Wade Van Dore
Though Wade Van Dore probably would have preferred to be remembered as an environmentalist, his long friendship with Robert Frost insured his fame. Wade's last work was a book titled "The Life of the Hired Man", an autobiography which describes his life and friendship/mentorship with Frost.
Frost was a writing instructor at Amhert College when Wade enrolled in 1917. Frost impressed enough with Wade to help publish a volume of his poem. They became lifelong friends, and in 1929 Wade helped renovate the 153-acre farm in Sftsbury, Vermont, known as The Gully. In the Depression years, Robert invited Wade and his family to live there. They shared a passion for all things natural and living.
When Wade moved to Clearwater, he met Tom and joined the poetry readings at Beaux Arts. Wade judged many of the poetry competitions at Beaux Arts and was honored at the 39th annual competition.
Wade was one of Tom's closest friends. They shared many passions - a love of life, cats, poetry, and a genuine concern about nature and the environment. It was this love of nature and that drove them to sound the alarm over our fragile eco system decades before Al Gore made his movie about the threat of global warming. They would no doubt be pleased to see their ideas being espoused daily by the media in 2008.
Wade wrote his own versions of the "Declaration of Dependence", which Tom kept around in duplicate. He famously designed his own tombstone (seen above), which he left with Tom. When Wade passed away in Clearwater, Florida in April, 1989, Tom had the gravestone (pictured above) placed in the Reese family plot, where it remains.
We're still looking for more photos if anyone has any. Thanks to Kathleen Gil for the photo to the left.
Wade was a frequent judge of the poetry festival. Copy below is taken from a Beaux Arts press release:
24th Americana Poetry and Music Festival.
Winners of the annual Original Son and Poetry Competitions Festival at the Beaux Arts Gallery, July 4, will be given an opportunity to sign the "Declaration of Dependence," a document urging mankind to cooperate with nature, which has been circulated for signatures among well-known national figures by its author, Poet wade Van Dore of Clearwater, who will serve as judge for the annual contests. No entry fee is required. Poets may enter one to three poems, total line count not to exceed 50, by midnight June 28 at Beaux Arts, 7711 60th St. No, Pinellas Park 33565.