The Re-Resurrection of Dale T

Lydia Ann Channel Lighthouse ~ Port Aransas, Texas
Since Easter’s the time for re-telling one particular story, I thought I’d re-tell one of my own favorite resurrection tales. Some of you will remember it, but a good story’s a good story, and the best ones deserve being dusted off from time to time.
Happy Easter!


None of the roustabouts, deck hands, or dock workers along the middle and upper Texas coast seemed to know how Dirty Dale got his nickname, and Dale wasn’t telling.

Gracie, who’d given up life on an oil rig to put her cooking talents to work in a land-locked café, served him breakfast every morning. She insisted his name came from his good-natured willingness to pursue every female in sight. No matter how oblivious, uninterested, or irritated the object of his attentions, Dale’s confidence was absolute. Sliding into a seat next to an unaccompanied woman, he’d murmur, “Hey, darlin’. I’m here to improve your life.” Most didn’t feel the need for improvement, but Dale remained optimistic.

A prissy live-aboard in his marina claimed to have named him Dirty Dale because he rarely indulged in a shower, but that wasn’t true. Like his dock-mates, Dale trotted down to the bathhouse with towels and a change of clothing every day. His scruffy beard and fly-away hair led to an unkempt appearance, and you could see traces of his current projects in the grease or oil smudged across his shirt, but none of that added up to a lack of personal hygiene.

Friends who boarded his boat for drinks and conversation assumed his nickname reflected conditions below deck. Living aboard a boat is complicated at best, and the old adage “a place for everything, and everything in its place” may have been born on a boat. A particularly unpleasant set of woes betides the sailor who gives up the struggle to stay organized, and Dale’s ship had become significantly out of shape.

It wasn’t that he’d surrendered to the forces of stuff; he never engaged the battle. His boat’s interior held the history of his world: layered, crammed, and filled to the proverbial gills. Occasional gaps in the walls of stuff were the only evidence that piles of spare parts or second-hand books might have been heaved off the boat during the odd impulse toward organization.

On the water, he approached sailing much as he did housekeeping, with a style both improvisational and weirdly creative. Years after the fact, astounded sailors still told of the day he won an offshore race by anchoring in the Galveston Ship Channel, pouring a couple of fingers of good Scotch, and sitting back to watch as the fast-running tide swept his less savvy competition back to sea.

Everyone agreed that it was a validation of sorts. If God truly cares for fools and drunkards, there’s no question Dale was twice-blessed. Despite his disregard for common sense and common sailing practice, he never met the unhappy fates that befell his more prepared, cautious, and law-abiding friends. From time to time, he even got the ladies. At least, he got them once.

During the years I knew him, Dale’s most famous escapade involved a weekend voyage down the Texas coast with his newest love. Because of time constraints, they cruised the Intracoastal Waterway to Freeport, where they spent the better part of the weekend. Then, as they were traveling back toward Galveston on Sunday afternoon, the boat sputtered to a stop. The little Atomic 4 engine had run out of gas.

Suspecting she was stuck on the marine equivalent of a country road with a guy who’d planned the whole thing, the lady-friend grew irritated. But this was Unprepared Dale, not Predatory Dale, and he truly was out of gas.

Later, he told us she pitched a fit that would have done his second ex-wife proud. More confident of his old Atomic 4 than of his ability to endure the rantings of a furious woman, Dale concocted a gallon or two of home brew. Combining acetone, nail polish remover, a little kerosene, a bottle or two of booze, and who knows what else in a plastic bucket, he gave it a swirl and poured it into the fuel tank. After an explosive cough from the cylinders and a rattle or two unlike any he’d ever heard, the engine fired, and they were underway.

By the time he ran out of fuel a second time, they nearly were back to port. Thanks to a local shrimper, they reached home under tow and safely docked, just before the woman disappeared into the night and out of Dale’s life forever.

Shortly after the infamous Freeport voyage, Dale found yet another woman: one who found the boat charming and Dale amusing. She moved aboard, and eventually they married. After a short stint as shrimpers, they moved to Florida; took up chicken farming; tried their hands at long-haul trucking; and then divorced.

Ever the survivor, Dale remarried for the fourth or fifth time, came back to Texas, and moved his boat to Florida. No one was surprised by another divorce, but new gossip drifting back from the Keys became worrying. Not merely lovesick, Dale had become physically ill, and it was serious. Details were sketchy. Some said it was an intestinal problem. Others claimed it was cancer. There were reports of medical complications, and financial difficulties.

