It’s Memorial Day today, and while organizations fight to save the cross, get together to place flags, and visit graves, I thought I might highlight a veteran here today.
This is my friend Dale Craig. He’s one of the reasons I am here today. He offered encouragement during the years I was mad as a hatter, and he gave me support. In turn I listened to his relationship struggles. He was one of the good guys.
He was younger than I, yet he had a wiser and far more mature outlook on life. Perhaps it was his Army tours in Vietnam or his growing up during a time that was especially difficult for gays that gave him this view. He arrived back from Vietnam with wide and varied interests that only broadened after getting a job as a booking clerk at our local jail. Oh, what stories he could tell.
Art, trains, old cars, and old houses were some of his main interests. He bought houses, restored them, and if his lover didn’t like this or that, restored another one. As he advanced in his job, he was also able to make life a little better for artists who were out there on the margin.
He caught AIDS from his lover, and he caught encephalitis at the jail. He couldn’t take the only cure, so in 1991 he died leaving a legacy of loving and caring for others.