Clark was born at St. Anthony Hospital on West
Thirteenth Street on Washington's Birthday, 1930. Another boy was born there that same
day. The sisters wanted at least one of them to be named George, but neither was.
"Granny" (*Edna Burdue) said Clark was the most
"battered" baby she had ever seen!! He probably should have been born by
Cesarean section. If he had been, we feel sure his vision would have been better as the
poor vision was largely caused by hemorrhages in the eyes at birth. (*other causes too.)
The sediment coated the retina. His Grandfather Roy had one eye smaller than the
other and he kept it shut as it bothered his vision. (* we believe that his grand father,
Thomas Alonzo also had one bad eye) The first time I say Clark, I noticed that
Clark also had that problem. Later, an eye doctor told Opal that looking into his eyes, he
didn't understand how he could see at all! (*Still told this today 1996) He could see
fairly well with the good eye. All his life he had a "perpetual wink" as he
tented to close the bad one. (*Left)
When Grandpa Roy fist saw Clark, he asked about his name. He looked hurt,
but after thinking about it, he said, "Why, it is C. L. Carley!" Clark
was never afraid of people, except for Grandpa Roy and Grandpa was hurt badly. It was
probably because Grandpa's bass voice just boomed.
Clark began going to eye doctors at four months. That doctor said not to worry;
he would out-grow the problem! Clark always had bruises. He has a snap shot taken at 209
W. Broadway (*now 5th St.) when he was running after the camera his mother was
using. We thought he was just fat and clumsy. In those snapshots, bruises are very
Clark says he is smarter than most as he went to Fort Hays Stated college
before he went to grade school. Indeed, that is true. Because his birthday was so late in
the school year, he started early. Mrs. Golden, the college teacher for those training to
teach kindergarten, gave his a IQ test, which he passed and was accepted into Kindergarten
at Picken School, which was a workshop for those in teacher's training. Mrs. golden was
his teacher. It was an excellent school. Evelyn and Kenneth went there also until the
college needed the room and arranged for student teacher to get their experience in the
city school. Had we known what Clark's vision problems were then, he would not have
stared early. Also, he was smaller than his classmates!
During the first year, Clark went to Picken School (Photo), we had our worst dust storms. We lived at 223 W.
12th, so he had quite a ways to go. He wore a wet mask when outside. Teachers would not
let them leave the building until a parent appeared to take a group home.
Twelfth Street was the highway then and was very busy. Mary May Paul, Picken's 6th
grade teacher, and her elderly mother lived across the street from us and Mrs. Paul paid
no attention to traffic when she needed to cross the street. Her daughter told her she was
going to hire Clark to look after her so she wouldn't get run over!
At home, a wet sheet was over Ken's crib. The dining room was in the center of the
house with double windows on the east which were stuffed with wet rags to stop some of the
dust. To make a play space, the linoleum there was dust mopped and furniture pushed back
so the children could play there usually with their masks on. They didn't seem to mind.
During dust storms, the table needed two tablecloths one under and one over the dishes and
food. To eat, one reached under the top cloth and grabbed. Breathing the dust was
dangerous. Many people had dust pneumonia. Opal had dust infection in her throat. It felt
much like having a bad case of the flu plus a sore throat.
The first dust storm came on an evening when Lee was to drive Dave Markel and part of
his little band to Russell to play for a dance. Miss Lula Morton, a former neighbor girl,
stayed with the young ones so Opal could go too. When they got to a cafe on the east edge
of town, they stopped while deciding what to do. Inside the building, there was so much
dust that it could be seen around the lights. Those coming in from the east advised Lee
not to go past the last street light so we started home. The driver could only see from
one street light to the next and he and Dave hung out the windows trying to see the curbs
or other cars. There was a crash! The car had hit a large box. When they got home, Lula
was very pleased! She was frightened.
Before we could see signs of a dust storm, there was always a feeling of doom hanging
over everyone. It was said to be because of a change in barometric pressure that proceeded
the storms. That was a signal to shut the house up and get the clothes off the line and
check where the children were. Then a huge black cloud would move in from the northwest or
a red one if from Oklahoma. After those from the south were gone, there was a layer of red
soil on top of the black soil. Anyone interested in those storms should read "The
Grapes of Wrath" by Steinback. His story was very true. None who has not experienced
one of those storms, can know what they were like. It wasn't just dusty!
When Clark was a chubby little boy of about seven months, he woke up from his
nap and called "Mother deer". Opal thought he surely had not said that so she
listened and everything after that he said the same thing! "Gra" Carley said Clark
and Lee could talk when they were born! Just to take the wind out of their sails, early
speaking is said not to have anything to do with I. Q.. Opal was never sure that statement
was not true.
Clarkie liked Mother Goose. One summer evening, ready for bed, he followed his
mother into the kitchen at 209 W. Broadway and stood in the open door watching a big moon.
He said, "I see the moon-----And the moon sees me----in my 'jamas."
Clark was thin when he was born so he was fed Eagle Brand Milk, and so at 9
months he was overweight. At 7 months, he had "solid" foods to correct a
digestive problem. His favorite foods were spinach and grapefruit. Stores did not have
cute clothes for little boys so his mother dressed him in pretty girl clothes for several
months and after that she and Granny made cute boy clothes. He has a little album of
pictures in his early years. He keeps it in his safety deposit box.
About 3 months after Aunt Nola's children had recovered from Scarlet Fever, she and the
children visited the Carleys at 209 Broadway. A short time later, Evelyn turned raspberry
red. When Dr. Meade came to see her, he said as he came into the room, "Where did she
get that?" He had heard of none anywhere around. In those days, people with childhood
diseases were quarantined for 3 or 4 weeks. So that Lee and Charles Tracy, who lived with
us and helped with the paper delivery, were moved to Aunt May's basement. The doctor sent
a medicine for Opal to spray her throat and Clark's every hour! Clark loved that
and neither of them got Scarlet Fever. Ken was expected soon, and people with those
diseases could not get into a hospital, but Dr. Meade said, "If need be, I'll have
you in St. Anthony's before they know about the Scarlet Fever." Lee and Charles came
everyday. They could look at us through a window and leave things we needed on the porch.
Soiled clothes were put in a tub of water and Lysol, and a good neighbor washed them on
the washboard. Before anyone could go in or out, everything had to be boiled and the house
fumigated. A sign on the house announced that no one could enter. Dr. Meade kept in touch.
Most counties had "pest houses" for adults with diseases that were likely to be
given to others contacted.
Because of his poor vision and small size, Clark repeated the second grade at
Picken. When he was ready for first grade, he was taken to Dr. Hennerich. He was cross
with Clark, but when he looked into his eyes, his face softened considerably. After
a bit he said, "I don't see how he can see at all. Sediment from blood appears to
block out the retina." He proved to be correct. He gave Clark potassium iodine to be
given orally by drops in a very complicated pattern. It is an old Chinese remedy which
does work in many cases, but it didn't work for Clark. He also had his best eye covered by
a patch so he would have to use the poorer one. That didn't work either as he just sat in
a corner and did nothing, until it was removed. He couldn't see well enough to play!!
Clark could never play and kind of ball game as when the ball came at him, he
would lose it as it flew through the air. Quite often it hit him!
When Clark was ready for 3rd grade, we had moved to 406 W. 4th and he attended
Washington School. That was 1937. Neighbors with 5 little girls moved out of town and gave
the Carley kids their playhouse which Lee put on skids and moved to the new place against
the west end of Tickles garage. It served the neighborhood until it fell down. At that
time, there were 13 boys in the four houses in the center of the block on 4th Street.
