January 2009 Newsletter


 A message from the President

This message was started shortly after our last DFA executive board meeting in early November.  In addition to conducting the usual business of the association we enjoyed a fine lunch in a delightful, historic restaurant (The Publick House in Sturbridge, MA) on a beautiful fall day.  We also  shared family stories and browsed through some wonderful historical collections put together by some of our members in years past. Andrew Dickinson had selected these from the extensive material once kept in a file at the Dickinson Memorial Library in Hatfield, MA.

I wanted to convey my good feelings about that meeting to all of you for two reasons.  One is just the fun of getting together with cousins from the DFA and sharing family history.  I expect many of you do that with members of your close family, but it is a wonderful, and different, experience to do so with more distant cousins.  If you have attended any DFA reunions you know that this is one of the great features of the meeting.

My other reason is to encourage you to become more active in the DFA.  Any of you who are reasonably close to the Connecticut River Valley should consider coming to some of our board meetings, not only to help us with our deliberations and mailings, but also to enjoy the type of friendly exchange I described above.  Also, if you’ve never been to a reunion you should make this the year you attend your first one.  The January Survey card enclosed with this mailing gives you an opportunity to express an interest in either or both of these activities.  Please fill it out and return it.

A very happy New Year to all!

Alan C. Dickinson, president 

2009 REUNION UPDATE      Since the last Newsletter, plans for our 2009 reunion in Wethersfield, CT continue to evolve.  We have found what we think is a perfect place for the Friday dinner.  It is J.Michael’s Tavern, located in a charming, historic house across the street from First Church in Old Wethersfield.  Recently the DFA Traveling Gourmet had lunch at this restaurant and found the food to be superb and the atmosphere delightful.  We have already booked it for our Friday evening meeting, social hour and dinner, and we think you’ll enjoy it thoroughly.     We are also making progress on the speaker for the annual meeting.  At this point we can only tell you that we will be learning about the early history of Wethersfield.  More details in the next newsletter. 
                                                                                 NEWSLETTER ALERT      The DFA newsletter typically goes out in January, April, June and November of each year.  The June and November newsletters go out by e-mail to those who are able and willing to receive it this way, and it does save the association time and money.  If you received your last newsletter (Nov. 2008) by postal mail, that means either you have indicated you don’t wish to receive the newsletters electronically, or we do not have a valid e-mail address for you.     We know e-mail addresses change frequently and it is easy to forget to update them.  So if you change your e-mail address we would greatly appreciate your sending the new one to our membership clerk, Beth Landolina, at bethl0719@comcast.net
DFA SCHOLARSHIP            We are now accepting applications for the 2009 DFA Scholarship.  The information and applicationform are on the website and completed forms may be sent to our new scholarship chair, Jean Blackmer.You may also contact her if you have any questions not answered on the information page.   Jean’s addressis 61 Sever Street, Worcester, MA 01609, jean.blackmer@becker.edu .            As always, we rely on contributions from DFA members to sustain and increase the scholarshipfund.  If you are able, we would appreciate your help.  Indicate “scholarship fund” on the JanuarySurvey form if you wish to make a donation.  
THE WETHERSFIELD/HARTFORD CT AREA      Enclosed with this newsletter is a new accommodations list, featuring the central Connecticut area where our 2009 Reunion will be held.  Since this is a more metropolitan region, we hope that availability will not be quite as limited as it has been it in the Amherst area.  However, it is always advisable to make your plans and secure your reservations early.     Also, there are a great many attractions, particularly historic ones, which are well worth taking the time to visit.  To name a few, in Old Wethersfield the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum consists of three historic houses which are open for tours.  The Buttolph-Williams house is another.  There is a Visitor Center and Museum at the Keeney Memorial building.  You’ll enjoy just walking around Old Wethersfield; it is a charming village.     Hartford is home to the Wadsworth Atheneum, the oldest art museum in the U.S., and an outstanding one as well.  The Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe houses are also fascinating places to tour.  Any of you who are unfamiliar with this area or have not visited it recently should plan some extra time for exploring.  
NEW MEMBERS       Once again we use the January Newsletter to welcome those new to the DFA.  Between November 2007 and November 2008 we added 34 listings to our active mailing list.  This gives a total of 363, not counting 17 for whom we have no contact information (see “Missing Cousins”).       Here are the names of our new (or reinstated) members:  Nancy Dickinson Brown, CT; Doleta Dickinson Chapru, WI; Sally Chirlin, NY; Amy Conti, MA; Louise Convoy, MA; Daniel and Theresa Dickinson, CT; Elle Dickinson, MA; Erick and Kathleen Dickinson, MA; Marie Dickinson, CT; Sandy Dickinson, WA; Sandra Gildersleeve Dickinson, UT; Malcolm Griffin, OH; Ernest Harlow, MA; Cheyenne Huffor, MA; Sue Shepard Jaques, NJ; Harold James Kempffer, MN; Randall D. Lloyd, NV; Sally Maloney, MA; Jean & Dana Mansur, NJ; Thomas D. McGurk, GA; Vicki Morehouse, MA; Lucy D. Phillips, MA; William Rainwater, NJ; Sharley Reuter, CA; Andy Ritchie, WA; Kathryn Russel de Vries, OR; Deborah Sanders, CA; Donna Santos, CT; Karen Sims, CT; Donna Spillios, ME; Harold Walden, TX; Alice Leverett Wilder, MA; Richard and Carolyn Williams, CA; William and Katie Young, VA.       A few of these people attended the 2008 reunion and one of them is our new secretary.  Welcome to all! 
 MISSING COUSINS      Every year we lose contact with a few of our members due to unreported changes of address.  Our last appeal for information did result in some responses.  In hopes of restoring more people to our mailing list, our membership clerk, Beth Landolina, has again provided a list of people with their last known place of residence: Candy Cooke, ? ; Scott Counsell, Waverly, MA; Edward M. Dickinson, N.S.W.Australia; James Dickinson, San Francisco, CA; James L. and Mardalee B. Dickinson, ? ; Percy A. Dickinson, Ancram, NY; Thomas S. Dickinson – Pasadena MD; Jose Fernandez Dickinson, ? ; Marie Gauthier, W. Suffield, CT; Mary Jane Dickinson Graham, Rossaville, GA; George Hawksley, Bridgeport CT; Lorna Hyland, Waverly, MA; Russell Hyland, Dedham, MA; Ellen Dickinson McTammany, Acton MA;  Belinda West Mulliken, Belmont, MA; Susan E. Dickinson Seufer, Cañon City, CO; Paul W. Toelken, Prescott Valley, AZ.     If you have any information on these people please contact Beth at 82 Evergreen Dr., Tolland, CT 06084; 860-870-0339;  bethl0719@sbcglobal.net.
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