When I’m there I never think about Mr. Sam O. Dale, an eight term state representative for whom this site was named. Actually, I’ve never heard anyone call this 194 acre lake anything other than Johnsonville Lake, that being the nearest town. I’m not sure if this is because in southern Illinois there seems to be a common disdain for politicians or if it’s just that Johnsonville Lake seems like a more fitting moniker. All I know is this Sam Dale guy never crosses my mind. Usually I’m trying to stay focused on the subject at hand, be that catfishing, building a campfire, or trying to land a nice rainbow at the trout pond. Regardless, when my mind does wander, and it often does, especially while I’m waiting for a fish to bite, I often find myself thinking about my grandpa Dutch Hale who drove down from Clay County to fish here.
June 19, 2013 Dispatches