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CLARKE IRVINE, son of above was born in Salem, Ore., on 4 December 1892, and was a lad of 10-11 when the family moved to Santa Monica. A high school graduate - like father and uncle and grandfather - the newspaper field attracted him in his teens.
When tracked down in 1946, Clarke was unresponsive to queries concerning his early life - understandable perhaps because of mounting marital troubles. His Australian wife (Margaret Robertson) had left him and he was living in a trailer park. A divorce was soon forthcoming - followed later in the year by a 2nd marriage to Alice Tielens - who within the space of 2-3 years presented him with a 1st daughter, then twin daughters.
At the time his energies were expended in writing a health food pamphlet with a sideline venture of trailer rentals to the movie folk. Until lately this latter proved a lucrative business but now was fading because "moviedom" found trailers so useful they were acquiring their own. The publication was soon to be sold and Clarke transferred to Alpine, Calif.
Sidelights from a June ‘64 issue of the Star News & Venice Vanguard by staff writer Bill Henderson :-
"SON OF VANGUARD FOUNDER BROUGHT MOVIE MOGUL INCE TO CULVER CITY. NOW PUBLISHES TINIEST PAPER."
"Many persons down through the years have claimed a share of responsibility for bringing the motion picture studios to Culver City. But there’s one among them who, perhaps above all others who can take credit for getting the ball rolling. And he has documentary proof.
"He is Clarke Irvine, 71 year old editor and publisher of "The Alpine Sun" - billed as America’s Tiniest Newspaper.
"Like the myth of the "La Ballona Whale" Irvine’s story explodes another local legend about how producer Thomas H. Ince floated 3 canoes laden with Indian warriors down La Ballona Creek for a movie scene and liked the area so well he moved his studio here.
" ‘I never heard of the canoe bit’ said Irvine. ‘All I know is that back in 1914 when I was doing a movie column for a Los Angeles paper I got Harry Culver and Tom Ince together and they made a deal for Ince to move here.’ ‘ I told Harry Culver that Tom Ince was looking around for a better location and asked him why he didn’t give him a good deal on some of his property here.’ According to Irvine, Ince had a studio called ‘Inceville’ up in the Santa Inez Canyon, and that during the rainy season the area was so plagued with knee-deep mud the company couldn’t do any shooting. Culver told Irvine to sell Ince the idea and the deal was made - Culver practically giving the land to Ince - and Triangle Studios were founded, later to become the giant Metro-Goldwin-Mayor industry.
"Irvine is now telling in a book the Random House is interested in all about the early glamorous days of many stars of Hollywood, many of then known to Irvine before stardom - and helped along the way by Irvine. ‘I talked Fatty Arbuckle into the movie business. Fatty was singing illustrated songs at an Ocean Park theatre and wanted no part of acting before a camera. I told Mack Sennet about him and he hired him as a $3.00 a day Keystone Cop’.
"Included among Irvine’s friends - many of whom he wrote publicity - were: - Will Rogers, Myrna Loy, John Barrymore, Lon Chaney, Irene Rich, Alan Hale, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, John Gilbert, John Bowers, Cedric Gibbons, David Wark Griffith, Donald Crisp, Harry Langdon, William S. Hart, Bebe Daniels, Snub Pollard.
"In addition to editing and publishing the Alpine Sun Irvine runs a 12 space Trailer Park and tapes a radiocast on "Early days in Hollywood" for station XEMO, Sundays at 5:30, 860 on your dial. He plans to give the tapes to the Hollywood Museum.
"Irvine worked as an office boy for Abbott Kinney, founder of Venice, played bit parts in films and stage, ran a merry-go-round in Ocean Park, wrote a syndicated column called ‘Studioland’ which got worldwide fame, was San Goldwin’s publicity director, had a trick in the Navy - buying his way out after 2 years, fought in W.W.I, covered Honolulu waterfront, went on a lecture tour for United Press, and as a roving reported scooped the world with his story of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith’s first Trans-pacific flight from Oakland to Brisbane.
"At 71 he looks no older than 50. Erect, no paunch owns and flies his own plane - first soloing at 65.
"The Alpine Sun - is ‘The Tiniest Newspaper in America’ - but with the able assistance of reporters Cynthia, Celeste, and Cecile - and Alice handling the Art and Composition - is a going concern, filled with up-to-the-minute local news, social items, commentary, good art and lots of advertising, is published weekly on Friday - 2255 Tavern Road, Rt. 1, Box 189, Alpine, San Diego Co., Calif., Zone 92001, phones 445-2415 or 2394.
Issue of Clarke Irvine and Gabrielle Alice Tielens:-