Oral History with Tom Clardy

Item

Title

Oral History with Tom Clardy

Description

For a graduate school project at Utah State University, History Dept., I was assigned to create an Oral History with a religious person with respect to their experiences with COVID-19. Tom signed a written consent for me to record and upload his history in this archive. I have the form on file. Included in this submission are three files. The first is an audio file from a Zoom recording transcribed by Otter.ai. The second file is a Word Doc with a series of photographs of Tom with various aspects of his life. The third is a text transcript of the 70-minute interview.

Date Created

November 7, 2020

Community

St. Mary's Church in Park City, Utah

Denomination

Catholic

State

Utah

extracted text

Oral History with Tom Clardy
Sat, 11/7 4:08PM

1:09:21

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, neat, kid, called, chuckle, cecilia, pandemic, fun, church, grew, life, friends, folks, running,
years, stacy, tom, thought, guess, ventilator

SPEAKERS

Diane Livingston, Tom

D

Diane Livingston 00:02
Okay, I'm here. I'm Diane Livingston, I'm here with Tom Clardy from Park City, Utah and
today is November 7, 2020. We're doing an oral history today about Tom's life and his
experiences in his life. And we're also going to be talking about his experiences with
COVID in light of religion. So I've known Tom for what do you think, Tom? At least five
years?

T

Tom 00:28
It's been seven years? Yeah.

D

Diane Livingston 00:29
Seven years? Yeah, a long time. And he's a very good friend of ours, a good friend of my
husband's. And so before we begin, Tom, may I please have your consent to record this
interview?

T

Tom 00:40
I consent.

Oral History with Tom Clardy

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Transcribed by https://otter.ai

D

Diane Livingston 00:41
Thank you. Thank you very much. So before we begin asking some questions about COVID
I'd like to kind of talk about your childhood and growing up, because 50 years from now,
people when people listen to this tape, they'll want to know who you are, and where
you're coming from, so to speak. So why don't you just tell us, maybe start with where you
were born and anything that you feel you'd like to share about your growing up years.

T

Tom 01:10
Right? Yeah. Well, thanks, thanks. This will be a fun opportunity. So my parents were both
raised in the city of Philadelphia - in the suburbs. And then, right before I was born, moved
to New Jersey. The part of that, sort of close to Philadelphia, sort of Cherry Hill area. And
basically, I was born there. And that was my first bit. When I was four - so some of my very
earliest memories - we moved to this beautiful area in the in Pennsylvania called Chadds
Ford. It's a very historic area. It's near Valley Forge; it's near the Battle of the Brandywine,
and where all these areas were. Near - I guess you would call it sort of Southeast
Pennsylvania. And the that was a really neat place to grow up. And I think it affected me
more than growing up probably some other places, because it had a ton of colonial
history. And so for me, as a kid, we got to go on field trips, both with the family and the
school, to places that were really important in the founding of the country. And so that, I
guess that really impacted me, and just living, oh not my house, but many neighbors lived
in these historic houses. And I had a friend named Kurt, who lived in a house that
supposedly George Washington stayed in many, many years ago. And so he was sort of a
neighbor of mine. So that was neat, and I went to a number of parties at his house, as a
little kid over the years. And so, that, I think, growing up there, wound up kind of leaving
an impression on me, for my whole life and about how neat of an area it was and what a
neat time it was to, in our country, and sort of the founding. Not just geographically, but
also in the old sense of the word -- politically. Because a lot of ideas like you know, as a
kid, I went to go see the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, and, you know, learned about William
Penn. And, you know, we'd go to New York City and see the Statue of Liberty, and all
these sort of things. And so, you know, I went to Washington, DC, as a little kid, got to see
the Constitution, in the, you know, the vaults where it descends down every night. And so
these sort of things, I guess, left an impression of the worthiness of the ideas of the
foundation of our country, that, that these were, you know, lofty ideals that had been
written down by a bunch of people who are working really hard to make the best possible
system they could and their motives were entirely altruistic for humankind. And so I think
that was sort of the impression that I got and, and yeah, so that that stuck with me for a
long time. And it also intersection there of -- there was absolutely no separation between
church and state. They were integral together. And I think that this, the people over time
have come to see that the founding fathers definitely said there shall be no religious test

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for people to hold office and there should be a separation of church and state. And I think
what they they meant, if you read their writings further, was the fact that there shall be no
specific, you know, religious requirement for people. But I think they couldn't even fathom
that folks would, I think that they were, they really understood very clearly that in order to
have the government that they lined out for people to work, that folks had to share the
same moral values that everyone at that time shared, basically, bar none. And even those
who, at the time, even those who didn't necessarily follow all those values, they still
understood them. And they still understood that they were worthy to strive for. And so
that, you know, maybe they didn't always reach them but they understood, you know, just
like everyone that they were worth attaining and worth working hard for, and teaching
your children about only certain things. So that was a neat place to grow up.

D

Diane Livingston 05:47
Wonderful. Thank you. Tell us. I thank you so much. Great ideas about our founding. And I
share them. Tell me about maybe your parents. Did you have siblings?

T

Tom 06:02
I do. I have one sister. She's two and a half years older than me. And she took great care
of me. She took much better care of me that I took care of her because I was just a little
brother. But, and so I just took it for granted that of course there be someone there who
had always help in every possible way.

D

Diane Livingston 06:20
What is her name?

T

Tom 06:22
Kate, or Katherine.

D

Diane Livingston 06:24
Katherine. Okay. Let's see. And as you were growing up, did you have any special hobbies
that you liked?

T

Tom 06:32
I did. Yeah. The thing I liked the most, I think my parents would tell me and those who

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reflect on me was our being outside playing in the woods. That's just what I liked, because
we were in these beautiful forests. And I just spend every day outside, I never wanted to
come in at all, no matter what.

D

Diane Livingston 06:48
What did you do out there?

