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Monday, April 10, 2017

Clarence Hunter: A Remembering

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.

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