There were about 35 children in the block counting the "college kids" whose
homes were in the block. Now there are 2 small children and 2 in high school. (1982) When
Evelyn was in 4th grade and Clark in the 5th, all those grades in city schools in
Hays had a Christmas pageant in Sheridan Coliseum. All wore white choir robes and carried
candles. All 4th graders on the north. Evelyn led the 4th grade and Clark led the
5th. Their mother was very pleased, of course. As there was a large space between them,
they didn't get in a fight.
When Clark read, he scooted down in his seat with the edge of the front cover of
his book against his left eye. In high school, he was nagged by teachers and the nurse,
about his posture while reading. At fourteen, he wanted to see another doctor and try once
more to get help with his eyes. He went to Dr. Wenzle. She told him the same a s Dr.
Hennerich has said. She said he should try to finish high school if possible and not
continue after that in school. She told him not to worry about the nurse tormenting his.
She said, "I'll take care of that." He heard no more about his posture.
Art Johnson, who had been blind from birth tuned the piano and suggested Clark
go to Kansas City School for the Blind. He said there were some there that could see
better than Clark. Lee did not agree and so he did not go there. He did go to Fort Hays
State College one year because it was expected of him.
When Clark was 15, JoNelle was expected. The nurse thought it unusual that he
worried about his mother and had asked the nurse if his mother should drink Coca-Cola. If
it had been later, it could have been he would not have wanted anyone to drink Coke.
When he was 14, he a 3 year old Curtis had their tonsils removed. His mother had tried
to get them taken out earlier and was told he'd outgrow them. Of course, he didn't. Curtis
could not swallow meat because of his large tonsils. When they were taken to Dr. Murray
Eddy, he said, "Why haven't Clarks been removed when the other "kids
were?" Opal said, "Because you told us he didn't need it done."
When the Carleys lived at 223 W. 12th, the Safeway store was in the first block of West
11th. When their mother needed something from the store, she gave Clark and Evelyn
a note and the money. They liked to go there. Carl Erlick, the manager, always took care
of them himself and supplied a small treat. One day he said to their mother that he
enjoyed them, but could not help wondering how they were always kept so clean! That made
up for a lot of hard work.
For some strange reason, Clark was on top of the house on day! He did not see
the electric wire just above the roof and fell over it, landing in lots of dry dust, his
head striking a sidewalk. His mother ran out to see what happened. He was out cold and
very dirty so she put Clark in the bathtub. When he woke up he did, "How did I
get in here?"
One morning, Lee went to get his K.C. Stars and came right home. At the depot, he found
a crate with a little fluffy white creature with black button eyes. It was Scraps, a gift
from Granny and Grandpa Burdue who raised Eskimo Spits for a pet shop in St. Louis. His
mother had been left at their farm a year or so before. The family enjoyed him for 13
years. He died laying on the floor in the basement at 406 W. 4th. He was by Clark,
who was napping on the lower bunk bed. When Clark woke up and saw him, he ran upstairs to
find his mother. It was with difficulty that she was able to get the boys to help get him
upstairs and bury him in the back yard about where the trash can is now.
While the Carleys lived on W. 12th, a friend, Glen Ruff, was here in summer school. He
put his 3.2 beer in their refrigerator. Clark thought it was pop and nagged his
mother until she gave him a taste. He never wanted anymore thereafter!
It was there that we had a Mongoloid boy for a neighbor. He was older than Clark,
but when Opal wanted Tommy Tubbs to do something she told Clark and he'd get a hold of
Tommy's hand and show him what to do. He'd do anything Clark told him to. One day
his mother thought Opal had sent him home and she did not let him visit for a long time
after that. That was probably the only neighbor that had not sent him home. Tommy died at
18 after they moved away. His health was very poor. His mother was one of the elite
As a child, Clark had to work hard helping prepare the newspapers for delivery.
The Sunday K.C. Stars were fixed in the baggage room at the depot on 10th Street. The
whole family worked on that as well as various boys. "Windy" Windholtz was one
of them. All the boys at sometime was a carrier and collector in Hays. They received a
percent of their collections. There was a definite advantage as all became very good at
In Hays High, Clark was in music groups and worked as props man and such things
as thunder and lightning or the sounds of a trotting horse accompanying dramatic events.
