Merrymeeting People
A Remembrance of Bruce Dickinson. By Jay Robbins

Bruce E. Dickinson (1946 – 2014), late of Richmond, spent his entire life within a rock's throw of the Kennebec River. A true river rat, Bruce descended from the legendary Merrymeeting Bay Preble and Parks families. Fishers and ferry-men all.  Bruce was always happiest when out on, in or upon the water, for there was adventure and true beauty.

Years ago, Bruce and a first mate took a small boat and went looking for an ice flow to ride. After securing their boat and climbing aboard their new craft, they set out for Merrymeeting Bay. Well, someone ashore spotted them and alerted the Marine Patrol. The long and short of it was that Bruce, as Captain of the vessel, was ticketed for operating an unregistered watercraft. In Court they told how that they were not in distress, as evidenced by the fact that they were seated in lawn chairs and smoking cigars when the MP pulled alongside. The Judge laughed and dismissed the case.

On another occasion, during a long frigid open winter, Bruce decided to test himself. He strapped on his ice skates in Augusta and skated all the way through to Brunswick. Can one imagine a more glorious day on Merrymeeting Bay?

His family says “Bruce had many interests, he loved the outdoors, being on the river and traveling, as long as it was no further than Bowdoinham.” “Bruce's love of the River was a huge part of his life. He sought out the adventure and always noticed the continual changes he encountered on each trip. Every season held interests but winter was his favorite. He always looked forward to hiking around the Island, checking ice formations in the Bay and of course hopping ice cakes. Bruce had his first boat at the age of eight. From that time on, The Kennebec River, Swan Island and Merrymeeting Bay were treasured times for him that held lasting memories.”

Bruce's daughter feels these poems characterize her father.

The Song of the River                                        The first river you paddle
Ends not at her banks,                                        Runs through the rest of your life,
But in the hearts                                                 It bubbles up in pools and eddies
Of those who have loved her.                            To remind you of who you are
{Buffalo Joe}                                                     {Lynn Noel}

Although not a FOMB member, Bruce generously requested donations be made in his memory to us. We received over $1,000 from and offer thanks and condolences to, the following donors [listed in no particular order]: Donna & Andre Dionne, Judith & Richard Baker,  Andrea Kincer, Michelle Snowden, Linda Gray, Judith & William Debray, Jay & Lisa Robbins, Linda & Curt Lebel, Buell Miller, Sylvia & Harold Averell, Janet & Darnell Trott, Tamara & James Leavitt, William Waters, Barbara & Peter Vickery, Marjorie Rackliff, Dorothy Wallace, Joyce & Max Pinkham, Christine & Alton Wilson, Marjorie Adams, Eunice Sargent, Judith & Jack White, Martha & Ron Emmons, Jennifer Umberhind, Jane Frost & Lloyd Ferriss, Michael Buker, Lee Damioli & Denise Jasmine, Janice & Richard Ashcroft, Marcia & Mark Schools, Sarah Lancaster, Gail & Nolan Harrison, Yvette Dickinson, Tracy & Dana Tuttle, Tonia & Lawrence Laliberte, Andrea Rossignol and Prudence & David Brown.


Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler