Super Senior: Jay Clark
WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) - At his home in Winooski, Jay Clark pens notes that come from the heart.
“You want to get down, what’s here,” Clark explained. He knows first-hand the power of a written letter. “Short and sweet, don’t spend a lot of time.”
On this day the 85-year-old is writing to First Lady Jill Biden for an autograph. He spends hours at his cluttered desk just off the kitchen writing to famous people collecting autographs. It’s a passion. “Probably during the day, if there’s nothing going on -- like today -- I might come in and write 15 to 20 letters,” Clark said.
It all started when his son, Chris, came home with an autograph of a professional hockey player. Soon Clark signed on and it didn’t take him long to get hooked. “I sent out about 10 letters and they started pouring in,” he said. That was 50 years ago. His son has put down his pen, but Clark keeps on writing to sports figures, musicians, and celebrities.
Reporter Joe Carroll: What do you think about your dad still doing this?
Chris Clark: I can’t believe he’s still doing it. But this is his life and I know, I know what he likes.
Tens of thousands of autographs including Phil Mickelson, Johnny Carson, and Brittney Spears, scattered about in the small room.
Reporter Joe Carroll: I have to say it’s not terribly organized here though.
Jay Clark: Ah, no... All those in a cabinet over there.
“And what he does is puts it inside with all the stamps on it and they send back the pictures autographed,” Chris said. “He just doesn’t stop.”
His cache of autographs has also made him some cash. “We needed a roof bad on the house and it paid for the whole works,” Clark said.
He knows it’s a fine line between asking for a celebrity autograph and then selling it.
Reporter Joe Carroll: But you’re not doing this for money are you?
Jay Clark: Not now, no. She will someday when I’m gone.
“She” is Clark’s wife of 65 years, Bev. “He likes it. Anything he likes, he gets,” Bev said.
The mailbox is kind of his treasure chest.
Reporter Joe Carroll: And what’s that feeling when you open up the envelope?
Jay Clark: Oh, I can’t explain it. It’s great.
Reporter Joe Carroll: I thought I saw the mailman, but it wasn’t huh?
Jay Clark: You didn’t!
With no mail on this day, Clark must do without. “It’s depressing,” he admitted.
Celebrities are nice but family’s first. “He’s my best friend,” Chris said.
So what is it about an autograph? For Jay Clark, it’s an adventure.
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