Polo Player Dale Johnson (S3E37)
Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Dale Johnson is the descendent of Black cowboys.
In Part 1, Dale traces the history of his family, from New York state and a Black settlement in Texas called High Prairie to the Bay Area. His parents met at a park in the East Bay and Dale was born seven years later.
He grew up in "deep" East Oakland. He touches on some of the changes that he remembers, with industrial jobs being off-shored and drugs coming into previously prosperous, Black neighborhoods, comparing that to some of what has been happening in the so-called Rust Belt of the US and the different responses to each situation.
In Part 2, Dale talks about his college years in Santa Clara. After he graduated, he moved to LA where he worked in shipping. He had a few other jobs, mostly in data systems.
Dale was living in Scottsdale, Arizona, and his then-girlfriend/now wife was taking care of her father, who was ill, while also going to SF State. So, in 2010, Dale moved back to the Bay Area to help her out, and the couple has been living in Ingleside ever since.
He goes on to talk about discovering polo. All we'll say is that the story involves Argentina and boots. And if you wanna learn more about the sport, please listen in.
Dale ends his episode telling us about Heels Down, Fists Up, a Bay Area equestrian protest group that arose this summer after the murder of George Floyd.
Special thanks to Liz Beeson of Caring Cowgirl for connecting us with Dale and Sunny.
We recorded this podcast at Madonna Creek Ranch in September 2020.
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