Topic: "Dandy Dale" (7)
Dale was a Blackhawk Helicopter Pilot. He is the President of the local West Point Alumni Chapter. He is a third-generation American whose family settled around Chicago after emigrating to the United States from Poland. He is the Principal of his own Financial Planning Firm, and he is a Libertarian. He is also one of the Men of Gondor, and he is Frodo's friend.
Dale has been responsible for Frodo meeting and getting to know many people whose stories have been chronicled by the Keeper of the Ring (including the Navigator on the Enola Gay, and one who has been granted the Medal of Honor). It is appropriate that, on this day, Frodo notes the service, the dedication, and the pride that rests in the actions and the deeds of this heroic young man. The Men of Gondor can count on Dale, as did every person who ever served under him, to be there as promised, and to do that which is expected. Frodo stands with his hand over his heart.
Frodo is not a fan of Libertarians (for those who have read most of these pages in full, it is known that he refers to them as "Librarians," since they seem to see the world as if it were merely an extension of the Dewey Decimal System). In the days after September 11th, 2001, Frodo was one of what seemed like a miniscule number who believed that his country was acting prematurely in the thrust to war against Saddam Hussein. Dale was aghast that Frodo took the position he did, and Frodo remembers the look of shock and disdain in the eyes of his friend. Frodo heard him say that he did not know any other "men" who expressed the same opinions as Frodo. Despite a lifetime of reciting poems about "sticks and stones," Frodo felt a deep hurt, which he cannot forget, as this tale enlivens.
Dale flew helicopters in the Caribbean in pursuit of drug smugglers. This seemingly dangerous assignment, according to Dale, ended up as just one of many excursions to dozens of beaches. The "War on Drugs" is a terrible waste of resources, for it accomplishes very little, and enters the government into activities which do not, according to Dale, follow the premises of the Founding Fathers.
Dale stood with Frodo on a warmish December day not too long ago, and said to him, "Have you had a colonoscopy?" Frodo admitted that it was something he had been deferring. "What's the matter Mr. Frodo, don't you love Sam? Do you have no feelings for your friends?" Frodo went and had the procedure, and all indications were that it was a good thing he did.
It just goes to show that sometimes our friends are close at hand, even though they may be our harshest of critics, it doesn't mean that they dislike us. Although it remains a small, blue planet, it is loaded with people who will be there when you really need a friend, or a soldier. Frodo is glad that there are soldiers, as he is glad that there are those who farm, for he would not be very good at either. Frodo has learned much from his friend, and he trusts that the feeling will always be mutual.