Tuesday, December 18, 2012

President's Remarks - 2012 Maine Electoral College, December 17, 2012


My name is Craig Hickman. We meet today to make official the outcome of the popular vote in the general election held on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012.

We, the members of the 2012 Maine Electoral College, thank you Mr. Secretary, Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, and assembled guests for your attendance here today to bear witness as we conduct this momentous task.

I thank my fellow electors for permitting me the privilege and honor of presiding over this historic gathering. I am most humbled.

In the words of the James Baldwin, my favorite American author:

“One must say YES to life and embrace it wherever it is found, and it is found in terrible places…”

And so, I shall tell you a story


And it came to pass in those days that Hitler died in his Berlin bunker. One week later, during the second week of May nineteen hundred and forty six, Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally and the war in Europe ended.

In the first weeks of August, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and invaded Manchuria. On the fourteenth day of August, Japan announced its surrender—so long as it could keep its emperor—and World War II, a most devastating war in terms of material destruction, global scale, and lives lost, ended.

Hazelle Hickman returned from the Philippines, where he had been stationed since nineteen hundred and thirty nine, and found that the country he’d left behind wasn’t too kind to Negro servicemen returning from war.

Hazelle came back through California with a few good men who trained at Tuskegee with him in nineteen hundred and thirty nine. After hanging out in the Arizona desert, he returned to Tennessee, to the city of Beale Street and barbeque, basement slow dances and jazz, three years before Elvis moved in from Tupelo, Mississippi.

Still, Hazelle couldn’t find work. And so it was on the fifteenth day of January in nineteen hundred and forty six that he went up from Memphis, Tennessee, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on a Greyhound bus.

“Mighty nice day for a bus ride,” said Hazelle looking up at the driver from the curb. “What’s your name, sir?”

“Frankie,” the driver responded.

“My name is Hazelle, but you can call me Mister Charlie.” His tone was respectful with a hint of sarcasm. Hazelle tipped his hat to Frankie, flashed his gold tooth and moved to the back of the bus.

And so he went up on a Greyhound to the beer capital of America where his one-and-only brother Willie Lee said it was easier for a Negro man to find work.

Hazelle the second son was born by a midwife to Lee and Emma Ball Hickman in Inverness, Mississippi, on February fourteenth, nineteen hundred and twenty.

Yes, he had a brother, but Hazelle was jazz’s fraternal twin. He may not have been born in New Orleans, but Hazelle and jazz grew up together in the nineteen twenties, matured in the thirties, and took to the world in the forties. Hazelle claimed to have met Bessie Smith, heard Louis Armstrong play live, and auditioned for one of Billie Holiday’s back-up singers in Harlem—all before entering the service at the age of eighteen.

And so it was that Hazelle entered the Army Air Force and concerned himself with the taking off and landing of airplanes. During the Second World War, he fixed the planes the Tuskegee Airmen piloted and became a plotter. When he got to Milwaukee, Hazelle pursued his dream to work at a civilian airport.

Dressed up sharp, Army Air Force papers in hand, Hazelle took the long trolley ride from Sixth and Vine streets, where he lived with his brother, through the south side to General Mitchell Field, Milwaukee’s municipal airport.

He had called ahead for the interview and over the phone, the hiring manager thought that Hazelle’s military plotting experience made him a very good candidate for the job of air traffic controller.

“Hazelle Hickman here to see Mister Black about the plotter job.”

The eyes of the bifocaled receptionist with the fire-engine pompadour and pale, freckled skin scanned his tweed pants, his matching jacket, his rust and brown tie with the gold slanted stripes, his silver hair, and his colored skin and replied, “You can have a seat. He’ll be right with you.”

Hazelle did what he was told, as he had for at least the last six years. Outside the window, he could see the two-engine prop planes rising and landing, rising and landing. Even though an emergency crash landing he’d endured during the war rendered him unwilling and unable to ever get inside those winged steel vessels again, airplanes would always deserve his wonder with their miraculous ability to defy the maw of gravity and take flight.

