Standard-Examiner correspondent Antone Clark has a self-reliant spirit, both in his work and his life.
When we asked Antone if he would help provide local coverage for us from this year’s legislative session, he took the time to read every bill sponsored by Top of Utah lawmakers.
We didn’t ask him to do so; he just did it. But we aren’t surprised.
The Layton resident, who is the father of nine, including triplets, ages 17 to 33, has overcome a number of obstacles in his life. He has literally been rebuilt head to toe.
While moving the family to Utah from New York, the van he was driving and that was carrying five of his children was struck head-on in Iowa by a driver who crossed the median. The wreck left Antone with extensive injuries.
“I was basically a dead man,” he said.
The five children were hospitalized with nonlife-threatening injuries. The other driver was killed.
Antone’s wife was following in another car with the other children.
His family continued on to Utah while Antone spent what he calls a “life-changing three weeks in the hospital.” He ended up checking himself out of the hospital and flying to Utah to join the family.
The health challenges continue, as Antone has recently been diagnosed with heart issues.
But none of that has stopped him.
He continues to work full time as a chief communications officer at Martin Door Manufacturing, while covering various city and governmental beats for the Standard.
The ink is in Antone’s blood, so to speak.
The Burley, Idaho, native graduated from Brigham Young University with a journalism degree and moved to his wife’s home state of New York. There, he worked as a sports reporter and later as managing editor for two newspapers.
After the triplets were born in 1988, the family decided to move back to Utah for economic and family reasons.
The professional experiences Antone left behind were memorable. He interviewed Michael Jordan early in the basketball icon’s career and served on a board involved with the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Antone has deep LDS roots in the Idaho-Utah area, especially in Davis County, where he is descended from the founder of Farmington.
“I think I’m related to half of Davis County, and I didn’t even grow up in Davis County,” he said.
That connection has helped him in his reporting, as he has covered half of the cities in the county in his 10 years as a correspondent.
Antone is a throwback journalist. He believes the best reporting is done through personal contact and on-site observation.
“Reporting implies relationships,” he said.
He believes developing contacts and sources over time leads to the best reporting. That’s why he has done such a good job in covering government issues for us.
“Everybody can go to the meeting and bring back the obvious stuff,” he said. “It’s harder to pick up on the nuances that make for a better story later.”
Antone has written a number of family history books, but his heart is in the nuts-and-bolts reporting like the characters in “The Front Page.”
“Even when I was a managing editor, I felt I was a reporter at heart,” he said.
Antone has had an interesting life. He has left journalism a number of times but seems to always return to the profession he loves in one way or another.
“I have learned, in part, that I can leave the business, but it never completely left me,” he said.
But he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I sometimes pinch myself and marvel that an insignificant boy with poor hearing and bad eyes from a small place in southern Idaho has been witness to so many things and had the chance to meet so many unique, great and interesting people.”
Andy Howell is executive editor of the Standard-Examiner. You can reach him at 801-625-4210 or email@example.com.