Well it was only a week, but what a week!  Miyuki needed to go there, and I had no intention to follow her. Quite happy thank you, staying home and in a familiar place. Old age gets to you that way.

But I changed my mind.  Surprise!  Facebook seems to be the best way to tell you about it.

Exhausted from trans-Pacific travel, but now it’s back to work.

This headline and story appeared in the press on May 4th, 2 days after Lynn’s death:

“Actor John Clark is leading the tributes to his ex-wife Lynn Redgrave, who lost her battle with cancer at the age of 67. The “Georgy Girl” star passed away at her New York home on Sunday, May 2, marking another blow to the Redgrave acting dynasty – her brother Corin Redgrave died last month, while her niece Natasha Richardson lost her life following a skiing accident last year. Now actor/director Clark has paid tribute to the actress, whom he wed in 1967. He says, “I hope she finds peace where she is. She’s back in the bosom of her family now and may she rest in peace.” The couple became parents to three children, Benjamin, Pema and Annabel, before they divorced in 2000. A statement from the grieving siblings reads, “Our beloved mother Lynn passed away peacefully after a seven-year journey with breast cancer. She lived, loved and worked harder than ever before. “

I’m asked where was I for Lynn’s funeral? Nobody saw me, why wasn’t I there? I’ll tell you that I WAS there, and why nobody saw me.

You won’t have read about this anywhere else, not People Magazine, not Page 6, not Splash News, not TMZ, and not the Daily Mail (correction: In their 5/24 edition, they lifted the news off this site, without attribution – plagiarized as their own work. Invoking comments like “that sh*t isn’t worthy of kissing the ground she walks on”. Ironic comment, as you’ll see…)

For context, you need to know that I have had no contact with our kids for a long time. While I’ve entertained them at my house in Hollywood, they have never wanted me to visit them on the East coast, and in fact ignored me when my daughter Annabel got married in New York last August.

I emailed my son Ben for the funeral whereabouts. He told me it was being held the next day, on Saturday May 8th at 10 in the morning at the First Congregational Church in Kent, Connecticut, and that his mother didn’t want me there. I emailed the pastor, the Reverend Melinda Keck, for clarification. She simply told me not to attend, and please understand. I advised her to check her counseling goals towards her flock, and caught the red-eye for New York. To not go, in my mind, would be to validate her behavior towards me, an attempt to turn me into some version of Jesse James.  Besides, I have retained a love and respect for her, as the mother of my children, and the subject of my professional life.  I wished to find my own closure by attending.

After a horrid sleepless flight squeezed into a corner bulkhead seat, I rented a car at JFK, and drove North for 2 1/2 hours, reaching Kent with a half hour to spare. It came on to rain, hard. There was a group already on the church steps, two police cars in front with their lights flashing, and paparazzi in the road.

Directed to park in the back behind the church, I locked the car, and proceeded to walk towards the front. I was stopped by a security guard, and asked my name. Upon getting the answer, he summoned 2 policemen. They told me they would not let me pass. I insisted that I had every right to attend, having been a loyal husband for 33 years, and I wished to pay my final respects. As I pushed my way past them, they got physical. I guess I’m lucky I wasn’t tasered. I fell to the ground, and lay there on the pavement in the pouring rain, uncovered, in my good clothes. I could feel a sharp pain in my chest, right where my pacemaker is installed from my heart attack 2 years ago, and then I passed out.

I briefly came to in an ambulance, siren wailing, with an attendant shoving his thumbs into my eyeballs, and asking if I could feel anything, before succumbing again. I awoke in the emergency room at what I later found out was the New Milford hospital, about 15 miles South of Kent. A barrage of tests were ordered, because I’d been unresponsive. My blood pressure was 220 over 180, and they faced a diagnostic challenge by giving me an EKG, a CAT scan and an Echocardiogram.

After a night spent in a hospital bed, I was dozing off when around the corner of my curtain appeared a smiling and anxious face, my son Jonathan, who I thought was in Ireland, followed by the face of my daughter Kelly (now Pema) and her daughter Lena (my granddaughter whom I had never met), plus an old friend from London I hadn’t seen in years, Janie. They’d heard the sirens from inside the church, and found out it was for me. See the first picture below.

The doctor then came, and said if I felt better, I’d be released at 2pm, and that’s exactly what happened. Jonathan came with Benjy, yet, bringing me one of his shirts – they’d cut mine off me – and drove me back to my still parked and locked car, where my entire family was waiting.

I was so pleased to see them, as you can tell by looking at the pictures below.

You will see Benjy, Pema, me, Annabel, Lena, Eduardo Garabal (“Eddie”, Annabel’s new husband) and Jonathan.

From there, they drove me to the grave site, where I took this picture, Lynn’s final resting place next to her mother.

Well, that’s the story. My story.

It became clear that the reason behind my banishment was that Lynn’s lover, the Maggot (and I reference him here) was going to be at the funeral, and was staying at Lynn’s house. They feared that if I saw him, I would try to throttle him. Silly, because I am quite civilized most of the time. Anyway, I drove back to New York and all over Manhattan for half of Sunday night, traffic free, for old time’s sake. Nearly every block held a memory for me. Then I took the early morning flight back to Los Angeles. That was my first time out of L.A. in twelve years.

What began as the worst day of my life, ended up as the best day of my life (at least, so I thought).

 



 

May 3, 2010

Lynn died last night, and on this sad day, I prefer to remember the good bits, the times when we had fun, and gloried in the births of our children and the creation of our Topanga Canyon home.

Someone has found and put together this series of stills and clips from the past.  I just spent the last half-hour watching them, especially the Weight Watchers commercials and the Muppet Show, and laughing away.

I am proud to say that I had a piece of her action, helping to put together shows and productions that showed her off at her best.

Now she’s gone to join her family, to a place where we all end up some day, I guess.  The thought of which makes the horrors of our daily existence seem easier to deal with.

January 20, 2010.

I wonder if this is part of Delta pilot training? Is this on a simulator?

Poor old Capt. Benjy, having to struggle with the responsibilty of keeping his sister’s, my youngest daughter’s, marriage to a Cuban-American (fine with me, by the way, hope he’s not a dissident) last August 1st. secret from me, her father.

Swearing the entire family members and their friends to secrecy while dancing at Liam Neeson’s farm upstate NY (disguised as "Dance Party of the Century".)  Well, Facebook and the attraction of marriage giftlists, and the internet, means that those things don’t stay secret for very long.  Meanwhile, I’d like to think that Annabel might have liked to have had her father present to proudly give her away.  Tradition. Blessing the marriage, that sort of thing.  Guess not.  Too bad for both of us, she’ll discover in time.  Meanwhile, for the benefit of passengers, we need to understand that Captains’ minds are sometimes in the cockpit of their home lives, but not in the left seat.

MD-80 CHECKLIST, arrival:

TAXI
1. Auto brakes…………………………………………….OFF
2. Spoilers…………………………………………………RETRD
3. Radar…………………………………………………..OFF
4. Wing heaters……………………………………………SET
5. Ignition………………………………………………….OFF
6. Check list completed to apron
7. APU…………………………………………………….AS REQD
8. Flaps & slats…………………………………………….UP & RETRD
9. Checklist completed
PARKING
1. Parking brakes………………………………………..ON & CHKD
2. Seat belts switch………………………………………OFF
3. Ice protection…………………………………………OFF
4. Fuel pumps……………………………………………SET
5. IRS……………………………………………………SET
6. Anti-collision light…………………………………….OFF
7. Peneumatic crossfeed…………………………………OPEN
8. Air conditioning……………………………………….SET
9. Lights…………………………………………………AS REQD
10. Hydraulic pumps…………………………………….SET
11. Engine oil quantity…………………………………..CHKD
12. Aircraft log/NOTOC………………………………….SIGNED/STORED
13. Fuelling info (as required)……………………………PERFORMED
14. Emergency light switch………………………………OFF
15. Checklist completed

GOING HOME ON MOTORBIKE
1.  Eyes on road……………………………………………..…ON & CHKD
2.  Call Mom for orders……..…………..……..…………AS REQD
3.  Call Step-Dad (Brandon Maggart) for advice…AS REQD
4.  Get orders from wife………….……………………….AS REQD
5.  Check Facebook……………………..…….……..……..AS REQD
6.  Check Mom’s killer lawyer Emily Edelman….AS REQD
7.  Check leaks to Dad’s blog……….….…………..…..OPEN
8.  Re-check Facebook wedding pictures.….…….PENDING
9.  Check control of his grandchildren..….…..….WILLCO
10.  Say Hi to Liam…………………………………………..PENDING
11.  Mental logbook…………………………………SIGNED/STORED
12.  ?!!%?/#%*&$$$?…(|:>(……………………CALL AMBULANCE
 