In those days before email and cell phones, it was hard to get solid news, but reports still traveled, and we learned the bitter truth. Another surgery hadn’t gone well. Dale was expected to survive, but didn’t. When word of his death arrived on the Texas coast, everyone paused, and swallowed hard. If death could come to Dirty Dale — blithe spirit and survivor extraordinaire — it could come to any of us.

Months passed. At the marina where Dale had lived, new boats arrived, skippered by sailors with their own tales of life on the sea. Occasionally, the return of cruising friends or the simple urge to party found old-timers gathering for long evenings of nostalgic story-telling.

One particularly languid summer night, stories flew. We laughed again at the man who imbibed a bit too much and fell off his own boat, only to have his panic-stricken girlfriend call his wife for help. We remembered the salt-encrusted, slightly crazed live-aboard who varnished his decks with a mop, and the braggadocious tech savant who took out a channel marker by ignoring his own electronics. Eventually, stories about Dale would surface, and those, too, were retold with relish.

During a beautifully embellished version of the infamous Freeport cruise story, maudlin sentimentality had begun to flow as freely as the wine when the door to the clubhouse flew open and an unkempt, disheveled apparition stepped into the room.

“Whatnhell’s a guy hafta do t’ get a drink around here?”

As perplexed by our silence as we were stunned by his presence, Dale tried again. “Whatsa matter wi’ you guys? You drink it up already?”

At last, someone blurted it out. “Dale! We thought you were dead!” Looking around, Dale must have seen the shock and astonishment in our eyes. “Dead? Me? Well, if I’ve been dead, I’m sure as hell glad to be back. Now, somebody pour me a drink.”

Clearly, the gossip had been wrong.

Each year, as the season dedicated to another remarkable story rolls around, I think about Dale.

He’s well and truly gone now, having succumbed at last to the same disease rumored to have killed him in the first place. I miss his teasing, his larger-than-life persona, his ability to charm and hornswoggle anyone he met, but most of all I miss his generosity.

Of all the gifts he offered so willingly — his receptive spirit, his humor, his determination to explore the possibilities of life outside the bounds of normal society — perhaps his greatest gift to a surprised few was an experience akin to resurrection. Whatever happened on that first Easter, no disciple could have been more astonished than those of us who thought — if only for a brief, irrational moment — that Dale T truly had risen from the dead.

During the Easter season, whether you’re Christian or whether you aren’t; whether you believe Jesus walked out of his tomb or whether you don’t; whether you dismiss the rabbits and eggs of the pagans or embrace them with the joy of a child, Dale T has a message for you:

Keep your eyes open. Be attentive. Listen.

You don’t know what forces are abroad in the land, and you can’t predict what’s going to happen next. You never know when someone might roll away your stone, and you never know who’ll be the next to come sashaying back from the dead.

Comments always are welcome.


110 thoughts on “The Re-Resurrection of Dale T

    1. In truth, resurrection — new life springing from death — is a dynamic that touches us all. Even the crustiest old curmudgeons seem to enjoy spring, and butterflies, although they might not admit it or describe it that way.

      Happy Easter to you, Peter, and a very happy spring.

  1. Thanks Linda, a great story I could read again and again, and never tire of it.
    I fear in this age of political correctness gone crazy, there are less of these old characters.
    All the best.

    1. The good news is that the characters still are around. They may be flying a bit under the radar, but you can spot them. Jimmy Buffett even wrote a song about one. The best line might be, “The ornithologist lady says he has wings on his heart…” Keep flying!

    1. We go to favorite restaurants more than once, and read favorite books more than once, so why not an occasional re-post? This is one of my favorite stories — the hardest part of writing it was cutting out the “and that reminds me of the time” tales! A blessed Easter to you and Roomie, and to all your family!

  2. Definitely a story worth telling and retelling. Living around a marina is a storyteller’s gift of endless material to work with. But then again, every place has its memorial characters when we take the time to get to know them. Well done!

    1. That’s right, Jean. You illustrated your own point when you described your post office worker so well. If I ever need to ship a submarine, I’ll know who to contact! Thanks for the good words, and every good wish for a beautiful and stress-free(er) spring.

    1. The best stories are timeless. In Lawrence Durrell’s Balthazaar, one of the Alexandria Quartet, a character refers to “the essential comedy of human relationships,” and I’d say this would qualify, quite well.

