There are people you meet and fifteen minutes later, you might not remember you ever met them. Not that they're bad people, but they are just easily forgettable.
But, I guarantee you, you'll never say that about Dale Tyczkowski. Once you meet him, you will not forget him.
I first met Dale in the summer of 1986 in Denmark. In all of my twenty years, I had never met anyone else like him. Most of the people I knew to that point in my life, lived in Utah. Dale hailed from Wisconsin. He was older and had a colorful past--not checkered, but colorful. For example, he had been at one time a professional ballet dancer. Number of ballet dancers I met to that point - zero. Dale had also been a professional cheerleader. Again, something new for me.
Thanks to the invention that is the internet, and more specifically, social media, Dale and I have have kept in touch over the years. Dale had embarked on many amazing adventures, but then again, I would have been surprised with nothing less. He became a professional interior decorator and he posted us all many of his creations online. They were extensions of his huge personality--classic Dale.
A few years ago, Dale entered a new career path--acting. The last time I saw him, we talked about his latest undertaking. He had gotten an agent and had appeared on several projects. This really shouldn't have surprised me--I mean, why not? I wonder if he ever doubted himself. Did he think that there was a possibility he couldn't do it? Most likely, no.
A few months ago, I caught a Facebook post from Dale of a clip showing him dancing with a group of people. He said it was him in the Academy-Award nominated film, La La Land. Like most films, I didn't see it in the theater, but we rented it over the weekend. Not that I doubted my friend, but I watched and watched, and no Dale.
Until almost the very end. And there he was, dressing in black, sporting an amazing head of grey hair, and with a huge smile on his face--a Dale trademark--I saw him swinging with the music as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
I have no idea what he'll do next. He may turn to cooking and we'll see him on the Next Food Network Star. Or, he may turn up building churches in Africa. Whatever it is, whoever is lucky enough to meet him, will never forget him. I know, in over thirty years, I haven't.