Hello, this is John Dickerson. This is a place to post stories about Nancy Dickerson, my mother. I've moved some of the entries from the book blog here.
Here are a few I liked:
When Nancy Hanschman was a young CBS-TV reporter,I was working in New York City for TV Guide magazine as the East Coast PR guy. Nancy was well liked and early on projected a kind of Jackie Kennedy look. When it was announced that she would be going to Washington as the network's correspondent there, CBS threw a cocktail party for her - a sort of goodbye and good luck affair.
I bought a pith helmet, ala Jungle Jim, for her. This to protect her from the heat of the jungle down there. She graciously and charmingly put it on. As the record shows, she grew into a formidable presence on the scene. But for myself, I will always remember her as that young girl going off determined to get the story in a world of sharp elbows.
In 1967, Ms. Dickerson was doing a five-minute update of news each weekday at 4:25p.m. on NBC from the WRC studios in Washington. I was visiting the station along with a friend and walked through the studio as she prepared to go on the air. I asked if I could watch. That was no problem for the very friendly staff.
Afterwards, I walked up to her and introduced myself. She was more kind than anybody I had ever known. She actually started interviewing me, asking me where I was from and what the University of South Florida (after learning I attended the school) was all about. Then she insisted on taking me and my guest for the remainder of the tour of the WRC studios. She really went out of her way in taking me to David Brinkley's office and introducing me to the big man himself. This would have never happened had it not been for her. I think about that rainy day in August quite often.
I was so very pleased to see her son's book on the shelf at Borders and grabbed one this evening. I have only put it down in order to write this message. She was a great lady and a superior journalist. The book has helped me realize even more why I admired her. Thanks to her son, John, for writing it. I don't think many people realize that it was his mother and Pauline Fredericks, who covered the UN for NBC News in the 60's, who carved the path for women in broadcast journalism.
The book is a wonderful tribute to a legendary newswoman...and a lady that the book's author was lucky enough to call "Mom."
October 20, 2006
Nancy was my cousin. Through the years, she offered me her unsolicited advice on all sorts of matters. One such gem was delivered the morning we buried "Bompa". (That was the nickname the grandchildren had given Nancy's father.) Nancy was straightening my tie while telling me, "You should always wear dark glasses when you bury someone. That way, people won't see you crying....or wonder why you're not." The odd amendment to her sentence disturbed me at the time.
I first met Nancy at my baptism, but then I was only six weeks old. My first clear memory of her is from a few years later. We were sitting on the black and white checked tile floor in her parents' kitchen and she was trying to teach me how to play checkers, using the entire floor as our playing board. John tells of doing this with her a generation later, on a fuzzy rug. Reading John's book, I wasn't prepared for the emotions that would come over me as I read page 305. Now, there was some therapist trying to teach a very broken Nancy how to play checkers. I wished I had brought my dark glasses.