The Love Life of Henry

Henry W. Clune liked London, England okay.

But he loved Rochester, New York. And it was there that he lived for most of his 105 years.

Life, for Mr. Clune, began in 1890. He grew up on Rochester’s Linden Street. Grew to be over six feet tall. And grew to love his birthplace – its Genesee River, fine summers, Hall Brothers’ chicken pot pie (“a concoction topped by a crust somewhat the texture of battleship plating,” he wrote, “but tasty if one had solid teeth”).

Mr. Clune did leave his western New York home at times. Went to high school in Massachusetts. Was an infantryman in Europe during World War I. But his heart always lived in Rochester.

So, Mr. Clune became a hometown newspaper man. For 59 years, he covered the city he loved for the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. Wrote some 7,500 pieces for the popular “Seen and Heard” column.

Mr. Clune loved other things, of course. A martini before dinner, his wife Charlotte, his four sons, his bull terriers. And he wrote books, too. Many about his hometown. None bestsellers.

But though the world loved bestsellers and England, Mr. Clune loved his Rochester and his Rochester’s stories.

And if Mr. Clune’s 105-year life could be defined by anything, perhaps it’s love. Not of the romantic sort, though he loved his Charlotte. But of the rare sort that comes from building a life one loves to live. No matter what the world may think.

Now and again, Henry W. Clune wondered about this life of his. Wondered if he would rather be anywhere else in the world than where he was.

His answer was always prompt, always inevitable:

Nowhere else in the world.”

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