Recently I was asked to provide a short biography in preparation for a speaking engagement. I did not have one laying around so I put this together last night…
Dale Wilson, born in Texas, reared in rural Mississippi and Tennessee. Chopped cotton for $2 a day and picked cotton, by hand, for 2 cents a pound. Learned the value of hard work early and realized I needed an education or I would be picking cotton all my life.
Family moved to Memphis when I was 9, got my first paper route when I was ten. For two years I threw a route for the Memphis Commercial Appeal in the morning and another for the Memphis Press Scimitar in the afternoon.
Due to family issues I was placed in foster care at age 12 and lived in foster care until graduation from high school. While in high school was selected by my state senator to be a Page in the Tennessee Legislature and there learned the importance of the electoral process.
Also, while in high school I played football, basketball, baseball, ran distance in track and even boxing– for 2 rounds. We lost only one game in 3 years in football and won the state championship my senior year. From this I learned to get up quick when you get knocked down, even if you can’t see strait.
Upon graduation I attended the University of Tennessee earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism with a minor in English and Philosophy. Later attended Murray State University in Murray, KY earning a Master’s Degree in Organizational Communication with emphasis in training and team-building.
Opened a construction business in 1979 and operated it successfully for 17 years. During this time I got married and reared a son, now a banker in Tennessee.
Concurrent to running a business I was teaching Communication based courses including Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution, Team Building and even, Introduction to Theater at the local college while also doing consulting work: Team Building, for local manufacturers.
The marriage fizzled. I was single again for the next 17 years during which I earned a pilots license, joined Rotary, Chamber of Commerce and other civic clubs, worked at supporting my community by coaching little league baseball, basketball and football while, myself, playing on a church-league basketball team for ten years.
After a while I moved to Arizona to look after my aging mom who had moved there for health reasons. While there I met the love of my life and together we worked at “flipping houses” for several years until the Arizona economy fell off the cliff.
Moved to Seaside, Oregon to continue the enterprise. While in Seaside we made several trips to Port Angeles catching the Coho to Victoria where the wife’s family lives. After many trips through Port Angeles we fell in love with the beauty of the area and the kindness of the people. We decided to relocate here and retire.
After living here a couple months the wife said, “I’ll tell you what I think about this retirement stuff, I have twice as much husband and half as much income, go get a job.”
Looking over the job market at the time I realized I would have to create my own job– which I did;
launching Port O Call News in 2013.
Two years later I recruited a group of active, visionary and dedicated individuals and together we founded Peninsula Area Public Access Television; (PAPA-TV) the first public access television station in Clallam County.
Representing the local high school students as their broadcast vehicle, PAPA-TV high school productions have been nominated for three Emmy Awards.
Another PAPA production, On The Road: The Olympic Discovery Trail won first place, in two categories this year at Community Media’s “Best of the Northwest” Film Festival in Portland.
PAPA has produced numerous documentaries showcasing the historic and recreational opportunities of the area, many of which are being shown across the country on sister stations. They are, of course, available around the world, via internet.
In 2017 got a call from the Superintendent of the Quileute Tribal School inviting me to help start up their Construction Arts program at La Push. It has been a huge addition to their curriculum.
During the entire time I was reporting on local government friends kept suggesting I run for elective office.
After studying and reporting on city, county and port governance for years I realized “if change is meant to be–it is up to me.”
By May 18, I decided to stand for election as Clallam County Commissioner for District 3.
I declared no party preference. As President Dwight Eisenhower said, “The middle of the road is all the usable surface. The extremes, right or left, are in the gutter.”