Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 10, 2009

It's been a quick 10 days of the year so far. I put in a bit of time at work. I finally got the title to my car, but now I need a starter. There is supposed to be a snowstorm in NYC this afternoon. And I got the first serious genealogy inquiries into the Essex County Clarke families since 2006 this week.

It seems I am not the only Clarke who has had a newspaper column. I knew my great-great grandfather Edgar A. Clarke's cousin Almon Taylor Clarke wrote a "Meditations" column for the Palm Beach Post in the early part of the 20th Century. But it turns out that Almon's son (also named Almon Taylor Clarke, but better know to the upstate NY literary community by his pen name of Rufus) was a major columnist. He was well known for the "Old Timer's Column" that was syndicated in several upstate Newspapers, including the Tupper Lake Free Press. But despite what it says in several upstate New York obituaries, these Clarkes did not have an ancestor who signed the Declaration of Independence. Their ancestor (and mine) who lived around that time was Abraham Clarke (1736-1817), who spent his first 50+ years in Middlesex County, MA (and served in the Continental Army around 1782). After his wife's death, Abraham started what would be the first of 218 years of Clarke migration- to Sullivan County, NH, Springfield, VT, and to Essex County, NY. His grandson James Madison Clarke's bible is what definitively connected Almon Taylor Clarke to my ancestors, most of whom were not prominent, certainly not prominent enough to go to Philadelphia in 1776.

As far as I know, while I have sent submissions to the (recently deceased) New York Sun and to a few websites, the only newspaper which has printed any of my writings regularly was the Brooklyn College Excelsior, and I stopped sending stuff to them over 9 years ago.

Also, my friend from Japan-by-way-of-Owensboro, KY, Steve Peak, is in the United States right now. I doubt he will get to New York before his wife's and daughter's travel visas expire. But New York had to deal with Al Qaida in 2001, I don't think it is ready for Al-Boaida now.