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Susan Gillespie

5 Questions

By: Nathan Donato-Weinstein
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Most days, Susan Gillespie is the decidedly modern marketing director for a Roseville retirement community. But she also has another side as Martha Washington, wife of the nation’s first president. Cloaked in a period costume, she’ll be appearing as Martha in Tuesday’s 2 p.m. Veterans Day ceremony at the World War II monument on Vernon Street. 1. How did you become Martha Washington? “It actually ties in with where I work. In an effort to create something unique, I created the character of Betsy Ross. Last year I was invited to speak to the Daughters of the American Revolution and it was February. So I said, wouldn’t you like a president’s wife?” 2. What’s something most people don’t know about Mrs. Washington? “George Washington was not her first husband, and at age 18 when she married him she already had two small children.” 3. Who is your favorite historical figure to play? “I actually really enjoy Betsy Ross, because it’s more physical. Unfortunately, not a lot is known about Martha – she burned all her letters.” 4. What do you think Mrs. Washington would think about the 2008 presidential election? “I think the old girl would be quite proud to have an African American running for president and a woman running for vice president. She’d have a difficult time making a decision.” 5. What will you be speaking about at the Veterans Day event? “Basically, a little background on Martha Washington. I will present myself as being Mrs. Washington and talk about all his trials and tribulations.”