    1. A happy Easter to you, Gary. We’re missing Easter egg colors in our morning, but the painting you shared today will do quite nicely until the skies clear. I still think you should have kept the caption you scrawled across the bottom — that made me laugh out loud, and the more laughter, the better.

    1. It’s fun to think back to the truly — um, unique — people I’ve met on the water who’ve influenced me. Even their names are evocative. Ask anyone who’s hung around the boatyards here for a while if they remember Varnish John, French Charlie, Baby Boudreaux, or Teacup, and you’ll get either a grin, an eyeroll, or both. I knew them all well enough collect a few tales about each; maybe someday I’ll add those to the narrative.

      I know this; I’ve heard every one of them sing this song, and I’m humming it myself these days. Everyone I know who either was or is a sailor is feeling nostalgic for the water right now. I’d sail away in a minute if I could.

  3. Great picture of the lighthouse, Linda, and thanks for the story.
    Mary and I wish you a Happy Easter, and stay healthy,

    1. I do love that lighthouse. I spent a lot of time in that area, and in fact landed there on my first offshore trip. Good times. I hope your day was great — it’s finally sunny here and drying out, but windy? Oh, my! Even the birds are sheltering.

      1. Very windy. And even a tornado. But no damage here, luckily. The tornado started about 3 miles north of Fredericksburg, and then moved farther north-east, towards Willow City. Everything across uninhabited country, luckily. We got half an inch of rain.

  4. Surely every year the circumstance might be different, but the one this year I’m sure we all hope will not repeat. Happy Easter, Linda!

    1. That’s for sure. This is the year that will make for good stories — once it’s far, far away in the rear-view mirror! Happy Easter to you, Arti, and all good wishes for the spring.

  5. What a fantastic story! Please retell any time it strikes your fancy. I’ll gladly read it and read it again.

    After laughing and laughing, this part really got me and I wish more of us were as brave as he: “his determination to explore the possibilities of life outside the bounds of normal society.”

    I know I’m working on being that brave.

    1. I’m not sure his determination was as much bravery as distaste for what passed for normal society. He seemed to view a good bit of life the way I view Brussels sprouts. They’re fine for others, and I don’t mind if people eat them, but I’m going to pass, thank you very much. If I were to push the analogy, I suppose I’d say the bravery comes when I’m willing to tell the 83rd person who offers me the recipe that will lead me to love the veggie that it’s no use. I’m not going to broil, bake, grill, fry, steam, or julienne them and add a balsamic glaze, so just stop, already. Dale was good at saying, “Stop!”

      1. Haha. No Brussels, check.
        The bravery for me comes in practicing staying “Stop!” It served me well for a long time to say, “Sure,” to a lot of others’ life expectations. I put a big stop on it a few months back and am finding more and more little ways to continue.

  6. I loved this story the first time and I think I love it more this time. I needed Dale’s message. Similar advice I received was “stay curious.”
    So interesting how a character like Dale T, through your superb story telling, can reach across time to inspire us…just like the story of Jesus and the resurrection has touched us all, whatever our beliefs. Happy Easter Linda.

    1. You may remember the advice I got from another character named Varnish John. His touchstone, good for post-hurricane life and other such circumstances was “Start where you can start, and do what you can do.” That works across the spectrum, from cleaning a house to coping with a virus.

      As for staying curious — we could use more of that, across the board. The days when we were taught the five Ws and an H (who, what, where, when, why, and how) in journalism class seems long gone. The media seems to be more interested in finding ‘facts’ that will support their premises than in a disciplined asking of questions. I fear I’m old and out of touch here: ‘advocacy journalism’ seems to me an oxymoron.

      Thank goodness we still have stories that endure, and truths that can touch us. Life would be immensely poor without them.

    1. I’m fond of that one, myself. The best lines usually just present themselves, seeming to emerge without effort. It’s part of the fun and satisfaction of this endeavor.

    1. It was fun to remember it, rework it just a bit, and share it again. A few smiles aren’t out of order, especially on Easter. I hope your day’s been happy, and that your family’s well. I was afraid I’d been missing posts from you, but it seems not. I hope you’ve just been distracted, and with pleasant things.
      Happy Easter to you!

    1. That’s why we hang on to favorite books and read them a second or third time. I have a few that I’ve read multiple times — not always in full, but often with a short dip here and there. Here’s to a peaceful and inspiring Easter season — and an easy return to whatever ‘normal’ is going to be.

