A Tribute to Ambassador Edward A. Clark
D URING AT LEAST THE PAST DECADE, THE BIRTHDAY OF AMBASSADOR
Edward A. Clark was an occasion for his closest friends to gather
and, in addition to honoring and celebrating with the Ambassador, tell
their favorite Ed Clark stories. These were times, in the Ambassador's
own words, "to kill a chicken and churn," the zenith of East Texas hos-
pitality, when killing the chicken and churning the butter were prereq-
uisite to having "company" for dinner.
Before his death on September 16, Ambassador Clark celebrated
his eighty-sixth birthday on July 15, 1992. The opportunity to share
memories and continue to learn from his vast experience became more
treasured with each passing year. He cherished the friendships and
loved the stories, some of which he admitted as truth and some of
which he said he doubted! He once told me that the older he got, the
more he appreciated the gift of friends. After his eighty-second birth-
day he wrote the following letter to the group with whom he had
I am surprised and happy that I have lived as long as I have up to now. No
particular planning was involved.... I just seem to have been lucky or, rather,
at the right place in good time.
The score between friends and enemies is clearly won by my friends who
have been duly elected and certified with confirmation by me. Friends like you
who are all still here on the good earth with me, and I don't have the forward-
ing addresses for my enemies who have departed for places unknown to me.
With all good wishes and genuine East Texas affection, I remain your friend,
Ever the optimist, he wrote after his eighty-fifth birthday that it
hardly seemed that he had actually attained eighty-five years but that
he would be presumptuous enough to say he intended to try for
4Jon Newton is the formci law partner of Edward A Clark and the chairman of the Devel-
opmcnt Committee of the Texas State Historical Association
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed August 31, 2014.