Blind woman drives graduation present for first time in 50 years

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A Beech Grove woman drove a car for the first time in 50 years.  In 1963, Marsha Hoagland Dorsey’s parents got her a brand new car for graduation.  She was badly injured in an accident the day before she was supposed to get behind the wheel for the first time.

Today, with the help of some friends and family, Marsha was able to take her graduation present out for a spin.

Dorsey got behind the wheel of her car.  She shut the door, turned the key and fired it up. This was no ordinary drive, though.

“Are you ready to hold on?” she laughed as she fastened her seatbelt.

Dorsey is blind.  This is her first time ever to drive the 1963 Chevy Impala convertible

“It was wonderful,” said Dorsey.  “I have never gotten to drive her since we got her 50 years ago.”

She calls the Impala her “Blue Angel”.

“The doctor said I would never see again, and I have to be honest, I thought she is my guardian angel and I know someday I will get to see her,” said Dorsey.  “So I named her ‘Blue Angel’.”

Car and driver were reunited on the empty asphalt of the Lafayette Square parking lot.

“I know you are not supposed to love material things, but I love her,” said Dorsey.

And with a little help from her co-pilot, a memory was made that Marsha will never forget.
“Oh, I thought she did pretty good, for me being behind the wheel,” Dorsey said.  “I thought she behaved pretty good.  I was talking to her, as you know, the whole time.”


  • anon

    Good thing she was in an empty parking lot & had a seeing eye passenger! lol. How sad to be involved in an accident that took her eyesight the day before she was to get to drive it for the first time! Although people can live without eyesight, things do become more of a challenge! I'm glad she at least got to take it for a spin, in a controlled environment.

  • Bill Brown

    Marsha was a good friend of my Mom, Jo Brown and this story unfolded when my Mom passed away in January. Jeff King of Kingsclassics LLC told me about a restoration he was doing for one of my Mom’s best friends; Marsha Dorsey! Jeff completed Blue Angel recently after one year and insisted Marsha drive the car before he turned the car over to her, and yesterday completed the gift for Marsha’s graduation present given to her in 1963. Congratulations Marsha, I suspect your Dad, Jo And Bill Brown, and a host of others watched your drive yesterday! Bill Brown, BG59’er and Marsha fan

  • justme

    What a nice lady. She seems so positive even with her loss of eyesight. So many people who have their sight are so grumpy. It is good to see positive stories!

  • anon

    I watched the video; that car is in incredible condition! I don't know if anybody in her family ever drove it, but it looks well-cared-for, & runs like a dream! What a beauty!

  • sandy

    Marsha you have always been incredible!!!! You graced the halls of Indianapolis University as if you had sight, you expressed your vision of color and beauty for the entire staff and students with the work you did. Love ya always, and glad to see your doing well old friend.

  • Jane Cohernour

    So happy for you Marsha. It was so nice getting to talk to you the few times I saw you at Von Maur. God Bless you. Jane Bryant Cohernour.

  • MkB BGHS 59

    Hey Marsha..another BGHS 59er here…Marlene (Taylor/Emmert) and George Bultman…have seen you "IN" your the Beech Grove Fall Festival Parade – our 50th reunion year 2009…now we will see you in yours 2013…I am sure..Beautiful car..your mom and dad did good..:-) Your classmate and our sister Linda (#3) (Taylor/Moneymaker) Heller's siblings… Sally (#1) 56er and Marlene (#2) 59er..and JR (#4) 65er and Eunice (#5) 69er and Larry (#6) 71er…That Taylor Bunch from North 8th Street…. Congratulations upon using your wonderful Beech Grove High School Drivers Education Class so well…. 🙂 Bob Johnson/Steele Roberts would be proud… 🙂 xox Love you "ALL" The Taylors

  • Kathryn Maher

    Dearest Marsha: I remember the Blue Angel so well! It was such a beautiful car, and I'm so thankful you still have it! You are one of the most courageous people I've ever known.

    God has given you grace to overcome anything and I'm so thankful for your life. Hope to visit with you in person in a couple of months.

    Kathryn (Kathy) Goss Maher

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