More than a dozen planes had come and gone, come and gone while Hazelle waited patiently for Mister Black to be right with him. Finally, the pale-skinned woman emerged from behind a windowed door on the other side of the waiting area.

“I’m so sorry that you’ve waited so long and that no one was able to call you before you came all this way. I’m so sorry, really I am. I wish I was able to help you, but the position was filled just today.” Her face flushed red as her mountain of hair. “You know what? Maybe I can help,” she continued, raising the pitch of her voice as though she’d made a remarkable discovery. “Consider this your lucky day. If you check downstairs in personnel, I know for a fact that there are several openings for second- and third-shift janitors.”

“Thank you, ma’am. You tell Mister Black there that I sure hope God blesses him.” He tipped his hat as he walked out the door. “You have yourself a real nice afternoon, now, ya hear?”

And so Hazelle became an interior decorator, a waiter, a cook, a chef, a house painter, and even pondered a career as a nightclub singer and recording artist—oh, how that tenor voice could croon!—before he began his thirty-plus year tenure in office services at the Pabst Blue Ribbon Company.

But before he met Pabst, he met the woman with whom he’d spend the rest of his life.

“I met her almost as soon as I got to Milwaukee. It was forty six and I couldna been here for more than a month. I went to a USO dance at the Pfister Hotel. They had these events for veterans every so often. They were social gatherings where all the beautiful young ladies might come out and give us handsome gentlemen a bit of their time and attention. It was one of the few events back in the day where black and white folk could mingle. They even had a big band. Live. You better believe couples were cuttin a rug, jitterbuggin all over that dance floor.

“I hadn’t yet picked out any beauties to test my toe and get my heart a-jumpin. Then my buddy, Smitty, stopped in the middle of our conversation and raised his eyebrows. He motioned for me to turn and look at the little bit of heaven standin just behind me with a smile on her face bright as a Mississippi mornin. I walked right over to her.

“‘Well, hello sunshine,’ I kinda half sung in my best Nat King Cole impersonation. If a colored girl could blush, her face woulda glowed hot as the Arizona desert.
“I reached for her hand. ‘Before you try kissing it,’ she said, pulling her hand gently away from the path to my lips, ‘why don’t you take me on the dance floor and introduce yourself properly.’

“How can a man with a heartbeat resist that? They say it only happens in fairy tales. At the first sight of her, the very first sight, I knew it was love. So I guess you could say our fairy tale started on the dance floor that very night.”


“I don’t know what Hazelle is talking about. You’d be better off listening to a fool. Pay him no never mind, you hear what I say to you? He’s always talking and don’t know what he’s even talkin bout. I did not ask him to dance. I did no such thing, I say to you. No such thing. I was sitting with my girlfriends on this long wooden bench, and your father came over and said something to me, but I wasn’t studying him one bit.

“But he wouldn’t leave me alone. Yeah, he was handsome and all, dressed up nice and sharp—think he was wearing a navy-blue suit—but I wasn’t really trying to be bothered. I only went because my girlfriend, Mattie, asked me to go with her. You know, she didn’t want to be alone.

“But he persisted and persisted, I say to you, and he just wouldn’t give up. Finally, we danced.

“Yeah, your father’s a good dancer. Real good. He danced me right into marrying him.”


That was a glimpse of my parents who, in the late 1960s, adopted my sister and me into their home and raised us as their very own. When my father departed this world on March 14, 2007, one month to the day after he turned 87, my parents had been married for 61 years.

61 years.

In 1998, they both attended my wedding. In his mellow voice, my father even sang “Ebb Tide”, my favorite love song, to bless our union. He told me not long after that someday he hoped his two sons might live in a place that recognized our marriage just as he recognized it.

Thanks to the good people of Maine, who have made history at the ballot box, his dream will come true.

Jop, thank you for loving me for the better part of 16 years and encouraging me to do all of this. You are the love of my life.

My father also hoped that someday his son would serve the public as an elected official.

Thanks to the good people of Winthrop and Readfield, his dream has come true.

