Thursday Feb 10 2011
Community Portrait: Journal reader clips 45 years of milestones
By: Story and photo Michael Kirby
David Dickson and his wife Eleanor have been Auburn Journal subscribers for close to 45 years. Not only has Dickson subscribed to the Journal for over four decades, he is an avid collector of articles and memorabilia published by the Auburn Journal. Dickson and his family moved to the area in 1966 from Provo, Utah where he was a teacher at Brigham Young University. He took a position at Sierra College in 1966 when the college had occupied its new campus in Rocklin for just four years. He remained at Sierra College as an English and German instructor until his retirement in 2001. Over the years Dickson has been very involved with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including serving as area Bishop from 1970 to 1975. He remains involved with his church to this day. Dickson, a Meadow Vista resident, sits at his kitchen table, a collection of yellowed Auburn Journal clippings in front of him. “We have subscribed since we moved here. Back then the paper was a weekly,” Dickson said. The dates of the clippings are carefully left attached or written in the corners for reference. The articles and special supplements dating back to the ’60s that Dickson saves serve as a documentary study of the area’s community life and have been preserved with care over the years. They include obituaries of residents and community leaders, articles on people the Dicksons have known, and as residents for over 40 years they have many acquaintances. He saves clippings of Eagle Scouts dressed in their uniforms achieving the highest rank in the Boy Scouts and articles on many of Dickson’s past students and church members. Cookbooks published in the ’80s are preserved, as is a favorite of Dickson’s, a special 1988 publication about 100 people who shaped Auburn’s first 100 years, an excellent effort and a prized reference source today. His accordion folders hold stories that chronicle historical events in the community, like when the venerable watering hole the Shanghai closed, the renovation of the Historic Courthouse and a photo of famous “painter of light” Thomas Kinkade donating a painting of Old Town Auburn. “When we read the courthouse bell was removed for the renovation, we just had to come down and see it,” Dickson said. Dickson is a bit of an area historian himself and likes to investigate and photograph areas he finds interesting from articles in the Auburn Journal. “Several years ago the Journal published a story about a dynamite factory in Clipper Gap that was once there that I hadn’t known existed in all the years we have lived here,” he said. “I was absolutely astounded. We got in the car and went to find the site — how interesting.” Dickson’s favorite stories are about our community and he really understands and appreciates the role of a quality community newspaper. He enjoys stories of four or five family generations gathered for a photo who are recognized, stories about area musicians, human interest articles like one he pulled from the stack about an adopted woman finding her birth mother or stories of the great hard-working volunteers and their work in our community. “I really enjoy all the stories that are done positively, youth and human interest, stories exposing the interesting, positive aspects of our community,” Dickson said.