When you first walk through the massive front door of Bruce and Candy Dale, 1600 Park Place Court, you are liable to find your attention grabbed by the enormous living room, with its 12-foot ceiling.
Try not to be taken in just yet by the upside-down Christmas tree.
If you move beyond that, and into the open kitchen area, you’ll find on the north wall a rather unusual object.
Framed, under large gold “B and C,” is a sheet of note paper. It is filled with text. It’s Candy’s grandmother’s handwritten recipe for Hungarian goulash. Flanking the paper are two sterling butter knives and forks. They reportedly originally belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury; Bruce is not certain how they got into the hands of the friend who passed them on to him.
But back to the Christmas tree. Upside down?
Bruce is fond of telling people he simply isn’t very good at following assembly instructions. But he really is telling you the truth when he says he is rather fond of Christmas trees. The tally after a quick walkthrough was 33 trees. But it’s a big house. One could easily overlook a half dozen trees inside it.
While the house is overtly modern, many of the decorative elements are not. There’s the archbishop’s silverware, of course. But there’s also a nativity scene on Bruce’s desk downstairs. It belonged to his mother. The pieces appear to be hand carved from wood. On the bottom is stamped, “Italy.” One shepherd has a price label: 15 cents.
The Dales are the only family to have owned and lived in the house. They had it built in 2005, when Bruce was CEO of Alco Stores. Since retiring, they have chosen to remain in Abilene, where both Bruce and Candy have been active in community projects.