Dale Roberts Memorial Tribute - Aug 31st, 2015
The Dale Roberts Memorial is an event that comes each year with mixed emotions for myself and others I am sure. For me, the event itself is always fun. It brings in many players and is played on a fun local 18 hole course. The tournament continues to be supported by the Nixa Center each year. This tournament seems to be enjoyed by everyone that chooses to attend. Fortunately and unfortunately the Memorial part of the event forces me to think about the man who the tournament is in Memory of, Dale Roberts. I am thankful that he gave me the opportunity to help design the initial 9 holes. He also shared the vision early on that he wanted to continue adding holes until the course became a full 18. Unfortunately, Dale did not see the final three installed as he passed away weekend before they would be installed. His favorite and the signature hole #6 (which he designed), is a favorite of mine and is when I think of him the most. I'm still waiting for the day he helps me hit that perfect Ace line! The Dale Roberts Memorial Course will always be one of my favorite courses because of the above, and also I never play it without remembering my friend.
The unfortunate side is remembering how young Dale was, and how his life was cut way to short. Only one year separated us in age, and I remember thinking to myself, “way too young!”. The cliché “only the good die young” could definitely be used for Dale. I had the opportunity to run tournaments and leagues with him. He was one of the most organized people I have ever met. His careful focus on even the most minor of details made anything he ran successful. One of my favorite tournaments was an Ice Bowl that we were asked to run in Houston, MO. He, without any hesitation, volunteered to drive there despite some icy roads. It was bitter cold, but we had a blast!
I invited Dale once to talk about his job at the Center to the boys at the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch (where I worked for 12 years). Volunteering his time and seeing his interaction with the boys was special. The boys listened intently on what he had to say (and this was rare). I believe the reason they listened to him so intently was because he spoke with passion about his work, and he made everyone listening know that he loved what he did. Despite this being slightly outside of the Disc Golf realm it was still one of my best memories with Dale.
I am very thankful and humbled each year that I am given the opportunity to continue to be a part of this event. Although I know the tears will come at some point during every event with Amy (Dale's widow), Dale's parents (Butch & Patsy), and other family members. I am thankful that we get to remember such an awesome man in a fun and exciting event...The Dale Roberts Memorial.
I hope to see many of you hear this weekend!!