Four years ago, when Elector Duson (Happy Birthday, young lady!) stood before this chamber and presided over the electoral vote to elect the first black President of the United States, I hoped that I would have a chance to do the same thing someday.

Thanks to the delegates to the Democratic State Convention, my fellow electors, and the good people of Maine, my dream has come true.

I wish my father, who took me to Harvard on a train, were here, though I’m certain he’s smiling down from heaven. I wish my mother, who turned 85 eleven days ago, were here, though I’m certain she’s offering up prayer from her nursing home in Milwaukee.

But a very special person is here. She’s sitting in the aisle a few rows up front my legislative desk, seat 122. Exactly 45 years and nine days ago, she pushed me into the world, named me Joseph Bernard White, and surrendered me for adoption. Eleven and a half years ago, at the age of 33, I showed up on her doorstep unannounced because I was determined to lay eyes on her. I just had to see her face. And so I did.

Today, she is here to see her firstborn and only son preside over the electoral vote to re-elect the first black President of the United States of America.

Surely a dream come true.

Mom, thank you for giving me life. For giving me to my parents. You are my birthmother—my first mother—and I will always love you.


Only in Maine. Where it doesn’t matter what you look like or who you love or how you walk or talk—it only matters what you do.

Only in Maine. The place where dreams come true.

I will close as I began with the rest of the James Baldwin quote, which, given the tragic events of last week, seems more timely now than ever:

“For nothing is fixed; forever and forever, it is not fixed. The earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fades, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us, and the light goes out.”

Thank you all for navigating the weather to witness this history.

Always treat one another with kindness.

Take care of your blessings.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Represenative Hickman To Preside Over Maine's Electoral College

Representative Craig V. Hickman to Preside Over Electoral College
Public invited to attend the ceremony in the House Chamber or view streaming video online on Monday, December 17, 2012.

WINTHROP – Representative Craig Hickman of Winthrop will preside over the Electoral College for the State of Maine on Monday, December 17, 2012 at 2:00 p.m., in the Chamber of the Maine House of Representatives. Secretary of State Charles E. Summers, Jr. will convene the Electoral College, which will conduct the official balloting for the President and Vice President of the United States of America. The balloting is a public proceeding and the press and public are invited to attend or view the ceremony online at http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/h_video.htm

The popular vote on November 6, 2012 determined who would serve as Maine 's four Presidential electors. The electors then convene and vote for the President and Vice President. A brief explanation of the mechanics of Maine 's Electoral College is available on the Secretary of State's website at http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/2008/eleccoll.htm

This year's Presidential Electors in Maine are:

First District – Diane Denk, Kennebunk
Second District – Marianne Stevens, Kingfield
At-Large – Representative Craig Hickman, Winthrop
At-Large – Jill Duson, Portland

Maine’s electors have nominated Representative Hickman to be President of the Electoral College and he will address the convention.

Four years ago, I witnessed Maine’s electors cast their votes in a historic ceremony at the State House,” Hickman said. “Jill Duson, the first black mayor of Portland, addressed the convention. I was so inspired I told myself I wanted a chance to do that someday. Now it is upon us and I can hardly believe it.”

Electors of all 50 states and the District of Columbia will convene on this day in their respective states to cast their ballots. Each state will report its results to the President of the United States Senate, the Archivist of the United States, the Chief Judge of their District Court, and their Secretary of State. A majority of the 538 electoral votes is required to become President and Vice President.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Oath Of Office

Representative Craig V. Hickman of Winthrop takes the Oath of Office on December 5, 2012 in the chamber of the Maine House of Representatives. Photo by Christine Johnson Higgins. For more photos of the swearing-in ceremonies, click here.

Cross-posted to Hickman in the House

Saturday, December 01, 2012

From The Bottom Of My Heart

If you had told me as recently as three years ago that I would be elected to serve the good people of Winthrop and Readfield in the Maine House Representatives, I would have said you were dreaming.

