Super Senior: John Dimick

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 4:12 PM EDT
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GUILDHALL, Vt. (WCAX) - John Dimick spends much of his time in his basement painting watercolors of scenes in Vermont and beyond.

“Sometimes, before I go to bed, I’ll throw a few strokes down,” Dimick said. “I get on a theme and I’ll spend a lot of time every day down here.”

His passion for painting started when he retired from teaching a dozen years ago. “I’ve gotten much, much more detailed as I’ve gone along than I was in the early days.

Reporter Joe Carroll: So you’re aging well... like fine wine, right?

John Dimick: I hope so, I hope it keeps going. I hope the aging keeps up for a few more years.

Dimick, who just turned 74, is sporting a bandage from a recent bout of skin cancer.

The Guildhall resident has enough sales that he’s been honored with his very own room at Vermont Artisan Designs in Brattleboro. “It is a hobby, but I treat it like a small business, too,” he said.

Reporter Joe Carroll: What do you think when you see people looking at your artwork?

John Dimick: I like to go talk to them, actually.

Today folks from Ohio are admiring the paintings. “John is really, really good with precision with his watercolors. He works hard at them,” said Greg Worden, who runs the gallery.

Dimick also has a competitive side. Before he picked up the paintbrush in Brattleboro, he put on the running shoes. He became so good, he was sponsored by Nike. “When it started in ‘75, it was just running shoes. It was before Michael Jordan came along and money came along,” Dimick said.

Talent and discipline earned him the status of a world-class long-distance runner. It was a time when the sport was just taking off. “There were times when I’d run through Main Street 5:30 in the morning and I ‘d look at the time and temperature clock and it would say 15 below and I would say, woooh, it’s a bit chilly today,” Dimick said.

It paid off, winning the New Orleans Marathon in 1979 and eventually trips to three Olympic trials. “Footwear wasn’t good back then in those days, not like it is now.... it was like running in ballet slippers,” Dimick said.

Achilles tendonitis would be his, well, Achilles heel.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Were you disappointed that you didn’t make the Olympics?

John Dimmick: Yeah, the first time was a big disappointment. Oh well, life goes on.

It did. With his wife Lynne, they raised a family and Dimick had a long career as an industrial arts teacher. He hung up the running shoes years ago, but he still hikes, bikes, and of course, paints. “But if I had to live on my paintings, I would be much thinner than I am now, and I’m pretty thin,” he said.

But Dimick’s wallet is about to get heavier. The folks from Ohio have taken a shine to a painting of the West Dummerston Bridge.

Life for Dimick has never been a sprint, but a marathon. “Some of the painting take me up to 20 hours or more,” he said.

Creating images that will last a lifetime.