Somewhere in the grades, Clark took piano lessons at 25c each from Mrs. Elmer
Schlegel. He wouldn't practice, so his mother gave up on him. His teacher and others liked
to hear him play. As usual, vision was a problem as he had to get close to his music and
peer. His teacher said he played with "authority". After he grew up, he was
sorry he didn't continue lessons and practice.
Sometime over the years, he worked on the night shift at the White Palace Cafe across
9th Street from the old mill. They had to clean up the place and prepare things for
Later, he drove a taxi for Otto Chew, father of J.R. Chew. He was interested in roller
skating and good at it. One evening, he stopped at the skating rink to wait for a client.
A Jacobs girl slapped him. He slapped her right back. She told him what all her
father would do about it, but nothing else happened.
Another evening, he asked a policeman to ride with him to observe his driving. When the
officer got out he said, "I have just one question. Why did you want me to ride with
you?" He didn't find out. And Clark continued to drive. He has not had any
serious problems about driving even though his vision was always poor.
Clark's first soft drink job was with 7-up on what is called Vine now. The plant
then was almost out in the country. In 1982, it is well inside Hays. One Sunday, he picked
up another employee of 7-up to go to the plant for something. He called his mother and
said they were stuck in a snow drift and would she come and push them out? She took the
'46 Chevrolet Carryall and had them out in a hurry. It was blizzarding and Clark
lost his new hat to the wind!
When he was a Senior at Hays High, he became ill at home and rushed to the doctor who
decided it was an appendix problem, but not acute. A date for surgery was set. When the
day came, he had a bad cold, but the family supposed they would treat him and delay
surgery. Instead, they did the operation and he developed pneumonia. After a long stay at
St. Anthony, he came home in a pneumonia jacket! During his November stay at the hospital,
his doctor told him he could go to a Hays High football game if he was well wrapped up in
the very good weather, if he came straight back to the hospital.
Beginning with kindergarten, he always had a girl! A neighbor remarked in Hays High
days that he looked especially nice while dancing. He still loves to dance.
When an addition was built to the co-op elevator, Clark worked there with
cement. He was allergic to the cement and had to quit for awhile so that he could soak his
legs Ultra Violet often. The scarlet rash covered his feet and up to the top of his high
boots he had to wear.
He married Frieda Rose Gnad of Ellis in 1952. As there was no bridal shop here, his
mother took Frieda to Russell for her ballerina length lace dress. It was a size 5 and had
to be taken in at the waist. Clark's mother made her blue and white veil. The
wedding was at St. Joseph's Church. The Lamar Hotel (where First National Bank is now)
gave the reception as Frieda was employed there. Their first home was a little house
trailer at Rainbow Court. Clark had a large Boxer dog. Frieda didn't like it. When Clark
was at work, she had to take care of it and it took her on the run wherever it chose to
At a later date, Clark was in Hadley Hospital with an allergy which was very
severe. He was given lots of drugs to keep him comfortable. At Hadley Hospital, Frieda
worked there in the laundry to hoped with the expenses. Doctors sent him to a group of
dermatologists in Wichita. His mother and Friends picked him up at 2 a.m. to take him to
see those doctors. He was given a shot so he would sleep until we arrived there. He woke
up at Newton and when we got to the big city, he insisted on driving! We went all kinds of
places; even wrong way on one way streets, but none caught us! Because he had had too many
strong drugs, a "nerve" doctor was also required. He went to St. Francis
Hospital where he stayed several weeks. He had good care by his five doctors. At that
time, Evelyn and Bob lived in Wichita where Bob was in the Air Force, so we had a place to
stay when we went to see him.
