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Have you “met” our neighbor, Henry Clune?

September 2, 2010
During my husband’s and my first visit to George Eastman House shortly after moving to Rochester in 1984, our docent shocked us with the story of Mr. Eastman’s suicide.  She also told us about Henry Clune, a D&C columnist (“Seen and Heard” [about Rochester], discontinued in 1969) and author. She said that Mr. Clune had written some novels that were perceived to feature a thinly disguised Mr. Eastman. One such novel implied an improper relationship between the protagonist and a married woman, possibly based on Josephine Dickman or one of Eastman’s “Lobster Quartet” mentioned, but not identified, on several websites,
Our interest was piqued!  We went on a search for Henry Clune. We discovered him through the Monroe County Library and read his all of his novels, including By His Own Hand (1952), The Big Fella (1956), and Six O’Clock Casual (1960).  His non-fiction book, The Genesee (1963), which he wrote with Robert Koch, gave us impetus to explore the length of the river. The Rochester I Know (1972) and I Always Liked It Here: A Reminiscence of a Rochesterian (1983) gave us another’s perspective of Rochester.
Henry Clune was still alive in 1984; he was 94 having been born in 1890.  In fact, he lived until 1995; he was 105(!) when he died in Scottsville. And, he grew up in our neighborhood at 203 Linden St. His obituary appeared in the NY Times: and he was widely eulogized.  Here are just two:

The first from Bill Kauffman as read at Henry’s Memorial Service October 12, 1995, at Christ Church, Rochester and the second by Robert G. Koch and also preserved at The Crooked Lake Review .

If you are at all interested, I would encourage you to discover Henry Clune for yourself.  Visit the Monroe County Library.  Search on “Clune, Henry” under “Author or Name”.    You can even see him there if you still have a VHS player, i.e., Reminiscing with Henie Clune, a film and Interview of Henry Clune at St. Mary’s Church .  His books and papers are available at the University of Rochester. See this link at the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation And if you want a taste before hunting, you can try him out here in “Remembering Front Street which he wrote with Robert Koch and city historian, Ruth Rosenberg-Naparsteck.

Contributed by  Nan  Schaller

Editor’s Notes: The Genesee is also viewable at Google Books at this Link.
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