I was born in 1952 in Pontiac, Michigan. I am the eldest of eight children born to Lee and Julie Dalton. I don't remember much of Michigan, as we moved to California when I was a toddler. We settled in the Santa Clara Valley (now widely known as the Silicon Valley). My father Lee was a truly talented artist, and I grew up around canvases, paint and brushes. Throughout my school years and into college, art was always my favorite subject. I didn't do much painting until college, but as a youngster and as a teenager I would draw incessantly.
At age thirteen I started surfing around Santa Cruz, and that developed into my main passion in life during my teenage years. When it came time to choose a college after high school, I chose The Church College of Hawaii in Laie on Oahu, near the famous north shore. During my freshman year there, I'm afraid that my love of surfing somewhat overshadowed my diligence at academics. So, for my next year of college, I transferred to BYU in Utah, where I wouldn't be tempted away from my studies by the lure of the waves.