December 23, 1952
Dale has spent his life living the Sandhills Cowboy Way. He was born in Scottsbluff spending his younger years ranching and rodeoing. After high school he moved to Brownlee to work on the Box T Ranch.
One evening at a roping, Dale met Peg Dimmitt from Burwell. They dated and were married 47 years ago. For the first few years they lived out west but eventually made the move to Burwell.
Dale went to horseshoeing school and made a living shoeing horses, riding colts, doing day labor, working at the Burwell sale barn and working at rodeos. In his free time, he and Peg roped. They have been involved in more Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell for more years than can be counted.
Dale and Peg welcomed their daughter, Traci, in 1980. She was a spirited girl that never met a stranger. Traci followed her parent’s footsteps beginning an early career in rodeo goat tying and team roping. Her friends remember her as an adventurous soul that would do anything for anyone and give everyone a fair shake. Like her parents, Traci would tell it like it is. She was truly one of a kind. In 1999 she was killed in a car accident in Lincoln. A beautiful life cut short.
Dale spent many years as a pickup man for High School and Mid-States rodeos. Dale and Peg hauled horses and their daughter, Traci, from rodeo to rodeo, sleeping in cots in the trailer. Many friends and memories were made gathered around their trailer for breakfast. Just imagine the stories that were lived and retold around that trailer!
Thirty years ago, Dale added a new skill to his cowboy way and went to saddle making school in Lusk, WY. Shortly after, he and Peg partnered with Jodee Bolli and Karen Spanel to open Dry Creek Western Wear and County Line Saddle Shop. Since then, Dale has made around 200 saddles. He and Peg take pride in being a custom shop. The word custom is taken seriously with Dale and Peg. When you order a piece from them expect to come in for a fitting or to come sit in the saddle for a while.
Dale fits the criteria of a cowboy worthy of recognition in the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame, but he is very down to earth. Dale and Peg live the cowboy life, they don’t have shelves of awards and don’t seek recognition for what they do. It’s the cowboy way.
They are honored to be asked year after year to create awards for various organizations. For twelve years they have crafted the briefcase awarded for the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship. On December 29, 222 Dale and Peg were featured on Today’s Wild West that highlighted their leather work. And year after year they create items to benefit the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Ask any Burwell local and they will recognize the great work of “4 the Cure”. After Dale and Peg’s parents passed way, they began “4 the Cure”, a non-profit organization that helps people battling cancer. For over a decade they have been giving gas cards and cash to patients to help with expenses. Multiple patients and families have benefited and many groups hold fundraisers to benefit their organization.
Along with being involved with almost every performance of Nebraska’s Big Rodeo, Dale and Peg have replaced several fences around the Burwell Rodeo arena. Not only did they pay for the replacement but they put in the elbow grease. Sometime, ask Dale about the old fence.