Sunday, February 19, 2012

Brooklyn Cowboy

Dale Donald Alstead (1953-2010)

My uncle Dale was born in 1953 (three years before I was born) and he grew up in Brooklyn,  and for part of his early life in Florida, and then in Upstate New York, and went to high school on the South shore of Long Island, where he had for a short time his own, beautiful, Palomino pony  -- the last unforgettable for me because one night I caught the pony running down the road in the night: marvelously incandescent mane in the moonlight!  

Dale also had a guitar, a band , and most importantly: a mother who let him practice as he liked.

After New York, Dale went to live for a while in Kansas -- where he had an Aunt Dorothy, his father's twin sister. Eventually, he started a family there with his wife, Angelika Wegner Alstead, before he returned to the East Coast, to New York, to settle along with his family on Long Island, where his three children grew up.

The video montage below features one of his last songs, written about his choice to leave Long Island and a flourishing business he had built, for Arizona, where he moved for the last years of his life, for the sake of the air and the weather and above all for a change of pace.  

Images include Dale as a young boy sitting on the stoop in Brooklyn Heights with his mother, Marie Brancale Alstead, his sister, Barbara Jane Alstead, his father Donald V. Alstead and so on.... (If you're viewing this on iPhone or iPad, you might want to try this YouTube link).

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