A farewell to Brockport

By on November 11, 2019
Dianne and Doug Hickerson have contributed to the Suburban News and Hamlin-Clarkson Herald for over 27 years. They are bidding a fond farewell to their beloved Brockport and will be moving to Virginia at the end of the month.

Dianne and Doug Hickerson have contributed to the Suburban News and Hamlin-Clarkson Herald for over 27 years. They are bidding a fond farewell to their beloved Brockport and will be moving to Virginia at the end of the month.

Dear Reader, 

Many people are aware that Dianne and I will be moving to Virginia at the end of November.

This downsizing in our “golden years” is needed and beneficial to us, including being close to family in Williamsburg. For over 27 years, many readers have followed our stories with my writing and Dianne’s photos. We want to let you know why the articles will not continue. Plus, we want to express our affection for Brockport and tell you why we hope our roots remain here as a legacy. 

We have lived on Hollybrook Road in Brockport for 35 years, each with a different background. We hope the roots we leave behind will honor the community we love.

Dianne’s Family Roots

Dianne’s roots begin in Brockport’s history as the great-granddaughter of Thomas H. Dobson who opened Dobson’s Drugs and Book Store in the 19th century. The drug store served Brockport for nearly 100 years. Dianne worked there while in high school and college. She attended the Campus School, graduated from The College at Brockport, and was voted into the College’s Alumni Hall of Fame. She taught for 33 years in the Brockport Central School System.  

Lifespan awarded Dianne the “Second Half Hero Award” for her community service after retirement … for teaching Braille and translating the novel The Shack into Braille, and for her artistic achievements. The award also recognized her 14 years of bringing her therapy dogs to the local senior care center. Two of her therapy dogs, Mikey and Jesse, received the “Remarkable Volunteer Award” from Therapy Dogs International. “Gracie” continues the visits today.

Dianne is known for her watercolor paintings, which appeared in national exhibits in New York City, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, and other cities. She keeps up contacts with the art community. Her paintings are in many local homes and on display at the Red Bird in downtown Brockport. 

Doug’s Community Roots

My Brockport roots are in the over-200 human-interest stories written about Brockport area people and places. They have appeared in the Suburban News and Hamlin-Clarkson Herald and are on permanent display as “Brockport Stories” in Seymour Library’s Local History Room. Six portfolios are filled with newspaper clippings and Dianne’s photos.

Starting in 1992, as an administrator retired from The College at Brockport, I began writing stories for Westside News Inc. I am indebted to Evelyn Dow, Editor Emerita, who advised me in my writing for decades. Also, I thank Joanne Michielsen, Assistant Production Manager, for timely placement of articles and photos. And, I am grateful to Westside News publisher, Keith Ryan, for continuing to receive and publish my articles. Keith has kept this free community newspaper thriving for over four decades. 

My stories and press releases have featured local service organizations, institutions, interesting people, and remarkable places including museums, historic sites, and landmarks I see daily. Some of my subjects have been: The College at Brockport, The Clock Tower on the Methodist Church, the century-old canal bridges still functioning, Lift Bridge Book Shop, Seymour Library, Morgan-Manning House, The Emily L. Knapp Village Museum, Capen Hose #4 Fire House and Museum, Museum without Walls, and many others.

We have had many comments that our writing has made readers more aware of who we are as human community. That is one of our motives in writing “human interest” stories, and it is gratifying to see they are received that way. We were pleased when Sue Savard at the Emily L. Knapp Museum wrote to us, “You have documented people, places, and events for so many years. Your work is truly a gift to the community. Know that you are moving from Brockport but leaving a bit of yourself behind with your written treasure of information.”  

Doug and Dianne Hickerson

Brockport

 

Dear Doug and Dianne

I wish you both all the best. Your contributions to the newspapers and to your community will never be equaled. Those nowadays who believe writing is only stringing words together, and that photos are little more than a means of capturing what one is eating at the moment, don’t understand what you both have demonstrated so often … knowledge, ability, heart.

Evelyn Dow, Editor Emerita

Westside News Inc.

 

Thank you for connecting the community

I had the privilege of attending a gathering held at the Morgan-Manning House on June 30 to honor the Hickersons and wish them well on this next chapter of their lives. I looked around the room filled with people, most of whom I had never met, and yet I knew them. I knew their faces from Dianne’s photos and their stories from Doug’s articles. Through their work, the Hickersons have created connections in the Brockport community and beyond. I will miss working with them and learning about our community through their stories. Even though they are moving from the area, their legacy, and the connections they have created will remain. Thank you, Doug and Dianne. 

Joanne Michielsen, Asst. Production Manager

Westside News Inc.