Dale knew so much about so many things, yet he never tried to impress you with his knowledge. If there was anything that you needed help with, Dale was there. His generosity with his time and energy was practically unlimited. And the breadth of his interests was astonishing.
One of the things I remember was the presentation he gave to Mendocino College faculty in the very late 1980s or early 1990s. The college had adopted the Macintosh platform as its computer of choice. Every office and every full-time instructor had one..... But most capabilities of the Mac were mysteries to most of the staff. Dale gave a masterful presentation on using the Mac HyperCard system that brought those in the room into the age of computing. Here he was, a part-time instructor, giving everyone a look at the present and future horizons of computing. As usual, Dale demonstrated what he had learned with humility, enthusiasm and a twinkle in his eye.
Dale also was very serious about the Mendocino College newspaper, The Eagle. He worked with King Collins as co-advisor to the students who put out the paper. Dale was dedicated to getting out the truth. It was just another aspect of his desire to help people educate themselves. He was always looking for and finding creative solutions to publishing the paper, despite numerous obstacles placed in his path by the college administration. The newspaper seemed like a necessary evil to some administrators, but to Dale, it was an essential part of the college experience. He shared a lot of himself with the students, and Dale always had a lot to share.
Neill Bell, writer,
Mendocino College instructor
Part-time Faculty Association
* * *
When I first saw Dale, he was on stage and for a while it seemed that he was in every production in this town. From my perspective, he was a dancer, an actor, a teacher, a writer, a technical wizard, a political and environmental activist.
I learned of his dedication as my colleague part-time teacher and MPFA (our union) fellow activist. I became acquainted with his intellect and curiosity as my student. As my consultant in everything from desktop publishing and computers to solar and hydroelectric energy, I became familiar with Dale's meticulous workmanship as well as his generosity. Finally, in our acquaintance, I discovered a friend, who, through his unassuming, quiet, and sometimes shy style, revealed a rare energy and passion for life.
I am so glad that our paths crossed and that I was able to share a short time with this intelligent, passionate, kind, and deeply spiritual soul.
Mendocino College Instructor
Part-time Faculty Association
Dale at the Eagle, December, 1997
* * *
This is King, you're old friend, your buddy, your comrade. I know you got someplace to go, but I'm sure you're hanging around here somewhere listening to what people are saying about you. And you're probably wondering what I'm going to say.
Well first off, old buddy, I just want to know: How come you left in such a hurry? I mean, you left us all so confused about things. What about all those jobs and projects we were doing together?
I'm feeling sad, not for you, but for the rest of us, and mostly for me. Cause I miss you. I can't call you up. I would have called you this morning, in fact, but I knew you wouldn't answer the phone, but I would have called and asked you if I could use your video camera, and whether it was charged up and whether it had any tape in it.
And I wanted to call you the day before 'cause I don't understand the fancy code you used for the radio station web site. But you're not here to explain it to me. The way you explained so many technical things to me. You with a mind like as sharp as they come. You who were always so patient. Even when you were tired.
How could you just leave like that? So sudden and all. Well, all right I know you didn't want to leave. It's not your fault, but I have all these memories.
It seems like you helped with everything I ever did. I met up with you right away when my wife and I and our passel of kids first moved here. That was back in 1985 just as the Macintosh came out. You helped us start Green Mac, and you even pitched in when we started a school with a bunch of other parents and kids. We called it the New school.
You, being so smart and all, you got into teaching at Mendocino College. Everyone liked you. You taught computer courses and you were always the first to learn the new stuff.
And you worked so hard for the part-time faculty association. Attending all those meetings and doing their newsletter and all sorts of other union stuff. I couldn't believe how many newsletters you did. And they always seemed to come out on time.
For years you worked on the college newspaper. Sometimes you were the only person working on it. You kept it alive.
And then one day, you decided to quit teaching that desktop publishing class and suggested that I do it instead. So I applied for the job and Tonia (Widler) hired me. And then you were getting tired of doing the newspaper by yourself, and you asked me if I wanted to do it. And I said, Well OK, but only if you would do it with me. And so we did.
And together I think we did one of the best newspapers in the whole wide world (of little college newspapers).