I’ve pinched myself over and over again and, yes, it’s still true: the good people of Winthrop and Readfield have voted to send me to Augusta. Which is exactly what the official greeting above that came in the mail yesterday proclaims.

I can’t thank you enough. I congratulate Scott Davis for running a positive campaign and wish him and his family all the best. I thank Representative and Senator-elect Pat Flood for his extraordinary service over the last eight years and wish him well in his new office.

As your state representative, I hope to make a real difference. I will do my best.

It’s been three weeks since the election and I still experience spontaneous outbursts of laughter. Sheer joy comes in waves.

Image from Americans Who Tell The Truth

In 1972, Gerald E. Talbot, activist, historian, archivist, and author, became the first African American elected to the Maine House of Representatives. In 1977, he became Maine’s first lawmaker to sponsor legislation upholding the civil rights of all Mainers. He also ushered through to passage a bill to remove the word “nigger” from 12 Maine place-names, including Nigger Hill Winthrop, known today as the Metcalf Road.

In December 2008, thirty years after Talbot’s storied legislative career ended, he squeezed my elbow in the Chamber of the House of Representatives following the Electoral College ceremony to elect the nation’s first African American President.

“Someday,” Talbot said matter-of-factly, “you’re going to be sitting in one of those chairs.”

I shook my head. I wasn’t so sure. Well—here we are. His words have come to pass. And I’m still stunned.

On Tuesday, November 27, when dropping off forms at the State House, I received my first piece of mail. It was a hand-written card from Representative Talbot.

Emotion crashed over me like surf.

Without your overwhelming support, I’d never have received this extraordinary opportunity. This tremendous honor. I can’t thank you enough.

Surely, my father, the late Hazelle Hickman, is dancing a jig in heaven. My mother is bragging all around her nursing home in Milwaukee. My biological father is celebrating in Florida and my birth mother is cheering in Georgia.

To my biological great grandmother, my birth mother's paternal grandmother, Madree Penn White, Howard University graduate and co-founder of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, poet, publisher, and small business owner—this one’s for you.

Members of the One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Legislature of the State of Maine will be sworn in on Wednesday, the fifth of December at ten o’clock in the morning. The proceedings are free and open to the public. I invite you to join me in this historic occasion.

I am most humbled.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Take care of your blessings.

Madree Penn White

The following reprint from the 1943 30th Anniversary Issue of the Delta Journal was written by my biological great grandmother, Madree Penn White, the driving force and inspiration behind the founding of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She wrote its first constitution and by-laws.


Delta Faces the Future

Before me there sweeps an array of days;
Dark days filled with bitterness; bright days
Too short for gladness; gray days glommed with
Melancholy. Another year of life
Draws to its close. What’s been written—is written.
Neither regret nor tears can wipe away
The pride of shame or foolishness of it;
Yet, the future lures, hope ever beckons on:
From out of the ashes of dead, dead days does
Faith arise, to give her strength to failing fingers
That they may write, on the new page life offers:
Purer concepts, kinder thoughts, better deeds.

Spring 1943 finds a world of tumult and strife, of bloodshed and horror. Men and nations are at each other’s throats. Mixed motives, mixed ideas, mixed purposes; everywhere the emphasis, seemingly is on destruction.

In the midst of these chaotic conditions one finds himself in dire need of something stable to cling to, something permanent, lasting and real upon which to build a new epoch in history.

It is a personal source of inspiration for me to turn to another spring in 1913, when a group of women at Howard University rejoiced over the decision of the Board of Trustees which had granted them the right to form an incorporated body of college women. Women who would extend their chain over the nation; women of high ideals for personal living and community service; women who raised a torch and dedicated themselves to following the gleam, thus were the Founders of Delta Sigma Theta.

Thirty years ago! Thirty years of growth. Thirty years in which thousands of Delta women have been influenced by these ideals, an in turn have influenced the lives of countless thousands they have touched, constructively.

To Delta in these trying times comes the challenge of making others see that ideals inspired by loftiness and interpreted by daily living give something tangible, worthwhile and stable to which one may cling, by which one may steer a course.

