Dale Carnahan: Boy who never stopped smiling
As a teacher, I have known hundreds of students. After seven years, the faces blur together like some kind of amateur Monet; but when asked to recall one Dale Carnahan of Poolesville, a set of white teeth, joyful eyes, and buzz-cut brown hair all come to mind with perfect clarity.
Dale could always find a reason to smile, and more importantly, to make other people smile. A happy-go-lucky kid, he was one of those students who, when caught just a little less than fully prepared, would look up unleash those big brown eyes, flash a classic half a grin, and say, "Ah, come on Mrs. Burns, can't I get that homework to you by lunch tomorrow?" Who could turn down such a face?
Dale's good heart radiated so that over the year I knew him, I saw time and again that this was just a good, solid kid who intrinsically owned a gentleness that made the world a better place. Two years later, that smile survives in my memory for one reason, and that is that sometimes there are those whose angelic kindness creeps out far earlier than it should. Dale subtly brightened the world around him, and I am lucky to have witnessed his light.
Michelle Burns, Germantown
Editor's note: Dale Carnahan, 18, died March 1 of injuries received when the car he was in struck a utility pole. He was a 2008 graduate of Poolesville High School.