Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Friend or Family Feature...

Today's Feature is...

Clark Duncan.

Unfortunately this is a posthumous tribute.

Clark was Steven's favorite college professor. He died on Friday, July 11th. He was 74 years old.

You can read about him Here.

I love what our friend Chris says about him in the article,

"He was one of the most creative people I ever worked with. He was one of those guys who always came to work with his shoes covered in paint and a holey shirt splashed with paint, and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He could stare at a piece of blank plywood, and 20 minutes later you'd have an amazing design or backdrop painted on it."

Steven did not mention to me that Clark had died. I read it in one of our Yahoo mail accounts. I imagine he didn't tell me, not because it slipped his mind, but because he didn't want me to ask him about it, and have him feel sad all over again. You know when you are trying not to cry and someone hugs you, or asks you if you are all right? I imagine it is something like that. It seems to me that my husband is being treated to a summer of grief.

Steven loved Clark. Clark was his mentor, his friend, and eventually his peer.

That's a picture of Clark at our wedding.

Everybody loved Clark.

Clark was a theatre person. He lived and breathed theatre. He was great fun to be with. Being around Clark was like taking a theatre trip to New York City, only with better scenery, tastier food, and a higher altitude. Even though he was two thousand miles away from the Big Apple, he always knew what shows were running, who designed them, and if they were worth seeing.

The last time we saw Clark was in 2006. We went back to Santa Fe for a visit, and Clark took us out for a lovely Italian lunch. He regaled us with new stories. He told us all about his plans for his retirement. It was his last year of teaching. It was a lively lunch, filled with fun and laughter.

How will my adoption impact Clark?

Well obviously Clark will never meet our kids, but he will still be important to them.


Clark admired Steven's talent. He helped him to recognize his strengths, and to sharpen his eye for design. Clark was not afraid to brag about his students. He often told Steven how proud he was of him. Steven, who often feels like he has 'sold out' (his words, never mine), was constantly reassured by Clark that it was actually okay to earn a good living with a theatre degree. It wasn't necessary, in Clark's opinion, to live in NYC, design only for the theatre, and exist solely on Ramen noodles in order to consider yourself an artist. I think this was important for Steven to realize.

Maybe I am inflating the amount of sadness my husband is feeling about this loss. I don't know since we aren't together right now. Hopefully Steven is focusing on the rich, full, colorful life Clark led while he was here. I sure hope so.

A. Clark Duncan you will be missed.

Cyber hug to you my husband. I am sorry for your loss.

The 'C' word...Clark.

Did I mention that I hate cancer?


  1. I really, really dig all your tributes because you're such an amazing writer. Plus, obviously you're blessed with a wealth of interesting friends and family which is lovely. :)

    I hate cancer too.


  2. P.S. to you: That song is totally our anthem! :)


  3. Tears from reading your post. I am so sorry that Steven is grieving on the loss of Clark and you're not together to give him a huge hug. Sending you both hugs today.


  4. Sorry for commenting so many times, but I was reading that article about your friend Clark and it's coincidental that he retired to Wayne, PA. That's the same exact town where I used to live. Really sad today to hear of two good people in the world lost.


  5. I hate cancer too! So sorry for your loss.

  6. Based on our tribute...I really wish I had met Clark...he sounds like a fantastic Professor and even better friend.

    I hate cancer too!


  7. Poor Steven. It's reminding me of the game battleship where there are "hits" in the grid spots all around his boat. Is that stupid and/or insensitive? I don't mean it to be, of course. Its just crazy. I'm sorry for his, and your, loss.