After that, they moved to Salina where he continued in the soft drink business. While
living there, Clark was temporarily in another state. A teenage boy was driving for
him and they were taking a load of pop to a client at a small town. A truck driving in
front of them lost a water tank which the driver could not avoid. When their truck hit the
tank, Clark was thrown out with the bottles on top of the truck falling on him. The
boy ran to a house nearby to get towels to sop up the blood. Clark thought he was
blind and was much relieved to see a bit of blue sky when he wiped the blood from his
right eye. He was taken to a doctor and then his company took over and drove him to Iowa
State Hospital's eye section, one of the best eye hospitals in the nation. There, they
constructed a new lower lid complete with lashes, so his eye was sewed closed for three
months. He visited Frieda during that time. He could eat by himself as she put his food on
a white plate and telling what was at 3 o'clock, etc.. His coffee was in a white mug.
During that time, the left eye improved some. While he was in Iowa to have the surgery
completed, Frieda had to have gallbladder surgery, so he phoned home to ask his mother to
take care of her because of a bad experience as a child, and she was frightened.
Sometime after that, they adopted Warren Lee and were surprised to learn there had been
a Warren Carley before their son. He was adopted through a doctor in Kansas City.
The family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where Frieda and Warren still reside. His
mother did not think she could care for another child.
Clark moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky where, now in 1982, he resides with his
lovely wife Hazel Hanna Carley. Hazel's son, Richard, and Warren, visited Clark's parents
for Mother's Day when they were in Bowling Green. Clark and Hazel have a lovely home and
an rental house. There are plants everywhere, even hanging in the trees! Clark's
caps say, "Me and My R.C.".
When Clark was a child, Mr. Andy Cull, the district man for the Topeka Capital,
told us Clark would be a good salesman. Over the years, he has had awards for pop
salesmanship. Several years ago, he and Frieda attended a national meeting in New Orleans,
where he received an award.
From Salina, the C. L. Carleys went to Louisville, Kentucky, where they purchased a
nice home. After he and Frieda divorced, Clark lived in an apartment in Bowling
Green, Kentucky. His parents visited him there. They do not think Kentucky is a southern
state. Thick ice was everywhere!
Ruth Carley had six nearly grown children. Clark bought a house on a one block
street. When his family visited him, (they were driving), they got lost in the dark and
asked a policeman to help them. He didn't know the address, but secured it at the station
Later, Clark and Mazine, with her two teenage girls, lived in her house and
rented the other one. Over the years, Clark collected lots of step-children.
At present, he is married to Hazel Hanna Carley, who has a son Richard, who pleases Clark's
parent by considering them as his Grandparents. Hazel had been a widow several years. She
and Clark met in church and are very active there. Hazel works at Holly Carburetor
Company, where she has been employed for more than twenty-five years. Recently, Clark's
sister and family visited in their home and remarked that they found Hazel to be a
"super lady'. During the last few years, Clark has suffered a stroke from
which he has recovered and then at age 52, he had a heart attack from which he seems to be
recovering and is anxious for his doctors in Bowling Green and in Nashville to tell him he
can go back to the pop business.
At this time, January 1984, Clark is recovering from a second heart attack. He
is anxious to be told he can drive. He very sweetly said, "Have you ever ridden with
Hazel?" It seems she hasn't done too badly so far.
His adopted son Warren was married to Teresa last August. His relatives think that is
the best thing that has happened to Warren Lee.
Step-son Richard Hanna is living in Bowling Green so they are able to see him often. He
is doing well and working at night.
Curtis was recently in Kentucky and Tennessee promoting the Red Wolf being returned to
the wild in the land between the Lakes. Clark was very interested in the project.
At this time Clark's lawyers proceeding with plans for Clark to retire for
health reasons. He will be 54 on Washington's birthday. Did retire second heart attract,
Sept. of 1983. Received workers comp. for the problem, call stress. In 1985 Hazel had to
make a decision, me or her drug problem son, Richard. He won. Told me to get. I did.
Attorney, Marriage Consular, Doctor and my Minister advised best to do or it would end up