T

Tom 06:51
I'd make forts and just go play and look for the animals and try and find the animals and
get as close as I possibly could to the deer before they would eventually run away. Over
time, they got to know me and they'd let me get, you know, maybe 15 feet away. And then
they -- I never got any closer. But I always dreamt as a little kid of petting them. And, and
so then, yeah playing, just playing outside. And then as a little kid, that's what I love to do.
And then I, every summer we belonged to an outdoor swimming pool, which was neat.
And so every summer we just spent, it felt like everyday, all day is what it felt like, at the
pool, and swimming, swimming, swimming, so I became a good swimmer. And a pretty
good swimmer actually, and then playing soccer. And then scouts was actually a big
influence in my life since at a very young age, I guess that was maybe second grade or
somewhere around there. So once a week scout meetings, and then even in the summer,
two weeks of scout camp for Boy Scouts. And that was -- the Boy Scouts -- you know,
everything that Baden Powell wrote down was basically how to take the ideals of, you
know, what, what our country was about, and instill them in young men. And little kids, all
these little boys all the way through to be young men. And so of course, then I played
soccer all through -- sports-wise, soccer was a big for me all the way up through -- till the
end of high school, and then skiing as well. So my dad was nice enough that he would -my mom doesn't like to ski -- but my dad was nice enough that he would drag us out to
the local mountains called the Poconos, which were pretty good, actually, they're
definitely good enough to learn to ski. Nothing like the Rockies, where we live now as far
as the size and the magnificent powder, but they were definitely a great place to learn ski.
And so every weekend during the winter, we would go up on Saturday, and he'd wake us
up early and, you know, my sister, and I would kind of fall asleep in the car. And we'd get
there and, you know, we'd always be there for the first run and stay til the last run. And so
that was REALLY fun. And I remember listening to music with them in the car on the way
up and how important that was and how much fun it was to get excited. You know, we'd
watch the sunrise and ski all day. And then usually once or maybe twice a winter -- my
dad had a work friend who had a house there, up in the Poconos. So kind of a cabin -actually it was a cabin, a smaller cabin -- smelled great of wood on the inside. One of
those unfinished wood cabins, it just smelled terrific. So we would go and stay there for

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maybe a week during the winter once or twice. And then every once in a while we'd go
back in the summer as well, which is neat. And his name was Alex and so it's Alex's house,
and lots of lots of good memories are there.

D

Diane Livingston 09:52
So fun. Sounds like you have a really fun childhood.

T

Tom 09:56
Yeah, no complaints.

D

Diane Livingston 10:00
Tell me about education. Did you like school when you were a kid?

T

Tom 10:04
I have fond memories of, like, a lot of my friends [pause] they, I remember them saying,
you know, man couldn't wait to be out of school, but I had fond memories, I still have fond
memories of school. My elementary school was basically called Penn's Woods, Penn
Wood, which stood for Penn's Woods, and it was named after William Penn, the founder of
Pennsylvania, which is kind of neat. And it was indeed back in the woods and had these
GIANT picture windows. And so I was, you know, the kid who liked to look out the window
and dream of being outside playing. Yeah. [chuckle] But I think, fine, I did great. I got good
grades. I think this school district where I grew up was a good school district. And so we,
you know, we got a strong education -- definitely prepared me for college and later in life.

D

Diane Livingston 10:54
Did yu have a favorite subject?

T

Tom 10:57
Science for sure. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Science -- it was always Science.

D

Diane Livingston 11:00
Makes sense.

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T

Tom 11:01
Yeah.

D

Diane Livingston 11:03
Mm hmm. Okay. And so, as I know, you did some education following High School. Tell us
a little bit about that.

T

Tom 11:12
Yeah. And then, so I had a good time, you know, going through that school district, all the
way, you know, through high school and then I decided -- well, I think I might want to
major in Environmental Science, because I was pretty into that. And so I looked for a
college that had that. And I chose one that was, you know, not too far away from home is
and it was, again, a really nice place. It was a school called Elizabethtown College. And
the second -- probably the MOST important thing that happened to me, there was -- the
second week of freshman year I was in Biology 101, a big lecture hall (taking all these
courses, you know, related to science). I saw this really studious girl sitting up in the front
with brown curly hair, wearing glasses, taking LOTS of notes and I thought -- I was sitting,
you know, halfway back and thinking, I already KNOW all this stuff, what is she doing
taking notes? And that was definitely true for about the first two weeks of class and THEN
it got REALLY hard. And I realized, oh, that's why she's taking notes. So I started studying
with a with another lady named Rachel. And so she sort of became my study partner. And
one day into Rachel's room, walks, Stacy. And I said, [Tom's whispers] oh that's the girl
who was sitting up front studying so hard. I thought, man, maybe I should be her study
partner. And so that's how my wife and I met -- being study partners for Biology 101. And
that was definitely the, you know, we started dating maybe a little while later, courting,
and yeah, never, never looked back. And so we were 18 and met then. That is obviously,
like, by far the, you know, probably the biggest blessing in my life, being able to, you know
-- it's something everybody DREAMS about, right? And so that actually, that happened,
and so I'm eternally grateful for that. But then -- so we're back in education. So coming
back to education -- so college was great. So the first summer I went out and I said, ah, I
better get an internship as I just kind of heard, that was something that people did. So I
said, ah I'll do this so I asked all around and finally my dad knew someone who worked at
an environmental science company. So that was the initial contact, and I when I
interviewed for the internship, and they -- I was REALLY excited to go, I don't know what I
was going to do, like save the planet, I think, during that first freshman year. And so I was
pretty excited to go do that. But instead, I sat in an office in front of a computer and did
Excel ALL summer long. [chuckling] It was a really boring internship and I thought to
myself, Oh, man, I hope this isn't what Environmental Sciences is like and so it caused me

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to sort of branch out a little bit farther. And my wife, Stacy was pre-Med even in college,
you know, or sort of early college she was admitted into this thing called the Primary Care
pre-admission program. So she was actually one of just a few kids in the state of
Pennsylvania who was accepted into Med school RIGHT out of high school. So her grades
were so good. Yeah. And so I knew somehow -- at that point in time, you know, my
interest in Medicine sort of started. I didn't really have much of an interest except listening
to and talking with her. And, you know, coming out of high school didn't have much of an
interest. And so then I started sort of veering towards Computer Science and Medicine
together and Biology and so pretty much the rest of my career has been a mesh of those
three together. And so then after we graduated she went on to Medical school and I
started working at a computer science company and then I spent a couple years there.
And then I was trying to think, okay, well, what can I do it at Penn State because that's
where she was. And I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and you know, I wasn't
really sure what to do. And so I wound up getting, I wound up having another gig with
NASA and the Mars society, which was a short but impactful gig where we actually got to
go to the Mars Desert Research Station, and do a bunch of science. And it turns out that I
wound up as the lead on the science project. So it was kind of neat. So I was the the XO of
the mission, but the lead science officer, and we tried to plan out very, very early on how it
was that we could use a data network and also do positional awareness. Because we
knew someday when we get to Mars, there would be no GPS system and, and when
eventually -- everybody knew that, you're going to have a rover and you're going to drive
around and collect rocks. And once you get far enough away from your hab, or the you
know, sort of the main base station, that you would need to know where you were. And on
the first mission, it might be easy, because you could trace your tracks back. But then
after that it woul be more complicated. So, in designing this, the science protocol and
testing all this and all these sort of things, I caught the interest of some of the folks at
Penn State. Well, that's amazing. That is really amazing. It's so fun to hear all the different
things that you did so early on in your career. And so I wound up being hired on there after
that, which was really fun. And that's when I started getting into academic medicine and
doing some postgraduate work there. And then eventually went on to sort of had my first
REALLY neat job other than the NASA one, which was the Director of Research Planning
for Neurosurgery. So that was really fun to be able to just -- probably the best part other
than the science was just the people -- really, really fun people to work with every single
day. And so that was a huge privilege as well. Yeah, that was lucky.

