Velma Dinkley by John Likeglass
In appreciation of the most underappreciated member of Mysteries Inc, and charter member of the Velma Dinkley fan club, I set out to interview Velma. Indeed, she is a fascinating girl. We started the interview at the very beginning.
John: Velma, Where were you born, and what was your childhood like?
Velma: Coolville Ohio. My mom & dad were marine biologists. They traveled a lot, so I ended up staying with neighbors quite often. Those neighbors included the Rogers (Shaggy's folks), and the Jones's ... Freddy's folks. Daphne Blake moved in right down the street. When you meet someone at that age, they tend to become like family, and that's exactly how I feel about Norville and Fred and Daphne.
John: What was grade school like? Were you teased a lot?
Velma: You mean about the glasses? Let me tell you. Shortly after I learned to walk, I learned to walk into walls! My folks took the clue that I might not be 20/20 and had my vision checked. I can't even remember a time when I didn't wear glasses. So, by the time my first day of school rolled around, I had been wearing them for years. I think it's easier on a kid, when they've always had them because I saw a lot of kids get teased worse then me when they got glasses in the second or third grade. Besides, the person who laughs the loudest at me, is... me! That kind of takes the punch out of the tease. For some reason, school always came easy to me and I was able to help a lot of other kids out by giving simple explanations to them on what the teacher was talking about. So, I ended up with a lot of friends. That helped.
John: You grew up with Shaggy and Freddy? When did you get into the mystery thing?
Velma: Probably on the playground in third grade... Everything was a mystery! We got addicted to it! Mystery Inc didn't start until years later when Freddy got his license and started driving the van that Daphne's dad had gotten us. By that time, Daphne, of course, had moved in down the block. I thought she was a glamour ditz at first, but it turned out she was into it as bad as we were!
John: Speaking of glamour, you're known for your "tomboy appearance", any comments?
Velma: I don't think of myself as a tomboy. I just never got into the beauty thing. Kind of like, if someone is going to be my boyfriend, I want him to like me, not some pretend me. Also, I never really wanted to lug all that stuff around. Simple loose clothes, shoes that I can actually walk in, that's me!
John: Why the glasses? They look kind of.. Er... big and out of style?
Velma: Same thing! They're practical! Big.. Maybe, but you get a better field of vision. My glasses are my window to the world. I can't see a thing without them. Once again, I just never got into the fashion thing. I wear glasses to see, not to look cool.
John: Why not contacts? Those that follow your adventures, know you lose your glasses a lot!
Velma: Jeepers! That's not true! In all the adventures we've been on, and that's over two hundred, I've only ever lost five pairs! As for contacts, it's hard to be running for your life out of a haunted house, dragging all those cleaning supplies with you! Glasses... You just put them on your face and run! I guess I do sometimes make a fool out of myself when I lose them, so I guess they become memorable moments. Quite terrifying for me while it's happening, but looking back, I laugh at them too!
John: What's your IQ? And how did you feel being the youngest member of Mystery Inc?
Velma: As for the IQ, I never had it tested. As for being the youngest, well, age-wise I was, but because I graduated at age 15, I was also the only high school graduate on the team, so it kind of leveled the playing field out. Jinkies! Why do I keep referring to Mystery Inc in the past tense? To me, it's still alive and well. We spent three summers, and countless winter and spring breaks going on those adventures! We didn't even break up when it came time to go to collage. Every summer we got back together and hit the road! We did break up for about two years once, but we got back together! It wasn't until our careers got in the way that we parted, but as I said, we're back together now!
John: What happened to the job at NASA?
Velma: Well, after I graduated college, I did go to work for them. It looked like a real promising career. But, I've got to admit it, I did miss the mysteries. Six months into my great career, cutback time! Bye bye future at NASA! By that time, Freddy and Daphne graduated and had moved on. Shaggy never went to college, he just hung around with Scooby. So I returned to my home town and took over my aunt's book store. Selling mysteries, instead of solving them, what a bummer. But at least I was close to the work I really loved.
John: Then Zombie Island?
Velma: Yep! Put the bookstore on hold and took off with the old gang! It was great to see them all! We were all on the road for about three months! It was just like old times!
John: But that was the first time the spooks were real?
Velma: I still think it was some type of mass hypnosis. I just can't bring myself to believing in that kind of stuff.
John: So, any romance in your near future?
Velma: Maybe not the near future, but some people think I don't care about those things, I do! Some day, I want to settle down and have a family, but right now, while I'm young... too many mysteries out there to solve! I mean, I had boyfriends in both high school and college, but they couldn't deal with my interests. I mean, they'd say, "I'm going to my brother's place for Thanksgiving, what are you doing?" And I say, "Heading off to an island full of Zombies!" That usually ends it right there! Someday, someone's going to say, "Cool!" Then, I'll have found my man!
John: You always figure out the puzzles so fast. Why don't you just say "hey gang, such and such did it"?
Velma: I like to be 100% sure of the facts. I may think I've got it figured out, but the only way to be 100% sure is when you pull that mask off! There have been one or two times that I've been surprised!
John: What do you think about the live action movie?
Velma: The transformation has been a hard one. I have to say, we are having a lot of fun making it! We have grown so much from the early days and so have our fans. This movie touches on a lot of topics that we didn't even think about back then! Like everyone, we've had some rough times. These usually ended up on the cutting room floor. Not this time! I hope you all enjoy it, and that you will see us for what we are, a group of people who are (still) learning the lessons of life!
John: Any plans for a sequel?
Velma: Hey! Give a girl some time off! We haven't even completed filming the first one! ... I am a little sad that the critics have already started slamming our first live action movie before it's even out! I don't think they really understood who we are... What worked in the 70s' and 80s' is not what we're about! It's a new millennium ! You, me, the Gang, the public, ... all of us have changed, and I think for the better!
(Note: Interview was done before the movies were released. )
John: Well, that about wraps up my questions. Is there anything you would like to add?
Velma: Just that I want to thank all the fans that have followed us out there. Without them, our adventures would have ended years ago. As long as you keep watching us, we'll keep finding new mysteries to solve!
Got a question for Velma? Check out the Ask Velma page! (It's Back!)
About the author: John has been a Scooby fan since the first show aired in 1969. His favorite character has always been Velma. Although now living in an adult world, he refuses to totally grow up, believing in the philosophy of the late Walt Disney, who once said, "Only a dreamer can have a dream come true!"
Back to The Hub (to explore more of Velma's site, as well as links)