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.