CLARENCE HUNTER ( September 19, 1929- April 3, 2017): A REMEMBERING
We shared a birthplace in common ---Washington, District of Columbia ---and a faith ---Roman Catholicism and habits of mind ----the life-sustaining quest for things and values that might actually be true, eternally beautiful, good and immune to the touch of evil. We shared respect for decency, for honesty and decorum , for the evidence of rigorous scholarship, and for integrity in our commerce with people. We cared very much for Tougaloo College and the students who influenced our decisions and actions. Above all, we (Clarence and I ) shared a rare and deeply satisfying friendship, secure in discovering where our meandering selves might greet one another. That happened most frequently at crossroads marked by time and talk. By secular measures, sharing ceased on April 3, 2017. In diverse dimensions of emotion and spirit, sharing continues without end. The traces will always be archived somewhere, traces of two men who strove not to waste their lives. Those men ---Clarence Hunter and Lolis Edward Elie --- were successful in leaving legacies of intelligence, joy, and hard-earned wisdom for which I have a single word: invaluable. At some time as yet undetermined, I shall write at greater length about wonderful transactions with Clarence Hunter. At this moment, I write in remembering him a variant of the poem "Ending" that is entitled "Beginning."
As they lay dying, my friends, implant
memory where grief would be a thorn;
a spirit toiled in longing just can't
occupy that sacred time; so torn
love lets dust come once to life
and soul become sage in the light. April 2, 2017
For valediction, my elder brother chose
memory when grief would be a thorn;
his flower blooms brighter than the sun;
the black badge of honor is born;
love bids dust come once to life;
infinity blesses his holy dream. April 10, 2017
Jerry W. Ward, Jr.