501st Alias/Callsign – BethD & TKID: 8693
What is your name and why did you pick your 501st Alias?
My name is Beth Dolgner, and I picked the most boring alias imaginable. Since my first Legion-approved costume was Admiral Daala, I usually just tell people, “You can call me ‘Admiral.’”
When did you join the Legion and why?
I joined the 501st in July of 2012. I have always enjoyed volunteering and being involved in the community, and the 501st Legion was a way for me to combine my passion for Star Wars with those things. I joined the Republic Service Organization first, with the intention of simply being a handler at Georgia Garrison troops, but everyone was so friendly and welcoming at my first event that I knew I had to join the 501st, too!
Of all of the troops you have been a part of, which one has stood out the most & why?
The Georgia Garrison works with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta quite a bit. Last year we were visiting kids at their hospital in Decatur, Georgia, and one boy was a really big Star Wars fan. I was dressed as Kylo Ren, and Darth Vader was with me in the boy’s room. While we were talking to him, I overheard his mom say, “This is the first time he’s smiled all day.” The experience was exactly why I joined the 501st Legion, and it meant so much to me that our visit could make a sick child forget his cares for a while.
How has being a part of the 501st impacted your life?
Being part of the 501st Legion has truly changed my life. I have made friends all over the world, and of course plenty of friends here in Georgia. I am always amazed at the kindness and generosity I see among our members for each other and for those we troop for, and it inspires me to be a better person. The absolute best part of trooping is giving kids who are sick or dealing with other challenges something to smile about, and I am so grateful for each of those opportunities. And, on the fun side of things, I’ve been in the Star Wars Weekends parades at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which was a dream come true for me!
Outside of trooping and 501st related stuff, what do you do for a living, and what are some other interests or hobbies that you have?
My career is a little eclectic! I’m a freelance writer, and most of my clients are in the motorcycle industry or sports car racing. I’m also an author, and I have written two non-fiction books (“Georgia Spirits and Specters” and “Everyday Voodoo”) and six novels, all with paranormal themes. That work led to me becoming a tour guide with the Roswell Ghost Tour, just north of my home in Atlanta.
Outside of work, I love to sew and travel. Here in Atlanta, I volunteer at Historic Oakland Cemetery and will lecture about Victorian death and mourning practices whenever I get the chance.
Can you give us an idea as to the kind of support you get from friends and family regarding the 501st and all the great things that you have done with the GA Garrison?
My husband is the best—he fully supports my adventures with the 501st and always manages to find a Boba Fett collectible I don’t have yet. My friends and family all understand how much it means to me to be able to make kids smile and help raise money for great causes through my love of Star Wars.
And lastly, is there anything, Star Wars related or not, that people might not know about you that they might be surprised to find out?
I am currently learning German, and my husband and I hope to move to Berlin someday. I’ve already met some of the members of Echo Nova Squad in the German Garrison, so I’ll feel right at home when I start trooping with them!