Mar 02

One comment on “The End of Everything: Looking back on the Clark Foam Legacy 12 Years Later

  • I worked for Gordon Clark and the gang for 12-1/2 years – from 1983 to 1996. During my time there, I worked in the maintenance department, ran the Woodmill, and moved into the office to take over inventory scheduling for all of our warehouses. I developed a charting system that assisted us in making sure the right stock was in the right place – the Hawaii and Florida warehouses – at the right time. During my time running the woodmill, a drastic shortage of redwood came into play. I was tasked with coming up with an alternative; a hardwood that was stable, easy to shape, AND the right color. After working with the supplier for a long time, we finally settled on Western Red Cedar – it had the strength and stability necessary, and the color was pretty much right on. It also shaped easily. So, suffice it to say that Gordon Clark was always open to input and contributions from his employees. It's funny – as to Gordon notifying the factory he was shutting down his operation via FAX … well, imagine that. After 12-1/2 years, I was actually TERMINATED by fax. The letter brought me to tears, because it was devastating to me. I'd spent a whole lot of my life there, and I worked hard and learned a lot. When he let me go, I knew why; I was not a "Yes Man" and I argued my points. I also had nowhere to climb any higher than I already was in the company, due to long-term employees in positions above me. So, he did me a HUGE favor by sending me off to make my future somewhere else. I harbor no grudges against him – working at Clark Foam remains a great memory for me, and I feel I was a part of surfing history. I may not be well-known, but some of what I did made many, many surfers' lives more fulfilling – if only because they got their board when they wanted it – and with the right wood. Thanks, Gordon! You old bastard, you. 😉

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