Shelly Drylie's parents chose her, and she's glad they did.


Drylie was surrendered at birth and adopted by Nebraska natives Urb and Henrietta, who later adopted a baby brother for her, too.


Her father fought in World War II while her mother worked at the Long Beach Navy Shipyard. Drylie was raised in that coastal town, spending the first six years of school at St. Joseph's Catholic before switching to public school.


"Don't have much to say about my early educational experience," Drylie said. "If I ever write a book, there will be a very long chapter about it though."


Drylie loves Southern California and has called Hesperia home since before it was a city, having owned Shelly's Place for 24 years and Bodacious Bundts for the last three.


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Q: What is the best thing about your job?


A: Just that I love what I do.


From as far back as I can remember, I've loved to bake. I didn't have an "easy bake" oven. I used the little pans and jiffy cake mixes but in my family's regular oven. I used to pull a drawer out and stand on it so I could reach the counter. My mom was so relaxed about what I did in the kitchen. I loved making breakfast and even though I didn't drink coffee I was always up first and started it for my parents. I learned how to bake bread from Ann Hogan on the Hogans' farm in Nebraska.


I love to bake, but not a whole lot of fancy stuff. Mostly the basics — bread, cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip cookies are my favorites.


It's funny, it's said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. In high school, boys would come over and ask me to bake bread or show up with a bag of chocolate chips and want cookies. So now going to work and baking most of the day is a pretty enjoyable way to earn a living.


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Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.


A: Like everyone, there is so little time and so much to get done. As the years go by and I don't do this I continue to realize if I had started at any given time I would be closer or even done by now. But I haven't, so I can only say that I would love to get a college degree.


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Q: What is your greatest accomplishment, professional or personal, to date?


A: There's something satisfying about running your own business. It's also a bit challenging, so I'm proud of keeping the doors open at Shelly's Place for 24 years and now Bodacious Bundts for more than three years.


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Q: Where would you like to be in 10 years?


A: With my husband Gary. He will be fixing things for people and I will be making wedding cakes for close friends (actually, the kids of close friends) and we'll be traveling a little and still doing home improvement projects.


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Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?


A: Mostly my dad. He didn't have a lot of gray in his point of view. When I hear the country song that says, "You gotta stand for something or you'll fall for anything," I think of my dad. He clearly knew right from wrong and never shied away from presenting his opinion, but always in a polite way. He worked hard, loved my mom, fought for our country and stood by me even when I wasn't someone I would have probably stood by. I wished I had learned earlier from his example.


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Q: What is your favorite quotation?


A: My mom was the queen of quotations. Most of them I probably shouldn't mention, but it did seem that she had a quote for just about every situation. But I usually like to say something that I didn't hear from my mom, but really feel sort of sums it all up: "Lead, follow or get out of the way."


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Q: What motivates you?


A: Again, I go back to the example set by my parents. Wake up every day with a good attitude and set out to do your best in whatever you are doing. I like to go to work, whether it's at my own business or when I was an employee. I want to give my best and be an asset to the company that has entrusted me with some responsibility for their success. It just makes no sense to spend any part of your day not giving your all to whatever it is you are doing. Raking leaves, cleaning the house or playing with the grandkids — it's all important.


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Q: What is your secret to living a happy satisfying life?


A: Believing in God. I haven't always been a Christian and tried to "do the right thing." Recently, I accepted Jesus as my Savior and have found the answer to so many of my questions. I feel I've been given a new set of eyes and ears that have shed new light on the world and my part in it.


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Q: What book had a significant impact on you.


A: "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl." I read it when I was about 13 and it was the beginning of a belief that just being born in America is a blessing. I really identified with a young girl who was experiencing the challenges of being a young teen with all the emotional turmoil and questions about boys and life that I had, with a really big difference. She was a prisoner of a hostile regime. As Americans we really tend to take our freedom for granted.


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Q: What are five things you can't live without?


A: God, oxygen, water, chocolate and my husband — not necessarily in that order.


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Q: What words of advice do you have for younger generations?


A: If we had listened to our parents maybe we wouldn't have made the same mistakes. And our grandparents probably said that about our parents. So I would say look at history and learn from the past. And also to live in the moment. Not in the "it's all about me sense," but by appreciating today's blessings. Don't rush through life. Slow down and take time for yourself and your loved ones. And maybe we should talk a little less and listen a little more.


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Q: What do you do in your free time?


A: Home projects with my husband (I've been in my house 28 years and there is always a project). Now we want to rip out the peninsula in the kitchen and put in all new flooring. And hang out with the grandkids!


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Q: What's your favorite movie and why?