In thirty years of existence there has never been a larger opportunity for Delta to fulfill her destiny than now. To Delta—and to each and every Delta woman, everywhere—all my love and best wishes. Delta has come far, yet there are greater heights ahead for her to climb.

—Madree Penn White


From her obituary in 1967:

She won the distinction of being the first woman elected associate editor of the Howard University Alumni Journal. In conjunction with twenty-one other young coeds, she founded the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, January nineteen thirteen. At the same time, she gave first evidence of her militancy in the field of women’s suffrage and human rights. She enjoyed the honor of being the only Negro woman who, with Carrie Nation, in nineteen thirteen, was granted an audience with President Harding and later, Woodrow Wilson and John F. Kennedy. A national figure in journalism, she was recognized as an author of papers, short stories, poems, an editor and publisher.

She engaged in business and financial endeavors as vice president of an insurance company, oil company president, investment administrator, public relations and advertising.


I am descended from this remarkable woman. Yes.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


The voters of Readfield and Winthrop just elected me to the Maine House of Representatives with 2,915 votes or 59% of the votes cast. Scott Davis, who ran a positive campaign, finished with 2,057 votes.

I'm beside myself.

Surely, my father is dancing a jig in heaven. My mother wants pictures so she can brag about it at her nursing home in Milwaukee. My biological father is dancing a jig in Florida. My birth mother is cheering in Georgia.

I can't yet describe what it means to me. Now, my eyes won't stop raining.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thank You

I'm still speechless and can't say much more than thank you from the bottom of my heart for your overwhelming support in the primary election Tuesday.

We received 757 votes, 78% of the votes cast in the Democratic primary.

You have no idea.

Congratulations to Mr. Cookson and his team for running a fine campaign.

On to November....

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vote Hickman

June 12th

As owner of Annabessacook Farm Organic Farm Stand and Bed & Breakfast, I believe small businesses and family farms are burdened with expensive regulations designed to help corporations drive them out of business. I've managed start-ups, directed human resources, operations, and marketing departments. I've been a sole proprietor and a partner. I know small businesses and small farms like the back of my hand. I will fight to change burdensome regulations so small businesses and farms can once again compete on an even playing field and create the jobs we need right here in Maine.

As an advocate for sustainability, I believe Maine should harness the power of the wind and the sun to produce renewable energy and end our addiction to fossil fuels. We'll protect Maine's enthralling beauty, attract more tourism, boost our economy, and create new jobs.

As an organic farmer, I believe locally grown food is national security. I'll work to reform the Maine food code and develop related food policy to make more healthy options available for ourselves and our children every school day. Access to wholesome food is a right for every citizen. We cannot allow a single one of us to go hungry for a single day. Maine has all the natural resources and the hard-working, independent-spirited people to grow, catch, trap, process and distribute enough food to feed our people and strengthen our local economy. Let's stop importing more food than any other state in the contiguous 48. Local food means local jobs.

As an artist and author, I'll leave you with my favorite quote from James Baldwin, my favorite writer and thinker who told us that the role of the artist is to tell us who we are. Given what we face as a state after the last legislative session, I believe it's timely. And necessary:

"One must say Yes to life and embrace it wherever it is found--and it is found in terrible places... For nothing is fixed, forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us, and the light goes out."

If you believe Maine needs a man in the legislature with a strong voice and a vision for our future, then please go to the polls on Tuesday, June 12 and cast your vote for Craig Hickman.

Thank you. Take care of your blessings.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Hickman in the Electoral College

Winthrop Democrat Elected Presidential Elector at State Convention

WINTHROP — Craig Hickman, vice chair of the Winthrop Democrats and two-time candidate for the Maine House of Representatives, was elected as one of Maine’s Democratic Presidential Electors at the party’s state convention this past weekend. The state delegation also elected Diane Denk of Kennebunk, Jill Duson of Portland, and Marianne Stevens of Kingfield to fill out the slate of the party’s four Electors.