And after awhile that little newspaper got in trouble with the big shots at the college. That happened, mostly, because we looked into the case of Susan Bell, the most community-loving of the big shots. She didn't fit in with the plans of the other big shots. She said that they made up a bunch of fake stuff to get rid of her. And so it became a kind of a big deal. There was a whole bunch of college folks who loved Susan Bell and cared a lot about the college and about the college being involved in the community. Some of the faculty were really upset, too. About other things that the big shots had done. So those people got together and started to make a fuss.
A lot of people knew that there was a fuss but they didn't know what the fuss was about. So what happened was that the staff of the newspaper, which was made up of several students and the two of us faculty advisors, had a long meeting to talk about what to do. What we decided was that being a newspaper and all, we should try to find out what was really going on.and tell everybody about it. We figured that's what any good newspaper should do.
Anyway we eventually got ahold of a letter written to the top dog board of directors, that supposedly runs the college. It was from Susan Bell, and it said some pretty strong critical like things about the big shots and how they were trying to get rid of her. There was something written on it about being confidential. But we found out that that letter had been passed around to a bunch of the full-time faculty. We figured that we had an honest-to-goodness responsibility to publish that letter so that everybody, even the part-time faculty and the students, could read it.
So anyway, the newspaper staff, we talked about it and we finally decided to publish that so-called confidential letter in the Eagle.
And then all heck broke loose, cause we being part-time faculty and all, we got all kinds of flak. And the poor student editor, he got so upset with being told all kinds of terrible things, and pretty soon of course the college big shots were trying hard to get rid of both of us, Dale.
And in the middle of that, KC Meadows, the editor of the town paper, she wrote a rip-snorting editorial that made us feel good. She said she had never seen such goings on with those big shots thinking they could shut down the paper and get away with it.
And you being so smart and all, you put the whole big controversy up on the Eagle web site, and it's still up and it tells the story so I don't have to talk about that anymore. Thank goodness.
And for the last two years and more you worked with lots of other folks to try to bring local community radio to Ukiah. And you worked more than almost anyone else to put together KMEC, Ukiah's very first community radio station (105.1 FM). I remember you, with your seemingly frail body, putting up all he sheet rock in the KMEC studio. You did it all by yourself.
And after all that work we finally got KMEC on air and you started doing a show. Then one day about three months ago, you called up and told me that you had a really scary thing happen when you were on the air. You said you couldn't think of a word and your mind went blank. Well, I thought it was just stage fright, 'cause that's happened to me.
But it turned out to be something else, and all of the sudden you couldn't do the stuff you used to do. You felt dizzy and couldn't dance, which must have broken your heart. And when I called up, you didn't have the energy to talk about the technical stuff. You said the computer bothered you.
The doctors finally figured out that you had a brain tumor. We were all scared, but somehow you never seemed to be afraid and I guess I was afraid to ask. The doctors said nothing could be done to save you. The said the tumor would get bigger and hurt your brain more and more. They said you could, maybe, do chemo or radiation therapy to help you last a little longer, but you didn't want to do that. You wanted to die at home with your friends.
As usual you were courageous, and like I said, you never said a mumblin word. Not one mumblin word.
Your friends from Greenfield gathered round and cared for you. They rode with you to the hospital. Oh those wonderful Greenfield folks, mostly women. How they loved you. They stayed with you when you came home from the hospital. They worked together to make your meals and take you to appointments.
And then one day. It was Tuesday, August 30. I was on the air at KMEC and I got a call from your friend, Shelly McCoy. She said you had a seizure the night before. She said it might be near the end. So I drove up to see you, sat by your side. You were sleeping. A coma they said. Your skin felt too warm. I held your hand for awhile. I kissed you on your forehead, felt the wisps of hair on my cheek, and I whispered Goodbye, Dale.
The next day, you died.
There were so many things we did together, that I can't talk about them all.
So now you're gone from this place---this heaven, this community you loved so well, this community you helped so much.
What will we do without you? You've left a big vacuum, an empty place.
We've come here today to fill that empty place. We've come here to renew our friendships. All those people that knew you, that you worked with. We're here and we see each other, and we will make up for your being gone, by being more caring about each other, by putting our hearts and our love into this community, into all those projects that you put your heart and soul into.
Ok Dale, that's enough for now. I wish you were here. And I promise to keep on doing what we started to do. I know that's what you want.
I love you.
Friend and Collaborator
Faculty Advisor to the Mendocino College Eagle
1995 - 1997