A TREE FOR JOHN CLARK

October 11, 2009 - The Lake City Reporter

By H. Morris Williams

Captain John Clark's USAF Phantom F4E fighter jet was shot down over Laos February 5, 1969. The Lake Citian was officially declared "Missing in action" in 1973.

There is a lone tree and marker dedicated to John in the middle of a large vacant lot located at the SW corner of SW Baya Avenue and SW Lakeview Avenue (formerly South 7th Street.)

The marker reads, "The Freedom Tree: With the vision of universal freedom for all mankind, this tree is dedicated to Captain John C. Clark II and all prisoners of war and missing in action, 1973."

Captain Clark's remains were recovered and identified in 1997, and on November 21, 1997, he was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

His gravestone reads "John Calvin Clark, Major, U.S. Air Force, Viet Nam, January 30, 1943--December 5, 1969".

A memorial military plaque in Olustee Park says "All gave some; some gave all." John Clark's tree reminds us that he gave all—at age 26.

DICKS REUNION TODAY

Lenvil Dicks reminds everyone that the 48th Annual Joseph Dicks Family Reunion will be held today at Hopeful Baptist Church in the Life Center at 12:30 pm. Friends and family are welcome. A new slide show and door prizes will be featured. Bring a covered dish.

This pioneer Columbia County family traces its roots at least as far back as an ancestor who fought with the Duke of Wellington at the famous Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

They were also pioneers in establishing Hopeful Baptist Church and more than 70% of those buried in the Hopeful Cemetery were related to the Dicks family.

SPORTS LUNCHEON

Ray Kirkland (386-752-3148) announces that the 6th annual CHS Sports Luncheon will be held on Thursday, October 15, at 11:30 a.m. at Tucker's Restaurant inside the historic Blanche Hotel building.

All sports-minded persons are invited. CHS Head Football Coach Craig Howard will be guest speaker. Coach Howard was Tim Tebow's football coach at Nease High School.

The cost of $10 includes tax and tip. This reunion will honor the late Harold Williams who started the event and a special tribute will be paid to him.

For more information, call Ray.

60TH REUNION

The CHS Class of 1949 is now planning its 60th reunion to be held Saturday, October 31, 11:30, at the Mason City Community Center. Call Harlan Markham at 386-752-2884 for details.

WELLBORN WEBSITE

The school at Wellborn has been closed for many years but lots of people have fond memories of their school days there.

Now there is a school website, www.wellbornwildcats.com, where you can share your memories of those school days. If you have photos or other memorabilia of those days, you can send them to the website or mail them to Lloyd Adams, 4144 82nd Terrace, Live Oak, Fl 32060, and he will get them on the website.

RUMPH SCHOLAR

Belated congratulations to Dustin Cason who was the FWHS 2009 recipient of the prestigious $20,000 Ann S. Rumph Memorial Scholarship. Following in the line of previous impressive FWHS Rumph scholars, Dustin was active in student government four years and served as Student Body president his senior year.

His 4.24 GPA qualified him to attend every Ann Rumph Memorial Banquet for four years. Dustin is an active member of Fort White Baptist Church and has been a volunteer with the Fort White Youth Baseball Association for seven years.

Dustin is attending the University of Florida and will study civil engineering.

PLAY ACTING

Three of our most distinguished local educators had roles in their high school plays that were the opposite of their later dignified persona when they became professional educators.

Sam Markham, long time principal at Five Points Elementary and then school superintendent, played the role of 'Willie, a mental case,' in the CHS play "Terror at Black Oaks."

Claude Fralick, the first principal at Summers Elementary, was 'Hezekiah, A Glorious Liar' in his Union County high school play, "An Arizona Cowboy."

And Pat Summerall, a former LCJHS teacher, played the role of 'Oogie', an awkward love-struck teenager, in the Thespian Club's play, "A Date with Judy."

PAYDAY SOMEDAY

The wages of sin is death. Be sure to quit before payday! square

H. Morris Williams is a local historian and long-time Columbia County resident.

www.hmorriswilliams.com