D

Diane Livingston 17:20
Yeah. And so then you got married, the two of you got married, and you have two little
girls who are growing up. Tell us a little bit about what they're about. I love them, they're
adorable!

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T

Tom 17:33
Yeah, that was funny,

D

Diane Livingston 17:34
Tell us anything you'd like to share about that.

T

Tom 17:36
So I was sitting in my office in Neurosurgery and Stacy walks in one day, and surprises me
with the news that we were pregnant. I'll never forget that day. So we had our first child
there. And that was, just about, I guess it was 11 years ago or so. And I just, man my heart
did something it's never done since I really just couldn't believe what I felt. It felt like -- as
soon she told me, I knew that sort of the rest of my life would be different and I wasn't
quite sure how [laughs] until 10 months later, or wait actually, I'm sure it wasn't 10 months,
it was probably seven months later. And our -- it was a NEAT, REALLY, REALLY neat
experience having our first daughter Annamaria, because we had her at the hospital
where we both worked. And so it was a really "community and social" kind of thing. Like
our friends, just like, we had lots of friends there and they would just come in and see us
and be supportive and bring food and -- it was a REALLY neat birth. And then she took -Annamaria took a LONG time to come out. It felt like, you know, a day and a half but I
think it was really just 23 and a half hours. So that was, that was quite a thing. But
everything worked out great, thankfully. And you know, the docs were great. And and then
you know, those first couple nights in the hospital and then you know, as you know, I just
as I mentioned earlier, you know I love nature and the snow -- I've always loved the snow.
And on the day -- so on the day we drove her home from the hospital, we had a BIG
snowstorm. And so it was kind of funny -- we only lived a mile and a half from the Med
Center. And so it was fun to put her in the jeep and drive home through the blizzard on the
first day. She loves the winter and the snow as well. So I think it stuck with her. And then
when we came to Park City, we were... Well, actually when we were in Minnesota, between
Hershey and here in Park City we spent one year in Rochester, Minnesota for a fellowship
year for my wife at the Mayo Clinic in Auto-immune Neurology and so while we were
there, Cecilia started her journey on this earth and then when we moved out here she was
very pregnant. Stacy was very pregnant so we were just hoping that she wouldn't deliver
on the drive from Minnesota -- [chuckling] because there's not a lot of infrastructure
between here and on Route 90. And then, let's see, we were here just a month or two and
we had Cecilia at the University of Utah, which is another neat experience. And I was
settling in for a two day labor experience. But she came out in about four hours. That was
really quick. So as much to my surprise there. WOW, that was fast! Yeah. So yeah, that was
kind of neat. And that's when I learned that Annamaria was destined to be a big sister.

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She was just THE BEST big sister that I think I've ever seen anywhere. And that's a widely
repeated claim of fame by all of our friends, who have kids, that watch her interact. So
she's just SUCH a good person in taking care of others, including herself.

D

Diane Livingston 21:06
How sweet is it hear your thoughts about Annamaria. Tell us a few sentences about
Cecilia because she'll want to hear something.

T

Tom 21:16
Right! Right. And so [chuckling] Cecilia was -- the doctor who delivered Cecilia, this, this
really sums up -- her first MINUTE outside the belly she lifted her head up and looked
around the room and almost kicked the doctor. And Doctor Tilly who delivered her said, I
have never seen a kid lift their head up, you know, right after being born and look around
the room she said but there Cecilia has! And so that was kind of a neat thing. And that's
that sums up her entire personality. Lifted up her head, looked around the room and
almost kicked the doctor. So she, she continued to be like that. And she really -- my wife,
Stacy and I say she really, really wanted to be able to do all the things that her big sister
did. I mean, with a PASSION. So when she was little and couldn't crawl, even move,
anything like that. She just was watching her sister all the time. And then just you could
see the struggle to be able to, you know, walk into, she did walk pretty early because of
that. You know, she kind of went right from, you know, okay, I figured out how to crawl and
like, a couple days later, she's like, ah this crawling thing's no good, I'm going right to
walking. And she's a very, very determined child, and she was an intense baby. I'll
definitely say that. But then for as intense as she was as a baby. She is an absolute joy.
Now, she's just my best little friend. And she's has a true heart of gold, which I'm sure came
from the loving example set by her sister. And so they're both -- they're definitely each
other's best friends. Which is what a great. Yeah, and I hope it stays that way forever.

D

Diane Livingston 23:05
Yeah, what a treasure. That's a happy home.

T

Tom 23:10
Yeah.

Diane Livingston 23:10

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D

Diane Livingston 23:10
Let's see, I'm just gonna look here. You know, we kind of -- I will have to say we kind of
skipped over -- You talked about working a little bit, but you didn't -- did you graduate
from college? I assume?

T

Tom 23:24
Oh, yeah. Yeah, from Elizabethtown, yeah.

D

Diane Livingston 23:26
Share that...

T

Tom 23:28
Yeah, so that was fun, but somewhat uneventful because you kind of get kicked into the
real world. So, "Congratulations, you know, you're out and go find something to do." And
that's kind of how I felt, I thought to myself, Oh, I see why kids now have a gap year
because they sit around for a year, you know, thinking about what to do and travel the
world. But, you know, when I graduated, that wasn't too common of a thing and I didn't
have anybody who would want to pay for that. So I, you know, said, Oh I'd better go find a
job. So when I first got my job -- as an intersection between the newspaper and the oldfashioned job listings in the newspaper, and the internet -- I remember looking at both for
my first job and circled things with the pencil. But really, the internet had taken off. And all
the action was there. And so I went out and found a neat, really neat computer company
that was doing neat stuff that I was once again lucky to get hired onto. That was a smaller
company so it actually -- its almost funny that it almost felt like a little family, the group
of us. And so that was that was a neat group. I still think about those folks, in fact,
speaking because I know that part of our conversation today is about the pandemic and
it's funny -- I think I've been hearing many people wind up thinking about folks that you've
known a long time ago, during the pandemic, it's definitely changed dreams for a lot for
me. And so I think about stuff from you know, the past, more than -- so it's funny to look
back and think about how those folks affected you and also mold your work ethic as well,
which I think is interesting. So I think you know, the example of what your first job is, I
think, at least for me, and you know, the intensity of work, winds up sticking with you.
Anyway, that happened for me. And so then from there, after graduating from
Elizabethtown, and then getting my first job, I didn't start my postgraduate work until
whatever that was, like six, six or seven years later, actually, it's not true. I did, I did a
bunch of graduate classes at Cal Tech for the NASA stuff, which was neat. But then there's
-- because I knew I really wanted to do something in space. But I guess like any little kid,

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you know, I used to want to be an astronaut, or do just do something fun for that. But
there's just none of that in Pennsylvania. The aerospace industry was very weak in
Pennsylvania. Now, Penn State itself actually does have a pretty neat aerospace
program. But I wasn't really thinking of that I was thinking about jobs, you know, what I
could do to earn a living. And so that's, that's how I basically got into medicine, which is
neat. And, you know, medical companies, and biotech and all these sort of things.

