Dale Smith was never an idle person, and neither were the 23 people who turned out to donate blood in his memory at a blood drive last Saturday in Salem.
Dale was a familiar face in Salem, known as the friendly guy who was the parking lot attendant part-time at Mac & Bob’s Restaurant. He worked there for 17 years, until the 73-year old died April 30. Before Mac and Bob’s, he had worked at the Salem GE plant. That’s where he frequently donated blood at the company’s blood drives. Last week it was time for other friends to donate blood in Dale’s memory. The Bloodmobile was parked behind Barker Realty where Dale’s wife, Doris, is a real estate agent.
“He could fix just about anything,” one friend said. And he loved helping people. Although his friends who planned the Bloodmobile drive in his memory didn’t know it at the time, blood collected Saturday is critically needed right now because so many blood drives have been cancelled as a result of Hurricane Florence and subsequent flooding in the Carolinas. “That would have really pleased Dale,” said longtime family friend Pat Dew, another Barker Realty agent.
She explained Dale grew up in the country in Kentucky, “and when you live out in the country, everybody helps everybody.” In his leisure time, Dale liked riding his motorcycle, taking trips with his family, playing golf and going to flea markets. Dale was also a Veteran who served in the National Guard. Donors at the blood drive in Dale’s memory had a chance to be entered into a drawing for a gift basket, said Dew, who organized the blood drive.