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Dick Bigwood Chester Snowmobile Club by Patty Companik It all began in 1993 with a chance encounter with Dick Jewett. Richard Dick Bigwood was out cutting brush when Dick Jewett came up the path in a Tucker.Mr. Jewett asked if he wanted to ride with him but Mr. Bigwood had plans that day and had to decline. What happened in 1994 was a different story. Mr. Bigwood was out on the trails again and this time when Mr. Jewett came by he was able to join him At that time the Chester Snowmobile Club had a used short track Tucker 2000 which Dick Jewett and Club President Stan Choiniere purchased in Minnesota. The first year Dick Bigwood was involved with the club he replaced the belts on that Tucker. When this magazine is mailed Dick Bigwood will officially be 85 years young. Dont let that number fool you. He has more energy then men half his age. Dick has been married to his wife Dorothy Dolly for 61 years. He charmingly says Its a work in progress. They have three sons and one daughter. All but one live in Vermont today. Dicks mom was born and raised in St Albans.Her family moved to Massachusetts when she was in her teens where Dick was born and raised but he was destined for Vermont.Dick and Dolly purchased their Chester Vermont home in 1974 on Mothers Day. He renovated the house one room at a time. They moved there full-time in July 1993 the same year he met Mr. Jewett. Dick retired after 43 years of service from Bay State Abrasives Grinding Cut-Off Wheels in Massachusetts. He fondly reflected on his time there where he started in heat treating and was promoted to lead man then to foreman. He told me he still gets calls from the guys he worked with. Dick had his children on sleds when they were four and five years old riding in Massachusetts. After purchasing his Chester Vermont home they began to ride in this state. Back then you could ride anywhere you could get your sled between the trees Dick said. Snowmobiling was a family affair. He hasnt ridden in years but spends plenty of time on the trails grooming. The Tucker is 5 years old but looks brand new.Dick trucks in water to power wash it takes the time to polish it and touches up the paint as needed.Every year he spends five to six hours changing the fluid and filters.Not only does he care for the heading out at night during a fierce snowstorm. He also enjoys interacting with passing riders and is known to offer a frosty wave through the window. Its quite a challenge for a groomer operator to guess the face inside a snowmobilers balaclava or behind the helmet visor. Its ok because everyone knows Dana. He is the go-to guy for conditions weather forecast or simply fulfills a snowmobilers appetite for whats been going on around here The engine chugs loudly but reading lips is a groomer operators cherished skill. He sticks to the basics and leads by example. If you want to be a groomer you must be dependable loyal and able to work in tough conditions he says. He is committed to the continuing improvement of the VAST snowmobile trail system is proud of its quality and strives to enhance the experience for others. Each winter thousands of VAST snowmobilers log miles of smiles in Essex county. Perhaps the future for some is becoming a groomer operator like Dana Nason. Whos in the Groomer Patty Companik photo Winter 2016 33