D

Diane Livingston 26:30
So you went to do some graduate work after that?

T

Tom 26:34
I got lucky, because when I was at Penn State, as an employee, you can take as many
classes as you want, as your department chair will let you [chuckle] which is pretty neat -for either free or next to free. So I just gorged myself in information, which is really neat.

D

Diane Livingston 26:55
That sounds just like you, Tom.

T

Tom 26:56
Yeah. So that was really neat, super neat. And, you know, you actually have a real job. And
so you're getting paid. Which is important, especially, you know, because keep in mind,
Stacy was [pause] she's done the four years of college, and then four years of Med school,
and then four years of a PhD with a one year in folded fellowship. And then another, let's
see here, one year after -- she did the MD Ph. D. Program, which is pretty neat -- and so
then after that also she had yet another year of fellowship. So there was a lot of learning
going on. And not a lot of earning. [laughs]

D

Diane Livingston 27:42
Right.

T

Tom 27:42
[laughing] So it was important to....

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D

Diane Livingston 27:44
Someone needed a job.

T

Tom 27:45
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So that helped.

D

Diane Livingston 27:49
That's great. Do you, and so I would just ask now, what kind of hobbies and interests do
you have now?

T

Tom 27:59
They're pretty much all the same, except for soccer. Yeah, I learned when I got older, that
you know, the sports that stick with you are the things like, sort of called, lifetime sports.
And, you know, they don't really include, at least for most people, like things like football,
because you know, you get older and you're like, "That's probably not a good idea to go
crashing into somebody else because that's, that's gonna hurt and it's going to last a
while." So now some folks and they're they're pretty tough. But for most people, I've
learned basically lifetime sports are things like running, volleyball, swimming, all these sort
of things you can do either on your own or in a pickup team. And so for me now I love, I'm
still skiing a lot and running has become a real joy for me. I LOVE running the mountains
here in our neighborhood. It's just so much fun to have these these beautiful single tracks
that we have which are the small little paths that go all throughout the mountains and so
I love mountain running. It was tough for me the year we were at the Mayo Clinic because
it's very, very flat. So, [chuckling] there are no hills, basically very few hills, so running
through there was quite a different experience --running flat and then coming up here -whoo -- It was a tough. But I learned to love that challenge and so now I barely running
anything flat anymore. It's just all up and down. So that's kind of even more so, more fun
than skiing for me is just running. I'll do it all seasons of the year. I'll go put on little snow
shoes and run in the snow. And I always like it if there's a bit of a crust that keeps you from
punching through too often. Which is nice. But regardless, I just stomp on the pack. And I
just love being in nature and getting the just the joy of being able to locomote yourself
through and take a tour of what's new in nature today because it's -- everyday it's a little
different, which is fun. So I enjoy that and then, yeah, I'm not playing soccer anymore. But
still running and skiing and swimming.

Diane Livingston 30:04

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D

Diane Livingston 30:04
I love to see you with your children. You're really good dad. Oh, thanks, Diane. Yeah, I can
see that you're really getting a lot of joy from being a father.

T

Tom 30:15
I am. Yeah. Well, they make it easy. They're really I, you know, there's nothing for me to
brag about, because they're just SUCH good kids that they make, you know, being a dad
a joy. And, you know, it's really, it's a privilege to be able to watch them grow up and try
and help steer them in the right direction.

D

Diane Livingston 30:38
You have a busy household. Your wife works full time, you're working full time, I assume.
And then you've got the girls who are going to school. So what does that household look
like? I'm kind of curious.

T

Tom 30:50
Well, it's helped.... When the kids were, it's definitely helped --- a lot of our friends that,
both do sort of the same thing as us, they wind up using a nanny to basically manage
schedules. But the fact that years ago, I kind of got into the biotech transfer and the
startup world, and other startup companies as well, has helped my schedule be flexible
enough, that between whatever flexibility Stacy can squeeze out, and what I can do that
we haven't had to use nanny. So we get to -- one of us is always there with them to pick
them up from school or drop them off at school, which is REALLY nice. And as they get
older, now, they'll be able to take care of themselves during that. We're kind of, we're
basically there now. But now with the pandemic it looks a little different. So the balancing
and juggling act has changed, because now the kids are doing their school remotely, still
with the school district. But basically, they've managed to pretty quickly transition their
entire curriculum to be delivered over a computer. If people are listening to this 50 years
from now they'll probably think back on what kind of computer this was. Well, this was a,
something that was called a laptop, and it had a keyboard, they used your fingers to type
on. And then another piece that was perpendicular to that called, you know, as a screen,
that's just a two dimensional representation of things. And that was, probably will be as
foreign to them, as the typewriter is to Annamaria and Cecilia. But, you know, we've
learned to go from the one room schoolhouse, to, we're sort of back to that now.
[laughing] But with the teacher -- but the teacher is not there. [laughing] And the teacher
instead is, you know, over the telegraph wire, which has become the internet. And we're
really blessed in the fact that Cecilia's teacher is FANTASTIC. She has figured out how to

