When he was still very young, Dale showed that he was talented at design. When he got a bit older, he went to high school at Madison Central High in Richmond, Kentucky. While he was there, he did something amazing. He won an award for the best woodworking project at the senior level at a special event called the Craftsman Faire.
For this event, he made a dresser and a jewelry chest that matched each other. His work was so good that he was given the “Most Outstanding Woods Project award.” This means that his skills and creativity as a designer were recognized, even when he was in high school. It was a big achievement for him!
Dale received the Navy Achievement Medal for his exceptional leadership and outstanding performance while serving as a leading electronic warfare technician on the USS Moosbrugger (DD980) destroyer. He made valuable technical suggestions to improve the electronics warfare suite, one of which was adopted fleetwide by the Navy for all AN/SLQ 32 countermeasures-equipped ships. Dale received a cash award for his ideas and earned the enlisted surface warfare specialist insignia.
Throughout his naval career, he also received several other awards, including the Navy Unit Commendation Award for meritorious achievement in action in Lebanon, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Battle “E” Award, the Good Conduct Award, and the Marksman 38 Cal Pistol.
Dale was commended for demonstrating a strong personal commitment to the ship and his shipmates. He conducted Navy Rights and Responsibilities training for the entire crew and constructed a plaque to memorialize a deceased shipmate during his off-duty hours.
The Business Man
Dale Holbrook started a business in 1993 called “X-Ray Engineering”, which provided X-ray equipment, sales, and service to hospitals, medical offices, orthopedic surgeons, veterinarians, and chiropractors. He had a background in X-rays and electrical engineering, including nine years in the Navy, where he earned a medal for improving electronic warfare systems.
His company grew, and he even developed his own business park in St. Charles County. Dale diversified his business by offering new and used medical equipment for medical offices, like exam tables and stethoscopes. He knew this would be a natural expansion of those services.
One challenge he faced was providing fast service to hospitals when their X-ray machines broke down because patients depended on them. Despite his company’s success, Dale was always looking for ways to improve and grow. He believed that passion, enthusiasm, and the fear of failure drove him to keep making positive changes in his business and serve his customers better.
Dale purchased 92 acres of forest, on which was built a private residence and a small warehouse. Dale purchased an alcohol distribution license, and started Hidden Lake Winery in mid-2004, making wine out of his warehouse. It was during this time that he also began building on the warehouse. The winery was added to it on June 1, 2005, and ever since it has been adding onto itself.
When the winery opened on June 1, 2005, it began with 82 acres of land, and the two-story cedar building along with the original lake was already on the property. Within a month, over 40 weddings were already booked at the sprouting business.
At this stage in Dale’s life, he stands as a true master of his craft, wielding the medium of raw clay with a virtuosity that stirs the depths of human emotion. Over the years, he has honed his skills and chiseled away at his own artistic limitations, transforming his sculptures into magnificent works of art that resonate deeply with all who encounter them. Dale’s journey as a sculptor has been one of relentless dedication, self-discovery, and an unwavering commitment to his creative vision.
With each piece he creates, Dale seems to breathe life into the clay, infusing it with an almost supernatural ability to elicit emotions and tell stories. His hands move with an intuitive grace, coaxing out the subtle contours and intricate details that give form to his imagination. Every sculpture becomes a testament to his mastery, a testament to the countless hours he’s spent in his studio, refining his techniques and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with this humble material.
The impact of Dale’s work extends far beyond the confines of his studio walls. His sculptures have the power to touch the hearts and souls of those who behold them, transcending language and culture to evoke universal emotions. People from all walks of life find solace, inspiration, and a profound connection to the human experience through his art. In Dale’s hands, raw clay transforms into a medium of profound expression, and his creations have the ability to move, inspire, and provoke thought in ways that words alone cannot. At this stage in his life, Dale has not only perfected the craft of sculpting raw clay; he has elevated it to an art form that has the capacity to leave an indelible mark on the world.