Frank, son Gus and wife Amanda with Ann.

Archer Ann Clark’s Cincinnati, Ohio home was the place to be June 19, 2010 as family & archery friends gathered to celebrate Ann’s 85th birthday.  Ann is a former archery champ, exhibition shooter, Archery Hall of Fame member, and one of the founders of the Lady Diana’s hunting team. Her home made a great place for this gathering and she had valet parking for guests, live music, food and fun. Ann’s home is beautiful and has mementos from her archery career and friends all over the place.

There are quiet reminders of our beloved Ann Hoyt throughout the home.  Ann lived with Ann Clark the last years of her life and “The Two Ann’s” would show up at many of the archery events they attended each year.  I also saw prints by Ann’s friend Chuck Denault, signed photos from legends like Fred Bear, Jim Dougherty, and others and some of Ann’s old stage bows and arrows.  It was neat looking around before the party began.

George Gardner and his wife at the celebration.

Once the guests started arriving you would see people from all phases of the sport of archery including other lady Diana’s, former archery coaches, former archery champions, current champions, and most of the board for the Archery Hall of Fame.  There were a few fellow Archery Hall of Fame members too, including Allan Martin and George Gardner.

Ann’s friend Don Fangman belting out a Sinatra tune and sounding amazingly like ole Blue Eyes.

Ann’s party had LIVE music, including Don Fangman as Frank Sinatra.  He sounded exactly like ole’ blue eyes too.  He belted out hit after hit, including “Luck be a lady” and “My Way”.   By the way, another high light of the party was the slide show Diane Miller did for Ann with the “My Way” theme. Ann cried when she saw it, as did many who shared the many memories.  After the Sinatra show came Nelson Henning on keyboard who kept the festivities lively with his music.

The Archery Hall of Fame’s Marlyn Bentz, Steve Kaufman, and Diane Miller.

Ann’s backyard looked like something from a Home and Gardens magazine.  It is a beautifully manicured lawn with landscaping and a creek running along the back.  A very relaxing environment for such an occasion.  Ann had a tent set up with tables and chairs, a full wet bar, and lots of food.  Nothing was missing from this shindig, including laughter and fun.  Ann’s kids, grand kids, and a few great grand kids were running around mingling with Ann’s archery friends.

Ann back in the spotlight where she belongs as we all sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this class act.

I loved watching Ann’s smile that day as family and friends greeted her and let her know just how much they loved her.  Clearly it was her day… and she was loving every minute of it.  I saw her dancing to Sinatra many times, singing, dancing around and smiling.  She looked so radiant and happy.  All of us should wish to look so good at 85!

Ann had asked me to perform a show for the party which I was happy to do.  I hung the net from a tree in her backyard and asked her grandson to toss targets for me.  We had a good time bringing some “Bow and arrow razzle dazzle” to the party.  Not only was this Ann’s first time to see my show, former two time Gold Medal winning archery Darrell Pace was there as well.

Happy Birthday Aspirin Bustin Style.

Ann had everyone gather around the net and I went into my exhibition mode.  As a grand finale I had her grandson toss up mustard seed for me to try and hit.  I asked for the person in the audience with the best vision to come forward and spot my shooting for this feat.  With the spotter and my thrower watching I hit two mustard seeds out of five attempts!  So we closed the show and it was time for dinner.  When the pressure is on you want to get it right and we did that day!

Talking bows with an archery great… Darrell Pace and I.

After my show I enjoyed spending some time visiting with Darrell Pace.  I had read about him during his reign as champion in the 1970’s and 1980’s, he is the only two time individual Gold Medal winner in the history of Olympic Archery.  He impressed me with his quiet but confident manner and clearly he knows the technical side of the sport.  I showed him the Hoyt Formula RX recurve bow and we also discussed his mental approach to shooting.  I can tell now why Darrell and Earl Hoyt got along so well, they are kindred spirits.  It was a real honor to spend some time with this archery great.  I liked him very much.

Ann’s family gathered for a family photo… several generations.

All in all, a great day of archery, friends, laughter and food that many of us will remember for many years to come.  As the party wound down and guests began making their departures, I thought about the fact that this may be the last time many of us would be together.  Each year we seem to loose more and more archery legends.  I was thinking that many of us from this sport are gone.  Clearly Ann Hoyt and other old friends were missed, but we talked about them and old memories many times that day and we all smiled at those memories.   We also celebrated the fact that our Ann Clark is still with us, still looking great, smiling and happy at 85!  She’s a great friend of the sport of archery and an asset to all who know and love her.  Here’s to you Ann and may God continue to bless your life with good health, good memories and fun.  You really have done it “Your Way.”

If you missed it, you can read the celebrity interview with Ann here:
Straight Talk: Ann Clark

That’s the latest.  Until next time, Adios and God Bless!

Shoot Straight,

Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster