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  • Writer's pictureGwendolyn Houston Jack

About My Father

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

I can't even think of a title for this blog post. Like all writers, I wanted something thought-provoking and insightful, and maybe that's unnecessary. So instead, I should let the words and the images do all the talking.


older black man in a red tuxedo jacket and black pants in the desert.
Clarence Houston Jr. in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada

Clarence Houston, Jr. was my father. Okay, I have siblings, but you know what I mean. My father named me partially explains why I love using all three syllables. According to my mother, he thought I was the most beautiful baby he had ever seen when I was born. My mother thought he should have his eyes checked.


young black man wearing a black leather jacket with a navy sweater and black pants standing next to his young black daughter wearing a red sweater with her navy blue dress.
G and her father Clarence Houston Jr. at home.

I am the spitting image of my father. So there is no doubt that we're related. I inherited his love for technology and electronics, film and cameras, and his natural talent for cooking. I've also been told I picked up his driving skills and colorful auto commentary, but I will confirm nothing.


Pops was a charismatic character. He could schmooze with the best of them and work a crowd like no other. Trust me, I've watched him work. He was a man about his family; feeding others was his love language. His well-crafted cuisine was to die for! Pops was known for taking leftovers for two and providing six! The man was gifted in the kitchen. He was about eating, dancing, and drinking.


young black couple posing for a studio portrait.
Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Houston Jr.

And he loved his wife. My parents were the best example of an amazing marriage. I feel blessed that I was able to see my parents work through all life's obstacles over and over again. When Pops was laid off, he didn't get an ego. He kept the house while Mother worked. He wasn't too proud to ask for help from his family. He understood the magnitude of his vows to his wife and his family.


Pops has touched the lives of several people, and I'm quite happy that he left this earth knowing he was loved. Over the last few years, I have worked on digitizing the 8mm film Pops captured. I understand the importance of telling our family's stories and preserving our history.


Below are a few of my favorite pictures of my dad, which I downloaded from his phone. Please enjoy and hug/call/text your loved ones today.





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