A visit with Dianne Dickey
Her given name is Betty Dianne Scivally Dickey, but everyone in Moore County knows her as Dianne Dickey or, if you have ever been to Lynchburg Elementary School, just ask for “Miss” Dickey.
She was born in Lincoln County on Oct. 14, 1948. She said “Momma and Daddy started home from the hospital, without me. Momma thought Daddy had me and Daddy thought Momma had me. They had to go back in and get me.”
Her family lived in Elora. She completed the 5th grade there, and then in 1960 she started the 6th grade in Fayetteville. She graduated from Lincoln County High School in 1966.
After graduation, she went to work at Boeing in Huntsville. “I cataloged cards for Engineers. I never really knew what they did with those cards, but when they asked me to find a file, I knew where it was and when I handed it to them, they were happy.”
In June 1967, “I belonged to the Huntland Saddle Club. My Daddy fixed up his old truck with a stove and some camping gear and let me and some of my cousins come to the Frontier week trail ride at Woodard’s Farm. I can’t believe he let us do that.” “We camped out at night and rode horses all day. People would come in from town every night and visit.” “On one of our rides, we passed a boy at the side of the road, leaning on a motorcycle. I asked if he needed a ride, and he declined.” Later, when we returned from our ride in the country, he was still there. He then asked if I would take him into Lynchburg. I took him home and he returned later with a friend, to pick up his motorcycle. “I later learned that his name was Jim Dickey and his friend was Sam Scott. When I said, they picked up his motorcycle, I really mean it. Sam literally, picked up that bike and put it in the back of that truck, Sam was a big strong guy.” The rest of that summer, it seemed that wherever she went, Jim and some of his friends would be there too. They saw each other every night at the Lincoln County Fair. They would meet at friends’ homes, where they gathered to listen to records and the boys would play Atari. They had a regular Wednesday night date and then would see each other on Friday and Saturday nights. They dated for almost 2 years. Jim went to work at Chrysler in Huntsville and Dianne worked at Lockheed in Shelbyville. They were married on April 4, 1969.
They moved to Lynchburg and lived in a little trailer that was next to what is now the Tower bank, on the Highway. Jim started work at Jack Daniels Distillery and Dianne worked at a flower shop in Fayetteville until 1971. She also spent some of her afternoons at the Holt’s Store, on the Square.
Their first son, Dusty was born in 1971. Dianne started substitute teaching at LES while Dusty was a baby. She also helped at the Dickeys Shell Station, where she said, “That’s where I met all the men in Lynchburg.” “They would come in and buy snacks, and play pinball, and I got to know everybody. I remember Junior Painter would come in and buy sweet milk and a bag of potato chips.” She always thought that was an odd combination, but Junior said it “tasted good.”
They built their home on the Winchester Hwy, in 1973, their second son, Chris was born in 1977. She spent the next few years raising their boys and when Chris started school in 1984, she started working full time as a teacher’s assistant at LES, for kindergarten and 1st Grade. She started working in the office in 1994. She works with Principals, Mr. Roenfeldt and Mr. Galloway, in those early years. She has seen 3 generations of Lynchburg kids, come through the doors at LES.
I asked Dianne, to share some memories of their early life, living in Lynchburg. “We had some good friends, Will & Carol Holt, Jim & Janice Chapman, and Frank & Patsy Burton. On Sunday afternoons, the boys would load us onto the back of motorcycles, and we would ride out in the country. We would take a dirt road and see where it took us. We rode out where they were building Tims Ford dam. We would stop at a little grocery store, out that way, and buy hoop cheese, sardines and crackers, and a bottle of Coke. We would find a shady place and have a picnic. Those were some sweet memories and some dear friends.” Then she shared that she and Jim had taken that same drive just a few weeks ago, and rekindled some of those memories together.
As Dianne and I visited we found a common thread. Neither of us was born in Lynchburg, but after almost 50 years, we feel like we can claim it as our hometown. Dianne’s family is deep in the history of Moore County. Marble Hill was originally named Scivally, for her people who established that community. She said “I love Lynchburg, but sometimes I have to go back to Elora. I usually go at Christmas and Memorial Day. I just drive down the streets I grew up on. There was one street in Elora where my cousins had a garage, and we had Elora Cafe. My Grand Daddy had J.B. Scivally Grocery and the cotton gin. They had a big white house on the hill. There are so many memories there for me and I like to go back there and remember.” Dianne shared a family story about her Daddy.
“He lived in that small town, where his family was better off than some, who lived there. He got a new pair of overalls and didn’t want his friends to know they were new, so he would rub dirt on them and tear holes in the knees so his friends would not think differently of him. He treated everyone the same.”
I asked Dianne if she had any words of wisdom for the young people of today. She said, “Love the Lord, Love your parents and your friends. Show kindness.”
She shared some wisdom from her Momma. She said “we grew up hearing these words, all our life, she would tell us, “You are never better than anybody else, and nobody is better than you.”
Dianne said, “I was raised that way and I raised my boys that way.”
Dianne is still meeting and helping kids at LES. She is an avid fan of all things Dickey Family. Her Grandkids keep her busy, but I don’t think she minds.
Our visit was over and we both had to get back to reality. As she drove away from Hope Street, I was still smiling and once again feeling thankful for old friends and sweet memories.