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Out & About: Saying goodbye to schools like Kingsport's Dickson can be tough

Katherine Scoggins • Jul 9, 2018 at 4:30 PM

Editor’s Note: After the article appeared in Sunday Stories on July 8, reader Rick Heppert pointed out a website dedicated to the school (which can be found by clicking here). Thanks to Rick for sharing this information.

I was so saddened when I picked up last Sunday’s paper and saw that Dickson School was in the process of being demolished. I transferred from Andrew Johnson to Dickson after the third grade. I remember crying (a lot) because I had loved Johnson and was so looking forward to singing in the Glee Club, and having music class in the gym, where we learned The Cha Cha, among other dances, and competing in the spelling bee, all of which started in fourth grade. I was miserable at the thought of no spelling bee, no Glee Club (not even a separate music room, and what the heck was a cafegymatorium, anyway?).

But at least we had the best teachers! Miss Carter was one of my favorites! She would bring an auto harp to our classroom and accompany herself, because there was only one piano in the school. This was her first teaching assignment and I wondered if she was disappointed. If she was, it never showed, because she was always so nice and cheerful. I found out years later that she had been a University of Tennessee singer and had sung solos throughout Europe when they went on tour. Yes, I saw Miss Carter (Mrs. Arnold at that point) again when I ran into her at the Junior League Follies. I thought she looked familiar and, when she smiled that beautiful smile and began singing, I knew it was her on stage - 30 years later and from my seat in the back of the Paramount. And Mrs. Kite (Miss Frazier) who would read to us after lunch. She introduced me to “Charlotte’s Web” and taught me to try and always make time for reading. What a gift. I will also admit that she was the first teacher to give me an “A” in conduct. Needless to say, my parents were not quite sure how that happened. Oh well!

In later years, Dickson School served as a great “hub’ for non-profit agencies. Red Cross, Volunteer Kingsport, the YMCA, Kingsport Nursery School, Head Start, Meals on Wheels, Children of Tri-Cities, the Shepherd Center, and United Way of Greater Kingsport were all housed in that building and shared equipment and resources, held lots of hallway meetings and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. My brother, who also attended Dickson a few years behind me, came to visit one time and commented how strange it was to be back there again; very little had changed, my office was his former first grade classroom and we walked around outside on the playground.

We are so very, very fortunate to have had Tim Mullen to develop the “I Went to Dickson Elementary School” Facebook page complete with memories, class pictures, mimeographed news sheets and programs. I hope everyone who attended Dickson has visited it several times over the past years. Tim has done an outstanding job of preserving its history and, for that, we owe him a huge round of gratitude!!

Week of Caring 2018 was the wonderful week it always is, with many projects and lots of fun and work! Thanks to all the volunteers who gave their time and talent, and thank you, Ken Walker and Becca Sutphen for all your help troubleshooting and coordinating people, jobs, days and times! A special thank you to our very special WOC volunteer Richard Lane (Eastman I.T.) who does a fantastic job keeping our technology in line!

On June 26, the Literacy Council of Kingsport and Friends of Allandale partnered to bring bestselling writer and Kingsport native Kimberly Belle to Kingsport to talk about her new book, "Three Days Missing," as well as her life and family. The rain tried its best, but it couldn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended and enjoyed the luncheon and talk. On each table, there were tokens from the sponsors and some beautiful “altered” books handmade by Literacy Council board member Jeanette Huret. Some of her books decorated the tables at last year’s Literacy Luncheon, but the word was not out about them being available for sale, with part of the proceeds benefiting the Literacy Council. To purchase or to inquire about the books, which are $25 each, contact Jeanette via email at [email protected]

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July! And please say “hi” if I see you Out & About!

Here are a few of the local happenings coming up in our region.

July 10: The 2018 Domtar Trash Barrel Paint-In will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 10 on the grounds of Allandale Mansion in Kingsport. Adults and children of all ages are invited to decorate trash barrels to be used during Fun Fest. A $5 registration fee is required for EACH barrel requested on the registration form. Registration deadline is July 9. All proceeds go to support the many programs of Keep Kingsport Beautiful. Registration forms are available at the Fun Fest store and online at www.funfest.net.

July 13:Twilight Alive Summer Concert Series features Members Only at 8 p.m., July 13 on Broad Street in Downtown Kingsport. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. and the concert will follow at approximately 8 p.m. The location is at the Church Circle end of Broad Street. Bring a lawn chair. No coolers please. Food trucks, concessions and beer sales available.

July 28:Dancing, Dining & Ducks, a fundraiser for Mountain Region Speech & Hearing will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m., July 28 at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. To purchase a duck or learn more, call (423) 246-4600.

July 28:Gate City Rocks! - Cruzin Car Show featuring live music by Brickyard Road (a Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute band) will be held from 5 to 10 p.m., July 28. All proceeds go toward the restoration of the Gate City Theatre in Downtown Gate City.

July 29:Morning Star Flute Ensemble Concert will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, July 29, at First Presbyterian Church. Adults, $10; children, $5. Reception to follow.

July 31: The Kingsport City Schools will hold its Ninth Annual Back to School Expo from 3 to 6 p.m., July 31 at the Kingsport Farmers Market. Tables should be reserved no later than Friday, July 20. Call Marybeth McLain at (423) 378-2123 or email [email protected]

Katherine Scoggins is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights local happenings and community organizations twice a month in Out & About with Katherine. To share photos from a community event, add an event to our calendar or invite Katherine to attend, email us at [email protected]


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