  7. Happy Easter Linda!

    Repeating a good story is really in the blood of a story teller. After all before pens, pencils, typewriters, computers and internet blogs there were the travelers who told their tales in every town, passed along news, and created that oft’ repeated continuum of stories and fables. And if anything gets enlarged a bit over time…..we are entertained. Fact or fiction….what makes the better story?

    1. Ah, the old fact/fiction conundrum. It always reminds me of Faulkner’s comment: “The poets are wrong of course … But then poets are almost always wrong about facts. That’s because they are not really interested in facts: only in truth, which is why the truth they speak is so true that even those who hate poets by simple and natural instinct are exalted and terrified by it.” That’s from his 1957 novel, The Town.

      Also from Faulkner: “the artist’s prerogative . . . is to emphasize, to underline, to blow up facts, distort facts in order to state a truth.” As long as we don’t confuse imaginative reconstruction with journalism, we’re good.

      It’s suddenly sunny here, windy and dry. In fact, it’s so windy I decided not even to make a foray into the great outdoors today. I know my limits when it comes to photography on windy days, and what’s going on out there would exceed them. I hope your day was a good one, Judy — Happy Easter!

    1. Thanks, Becky. It’s a fun story to remember, and to retell. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I wanted to post something for Easter that everyone would be able to enjoy, whatever their faith — and no one needed one more post about the virus-that-shall-not-be-named! I hope all’s well in your world — stay safe.

    1. Indeed, it could. That’s true on any given day, of course, but for the most part we live more easily with the hypothetical auto accident or blown aneurysm. Despite my low-level grumbling, I’m willing to do what’s requested. In fact, I have a spiffy little facemask sewn by a woman in San Antonio. It’s covered in bluebonnets, of course!

    1. You’re welcome, Lavinia. It was a pleasure to read it again myself, and remember that fellow who gave so many of us so much pleasure — even as he sometimes frustrated the dickens out of us. That’s the nature of people, though — we’re all a mix, and if we’re lucky, we learn to accept both the good and the bad. Happy Easter to you and yours!

  8. I can hear the story of Dale T again and again, a grin on my face the whole time. I have a picture of him in my mind, you know. Funny how all of the “Dale’s” in my life are interesting characters – my brother, the ranch rooster, my dad-in-law, and an ex-bro-in-law.

    1. We all know ‘Dales,’ don’t we? Some of them obviously are a little ‘out there’ in a negative way, but many are simply creative, idiosyncratic, and quirky. As a matter of fact, many of them are far more kind and compassionate than most of us — perhaps because they know what it’s like to meet unkindness. I didn’t mention it because it really wasn’t necessary for the story, but Dale was quite an animal person, too. His cat, a white snowball named DC (for Danged Cat) provided his most enduring relationship. The women could come and go, but that cat went on for more than twenty years.

    1. I have a magnet on my refrigerator with a quotation from Georgia O’Keeffe; it says, “Take time to look.” You can’t express it any more simply than that. The rest is up to us — and there’s no telling what we’ll see if we take her advice!

    1. I’m chuckling at that, Tanya. I do better with story-telling when it involves a back (or front) porch and a glass of something refreshing, but I’m slowly getting better at writing stories that have a bit of the same liveliness. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  9. A great story, Linda. Perfect for an Easter Sunday. I enjoyed the picture of the Lydia Ann Lighthouse. It is the view of it I saw coming down 361 toward Port Aransas from Aransas Pass to catch the ferry.

    1. That’s the view, all right. Oddly enough, the jib boom for my beloved Morning Star lived under that house for a few years. It had been stored there by a previous owner, and it took some time for us to discover it. Beyond that, when we sailed into the Port A jetties after a somewhat fraught first offshore sail and I saw that thing, I knew I wasn’t going to die.

  10. I found this post in “Spam” the same as several other WP posts. I should have been looking in there and for some reason I thought that I had been. Oh well, nothing can cure an aged brain. I was happy to read this one again-this one is favorite and in my old opinion, it is one of your best. I think your word usage and writing style is among the best of any that I have ever read. Lest you get the big head, I’m not widely read. I’m just pulling your leg a little or maybe not. I hope all is well with you and that you are using curbside grocery delivery, if it is available in your neighborhood. It sure beats worrying about getting the crud. Wishing you a happy Easter and safety. Yvonne.