“It’s taking me a long time to wrap my mind around it all,” said Hickman. “I’m humbled to have been chosen for this great, great honor. As a member of the Electoral College, my name—my father’s name—will be etched in history. Somewhere in heaven, my father is dancing a jig.”

Eight Winthrop delegates joined Hickman and about 1,500 delegates from around the state at the Augusta Civic Center to settle on a platform, choose delegates to the Democratic National Convention on Labor Day weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, select Democratic electors to the Electoral College, and elect Maine representatives to the Democratic National Committee. Rita Moran, chair of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee, was elected to the national delegation, as was Hickman. Both were delegates to the national convention in 2008 as well.

This was the first time Hickman ran for Presidential Elector. “Four years ago, I witnessed Maine’s Electors cast their votes in a historic ceremony at the State House,” he said. “Jill Duson, the first black mayor of Portland, addressed the convention. I was so inspired I told myself I wanted a chance to do that someday. Now, I’m one step closer and I can hardly believe it.”

According to Article II, Section I of the United States Constitution, along with the 12th Amendment and Maine statutes pertaining to presidential elections, voters will elect Maine’s Presidential Electors in the November general election. Electors then convene on December 18th at 2:00 pm in the Maine House Chamber to cast their votes for President and Vice President of the United States. The ceremony is open to the public.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I'm blessed to have been raised by the wise woman who raised me. "You need to go sit down somewhere and be quiet," was one of her many pearls. She might say it if you were overworked, overtired, overwhelmed, overemotional or simply over it all. She knew exactly when and when not to say it. Ignoring her words would only make matters worse. Heeding them always made rejuvenation easier. In her honor, I'm sitting down in my living room, feet up, being quiet. Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, April 02, 2012

We Can Do Better

Craig Hickman Announces Another Bid for the State House

WINTHROP — Craig Hickman, organic farmer, small business owner, chef and author, is making another bid to serve the residents of Readfield and Winthrop in the Maine House of Representatives.

“I’m stepping up again because I want to take the work I’m doing in the community to the next level and serve the people in the Legislature,” said Hickman. “When I ran last time, I said I didn't want to sit on the sidelines but I know you don't have to run for the Legislature to do something for your community. However, in order to create lasting change in our communities, we need policy in Augusta that enhances the work we do on the ground.”

Inspired by his father, a Tuskegee Airman who worked first shift in the mailroom at Pabst Brewing Company for 30 years after the war, and his wise mother who held a string of part-time jobs to help put food on the table, he has spent most of his life serving his community and feeding people. He is President of the Rotary Club of the Winthrop Area and Secretary of the Winthrop Hot Meal Kitchen. He has also served on the boards of the Annabessacook Lake Improvement Association, Maranacook Local Foods Buying Club, Theater at Monmouth, and Washburn-Norlands Living History Center.

“We can do better. When 1 in 5 children go to bed hungry every night, we must do better. When the government thinks pink slime is food and pizza is a vegetable, we must do better. When our teachers don’t have the resources to provide a world-class education for our children, we must do better. When parents can't afford to send their kids to college and the ones who graduate are saddled with decades of debt, we must do better. When energy policy intensifies our addiction to fossil fuels while our winters continue to warm and farmer's struggle with drought, we must do better. When the tax code rewards giant corporations and the wealthiest among us at the expense of small farms, small businesses and Maine’s hardest-working families, we must do better. When our representatives tamper with voting laws instead of creating jobs and restoring a strong middle class, I know Maine can do better.”

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Hickman was the first member of his family to graduate from college when he received an honors degree in government from Harvard University. He lives in Winthrop with MaineGeneral Health physical therapist Jop Blom. They own and operate Annabessacook Farm, a bed and breakfast and CSA farm that raises organic produce and hosts the Winthrop Community Gardens, a fresh food bhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifank, and provides free hot meals once a week for people in need. His work feeding people earned him a Spirit of America Foundation Award from the town.

