Wife Lila’s Class of ’66 buddy Dick McClard and I are political oil and water. We enjoy sparring with each other, but we can do it without rancor and with good humor. What I’m beginning to realize is that he’s a man of many talents.
We started talking last year about what he thought was a lead on where the mass grave from the steamboat The Stonewall might be located. Weather and pressing business kept us from getting out there until this trip.
When I stopped by his house for the ramble, he invited me into his stained glass studio where his wife, Judy, and daughter, Jennifer, were doing restoration work on stained glass windows for the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation. Dick was responsible for getting me into the church before it opened after a major renovation project.
Here, he’s showing how Belinda Schearf has been creating color window panes by building up and firing multiple layers of different colors. This is a technique used in the huge eyebrow window in the other photos.
More than just a glass guy
Dick is quite the historian, too. He and some other folks have collaborated in tracking 40,000 McClard/McLard/McLaird/MacLaird and Related Families from 1767 through 2003 (and growing). Volume One, an interesting history even if you aren’t a McClard, is 499 pages long; Volume II, an index and family tree listing, is 1,049 pages long. It’s available in pdf format because printing it would be too costly, he said.
We spent the day roaming Cape and Perry counties, poking around in old cemeteries, meeting oldtimers he knew and avoiding political discussions. Oh, and we’re not sure if we located the mass grave we started out looking for. We’re going to have to check back on that.
Glass studio photo gallery
If you walk into St. Mary’s some day and see these window pieces, think of Dick and his family. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to navigate through he gallery.