Earlier this week I was out scouting locations for an upcoming shoot when I passed this man playing guitar in front of his house.  I stopped and asked if I could take his photo. Turned out Dale is a pretty friendly guy who is happy to chat.  Dale is an avid guitarist and fiddler, claiming he has logged over 55,000 hours of playing.  He told me of his deep love of Chet Atkins’ music, and how he’d be happy to give me a copy of his own music if I could drop off a blank cassette.

Dale asked me to come into his home to show me photos of his girlfriend.  Sadly, his girlfriend passed away six months ago; Dale is absolutely heartbroken.  His wall is covered in photos of them in happier days.  Now he has fallen on hard times with the loss of his love, financial troubles and health problems.

Dale assumed I was with the local newspaper and after telling him I was just taking photos for myself, he asked that I try to tell the paper his story.  I don’t plan on doing that but I’ve decided to tell his story here.  I can’t speak for Dale, but I think his stories of love, regret, survival, and his passion for playing music are his message to those willing to listen.


This is the last of multiple journals Dale kept during the final months of his girlfriend’s illness.