Dale was very instrumental in the Ohio Fast Draw Association being formed. Many shooters feel that there would not be the OFDA without the Searls. And both have held offices for many many years. Dale has served as Chairman numerous times, and Susie was Secretary/treasurer/editor back when we didn’t have computer to make our lives easier. They have always supported the OFDA, fast draw, and are always willing to help a new shooter to improve themselves, or work on a gun. There was a time when they normally took first place in the contests. Way back when, accuracy was more important then speeds. And Dale and Susie are accurate! And admired by most of the shooters today. I love to watch Dale shoot, because his draw is always the same, smooth as silk. Dale is a true blue thumber, but he can fan with the best of them.
When they first began to shoot, back in 1958, left-handed rigs were hard to come by. And so Dale and Susie had to share the same rig. Dale used to use an Ernie Hill rig, which Susie would then use. Finally, Tom Blasgen made her a rig of her own, and that is the rig she uses to this day. Dale sometimes uses a double rig Jim Hall made him. Let’s face it, Dale could use his pocket as a rig, and still be accurate and smooth. In 1973, Dale and Susie were the first “couple” to win the Top Gun Overall Champions and each of them has won many years since.
Practice has always been Saturday nights at the Searls. Banshees Fast Draw club has been around as long as them. At first the club was the Sandusky Banshees, which took its name from a World War II submarine group. Eventually, Sandusky was dropped, and Norwalk was added. Then the club became just the “Banshees”. For many years the Banshees would put on demonstrations all over, to help promote Fast Draw. They preformed at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Oh and many small festivals around the Norwalk area. They even appeared on the Mike Douglas Show, way back when it was taped in Cleveland.
Dale and Susie have three daughters, Dalene, Cindy, Dawna, who use to shoot, compete and win. Dale told me that when Dalene was just a small kid, she would run the timers for him. And he finally got her to shoot. Their rigs still hang upstairs above his garage, where we practice, and waiting for them to compete again, or be used by a new shooter who wants to learn from the best!
Dale and Susie have four grandchildren and five great-granddaughters and two great-grandsons. Dale is now retired, and his hobbies are guns, guns, and working on guns. He loves to watch the old westerns, while Susie works on quilting.
Dale would like to see the 1.500 penalties come back, because he feels it will give the slower more accurate shooters a better chance at winning. Plus he feels that a new shooter coming into our sport watches someone who can shoot in the .200’s, or .300’s, hears the times that they are shooting and becomes discouraged fast, then gives up. It’s harder to compete with the speeds of some of the shooters, even when they have misses. But they both enjoy themselves and all the friends they have made over the forty-some years.