 

I gotta look for acting work again. Been a long time since I had to prepare a resume, but here it is:

Click here

3421636.jpg 

I stand back and watch what happens to members of my old family. This time with astonishment.  What happened shouldn’t have happened. SOMEBODY should have been keeping an eye on Natasha. At the age of 45, you don’t decide to learn how to ski. It’s too late for that kind of risk-taking. Her ski instructor up there in Canada, don’t they have a set of rules? Like, "Sorry, you’re too old. And even if you don’t care, there are many outside of your family who do!" Someone is feeling very guilty right now, whoever it was that encouraged her to take up skiing.  I’m afraid that when you become a celebrity, your life is no longer your own.  I guess I’m lucky, in a way. I chose at an early age to become somewhat invisible.

I first knew Tasha when she was 3 years old, and her sister Joely just 2 years old.  In those days, I wielded a camera (yes, I have some pics, private pics, of them  peeking over the side of the bathtub.)   Lynn and I helped their mother over a difficult time, for she was soon to be giving birth to Carlo, and was rather a lot of the time away from home.  I took the above picture of the sisters welcoming their new brother into the family, and released it to the press with Vanessa’s permission. 

By then we were starting ours, Benjy in 1968 (he’s now a Captain flying for Delta, with 2 kids.), and Kelly in 1970, (now with 3 kids of her own.)

Benjy and Lynn live a stone’s throw from each other and from Liam and his 2 sons, way up in the countryside North of New York.   He will be away filming much of the time.  I hope Lynn and Ben will come to the rescue with some love and sustenance for The Neeson family. And perhaps my youngest daughter Annabel will help them too.

While I’m at it, I want to mention my very youngest son, Zachary, who just turned 18.  The law kept him and me separated for the last 8 years, but I found him at last, and he’s in the "gifted child" section of North Hollywood High. He has been thoroughly alienated from me, and doesn’t want to meet me or deal with me.  That’s his right and privilege of course, but I’ve made sure he knows where to find me if he changes his mind (and I hope it won’t be when I’m having a R.I.P’ing time at Hollywood Forever.)

What am I doing these days? Well, I have this wonderful wife I found on the Internet, and I’m finding a new direction with Stand-up comedy, hope to get back into the acting field again, book-ending my life with the craft, and am writing my memoirs, which are kind of interesting.

Meanwhile, yes, I’m very proud of my family. They have the right genes, and I hope they don’t waste them. I feel for the Neeson family. My heart goes out to them.

MORE on Tasha at  Sunday 3/22/2009

An inquest under Quebec law should be requested and held as soon as possible.  Already, witnesses are telling conflicting stories (was she laughing and being playful at first or sitting holding her head? Did she tumble down the Bunny slope or the larger beginners’ slope? Why and how did she decline a helmet? What was she wearing, a parka covering her head? How many people were actually with her, and who were they? How about other skiers, what did they see? Was the ground examined where she hit her head? Who dismissed the first ambulance? Who called the second ambulance?).

Keep the lawyers out. They would love to sue. That takes time and "I don’t recall" answers. Get the truth out now, while public interest is hot. Here’s the site for the Quebec coroner. The coroner can get sworn statements. Already witnesses are saying "My lips are zipped!", afraid of lawsuits. Coroner’s hearings and Inquests can be swift and powerful and can get facts that may be useful later if need be.

But I am troubled by the fact that she was hastily flown to New York. Certainly, Montreal hospitals have state-of-the-art equipment, but they helped get her out of Canadian jurisdiction, fast, with the flimsiest of excuses (the family wants to say goodbye.) Nobody can prove where she died. Which means that legally the Quebec coroner cannot claim jurisdiction, nor can the New York coroner, and the recreational skiing area will avoid any risk to its reputation. The result being that there will be no inquest, and nothing will be learned from an inquiry because there won’t be one, just the NY medical examiner’s "cause of death".  Legal shenanigans?