    1. I don’t always check my spam file, either — usually, it takes someone asking if they’ve landed in spam, because I haven’t responded to their comment. Or, on the other hand, I suddenly realize someone seems to have stopped posting, and I find the last half-dozen posts in spam. Who knows? It’s not your brain, Yvonne; it’s just the quirks in the system.

      Like you, I think this is a wonderful tale, and it’s one of my favorites, too. One of the advantages of re-posting is that it provides a chance for a little editing, too — always a good thing.

      Things are good here. I’ve developed quite a collection of birds and squirrels, and they’re great fun to watch. The behavior of the wren pair and the mockingbirds suggests that there’s a nest of babies around somewhere. There’s a lot of flying back and forth to the feeders, picking up tidbits and then flying off. I suspect there are some half-feathered appetites waiting to be fed.

      I’m not using curbside at the grocery store, but I am using a grocery store that’s a small independent that’s well enough stocked and rarely as crowded as our HEB stores. I am lucky enough to have a source of yard eggs, and an old-fashioned meat market that does do curbside, so shopping isn’t a problem for me at all. I can’t always get everything I want, but that’s life in general these days.

      I hope all’s well for you — and that you’re getting the help you need to care for your critters, too.

      1. There are baby wrens! A ruckus outside my window attracted my attention, and there it was — a baby following a parent around, screaming to be fed. Hooray!

      2. I am so glad you have the birds and squireels for entertainment. They bring so much joy if one really loves nature. And it’s good to know that you don’t need to get out among the crowd to grocery shop. I have been doing most of the work myself- with some help form my son’s girlfriend who can help me for about an hour or so 3-4 times a week. She runs errands and gets my groceries curbside from Walmart, HEB, and Tractor Supply. It has worked out well since she is not not teaching at this time. I use several sources for pet supplies as well as for my own food.

  11. Knew this guy–not in the form of Dale T, but others. It’s nice to think of all the little resurrections of a single life, all the barriers rolled away–especially today. Happy Easter.

    1. And isn’t it true that we sometimes forget that we don’t have to do all the work: that the clearing of obstacles in our lives doesn’t always depend on our efforts? I was well into adulthood before it occurred to me to ask precisely who rolled away the stone in that first Easter story. There may be angels around just waiting to help us out!

  12. Great story and I had not read it before so thanks for the retelling. The world is full of Dale T’s. Not as many as once were, but they are still out there. The nature of our world is that life truly does spring from death although as humans we put a different importance on that concept. I can’t imagine living a life such as Dale’s, but I am glad there are some who do. Happy Easter, Linda.

    1. See? An occasional delve into the archive or re-post is a good thing! You’re right that there still are Dales around, and thank goodness for that. Like you, I couldn’t live a life like Dale’s, but I’ll admit I have tendencies in that direction. If I’d lived a more traditional life, I probably wouldn’t still be working, but on the other hand, I am one of the few who’s still working and enjoying it in our current circumstances, so there’s that. Easter was so odd this year I’m almost glad to have the day behind us, but thank goodness every sort of ‘rising’ still is possible.

      1. Somehow I think you meant being less settled rather than the Casanovaing. Continuing to work beyond retirement age is good in my estimation. We both have photography and a love of nature to keep us busy, but being gainfully employed and offering a service is a pleasure still. How much of that will still be available as this plague continues remains to be seen but both of our services should continue to have value.But as you say, all sorts of risings are still possible.

        1. I come from a long line of people who never ‘retired’, and really didn’t understand the concept. I can’t imagine not working, just because of the pleasure it gives me. I might like to work a little less and travel a little more, but it is what it is. Besides — It’s not everyone who has lizards for office mates, as I’ve had for the past two weeks. Every time I turn around there’s a different lizard staring at me. They use the dock lines as highways to get on board, and they’re highly amusing. I haven’t trained them to bring me coffee yet, but at least they’re not always wanting to take a meeting.

    1. I’m glad I brought you some smiles, Jeanie. Dale was delightful — when he wasn’t being cantankerous, or irritating, or perplexing. In short — he was just like the rest of us, only moreso! Your report from Easter was great. It was a different year, for sure. May next year’s celebration be a better one!

  13. Thanks for this. Resurrection truly is ecumenical in the biggest sense of the word possible. All of us can find a point of connectivity in it, and that is no small gift these days! Keep well…

    1. The ‘little risings’ of life can be the most important, and certainly real gifts in the midst of so much uncertainty and anxiety. I hope all’s going well for you and your students. The complexities of your new arrangements must be quite something to deal with — I hope your Easter was a fine one, in spite of it all.

