Tag Archives: Wade

Happy Mother’s Day

Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, Paul Dickinson Goodman, Katy Dickinson 2014

Today is America’s official celebration of motherhood – when flowers, candy, greeting cards, and brunch are practically required. John and Paul and I took my mother with her bouquet of roses to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, followed by Indian buffet at The Mynt Restaurant in Saratoga, CA. We squabbled over who got to eat the caramels out of the box of chocolates she gave me. We missed Jessica and her husband Matthew but hope to talk with them by phone later today.

One of the benefits of my being the keeper of the photo repository is that I have a pictorial record from birth for almost every member of the family, including those below.  This is a beautiful day to celebrate my wonderful family, of whom I am very proud!

Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, Katy Dickinson 1958
Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson and baby Katy Dickinson, 1958

Katy Dickinson, Jessica Dickinson Goodman by Jeffrey Davila 1988
Katy Dickinson and baby Jessica Dickinson Goodman, by Jeffrey Davila, 1988

Wade Dickinson, Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, Paul Dickinson Goodman 1992
Grandpa Wade Dickinson, Grandma Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, and baby Paul Dickinson Goodman, 1992

Katy Dickinson, Jessica Dickinson Goodman, Petra Jordan 2013
Katy Dickinson and Jessica Dickinson Goodman, at Petra Jordan, 2013

Matthew Holmes and Jessica Dickinson Goodman, at the Lair of the Golden Bear, Pinecrest CA, 2013
Matthew Holmes and Jessica Dickinson Goodman, at the Lair of the Golden Bear, Pinecrest CA, 2013

Katy Dickinson and Paul Dickinson Goodman 2014
Katy Dickinson and Paul Dickinson Goodman 2014

Images Copyright 1992-2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Discover Cal with Chancellor Dirks


I just attended Discover Cal, part of a traveling lecture series for family and friends of the University of California at Berkeley. Moderated by Guy Kawasaki, author/entrepreneur and Cal parent, tonight’s star was new Cal Chancellor Nicholas Dirks

…in a casual but stimulating conversation on Berkeley’s renewed commitment to its public mission through new initiatives that are built around his three interconnected priorities: How can we redefine the undergraduate experience so that students feel more connected to their studies, professors, and each other? How can Berkeley respond to an increasingly globalized world? How can our research innovations be brought to bear on the pressing needs and interests of society?

In addition to enjoying the official presentation about my alma mater, at the reception I was delighted to meet Margret Schmidt who is Vice President, Design & Engineering, Chief Design Officer at TiVo, and winner of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television. Margret is not only listed as one of the Notable Women in Computing but also was an Engineering-110 student at Cal! Engineering 110 “Venture Design, the Start Up Company” was offered through the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley for nearly 20 years. E-110 was conceived and lead by my father, the late Wade Dickinson, and his brother, my Uncle Wayne. I helped teach this class for twelve years. The course was designed to help creators of new technology to better understand the challenges of commercializing their ideas.  It was very exciting to talk with an E-110 student – especially one who has made such a remarkable success of herself!


Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Honoring My Parents with Sacred Threads


Two of the twelve newly-embroidered chairs dedicated at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (Saratoga, California) today were donated by my husband and me in honor of my parents: Wade and Eleanor Dickinson. The replacement chair seats were created as part of the Sacred Threads project. The new chair seat designs are inspired by the 1957-era stained glass church windows by Mark Adams.  I think my mother was pleased to sit in a chair with her name on it!





Images Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson


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Creekmore Family Reunion, Knoxville Tennessee


After our visit to Loon Lake, Wisconsin, with the Plocher family last week, John and I flew to Knoxville, Tennessee, for a reunion of my Creekmore relations. My mother, Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, was born and raised at 1007 Circle Park in Knoxville, spending summers at our Elkmont family cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains. My brothers and I and our cousins and friends also spent many happy childhood weeks at the cabin and nearby swimming hole. My brother Mark is the oldest of our generation and I am next – we have a first cousin who is twenty years younger. More Elkmont history and photos are in my Elkmont, Tennesee 2011 blog entry.

It was delightful to get together with my mother and brothers, aunts and uncles, cousins and nieces and nephews. My mother, Mark, Jessica and Matthew met us in Knoxville.  Unfortunately, Paul could not come because of final exams at Foothill College. My brother Pete was able to bring his whole family.

