Randy has led a really interesting life, one in which he has been told several times that he should write a book about it…well, we hope that you’ll settle for a short story instead.
Randy was born December 1946 to Harold & Hildegard Clark on a little chicken farm outside of Elmhurst, Illinois.
The family would move to Miami when he was a toddler; Miami was a terrific place for a kid to go up in the 50’s and 60’s and Randy has many fond memories of growing up there with his sister, Linda.
Randy’s father would often work with and coach Randy as a youngster as he grew into a talented athlete in both Little League baseball & football. He would star as a defensive linebacker at both Southwest & Coral Gables High Schools.
Randy would leave high school and join the United States Marine Corps just one week after turning 17 years of age in 1964. Riding a military bus, he reported to Parris Island in North Carolina in the dead of night with a bunch of other young recruits all of whom were unprepared for the experience they were about to embark upon.
Randy with his athletic abilities excelled in basic training, winning both the platoon leader position and Dress Blue award.
He would go on the get a top-secret clearance and was chosen to serve at the National Security Agency in Washington, DC. While at Fort Meade where he served with three hundred other Marines, he would play on the Marines football team and was chosen as Most Valuable Player. An award that would mark the end of his time at NSA as he was sent to California to begin his training for deployment to Vietnam. Randy’s MOS 0351 was as a flamethrower. It was while on the ship to Nam that the Corps would pull him from deployment in country to finish out his service in Okinawa, Japan.
After leaving the Marines, Randy took the advice of his commanding officer at NSA, Col. Williamson and he tried out for the Miami Dolphins. The dolphins training staff wanted him to get a little faster and a little heavier so they asked him to return the following year.
As Randy set about to achieve these goals, he set up a heavy bag and speed bag in his parent’s car port to train.
Randy’s life would take an unexpected turn as he continued to train for the next Dolphins tryout because Randy’s mother worked with a gentleman that trained and managed professional prizefighters; she told him about her son and Baron Pate came to meet him. Baron was impressed enough with Randy that he began working with him in the garage until such time as he felt he could take the young fighter to the gym to work along side other fighters with confidence.
Randy trained at 5th Street Gym on Miami Beach where Angelo Dundee along with his brother, promoter Chris Dundee were training Muhammad Ali.
What a thrilling time to be a young, upcoming, handsome, charismatic & cocky fighter in the heavyweight division. Randy developed a strong fan base among the blue collar workers of Miami and he didn’t disappoint. His first professional fight lasted only one round, after the bout Randy would join his father in the stands to watch the other matches; it would be the only one fight that Harold would ever see of Randy’s. Over the course of several years Randy would have a fight record of 14-1, his career would come to an end due to problems with his hands and elbows.
It was also at this time that he began his plastering career by working with a neighbor who had a plastering company. In those days the trade was so special that you had to either be born into a plastering family or know someone to get on a plastering crew. Randy would rise at five in the morning to run his miles, then go to work plastering; after work he would head over to the gym and train for a couple of hours before finally heading home, only to repeat this routine to next day and the day after that and on and on it would go.
Well, you know what they say – the fight world’s loss is the plastering world’s gain… what you’ve never heard that before? Well it’s true.
Randy learned that he was a leader of men and a natural contractor so he soon formed his own company and worked all over the state of Florida; from the Florida Keys to the Panhandle, doing commercial stucco work for some of the largest general contractors in the country.
It was while working as a contractor on condominiums at the Faro Blanco Resort in Marathon, Florida Keys in 1982 that he would meet the woman whom he calls “his best friend” Ginger and their love story would begin.
They would be married in Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico by an Apache Indian Justice of the Peace while racing their quarter horse, Darn That Alarm in 1986.
Their son, Cody was welcomed into their hearts and the world in 1993.
After decades in the commercial plastering industry Randy grew tired of “chasing the money” and he wanted to get back to his roots in plastering. He formed Olde World Walls & Ceilings in 2004 and with Larry Cheon, Bruce Bouton & Wesley Davis; a few of the plasterers he had known over the years who shared his vision for a different kind of plastering company, Randy began looking for plastering work that would not only challenge their skills but that would also excite them and they soon began working on historic projects…the rest is as they say, history!
How wonderful it is to get to do what you love. We have been blessed to work on some very prestigious projects and while each one is important in its own right, it always seems to be that the next one is soon our favorite one!
Randy filming an episode for HGTV.
In 2017, Olde World Walls & Ceilings had two of its projects receive awards from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation; The Government House Museum in Saint Augustine and the George Adderley House in Marathon. Then later that evening, Randy was caught totally by surprise when he heard his name called and learned he had been awarded the Master Craftsman Award. What an honor, what a night!
These days, Randy no longer plasters with his men but is still involved in all of our projects. For the past few years, Randy has been grooming Cody to take over more of the day to day responsibilities of running the jobs and it has been exciting to see Cody follow in his father’s footsteps and to see his love of plastering develop.
Cody is surrounded by men both young and old, many of whom are generation plasterers and who continue to share our vision, we’re extremely confident of the future of our beloved trade and of Olde World Walls & Ceilings.
Over the years Randy has enjoyed many interests; his continues to be a life well lived!
And in May 2019 the newest member of our team was born! Introducing Mason Pierce Clark – the next generation!