papa on Papa’s birthday. 

The day arrived, and so did Donnie. And Donnie did not let me down. 

“Dirt Woman” sashayed into our office in full drag regalia. He went straight to Mr. Papa’s office door and, with a flourish, burt out with, “Happy Birthday, Mr. Papa.” Tom was seated behind his desk (which positioned as to leave him no exit). With Tom trapped behind his desk, Dirt Woman swooped in and laid a lipstick-laden smooch on Mr. Papa’s cheek.
And to this day I can still picture the event in my mind. It was the best $10 I ever spent.

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Alex Goodmundson
Alex Goodmundson
1 year ago

Oh so many good stories will surely come of this! Thanks for sharing

Gregory Carter
Gregory Carter
1 year ago

Hello my Churchill family. I recently visited my hometown last weekend for a family event. As I usually do, I visited one of my childhood residences. As a child I grew up in the 2800 block of Grace Street between the 2nd and 6th grades (1959 – 1964). During those years, I attended Bellevue Elementary School where I would develop values that would shaped by adult life in positive ways. The teachers and office personnel taught many of us how love, unity, togetherness were the cornerstone of being a productive citizen in the years ahead. I will contribute additional stories… Read more »

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