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Sunday, October 13, 2013

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Clark-DeLeon-on-10-12-13--Olde-City








Yesterday, I went down to Independence Hall vaguely hoping to run into another friend of mine, but then I saw Clark DeLeon. Before I met Clark at Dirty Frank's maybe 25 years ago, I had read him. It was something nearly everyone in Philly did. For 23 years, Clark wrote for the Inquirer, and for 16 of those years, he penned six columns a week, but in 1995, he had to quit. As Clark explains in this piece, he could no longer stand the corporate pressure bearing down on him. Clark then found work as a tour guide, usually around Independence Hall, though sometimes he'd also show people Kensington, the movie home of Rocky Balboa. Kensington is nowhere near the Italian Market, by the way, so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have Rocky run through the Italian Market, my neighborhood. When they were making Rocky V, I saw Tommy Morrison running down 9th Street, chased by a gaggle of screaming teenaged girls.

With the shutdown, there were fewer tourists, so Clark treated me to a personal tour and told me some lesser known facts about George Washington. Washington brought his slaves up from Virginia, and to bypass Pennsylvania's law that mandated slaves be given their freedom after six months of living in the state, Washington would send them back to Virginia just before the deadline. Two of his slaves managed to escape while up here, however.

Last year, the Inky rehired Clark to write an article twice a month.



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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

In that first piece you linked to: http://archives.citypaper.net/articles/083195/article023.shtml , Clark talks about his last article at the Inquirer, about a doctor in west philly involved in the politics of medicine.

Do you know which doctor he is talking about and/or if there's a way to get to that last article by him?

Linh Dinh said...

Hi,

I just emailed Clark to ask him about it, but he's probably sitting at Dirty Frank's, and won't leave for several hours. If I hear anything from him, I'll let you know!


Linh

Anonymous said...

Clark happily and freely once gave advice, which I freely and happily considered never taking.
“My advice to single males on the prowl is to forget about walking a puppy to meet girls; just dress like Ben Franklin and hang out near Independence Hall”.


http://articles.philly.com/2012-08-27/news/33403547_1_hat-costume-gutters


p.s. the article about his brother was sublime. thanks.

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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.