I was born when my family was living in Lancaster, California. I had an older brother, Steven, and sister, Joanne. 6 years after my birth by young sister, Ellen was born. We all still lived in Lancaster when she was born. I was in going into the 3rd grade when we moved to the San Fernando Valley in southern California. That was it four kids. The boys shared one room and the girls another in a 3 bedroom house I lived in Van Nuys for almost 15 years until I got married and moved out.
We were a close, generally healthy and happy family that had regular “culturally” activities (theater, air shows, tennis lessons, rodeos, etc.) and annual vacations that sometimes included reunions with extended family. Dad ran his insurance agency. Mom was his secretary, bookkeeper, and wife. So our family had an authoritative workaholic father and an artistic put-her-children-first mother.
I was married to Catherine for almost 18 years which brought us 5 children. The 5th one died shortly after birth which experience may have emphasized that we were not growing closer together as a couple. Our family had lots of fun activities and started home schooling shortly after our fourth child started kindergarten. We became the “Clarke Family Entertainers” performing funny little circus acts for elementary schools, birthday parties, store grand opening, pier 39 in San Francisco, hospital patients, and even a wedding reception. Clown school, practices and performances did strengthen the family and individuality. I was “Go-Go the Clown”. Catherine was a clown called “Katundra” The line up was:
- John (born 1977) “Johnny Whoops”
- Joseph (born 1979) “Jo-Jo”
- Lisa (born 1981) “Lisa-Lisa”
- Thomas (born 1984) “To-To”
- Jason (deceased)
I have been married to Janet now for over twenty years. She had four kids under 9 when we married who all lived with us. My children from Catherine lived with her though there was times we all got together for special events and vacations.
- Christopher (born 1986)
- Cameron (born 1988)
- Collins (born 1989)
- Morgan (born 1992)
- Hunter (born 1995)
- Marina (born 1997)
- Justin (born 1999)
- Levi (born 2002)
- Kyra (born 2005)
All of yours, mine, and our children are on their own except for the last 4 of ours.
The “About My Family” portion of this blog will be about my family, my children, grand children, and our activities.