We go to so many shows and sometimes we find ourselves drawn to certain customers that become friends and a bright spot every year when we visit a given city. Dale was one of those people. Every year when we would do the Utah Arts festival we knew that he would be one of the first people we would see and that his beautiful smile and zest for life would set us up for a great weekend. The Utah Arts Festival is a grueling show. It is four days long and it goes from noon to 11 pm. We work hard but it also has provided us with some truly wonderful moments with some very special people. Dale was in a class all his own. He came all four days and he came for the music as much as for the art. Since I love music so much and I reluctantly could never go hear most of it, I seemed to live vicariously through our moments with Dale and his wife Karen. They bought art from us the first year and yet they never missed visiting with us every year after. They saw us throughout the show but we knew they would be the first and the last people we would spend time with during the show. It meant a lot to us, probably more than either of them knew.
This past June, they came as usual but this time Karen took us aside and told us that it was going to be Dale's 60th birthday and to surprise him she wanted to buy him "Beach Patrol", the raven which he had been looking at for years. It would be a surprise and we worked with her to get it to her without his knowledge. We couldn't wait for September to come so that we could hear his reaction to his present. We had no idea that this time we would hear news that would set us back for quite awhile.
Dale received his art on his 60th birthday and was thrilled. One week later he died from heart failure. We sell art for a living but each and every piece we sell we give a little piece of ourselves with it. This time we lost so much because we knew what the world lost that day. Dale is dancing to great music somewhere and we feel blessed to have been a part of his life.
Bonnie Harmston works side by side with her husband Steve and travels the art show circuit with him.