Thomas MacEntee from our Facebook group GeneaBloggers and Destination: Austin Family has very graciously taken time away from all of his many activities and obligations to help me save an online video of my uncle Ladd Clark. Without his invaluable assistance, I doubt I would have this video safely tucked away on my hard drive!
Uncle Ladd was an eccentric and wonderful man. A brittle diabetic since early childhood, he still managed to live his own life and do things his way. As a young man, he was a bareback bronc rider, and as such took numerous trips to the hospital! He was also a gifted and talented craftsman, an artist really, and owned his own leather business. He made saddles, wallets, belts…everything by hand. This was his life’s work.
Last summer, a local newspaper interviewed and videotaped Ladd and published the video on the newspaper’s web site. It is a wonderful interview, with many still photos, and most importantly, Ladd talks about his life and his passion for leather crafting. In his early 60’s, he looks much older, thanks to the diabetes and probably his wild younger days! He has become quite thin and frail-looking, yet still is able to demonstrate some of the techniques he used to create his beautiful saddles. His humor is also apparent, as he discusses his housekeeping skills!
Only a few months after this video was created, in September of 2007, Ladd died. He left a wonderful legacy of beauty and a life lived well.
Ladd was my Dad’s youngest half-brother, about 15 years his junior, so he looked up to my Dad almost as an uncle. They were very close, and my Dad was devastated when he passed on. This video was very special to my Dad, and I have been afraid that it would disappear from the Internet before I could save it. Thanks to Thomas, it is now safe on my hard drive… but not safe enough…
As the video’s format is as a flash video, I downloaded a free video converter program, converted it to a .mpeg file, created an account on Youtube, and uploaded it there for extra-safe keeping:
Again…THANK YOU, THOMAS!