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Two score and two years ago

Clark Booth Courtesy photo

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About two months ago your scribe received a note attached to his regular weekly column from Clark Booth. The note explained that Clark felt that age was creeping up on him and he felt that he could no longer write a weekly column.

After a bit of back and forth we decided that it might be best to keep the door ajar on his column rather than closing it completely. Last week's column, his annual farewell to those sports luminaries who died during the previous year, was his last regular weekly column.

He has agreed that there might be issues or situations about which he could not resist writing; be sure if there is anything regarding hockey that'll be addressed; I suggested that he might want to keep his door ajar in early September when his alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross, comes east on the Mass Pike to Chestnut Hill to resume a gridiron classic with Boston College. That certainly piqued his interest.

For almost half of Clark's weekly column, I have served as the "proofreader" for the column. As readers will know he was always on target with his observations; often spot on in his predictions; and shamelessly showed favoritism to skaters in the rinks and arenas.

Not afraid to challenge his fellow sports writers or as he styled them "the Knights of the Keyboard"; he was never caustic or acidic, but you knew where he stood on issues from "concussion procedures", lengths of games; or officials' intrusions.

His encyclopedic knowledge of both present and past athletes, managers, coaches; college, professional or Olympic and even sometimes their families and friends was amazing.

Sometimes I would catch a name and say that can't be correct, it looks wrong; most of the time, Clark had it right. He did have a phrase that I ALWAYS had to catch "ad nauseam".

Clark, thanks for your more than 2,000 columns over these 42 years. We'll miss you weekly; keep the door ajar....

Clark Booth writes: "When Msgr. John Grant, then the editor of The Pilot, asked me to give a little weekly sports column a twirl in March of 1975, I thought it might be amusing to give it a trial-run for a season or so, long having been an admirer of Austen Lake, Harold Kaese, and Red Smith. Now here it is 42 years and more than 2,000 columns later and I have finally run out of things to rant about, at least meaningfully. But I want you to know, dear readers, what a delight and an honor it has been to have had you to chat with all these years. The pleasure has been all mine. Thank you!"

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