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pivot her teaching career to deliver... Cecilia is only in second grade and so part of the
education there is how to become a student. and how to feel part of a classroom. And so
somehow her teacher has managed to, to make that work over Virtual Education. And I
was amazed and actually, my, when my parents were out visiting, they got to see it as well
and they were both amazed. My mom's a retired teacher and so for her to -- she's not
easily impressed at all -- and so for her to be impressed by this was, was pretty neat for
me to see as well. And so, right now, the balancing the household looks like -- we all get
to sort of wake up together and have breakfast together. And then, you know, each
retreat to our corner of the house to do our daily things, all on computers, which is kind of
neat. And of course, you know, being a physician, you do have to go in. So my wife goes
in, you know, as needed. But some of the stuff, some of the patients actually enjoy remote
teleconferences. So occasionally, she can do those as well from home. And so there's -the one thing that the pandemic has bought about is a surprise resurgence in home life,
which is REALLY neat. And I think it would be really, really hard if we had little babies,
because one of the things you really want to do, at least we did, and I think I shared with
every parent that I can remember is you really, really want to get out and about with the
babies and you know, go do things. And so I think that would be -- it probably is, if I had
to guess, really challenging for those little ones. But we're just at the right age, as a second
grade and fifth grade, and we're lucky and blessed to live on a parcel with, you know,
where they run outside anytime they want and play, which is nice. So I think it's also
probably more difficult for folks who are in the cities. And there's plenty of outside places
for them to do, but they can't just run out for 10 minutes as easily, unsupervised, and then
run back and do some more schoolwork. So, I'm sure they're they're finding ways to make
it fun as well. But the girls have almost effortlessly found their own ways to make it fun
and have a good time. And it'll be interesting to see now [pause] heading into the winter
because the summer has been great. The spring has been great, fall has been great
because you can have these outside playdates with, one or two kids. So you make sure
you're trying to limit exposure to everybody. But now, with the winter coming, I guess
they'll all be sledding playdates. I guess we'll see. [chuckles] And so yeah, we'll see, we'll
see what happens. But I'm sure that's gonna be quite a bit of a change. So the household
looks like we're spending way more time together. Everybody's staying happy. We haven't
been jumping down each other's throats. And I think that Stacy and I have been actively
working to make sure that doesn't happen, and trying to steer everybody. So we're putting
a little effort there, to try to keep the family spirit high. And that sense of togetherness
high. But it hasn't been a ton of effort because the girls are just little angels. They're just
good. They don't, they're helping us though as well which is neat.

D

Diane Livingston 36:22
That's very fortunate. That's cool.

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T

Tom 36:24
Yeah.

D

Diane Livingston 36:26
Well, this has been wonderful. And I feel like we've really gotten a good taste of you and
your life and the things that you've done. You have lived a very rich and rewarding life, at
least it feels like to me.

T

Tom 36:41
Thanks. And to me as well.

D

Diane Livingston 36:44
Okay, why don't we -- is there anything else you'd like to share before we move on to the
second section of our interview?

T

Tom 36:51
No, no, I'm ready.

D

Diane Livingston 36:53
Okay, great. So, as we know, as you have all people know, you and my husband are
talking all the time about COVID and the effects but as we know, COVID has affected a
lot of people around the world, and many people are wondering how COVID has been
affecting people. And you talked a little bit about your family life. And, and then another
aspect that people are asking questions about is that of worship and faith. And so I'd like
to move on to this part of the interview, and just hear from you your experiences with
COVID with respect to religion. But first of all, what did worship look like for you and your
family pre COVID. And tell us the faith that you belong to and believe in and what it
looked like.

T

Tom 37:43
So I was, both my wife and I were raised Catholic. And, you know, based both in
Pennsylvania. So when we met, we thought, it was pretty easy to tell that she shared
really early on, to tell that she shared the same values as I did. And then to learn, we were

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both Catholic, I remember even being a little kid, you know, 18 years old, I guess I would
call that a young adult, but now it feels like a little kid. And, you know, to just to think, "OH,
THAT'S A BONUS", you know, like, "Wow, she's just, you know, somebody of the same faith
like this is, this is great!" And, and then I also remember thinking in the back of my head,
"Oh, my parents are gonna like this!" And so that was neat. And, you know, worship for us
was every Sunday we, I mean, when I grew up as a kid, I can literally say, we missed almost
no masses. We, every Sunday, we were there a church, you know, with the rare exception
that somebody was sick, and then the rest of the family would go. Probably somebody
stayed home with us but we have to be pretty sick the not go. And so yeah, I remember as
a kid as well, thinking to myself, you know, I don't know if I want to go, especially as an
older kid, really. Now I don't even know if I want to go on Sunday and you know, like, I
want to be playing outside in the woods or doing whatever else. But, nope, didn't matter
what we thought, we went every Sunday regardless. [chuckling] And it just wasn't up for
discussion, EVER, no matter what. And every once in a while my sister and I would maybe
try and bring it up. And we just learned -- "No, not up for discussion." And so [chuckle]
we'd all go. And, and I, you know, I'm REALLY grateful now that they did that. Because it's,
you know, a super important part of my life now. So I also remember my mom once
saying, I think I'd believe I was in college, I remember her saying, you know, something, I
seem to wonder if, I think was my aunt, saying to my aunt, "You know, if the kids aren't
going to as much church during college, that's okay because they're going to get back to
it when they have kids." And I thought to myself, that's weird that my mom knows that or
thinks that. [chuckle] I sort of filed it away in my brain. I sort of remember her saying that.
And it turns out that she was right. And I guess probably during college I really didn't go
all that much to church, but you know it remained -- the fact that I went from the time I
was zero all the way through till, you know, 18, every single week, not only was it important
[pause] I find there's a huge overlap between spirituality and morality. And so just a
absolutely huge overlap. And so I was grateful, I guess, in college, for the, at that stage in
my life, for the, [pause] and I think I maybe even realized that then for the moral base, not
just a spiritual base. And so, but you know, of course, now, I have the benefit of hindsight,
which is neat to think about things. But what did did it look like pre-COVID? So it looked
like your average Sunday Mass, no matter where we were, even on vacation, we would try
to make it and, and rarely miss. And then we would pray in the morning together as a
family, and then we pray before, before dinner, sort of say grace. And then at night, the
kids would say their prayers. And so we would do that all together.

D

Diane Livingston 41:36
Okay, so that is pre-COVID.

Tom 41:38

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T

Tom 41:38
Yeah.

D

Diane Livingston 41:39
And then I don't know about you, but I can kind of think back when I realized that COVID
had hit. It hit us all. And quickly, we had government regulations that were starting to be
pressed, impressed upon our religious centers, whichever kind they are. And, and I wonder,
do you remember things that your church had to implement based on regulations that
were put on?

T

Tom 42:13
Yes. I remember[chuckle] I remember in March, sort of seeing all this, watching it come like
a very slow tidal wave just coming and coming and coming and hoping that it would, you
know, collapse and get pulled back into the ocean, like all surf waves do. And hoping that
it would, you know, it was looking ominous, but would break in on itself as breakers do, but
it but knowing that it might not. And we were preparing, you know, as a religious
education teacher myself. And so, watching all the kids come in, and we started out
making sure kids were washing their hands and these sort of things. And then, you know,
knowing that, looking at the slope, we spent a lot of time looking at the slope of the
trajectory, you know, is this logarithmic? And how's it look? What's the doubling time? How
many days did it take to, you know, caseload or doubling? And then also, what was our
hospital capacity. And so as I watched all these things come, you know, the, it seems like,
all the churches did a REALLY good job of seeing this coming and preparing and then
transitioning. We had zero weeks of lost mass, we, just just as the county [Summit County]
that we were in basically imposed restrictions on in person, religious services. The church,
St. Mary's, in Park City -- we have a new new pastor who actually had only been there
maybe two years at the time, his name is Father Gray and he just immediately spun up
doing everything online. And didn't miss a beat. And you know, he's sort of younger guy, I
guess, in his mid to late 30s. And so, you know, that could be an advantage, technologywise, and the fact that he was familiar with that and comfortable doing it. And so he's, he
did great! I think everyone was REALLY relieved to see his face every single day. So he did
[chuckle] it every single day, sometimes multiple times a day he would be there. Yeah, it
was REALLY neat. Yeah, without missing any, I think the first one that he missed, was, you
know, maybe two, three weeks ago, and here we are in November. He had to take a day
or two off. [laughing] And so I give a ton of credit to him and he [pause] just, you know,
has the calmness and the clarity of heart to be able to deliver really meaningful messages
to everyone who's listening. Not just with our faith, but sort of tying it into scripture as well.
And so he's been a real blessing in our lives. That's for sure. And, yeah, so his transition to

