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Claunch, Warren 1948 INTERVIEW

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Mary S Taylor

Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 28057
Location: Fresno, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:50 am    Post subject: Claunch, Warren 1948 INTERVIEW Reply with quote

Pacific Grove Tribune, CA July 9, 1948
Warren Claunch Shows Courage in Fighting Back in Spite of Discouraging Handicaps
During the past six years Warren Claunch has become as much a fixture on the corner of Forest and Lighthouse avenues as the mail box. And like the mail box the nineteen year old news boy serves Pacific Grove – quietly, efficiently and faithfully. The resemblance should end there but unfortunately it does not. Thousands of people have bought papers from Warren with the same air of nonchalance that characterize their dropping correspondence in the slot marked “letters.” He is accepted. He was here yesterday; he is here today; he will be here tomorrow. Perserverence and Independence. To the people on the street, Warren Claunch is the crippled boy in the electric car who sells papers, but to his mother, his former teachers, and his friends away from work, he is a sterling example of independence and courage. In 1935 Warren was just another lad of six; carefree, fun-loving, and possessing that quality of mischievous innocence so typical of six year olds. He climbed the highest trees, played cops and robbers, loved to frolic on the beach and unconsciously was responsible for a few premature grey streaks in his mother’s hair. Life Reversed. Then, through one of those unexplainable quirks of fate, his pattern of life was involuntarily turned inside out. The bicycle on which he was riding collided with an automobile and the next year became for the Claunch lad, one of operating tables, hospital rooms and great physical suffering. His spinal cord was nearly severed in the accident and San Francisco specialists finally sent him home with news that he had from one to four years to live. But Warren Claunch did not come home to die. He came home to live. When it was learned that he would never walk again, Warren’s father told the family that the boy must learn to fashion his life. “He must do things for himself, whenever and wherever possible,” his father ordered and those words grew to be the young man’s personal religion. Graduates with Honors. Warren enrolled in grammar school and mastered the work with honors, even though he was confined to his home. When he graduated, members of the Congregational church presented him with the electric car he now uses in his business. “I will never forget or stop thanking the people whose donations made the car possible” are his mother’s words. The car was to Warren not only a way to get about, a way to make (incomplete) store and, with twenty newspapers, began his career. In six years he has increased the number to where he now sells 160 papes a day and handles Sunday papers also. Year Around Worker. “I work 365 days a year but I was off work for about thirty days once when I had a bad case of flu,” said the duty-bound young man. His mother tells a little more: “There are a great many days when Warren goes down to serve his customers when I know he is not feeling well, but he feels a strong sense of obligation and I certainly can’t interfere,” she adds. During the first four years of his selling newspapers, Warren found tim to finish high school – again doing the regular assignments at school and graduating with honors! It was an unforgettable experience for those who sat in the high school auditorium that June night in 1946. When the diplomas were passed out to graduating seniors it was much like any other high school graduation exercise until the last name was called. “Warren Claunch” said the speaker’s voice, and from behind the wings came the plucky youngster in his electric car. The ovation he received was tremendous tear stained eyes were a plentiful commodity. Busy at Home. Warren busies himself during his off hours with a fine coin collection, his pet ducks “Charlie” and “Barley,” his strawberry patch which bears fruit the year around, and a stamp collection numbering about 8,000. He is an ardent baseball fan and is pulling for the Seattle Raniers to win the Pacific coast league title. He tunes the games in nightly on a beautiful radio which is the profitable result of another hobby. Warren won the radio as the result of picking twenty winners out of twenty football games during the 1946 season. Out of the thousands of entries, he was the only one to turn in a perfect card. “I used to fool around with contests, when I was younger, but I don’t have time for them now,” he says. One wonders what he means by “fooling around.” He ahs won prizes in the Oakland Tribune’s “Aunt Elsie” contest, the Planter’s Peanuts contest, and a Wallnettos contest to name a few. Personifies Thrift. Warren Claunch knows the value of money. He has saved scrupulously, spending only on his coin and stamp collections, which he claims are now worth more than his original investment. Yes, there is more to Warren Claunch’s story than what is seen by those who buy his papers on the corner of Forest and Lighthouse. His story is one of the remaking of a life at age six, of fighting back before most people begin to think of fighting, of overcoming obstacles which have defeated many others. But don’t pity him or offer sympathy because he has no time for such. He is too busy serving his customers and living his life the way his father wanted him to live it. “Let him do things on his own, wherever and whenever he can,” and that seems to apply all the time in Warren’s case.
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