A: "Big!" I love Tom Hanks' portrayal of a kid in an adult body. It is the one movie I can watch over and over. Most of us wanted to grow up too fast and this simple movie really makes the point about enjoying your childhood and how we should hold onto a bit of youthful innocence and perspective even into adulthood.


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Q: Tell us about a special vacation.


A: My dad was a teacher and I grew up with great family vacations all over the U.S. We were at the Seattle and New York world fairs, made many trips to Ensenada where we had a permanent trailer on the beach, visited most of our national parks and enjoyed almost yearly trips to our friends' farm in Nebraska. I was a very fortunate kid.


But the most special trip was when my mom and dad took the family to Europe for two months. I was 15 and it was an eye-opening vacation. Being raised in America, I would say I had a certain sense of entitlement like so many of my friends. My dad was very thorough when planning a vacation. We visited Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Yugoslavia and I'm sure I'm forgetting a country or two.


Going into East Berlin was life-changing. We stayed at a campground near the Berlin Wall. The watchtowers with guards and machine guns were within our sight. The museum at the East Berlin border that educated us on what people would go through to escape communism, or die trying, was shocking to my 15-year-old sensibility.


In Italy I saw my dad cry for the first time in my life. It was at the cemetery where so many of his buddies were buried during WWII. I came home with a greater appreciation of my family, America and the sacrifices that are made to protect our freedom.


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Q: Tell us about your first car.


A: Unbelievably my own personal first car was a blue Corvair. Then a yellow Karma Ghia and after that a '67 VW Bug that I bought for $650 and four years later sold for $650. But my favorite car was the red Fiat 124 Spider convertible. I bought it brand new. That was my car when I moved to Hesperia in 1984. I worked for the Silverlakes Association and got to drive it down National Trails Highway every day. Loved it!


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Q: What is your earliest memory of the city?


A: Actually, I moved up here before Hesperia was a city. But it's a toss-up between the trees growing sideways, from the "prevailing winds" and the "Hula Hoe" which I had never heard of till I moved to Hesperia. Now I am almost an expert at "Hula Hoeing."


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Q: Describe a special memory you have of Hesperia.


A: When I moved here I came across "Old Town" Hesperia on Orange Street. There was a restaurant in there at the time, I think it was called Old Town Café. I loved that rustic old town area. I wanted to open my first place there.


After about a year I opened Shelly's Place on G Street in Hesperia. I loved it. My mom, dad, my son Matt and a lot of friends helped me get it set up and opened.


Then about a year later the owners of Old Town paid me a visit and offered me a "deal I could not refuse" to open a restaurant in Old Town. Somehow I pulled it together and opened Huey's in Old Town.


Later I closed Shelly's Place on G and renamed Huey's to Shelly's Place. I loved Shelly's Place in Old Town. The boardwalk, big trees, rose bushes, barber shop, hair salon, antique store, art gallery and all the wonderful Hesperia neighbor's. It was wonderful. People used to ride their horses to Shelly's, tie them up and come in for breakfast. What a great time that was.


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Q: Tell us about the charities that are close to your heart and why.


A: I was involved in the first Relay For Life in Hesperia. Shelly's Place Old Town hosted the organizational meeting for the first couple years till it outgrew us.


What a great group of people. Cancer survivors are a positive force and it was an honor to be involved with Relay For Life.


My mom and Gary's first wife, Sherry, lost their lives to cancer and in 2005 I survived cancer of the uterus. So I, like so many, have a special interest in cancer-fighting causes.


I am also lucky to have friends who do a lot of volunteer work. Especially with P.A.L. I like making cookies for them when they reach out to the community.


The Rescue Mission is also a wonderful organization that does so much good in the High Desert. There is never a shortage of people who need help and there are so many ways to help. Our High Desert is a very giving community.


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Q: What's your favorite place to eat in Hesperia?


A: I would have to say La Casita. It opened about a year before Shelly's Place. The food is good, the people are nice and it is definitely the place in Hesperia where "everybody knows your name."


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Q: What new businesses would you like to see come to Hesperia?


A: More small, locally owned and run businesses. No more Walmarts or big chains. But apparently I must be in the minority, which is sad.


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Q: If you could change one thing about Hesperia, what would it be?


A: You can't turn back time, but it would be nice to go back and maintain more of the small-town charm that Hesperia had.


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Q: Tell us one thing that most people don't know about you.


A: I went hang gliding about 10 years ago and it was incredible. Strangely, I'm too chicken to skydive. But I would like to.


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Q: How can readers reach you?


A: That's easy. I'm usually at Bodacious Bundts on Main Street in Hesperia.


 


Who would you like to see profiled in an upcoming Q&A? Drop us a line at Editor@HesperiaStar.com.