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that was great. And it goes on -- it is still going on even to this day. We've since reopened,
I guess, a couple months ago in-person services. And so people -- he'll do both and he's
still doing both. So I'm sure his workload is grown. But he does it without complaint and
seemingly with joy.

D

Diane Livingston 45:38
Wow. So does he just record himself? And then he puts it on or it streamed?

T

Tom 45:42
No! It's live every time! Yeah. Amazing! Yeah, zoom meetings. [laughing] It's amazing.
Zoom is somehow -- I give credit to the engineers at Zoom to be able to scale their
business, thousands of folds without hicupps.

D

Diane Livingston 45:57
For sure. Okay, so it hit, you guys shut down for a short time that sounds like and then
they got back into the in-person?

T

Tom 46:07
Yeah.

D

Diane Livingston 46:08
Were you able to see your friends? When when the lockdown started did you feel like you
were able to see the people that you usually saw or did you feel like you guys were kind of
isolated? How did you feel?

T

Tom 46:22
Oh, was huge isolation, for sure. But it just made the experiences all that much more
important and cherished when we had them. And so, THANK GOONESS, like, the best
thing that happened to the pandemic was spring, at least for those in the mountains.
Because, you know, spring happened, and so all of a sudden, we could see people outside.
And so we were, both my wife and I were careful, both to not catch it ourselves, as well as
to make sure we're not giving it to anybody, because you know, keeping in mind, she is a
physician, so she if she does get exposed.... So we would simply sit up in our yard and
spread out some lawn chairs and, and visit with people just like they did in the olden days.

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And so we'd have visits. And so that would work out great. And in fact, together, you know,
we had a visit where we walked up Pinebrook Mountain together with you guys, which was
really neat. And so, you know, we still have these, these really neat moments. And I guess
in a way, it's a really returning to our not so distant history of when people were more
spread out, you know, sort of in the colonial era, and you wouldn't have a visit all the time.
And, you know, if you were sort of on the frontier, when you did, it was very special. And so
I tried to look at it that way, actually. And so there's -- for both my wife and I, you know,
this is just a small little blip in our life. But for our at the time, six year old, you know, this
represents like a 10th of her life [chuckle], or, at the even at the time it did and now is
represents, you know, it's coming into a whole year. So it really it's a, you know, six or
seventh of her life. And from what she can remember it's basically half her life. And so it's
much more -- I'm constantly aware of-- and trying to figure out ways to make sure she's
still having fun and interactions and visits. And luckily, she does have some good friends
here in the neighborhood. And so she's able to see them, which is really nice. But, but
again, I think of those with younger kids who haven't quite established a friend group yet.
And that's, I would imagine, going to be extremely challenging for them.

D

Diane Livingston 48:31
I agree. Yeah. It's been hard for our little grandchildren. So, I was kind of curious about, I
don't know what you call your sacrament in the Catholic church is it the Eucharist. Do you
call it that?

T

Tom 48:44
Yes. How -- like, for us, we had to not have the sacrament for a little bit. And then we
started taking it at home. Did you guys have any sort of changes there? What did you do?
Yeah, well, pretty much exactly the same. You know, until in-person mass resumes, yeah,
no one had the sacrament. Now, I think that if you requested it, that you could, you know,
probably drive up to the church and I'd be very confident to think Father Gray would find
a way to accommodate people. And probably some did. But you know, we just had done
without, for quite a while.

D

Diane Livingston 49:23
So, but it's resumed now that it started.

T

Tom 49:26
Yes.

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D

Diane Livingston 49:27
Is there any difference as to the way they administer it? Or is it just the same?

T

Tom 49:33
I think it's, you know, more or less just, you know, people are still wearing masks in church.
And so they're, you basically receive the Eucharist and then walk a couple steps away, pull
your mask down, that sort of thing.

D

Diane Livingston 49:51
Okay. Very similar to what you were doing before. People wear masks, are you guys
socially distanced in church?

T

Tom 49:58
Yeah, people are spread out a little bit in pews as well. You know, one of the interesting
things that changed, not just mechanics-wise, but it was neat to see the hundreds of
people on the Zoom meetings; on the the virtual Masses, just hundreds of people showing
up. And so that was REALLY neat to see. Because we could all basically see the other
participants. And so, in one sense, it was lonely and isolating. In other sense, it was a
tremendous spirit of fellowship and community, because you thought, "Okay, here's
everybody else coming and here is the group of the faithful." So that was pretty neat to
see -- and encouraging. And you could do it every day, if you wanted to, which is pretty
neat. Yeah. Do you feel like there were as many people who were Zooming in as usually
come? Or were there more? [chuckling] I felt like, more, I felt like even more. There was a
small -- at least in the darkest days, when people were most scared, there was there was
definitely a time where it felt like maybe even more. The people that would only come to
church occasionally, we sort of call them the -- well, I think it's long standing as this sort of
the Christmas and Easter crowd, you know, who always be sure to come, then. I think
maybe a lot of those folks are showing up too, which is really neat to see.

D

Diane Livingston 51:20
That is really neat to see. How nice for them to be able to have have that strength. Is
there anything that you think that you've thought about doing at home during that lock
time down period, when you couldn't go in on Sundays? It sounds like you were pretty
busy, though, with your, with your church still on even a daily basis? Were there any other
things that you felt like you needed to do to replace the fact that you weren't there in-

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person? Or did you feel quite satisfied with the Zoom calling?

T

Tom 51:55
Um, well, I definitely didn't feel fully satisfied. You know, there's no substitute for being in
God's house as they would say. And so you miss that all the time, but fondness makes or
distance makes the heart grow fonder. And so it just kind of makes you not take for
granted the mechanics of, of going to church every week, which is easy to do. Even to
smallest, and even if you don't do it completely, to some small thing, "okay, there it is."
And so now its. you know, something that people are, at least in our family, you know, look
forward to and actively, all the time. And so that's, you know, there's, there's been that
benefit out of it, I would say.

