Tonight, a celebration of life and a reunion of non -blood family took place in honor of Mr. Dale Hamel. Dale was the kindest and most generous man that I have ever met. He was a a giver of opportunity to those that otherwise might not have fit in. He was a scholar in his own right, guiding others toward a path of success via the lessons he learned in life and from his own past failures. He was a father figure to those that needed that support. He was a friend to everyone, even those that didn't know they needed a friend. Dale was all of these things and so much more.
Unfortunately, Dale-A-Palooza could not occur within the club that he built from nothing to the sanctuary that it had become before closing unexpectedly. However, we were lucky enough to hold it at another location that bears the same name as the club. The turn out and the mood was all but unknown before it began, but we knew that it would be a good time regardless.
From the first notes that Rumble Strip played, a surreal feeling hovered over the event. Somehow, the feeling that I was back in the club with all the regulars had returned. The mood, the feel, the chatter, the faces, the everything was exactly like Club Landing used to be. The feeling continued into Ultrafab's performance, then into Blammo's set, and finally int Sam Goodie's set. From beginning until the end, it was like the old days had never gone.
Despite the familiarity, the welcoming of friends, and the heart pounding music, there was one piece missing from the complex puzzle. Yet, in an eery way, you could tell that the piece was there, hiding in a corner, smiling from ear to ear.
We may be closing the pages on the book of Club Landing, but honoring Dale with a night in his honor was the perfect way.
Thank you to all that came out to experience the event. Thank you to the Hamel's for orchestrating the event and allowing this to happen. Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped along the way. Thank you to the bands and members of other bands that stepped in.
Most of all, thank you Dale. You are missed, you are loved, and you are a part of everyone that attended and wanted to attend. You touched so many people in so many ways. The era may have come to an end, but your impact is everlasting.