John Donne wrote: “any man’s death diminishes me…”
So many of the deaths I find particularly difficult to reconcile are those that connect me with Sparky. I want to tell everyone how much the departed one meant to both of us, to our circle of friends, what the connections were, how much fun we had when we were together, and how this person fit into our lives.
The photo above is of Sparky and friend Clayton Anderson, who became my good friend, too, after we married.
Clayton is the stained glass artist who designed and installed the stained glass panels in the Redwood Empire Ice Arena in 1969.
This series of action shots of Snoopy playing hockey divide the Warm Puppy coffee shop and the entrance lobby of the Ice Arena.
This single panel, also in the cafe, but on the other side of the entrance/exit doors, shows the reflection of what was the ice cream parlor, with its chalet look and Dutch Doors.
Clayton and Sparky had a friendship dating back to 1967, and Clayton designed and sold some faux stained glass panels for a short time. At the time of our marriage, Clayton was working in Washington, DC, for the Department of the Interior and was in charge of the Johnny Horizon Environmental program.
Here’s some history of the program from our collection finding aid:
In 1968 the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) initiated the Johnny Horizon program to promote public awareness of BLM administered land. The Johnny Horizon character was dressed as a rugged outdoorsman who valued nature preservation. The Johnny Horizon campaign, through Clayton Anderson, an employee of the BLM, worked with Charles M. Schulz in 1970 to create promotional material with Peanuts characters describing how one could help cleaning up the environment. The program would also see the participation of singers Johnny Cash, Burl Ives, and Glenn Campbell promoting Johnny Horizon’s message. The program was endorsed by President Gerald Ford with Proclamation 4315 “Johnny Horizon ’76 Clean Up America Month” in 1974.
When Sparky decided to build an ice cream parlor in the Arena, he asked Clayton to design windows for that room. I believe it was the dedication of the ice cream parlor windows that occasioned the above photo of Clayton admiring the windows and Sparky enjoying an ice cream cone. Sparky undoubtedly chose vanilla, the only flavor he really liked.
Following his career in at the Department of the Interior, Clayton moved to Salem, Oregon, where he worked for Governor Straub, again pursuing his environmental interests.
Clayton spent some winters in Carmel, where we got together during the Crosby Golf Tournament (later the AT&T). We soon met his love, Linda, and shared in the joy of their marriage. In Carmel, Linda and Clayton were active in every aspect of the community.
There was always lots of laughter when Clayton was around. Sparky loved his jokes and would insist that Clayton retell his famous hog joke over and over for every new person to join our group.
Speaking of the Pebble Beach Golf Tournament, I am working on another blog about Marge and Bob Albo, and the entertainment they both brought to our circle. All lovely people whose memories I cherish.
The Clayton Anderson collection is one of the Museum’s first collections. You can learn more about it here.