D

Diane Livingston 52:48
Has this experience affected your faith? It sounds like you were looking forward to being
there. Do you feel like it's helped or hindered your faith -- that lockdown period and even
since then?

T

Tom 53:02
Wow, I DO think -- I've been doing a lot of self reflection about this, over the past couple
months, and I do think it's helped quite a bit. And I've learned a bunch of things. One is -no need to watch scary movies. Because [chuckling], because here it is. All the scariness is
here right now. And so I got to myself to thinking about the fact that our society,
humankind, peoplekind has been, would think it was funny or interesting, or cute to watch
a movie where something terrible was happening. And so, in a way you think to yourself,
like, there's some disaster, right, a disaster movie, these sort of things. And so, like, why do
we watch this? Well, we know, it's, it's exciting. And it's interesting to think about. And so
what I realized is that, nope, that's not exciting, it's all terrible. And it's not something to to
look forward to watching or living or experiencing. What is exciting is the everyday,
normal life in a peaceful society. THAT'S the exciting thing. And so, one of the self
revelations that I had was that we're so lucky to live in a country that was founded based
on founding fathers who thought so much about how to make a moral society -- how to
make a moral country. And, and so, to have it return for us to not, I guess the Romans
called it bread and circuses. So to steer away from the bread and circuses and, and focus
on what is important; working together as a community for common goals, for the benefit
of those in the community. And to as large an extent as possible the benefit of all of us in
the community. And to the benefit of those who are serving the community. And so to
realize that serving the community isn't itself; has intrinsic value to those that are actually

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serving. And to be able to refocus on those things was really neat. One of the things that I
didn't mention earlier...but when I was at Penn State, I got into Pandemic Preparedness.
And so I started working there, and that, and I think you're probably aware of the fact that
I started a ventilator project there. And so to see, when, when this pandemic was brewing
in China, in Wuhan, to see that building, you know, I was really tuned into that and
watching what was happening, and NOT looking forward to it. Like I had just, like I
mentioned before, this the tidal wave of dread, which was, you know, crashing down in
Wuhan, and to many others near China, and was threatening to make its way across the
sea. And so, for me, I started praying really early on, at the very beginning of this and, and
hoping that we would find a way to attenuate the problem, both as society and for the
world. So one of the things that I was able to do, and, of course, you know, I worked with a
long time ago was to, in some way materially address this problem. And so, we started this
-- we re-kicked back off this pandemic ventilator project, myself and another professor at
the University of Utah, and they grew to become huge. And so, one of the things I saw was
the goodness and kindness of humankind. We had a whole number of people at the
University of Utah volunteering their their time. And then became, the university Stanford,
Stanford University actually joined our effort. And then shortly after that Brown University
joined our effort. And so it became the Utah Stanford Brown University collaboration, the
USB ventilator. And then we had a bunch of commercial companies that joined. And I was
very pleased and happy to see that people are volunteering their time to help in our effort
with no expectation of any renumeration whatsoever themselves. They simply wanted to
save mankind; save lives, as many as they could. And there was initially a big shortage of
ventilators. And that pressure is has been relieved in the US, but it does exist in other parts
of the world. And so right now we're manu- it has become a worldwide effort. And one of
the professors at the University of Stanford we knew had contacts in India where we're
now manufacturing these with a company that's -- out of the goodness of the heart of the
company, they donated a lot of money and a lot of employees and a lot of time to
manufacture these. And so that was part of the spirituality for me, was everyone coming
together, just to help and they knew nobody was going to get anything out of this. So that
was neat to see. And we had no shortage; and it just grew and grew and grew. And so, you
know, for the darkness of what the disease is and all the consequences of the economic
shutdown, and the people are dying, and people are sick, and this terrifying nature for
many, many families, many people, many individuals then the loneliness. There were
these punctuations of rays of goodness and kindness that just burst through all that and
said, "You know, here we are." And, you know, we're going to be able to do something.
And we did, which is -- you don't even have to be successful -- but we, luckily in this
project, we were. And so we were able to help folks. And so I learned a couple different
things. One is that fear is not fun because when you're actually doing it, it's not so fun.
And so I think that's probably a little message from God is that you shouldn't be focusing
on those sort of things in life. I think that's an important lesson to learn. And then that the

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community is actually strong and robust. And it does exist still. And there is a lot of
goodness and I'm sure that it's an impossibility that that wouldn't be connected to, you
know, the goodness of the Lord. And the Lord, being will touch people to, to act to to help
like that.

D

Diane Livingston 59:46
Wonderful. Do you feel like it's been easier or harder to stay strong in your faith in God
during the pandemic?

T

Tom 1:00:00
Definitely easier because I'm focused on it all the time, all the time, every day, multiple
times a day. You know, there's not, there's there's, yeah. Just always thinking about it.

D

Diane Livingston 1:00:13
What a silver lining.

T

Tom 1:00:14
Yeah.

D

Diane Livingston 1:00:19
Has there been anything that surprised you, during this experience with COVID?
religiously? I'm sorry to put that framework and maybe -- you don't have to keep that
framework. But is there anything that surprised you religiously?

T

Tom 1:00:38
One thing that was the -- earlier on, I mentioned the huge number of people that had
come and be part of the virtual mass. And so that has whittled down. And there's been
attrition. Now, I'm not sure if all those folks have just -- are returned to in person or not. Or
if people, you know, basically recharged their, their battery and now they're off and doing
something else? I don't know. But it's been a surprise to see that that hasn't maintained
itself. And that there's been fewer people and things have been going down. And I don't
know why. Other than I mean, [chuckle] I really don't know why. I've tried to reflect on why
that is. And I just don't know. I'm not sure.

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D

Diane Livingston 1:01:30
I think that I personally think that these are going to be studied times for this is giving a lot
of food for fodder for socialogists will have lots to think about for a long time. And that
type of movement is an interesting thing to notice. Would you say that there are fewer
people than there were pre COVID?

T

Tom 1:01:58
Um, it's hard to know, because it's very hard to know, because -- now I'm sure that the
Parish knows, but for me, I don't know, because there's this split between virtual and inperson. And so I don't get to see everybody all the time. I don't know what people are
doing. But we could find that out. By talking to them. Yeah. I get the impression that
maybe it's back to baseline would be my guess. Were before which still in a historical
sense, is super low. [chuckle] Because the you know, if people are listening to this, you
know, 50 or 100 years from now, there's been a steady decline in church attendance, from
when I was a kid till now. And it's really disheartening to see for me.

D

Diane Livingston 1:03:04
It is. Alright, Tom, is there any other thought that you would like to leave -- parting
thoughts to be remembered years down the road about this time during COVID? That
doesn't have to be restricted it religous, any other thoughts that you'd like to share as we
close?