We went as a group to see “Dear Lodge” – the Creekmore’s Elkmont Cabin #6, now part of the “Elkmont Emergency Stabilization Project” of the US National Park Service’s “Elkmont Historic District: Appalachian Club”. Despite the many “US Property – No Trespassing” signs, the cabin’s back door was flat on the kitchen floor, plus a window and the front door of the cabin were open. However, we were happy that the holes in the floor my daughter saw during her visit in 2008 have been repaired.

We had a big family dinner at Latitude 35 in Knoxville after visiting the mountains.  Part of the fun of a reunion is telling funny stories on each other.  Here is one I shared:

When my brothers and cousins and I were little, our mothers, aunts, and uncles would sometimes take us to a drive-in at night, usually to see a Godzilla monster movie. There would be two cars: the adults would put us kids in one and lock themselves in the other so that they could watch the movie and eat their popcorn in peace. They rolled the windows down just enough to let in the movie speaker and some air. Of course, we kids would quietly get out of our car to sit on the hood or catch frogs in the grass. One evening, we had an idea. We snuck up on the grown-ups’ car and pushed some of our frogs into the window opening. Unfortunately, one of the frogs dropped into my Aunt Mary’s soda and then immediately jumped down the front of her blouse. The resulting commotion in the adult car was  spectacularly noisy. We got in big trouble (but it was worth it!).

Yesterday, John and my mother and I went to service at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral where my parents were married in 1952. Then, we visited the family graves at Highland Memorial Cemetery on the way to the airport.






Images Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson


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Flowers in Pipes for Easter


I have been getting my garden in Willow Glen, California, ready for our annual children’s party – the great Easter Egg hunt this Sunday. We are also collecting goodies for our little guests, including stuffies, candies, and baskets.  Every child in the hunt picks a stuffed animal to be their personal advisor (since parents are not allowed to help), plus a basket for their eggs. Last year, we hosted over a dozen children searching for eggs on Easter morning.

Over the years, I have collected ceramic flue liners of many sizes – to use as planters. Some I inherited from my father’s garden. I have just planted two of these (plus an old steel pipe section) with red and yellow kangaroo paws, to go with the two I already have filled with pink geraniums. These tall planters create a new visual level (and keep the flowers away from our boy dog’s attentions). In the pictures, you can see the pipes against the background of WP668, our backyard caboose.  The new flowers will be a pretty background for the egg hunt.

IMG_6248 . IMG_6238


Images Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson

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Wade’s Favorite Ties


My father, Wade Dickinson, liked to dress very well. When he passed away in 2011, my brothers and I distributed his excellent clothes to family members or charity, depending on the condition. In rearranging our basement to make room for installing the new furnace, I found a bag of six of my father’s favorite neckties, pictured above. It was interesting to see how many of his lifelong areas of study and passion were reflected in these sartorial accessories.  From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Eagle and shield – silver on navy – probably a West Point momento.  My father was graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1949.
  • Bah Humbug – red and navy – reflecting my father’s lifelong Scrooge-like hatred of the waste and expense of Christmas.
  • Pigs – silver on red – in honor of my father’s many years (and many patents) studying how to promote food animal growth through the application of Physics.  His company name for this work was AgroPhysics.
  • Bears and stripes – The Cal Golden Bear mascot, from his many years teaching the University of California at Berkeley class Engineering-110, “Venture Design: The Start-up Company”.
  • Cows – Black and white on blue – in honor of my father’s many years (and many patents) studying how to promote food animal growth through the application of Physics.  His company name for this work was AgroPhysics.
  • Owls – silver on red – the mascot of the Bohemian Club of which my father was a lifelong member.

Here is a 1993 portrait of Wade Dickinson, taken by my mother, Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson:


Images Copyright 1993-2013 by Katy Dickinson and Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson

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Old Billings Wrench


In looking for paperweight (something long, flat, and heavy to keep a book open for reference), I came across an old steel Billings-brand wrench which works well. This particular 8-1/4″ wrench was probably used by my grandfather, Ben Wade Orr Dickinson, Junior, to fix cars.

In finding out about this, I discovered that old tool collecting is popular: there are even web sites devoted just to wrenches. The Billings stamp style indicates that this wrench was made sometime between 1926-1962. From the silky smoothness of the handle and the old-style screw design, it is probably from the earlier part of that time range. (No – it is not for sale!)


B.W.O. Dickinson, Junior (my father’s father), was a master machinist. Here he is working on a metal lathe in about 1970 (in Sharon, Pennsylvania):


Images Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson

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