Dongan’s Doneag’ins, Amenia NY

Rural Intelligence is a website that does a fantastic job keeping us posted on what’s happening in this area.

This week’s issue featured a story about a new shop that opened in Amenia called Donegan’s Doneag’ins. I was pretty much in the car headed there before I finished reading the article. It’s the creation of Dennis Donegan, who’s won five Emmys for his work over seventeen years as the set decorator on CBS’ As the World Turns, a soap opera that’s older than me. Sadly, the last episode airs on September 17.

The show’s already wrapped, though, and Dennis and his wife Martha have moved to the Hudson Valley with the props they were able to buy from the show, and opened this shop to re-sell them at very reasonable prices.

The drive from Rhinebeck to Amenia was gorgeous. I can’t wait to do it again when the leaves are changing.

Dennis’ shop is on a corner, and fills the lower floor of the building. It’s brimming with treasures, and he’ll be rolling out more as time goes on.

I’ve always been fascinated by set decoration. (And yes, a CBS soap fan, but only two: Guiding Light, which went off the air, and As the World Turns, which sadly joins it.) A former teacher with summers off, you know — after a while you get into some habits that you never give up. Or something.

Another shopper in the store said she started watching ATWT as a little girl, when her mom turned it on during naptime. It still has that calming effect in the afternoons.

It’s great fun to ask Dennis about the objects, and he let me try to guess which character they belonged to after he found out I knew my stuff.

Dennis said, “If you really are a fan of the show, I’ve got something you’ll enjoy.” He dug around in an unpacked box, and out came an Emmy. I’ve never seen one before, I’m still waiting for someone I know to win one and give it to me.

It really is a beautiful trophy. Dennis said he knew where four of his were, one of which he gave to his dad. He couldn’t quite remember where the fifth one was. I decided he might miss this one if I slipped out with it.

Photos of the items in use on the elaborate sets. So cool to see after watching it for so long.

Dennis’ memory about where every object came from is amazing. This vase came from Pier One back in the day when Pier One had things like this.

This lamp had already been sold to a gentleman who came in to pick it up while I was there. He had no idea it had an acting background until I told him. Not sure he was a true fan though.

This is the quilt that hung by the big stone fireplace in Tom and Margo’s cozy house.
It’s at 4:44 here, for you die-hards. And you know who you are.

This is such a great place to find a gift for a soap fan, a decorator, or anyone who loves an object with a fun story behind it. Dennis has created a beautiful shop; website coming soon.

I’m going to watch those final episodes now with whole new eye. I’m glad some of Oakdale lives on with Dennis and Martha, and their customers.

Donegan’s Doneag’ins 3324 Rte. 343, Amenia, NY 845-789-1331

PS. Here’s something else about soaps. My dad was a salesman, on the road every day for years. When he was older, and in the hospital, I turned on his TV for him and All My Children was on. I was stunned to find out he knew all the characters and the plots. He told me he’d been watching it while he ate lunch in bars and cafes for all those years on the road. I couldn’t believe it. So there ya go. You just never know.

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