T

Tom 1:03:20
Well, it is, yeah, that our lives are losing enrichment, because we're not at gymnastics, and
not always at school, and not doing you know, even in-person Religious Ed, you know. And
there's this -- that level of enrichment of being together as a society has taken a huge hit.
And just being out -- going out to eat, you know, enjoying dinners, and these things are
still going on to some extent, but they're all attenuated and they're all not as much fun as
they were because of the, you know, the implicit dread that's always there, that, you know,
I want to go do this thing, but I'm not sure if I'm gonna turn out well or not. So there's
always that in the back of people's minds, and even those who have decided to, you know,
be brave in the face of the pandemic and put on a brave face, and, you know, there's still
that underlying fear. And so, as, as sad as that is, I have found it to be more or less fully
counterbalanced by the resurgence in family time and focusing on that. And so knowing
that this too shall pass someday it's interesting to have this time to refocus on the family.
There's, there's an interesting quote, that where some people may think that domesticity

Oral History with Tom Clardy

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Transcribed by https://otter.ai

is is boredom. But in fact, domesticity and one's house is the last bastion of freedom
where one may enjoy oneself to the fullest extent in any way they wish. I didn't quite do
that quote justice, but it's an important thing to sort of keep in the back of my mind about
that. And one other thing is, you know, I pray all the time, and I keep, you know, listening
for any kind of great answer. But I think the answer so far that I've got, isn't, you know, one
of those few times in, in people's lives where you REALLY think you you've heard the voice
of the Lord or the Holy Spirit or something like that. I haven't had any gigantic moment
like that, but one of the things that I, that I constantly hear is, basically, "steady on", like,
you know, "keep going, keep doing the right things, the right things are easy to know." And
they are, you know, we already know what to do. It's just a matter of finding the strength
and the will to make each day happy, rather than, you know, a burden. And so, I think
that's something that probably many, many folks are working on, at this time. But there's
certainly less distractions in society. And I've been very lucky. The other thing is, that the
generation of the baby boomers, has taught us something. So my parents are of the
generation of baby boomers and I've seen that they've maintained the spirit and the
knowledge to -- without a beat -- when they see something like this happen, they say,
you know, "Well, we're just gonna pivot and adjust and get through it." And there's no
complaining, whatsoever, which is amazing. There's no settling for anything less than
finding a good way through and together as a family. So that's been neat to see as well.
So they've imparted some strength on on us by looking at their strength.

D

Diane Livingston 1:07:22
Wonderful. So Tom, I have one last question for you. My question is, what do you hope for
the future? In your life?

T

Tom 1:07:30
Oh wow. I hope that our country returns to a God-fearing constitutional republic of people
who are, you know, strong in faith. And that morality is strengthened in everyone. And
that [pause] the United States returns to the shining beacon of hope. And, and a great
example of liberty that it once was, and to an extent, it still is, but that, it can it can shine
off its tarnish. And I hope that in in some way that this challenging time leads us through
to a better place. And I continue to hope and pray about that all the time. And think that,
think in the back of my mind, that maybe it will. Maybe this is part of the transition to
something more beautiful than where we were before. And so and so I yeah, that's that's
what I think about all the time.

D

Diane Livingston 1:08:56

Oral History with Tom Clardy

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Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Thank you, Tom. Thank you so much for sharing.

T

Tom 1:09:00
Yeah, thank you for letting me share.

D

Diane Livingston 1:09:04
This has been so great. Very wonderful. And we just love you as friends.

T

Tom 1:09:09
Yeah, likewise. Thank you.

D

Diane Livingston 1:09:11
So I'm going to go ahead and close the recording. And thank you again.

Oral History with Tom Clardy

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Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Tom Clardy Oral History Photographs

Stacy, Annamaria, Cecilia, and Tom Clardy

Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania

Stock photos

Elizabethtown College

Penn State University

Mayo Clinic

Mars Desert Research Station
Hanksville, Utah

St. Mary’s Catholic Church
Park City, Utah
Oral History with Tom Clardy
November 11, 2020
In this Oral History, Tom Clardy recounts his growing up years in Chadds Ford,
Pennsylvania, his school years, activies in school, meeting his wife, raising children and his life
with COVID-19. He relates his skiing days with his sister and father, supporting his wife, Stacy
during her years in medical school and his varied experiences with NASA, taking courses at
Penn state and as Director of Research Planning for Neurosurgery. Annamaria and Cecilia’s birth
and personalities are reviewed. Tom expresses the joys and challenges raising children during
COVID.
When the COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, their family was not to be isolated. In
the summer, they convened socially-distanced picnics with friends in the backyard and Stacy
spoke to her patients on long walks around the neighborhood. Tom and his family are practicing
Catholics and attend the St. Mary’s Church in Park City. Father Gray, their Priest, has livestreamed a spiritual message every day since the lockdown began in March and continues to this
day; a practice that has increased Tom’s respect for him inordinately. Wistfully, Tom describes
those meetings having a “tremendous spirit of fellowship and community because you thought,
‘Okay, here’s everybody else coming and here is the group of the faithful.’” Tom sadly recounts
that the “Easter and Christmas crowd” joined in for a while at the beginning of the lockdown but
appear to have since “gotten their fill.’” St. Mary’s church resumed services in September, and
with that the COVID-style Eucharist. Tom and his family are relieved to be back. He attributes
his fortified faith during the pandemic to his thinking about it “all the time.” In the final moments
of the interview, Tom revealed that he feels strength from God. He hears Him whisper, “Steady
on.”

Tom saw a need for ventilators so got a team together to design simple, inexpensive
ventilators. They are now being used throughout the world. It is this type of action that describes
Tom. Resourceful, innovative, caring and willing to put in the work to make things happen.

Diane Livingston, Interviewer
December 14, 2020
Dr. Patrick Mason, professor
History 6420
Utah State University Graduate Student

Interview with Tom Clardy
November 7, 2020
Time Stamp
1:10
Growing up years
2:53

Impressions of the United States founding

6:02

Sister, childhood games

8:27

Skiing

10:04

Education

11:41

Meeting Stacy

15:08

Mars Desert Research Station

17:36

Annamaria’s birth

21:17

Cecilia’s birth

27:59

Sports

30:50

Professional Life

31:40

Juggling work and family during COVID

37:43

Being raised Catholic and discovering Stacy is Catholic too

43:28

St. Mary’s Catholic Church response to COVID

49:33

Modified distribution of the Eucharist and Church Services

51:55

Feelings about Zoom church

53:02

Ways COVID has affected his faith – Do not watch scary movies

55:18

Praying for and getting an answer about how to help with COVID-Ventilator Project

1:00:38 Surprised the church goers have dropped off again
1:03:20 Good and bad of COVID
1:05:14 “Steady on”
1:07:30 Hopes for the country to return to a God-fearing constitutional republic

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