“To be sure, Representative Pat Flood will be a tough act to follow, but if the voters of Readfield and Winthrop give me the chance to try to fill his shoes, I promise I’ll do my best. If you believe we need a lawmaker in Augusta who listens, who stands up for what he believes, who thinks outside the box and offers creative solutions for our toughest challenges, a lawmaker who will serve the people and never be for sale, then it’s time we step up again. I’d be humbled to represent you.”

Hickman can be reached at 377-FARM or craighickman@rocketmail.com.


Cross-posted to Hickman in the House

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Five Years Ago Today

Hazelle Hickman
February 14, 1920 - March 14, 2007

How time flies. Thinking of my mother and sister today. Praying for my mother's continued recovery.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Say It Again

On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" And Vanity comes along and asks the question, "Is it popular?" But Conscience asks the question "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.

-Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Back In Business: Hot Meal Kitchen To Reopen At St. Francis

ON BEHALF of the Board of Directors of the Winthrop Hot Meal Kitchen, it brings me great pleasure to announce that we will recommence daily, sit-down service at St. Francis Xavier Parish Hall on Wednesday, January 18. Once again, a nutritious hot will be served each weekday at 11:30 am. Meals are free and all are welcome, no questions asked. We will continue to provide a prepared meal to-go at Annabessacook Farm, 192 Annabessacook Road in Winthrop, each Wednesday from 1:00pm – 6:00pm for those families who need a meal later in the afternoon or early evening.

None of this would be possible without the unwavering support of the parishioners of St. Francis Xavier. Late last year, the church took up a collection and raised $3,190 in addition to a $600 contribution from the Men’s Club. In addition, the late Margery Bellemare requested that contributions in her memory go to the Kitchen. Since her passing last December, we’ve received an additional $1,000 from her loved ones and friends. Such generosity will more than cover the rent and insurance and allows the Kitchen to use other contributions solely for food and future operating costs.

And what contributions we’ve received. Since the last update in October, we’ve received money from another 50 donors, bringing the total to 100. And so we give thanks to the Wayne Community Church, the Winthrop United Methodist Church, and the Winthrop Center Friends Church who took up collections for the cause; the Rotary Club of the Winthrop Area; the National Association for Retired Federal Employees Chapter 248 in Jefferson, Maine; Talk About Tennis in California; Florence K8 Teacher’s Fund in Florence, Arizona; and all the individuals and families in Maine and from around the nation who have been moved to help our community soup kitchen.

A special thank you goes to the Winthrop Food Pantry over on High Street, which has shared food resources with us whenever they have perishable produce that needs to be processed right away; Maranacook Community School for donating proceeds from their Make A Difference Week food drive, as well as the students who baked Christmas cookies for one of our meals; Kerry Wilkins-Deming and Laurie Lee who organized a holiday food drive for the Kitchen at a neighbor’s home in East Winthrop; and Ginger Roberts who organized a Winter Solstice food drive for the Kitchen at Birchwood Yoga Studio in Gardiner.

Last, but certainly not least, we’d like to thank the volunteers who have helped prepare the Wednesday meals at the farm: Steve, Kathy, Yvette, Kim, Joe, Faith, Riley, Kerry, Gail, Jane, Michael, Marcia, Ed, Stephen, Heath, and Donna. We’d also like to thank all the people who made themselves available to volunteer and all the people who cleaned out their cupboards and freezers and dropped off food for us to prepare for the people.

We have seen the need for food among members of our community grow. More younger families with small children have come to the farm for a meal on Wednesdays. Maine ranks first in New England for food insecurity and thirteenth in the nation, a nation where 1 in 4 children go to bed hungry every night. We would eventually like to expand our services beyond lunch to include some weekend meals and evening suppers and will look to collaborate with other agencies, organizations, and institutions in the Winthrop Lakes Region to meet the growing need.

We simply cannot allow anyone in our community to go hungry for a single day.

If you would like to contribute to the cause, please send a donation to Winthrop Hot Meal Kitchen, P.O. Box 472, Winthrop, ME 04364. Contact us at 377-FARM or check out our Facebook page for menus, updates, and more information. Thank you and take care of your blessings.

Sunday, January 01, 2012