April 22, 2006
Niva is my son’s wife. She’s a lawyer.
When Benjy came to my house, he proudly sent me a clipping from a newspaper with a picture of his daughter sitting on Santa’s knee.
He begged me not to reveal pictures of his kids on this site, so as not to upset Niva. He says pictures are private, and can only be shown with her permission.
Well, here they are, the only time I was “allowed” to meet them, and the only pictures I have.
View image
At the top is their sweet little girl Patil, and below is the new one, Kyle.
Did Niva have a hand in the decision to see me evicted? Well, put it this way. Their sweet old parents, who live in Sherman Oaks, invited me over for dinner at a prior time, and after a lovely meal, opened a drawer, and dusted off an old real estate licence, and asked if I would please allow them to sell our properties. I was horrified. Haven’t talked to them since.
Last Christmas, Ben was in L.A. for a day. He visited, and I took him to the Grove, I said I would like to buy my grandchildren a gift, something to remember me by. All they have right now is a beautiful child’s kimono that Miyuki sent last year. He followed me around, and finally, while I was asking about their sizes, he said never mind the gifts, not necessary, they would most appreciate a check for their college fund. I bought the gifts anyway, and Miyuki gave him fifty bucks.
He gave me a handful of liquorice allsorts which he said was personal, from Niva.

My son Zachary when I last saw him, age 10. Photo by me
WOW! Today you are 14 years old. Oh my God, is it really 15? Quite the young man.
I bring happy birthday wishes to you from your brothers Jonathan and Benjy, and also from your sisters Kelly and Annabel.
And also I am sure from your step-mother Lynn Redgrave.
I am so sorry that we have no contact, but one day you will come to know that I have been doing my best to put things right. You asked me for protection a long time ago, and I failed you. I’m so sorry.
Meanwhile, if any of your friends, school chums, computer geeks, other parents or anyone else, reads this and knows young Zach, please give him this telephone number, and ask him to call me.
JOHN CLARK 800/390-5913
I’d love to hear from you. We all would. We don’t know where you are.
I want to tell you about your birthday present this year, which I am holding for you.
Remember how we used to star gaze through my 8 inch Celestron reflector telescope from my lawn? Do you remember the star Arcturus, one of the brightest stars in the sky?
Well, quite near, there used to be a star named “Bootes Right Ascension 14H 36m 23s and Declination 32 degrees 2 minutes”.
No more. On January 3, 2006, that star will officially and forever bear the name Zachary John Clark ! And the name is permanently filed in the International Star Registry’s vault in Switzerland, and recorded in a book being registered at the copyright office of the United States of America.
I shall hold a copy of the certificate and the star map for you until I can give them to you personally. Hopefully, that will be soon. Meanwhile,
Lots of Love from your DAD

DAILY VARIETY
(This article was updated on Dec. 26, 2005.)
****Jonathan Hawtrey Clark was GRAND PRIZE WINNER of Fade In magazine’s ninth annual Fade In Awards — with his action script “The Binary Man.”
Clark beat out more than 2,000 entrants for the nod geared at getting recognition from the Hollywood film community for tyro scribes and helmers.****
Yes (his Dad speaking now), I’m so proud of his accomplishment. I hope he’ll make his mark here in Hollywood, and I think he will.
What a nice Christmas gift.
I’m also proud of the accomplishments of my other kids. Benjy is visiting me again, and tells me of his exploits as a pilot for Delta, Kelly called me from England to tell me she is teaching guitar and entertainment singing, and while I have still to hear from Annabel, she is shooting beautiful pictures (see her website Annabel Clark) and also working with her mother in pictures; I see she was an intern in the movie “Kinsey”.

Well, I missed it again this year, so I’ll say it again for myself and for my three sons, two of whom have children of their own.
And my two daughters? Who knows. I have a feeling, at least, that they can’t help but think about me every one of their days.
And I say it for all fathers everywhere, stripped of their children by forces beyond their control.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
LATER
Maybe somebody read this. Anyway, I heard from my son Benjy who had stopped somewhere in his Delta MD-80, and phoned me a happy father’s day. Hadn’t heard from him in over a year, but it made me feel good. Thanks, Benjy.