      1. Yes, it is complex but we have plenty of room for work at home, and food to eat, and stable employment thus far. Easter was fine, and I hope yours was as well.

    1. We’ve shared a lot of good stories over the years, haven’t we? I spent some time today thinking about how Dale would be coping with the current situation, and I got a few laughs out of those imaginings, too.

  14. Dale sounds like a wonderful character from a time when people were inclined to be themselves, come hell or high water. I like his message. I wish more people could grasp it.

    1. Dale was like the honey badger. He just didn’t care — at least, about a lot of things. He cared about people, though, and people cared about him. In the end, that was enough. Well, that, and his stories. He had a few good ones, too.

    1. It’s true that nearly everyone who met him eventually compared their own life to his. Some were envious, some were appalled — but he was a true force of nature, and one that couldn’t be ignored.

      1. I didn’t hear it myself, but a mutual friend once told me that Dale had described himself to her this way: “I’m like an old mongrel. I may not be so pretty, but I’m friendly, and I won’t bite.” We sure could use more ‘old dogs’ like that these days!

  15. Thanks for resurrecting this fine story. Makes me think of the bohemians of the Gate 5 houseboat community in Sausalito, they had the same free-spirited outlook on life as Dale.

    1. I’ve seen that houseboat community — both the ones that would be Dale-approved and the ones that were a little more upscale. It’s been years since I’ve been there, so I suppose even more changes have come, but it would be quite the place for a liveaboard.

      Honestly, even when I was living aboard a Catalina 31 here in Texas, it was great fun. Marina communities are interesting. They shape-shift as people come and go, staying for longer or shorter periods of time but always bound by their commitment to a rather odd and not always easy life-style.

    1. Thinking back to some of your street photography, it occurs to me that you’ve probably photographed a ‘Dale’ or two. Appearance isn’t necessarily the final word on anyone, but it certainly can be a clue that invites further exploration, as it was with Dale!

      1. When I saw that “forbidden” notice, I had to laugh. A good bit of what Dale got up to probably would fall under the rubric of “forbidden.” He didn’t care.

        The linked piece reminded me of a saying from the great Gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” I’m not quite sure what that means, but I laugh every time I hear it. Another one I really like is from Woody Allen: “The longest journey begins with a single step. The best journeys begin with a moment of temporary insanity.”

        1. I agree completely. Both quotes are so true, at least for me. I don’t like all the commercial ads the website has, but some of the articles can be interesting.

          As to Hunter S. Thompson’s quote, I understand it this way. The ‘weird’ in what he’s saying is that it becomes ‘sensationalism’, it becomes ‘pro’ because it makes money, the news based on the ‘weird’.

          1. That’s a great way of looking at the Thompson quote. I also take it to mean that when “weird” shows up, some people can’t deal with it, but some do very well, taking a detached and somewhat objective view of what’s shown up in their life.

            1. Yes, that sounds right too, and ‘weird’ just has so many ways of being interpreted. I’m glad it can have a more positive connotation than it usually has.

    1. It made me happy that you described this piece as ‘sweet and interesting.’ That’s a perfect description of Dale himself. As far as poetry goes, he was more likely to be singing a Jimmy Buffett song than reciting Eliot, but no matter. He grasped the sense of the relationship between endings and beginnings perfectly well.

  16. Wow! When I discovered Dale was still alive and kicking, I was beaming from ear-to-ear. Your storytelling set us all up for a surprise we never saw coming . . . just like when Jesus shocks His followers with His Resurrection.

    1. Yep — that’s it, exactly. The story had one of those twists that none of us could have predicted, and the fact that the story is true makes the re-telling even more fun. I like thinking about all the stories that are happening all around us, that most of us never know about — little resurrections of every sort.

  17. Imagining myself at the scene of Dale’s appearance, I think my first response would have been “Jesus, Dale! You scared the crap out of me!” Now, I think that kind of response to resurrection might be entirely appropriate. It ain’t canonical, for sure, but the image of a disheveled, bloodied Christ may be necessary for us moderns.

    1. To be honest, most of the first responses to Dale’s appearance were variations on your theme. It was startling, to say the least. Still, he was one of those people who aged without showing many signs of it, so the Dale I knew first was the Dale I knew last, and when I think of him, that image is as clear as if he were standing here now. Who knows…maybe he is.

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