Peggy Dorsett’s Sun Buster Video thrives in Sisters


Last updated 3/8/2005 at Noon

Jim Mitchell

Peggy Dorsett is the owner-operator of Sunbuster Video.

Few people in Sisters are likely to know her full name: Peggy Dorsett. Most know her simply as Peggy, as in “Peggy’s Pick.”

She’s been a fixture in the Sisters video entertainment market for years.

Now she owns her own video store — Sunbuster Video in the Three Wind Shopping Center.

Peggy came to Sisters 17 years ago from Huntington Beach in Southern California, where she lived two blocks from the Pacific Ocean. Why did she leave the beach? “I always felt like a fish out of water.”

She had made several trips to Oregon and says, “I loved it up here.”

But, Peggy had never been to Sisters. She remembers, “I came home from work one day and a friend I thought had been back East for a couple of years popped in from nowhere. She had actually been in Sisters and asked us to visit. I couldn’t leave but my husband visited Sisters and said he thought I would like it. So I did it.”

She packed up her husband and three of her five children and “did it.” For the first couple of days she said she walked around town a lot with her children.

Nine days after arriving she took a job at the Space Station Deli, figuring it was a good chance to meet people. She said, at that time, “I didn’t know a soul.”

Her first Sisters job paid $3.25 an hour (in 1988).

“I just found what I could to get by,” she said.

A single-mom for 14 years, Peggy has seen all of her children grow up and leave home except for her 15-year-old son Chris, an eighth grader at Sisters Middle School.

Her first real exposure to the video business was as a customer.

“I used to rent a lot from Video Corral. Jean Cooper and I would get into a lot of interesting conversations. She had a lot of art films and foreign films. She was a small independent, but she would bring in really interesting movies. One day she came up to me in the market and asked me if I wanted to go to work for her. That was the beginning —almost 10 years ago.”

Peggy has worked in local video stores for most of those 10 years. She is generally acknowledged as one of the most informed video purveyors in town.

When customers asked her to tag or label her favorite movies she used a sticker label “Peggy’s Pick.” It has become her trademark.

“I enjoy the video business,” she said. “I am a student of human behavior. It’s an interesting way to research people and why they do what they do.

“Some movies lead to really interesting conversations with folks about life and what makes the world go around. And that’s what I like about it so much.”

After working in Sisters Video and the video department of Ray’s Food Place, Peggy “pestered” a couple of ladies she knew into opening Sun Buster Video.

Then she went to work for them. When they decided to concentrate on other businesses, they offered the video outlet to Peggy.

She is now the owner and sole employee, working 60 to 70 hours a week.

That’s long hours, but she prefers to spend the time in order to pay off her debt sooner and to increase her stock of movies. And she likes the work.

“It was scary. I never dreamed,” she said. “But it’s working out really well. The numbers are up. Business is growing and customers seem happy — I get positive feedback all the time.”

In addition to a broad selection of videos, Peggy is featuring the computer-generated fractal art of Michael Kinnicutt along with recordings by local musicians, including the Americana Project.

As a public service she also offers free movies to teachers at the schools for special projects.

Along with her regular selection she is offering a few locally produced videos, including Sisters High School student productions.

Add in over 200 Audio Books on Tape and almost 200 video games.

One regular customer commented that, not only does Peggy know the movies she stocks, she also knows what customers like.

Peggy says, “I think that’s really important. I like to talk to people about the movies. I get to know their tastes, can let them know when a movie might contain material that might offend them.

“On the other hand,” she said. “I can let them know about movies they might really enjoy.”

The hot movies right now? Peggy suggests “Ray,” the life of Ray Charles, “The Notebook,” a heartwarming and heartbreaking love story, and “The Motorcycle Diaries,” the story of a young “Che” Guevara and friend motorcycling across Latin America.

Sun Buster Video is located between Napa Auto Parts and Susan’s Cleaners in the Three Wind Shopping Center.

Hours: Noon to 8 p.m., 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Telephone: 549-4999.


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