I Am So Grateful And So Lucky …

24 03 2015

… Unlike so many of my generation, I’m still here, feel great and ready for the next turn in the road that is the adventure of my life.

Sometimes I wish I could watch it instead of live it.

That is what you can do can do. More interesting than a rerun!

The events of this year have changed the direction of my life.

Wow … I never would have guessed the catalyst for much of this change would be speaking to the Charlottesville City Council about a Civil War era holiday … but why not? As it did for so many, the Civil War changed the course and direction of my family for generations and it is still changing lives, including mine.

Some historians may not agree, but Abraham Lincoln was our first gay president. OK that topic for another day!

For now the video below will give you a rundown of the back story and if you already know it, the amazing hypocrisy of the blow back from NBC29, that is now part of the tale, it starts at ~7:30 into the video.

What price do you sell your basic freedoms as a citizen?

For once maybe we have an issue that can unite rather than divide?

Click the link BELOW;

If you are new to this and who I am, here is the link to my ‘Bio Demo’, more than you would ever want to see of my professional life;

If you want to know about the father that I try to be, as referenced in the first video; take a look at my Flickr account, now close to 10,000 pictures and even a few videos;

Kirk Clyatt – Flickr Photo Stream

Please feel free to email: Kirk@KirkClyatt.com and follow on Twitter; @Clyatt

Also below is another brief except from my book – ‘Tangled Wires’, which may never actually be finished, but gives you a little more background into who I am and why this is an issue where I must make a stand.

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Kirk Clyatt – Tangled Wires – Excerpts

… Two quotes both from Winston Churchill help keep me going, ironic because of all the pain I felt going to a high school that bore his name;

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

The other from the dark days of late 1941 in Briton;

“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Still I feel like a warrior, but in the past I was often too afraid to fight for what I believed in, or chose to fight the wrong battles, for the wrong reasons.

There are kids today who are like I was 40 years ago … my hope is they have the courage to see who they are and live their lives as they know in their soul they should. Not what I often did; take the easy way, the expected way or is what the expedient path for the moment. Not to try to pretend and try to convince themselves and others of what they are not.

This tale of my life’s road; a life in many ways that almost got away from me, completely out of control, because of the fear of really facing and being open to the world. My lie by omission caused me to walk way too far on life’s edges, where a fall means that is no coming back and hurt and confused others in the process. Many nights I thought I felt myself falling, my journey was over, leaving just a pile of rubble, because of a life shaken and shaped by fear.

That it will give someone the courage to live the way in their heart they know they should, even if it at that time it seems the much harder, scarier path to take …To do otherwise is to risk repeating some my history, spend years pretending and miss out on what could have been a happy reality.

(The following paragraphs were written in 2006 … because of the brave leaders of the LGBTQ movement of which I was too afraid to be one  … in the last nine years, the attitude of many may have changed.)

For those who still believe that being gay is a choice … how much simpler my life would have been and how much more professionally successful I may have been had I been made straight?

There are very few gay and lesbians that I have met that would have made the choice to be gay. It is who, it is what I am, it is not something I chose any more than I chose my parents. I just wish I could have better faced the reality many years ago, but I kept thinking I could, I would change … in some ways nothing would have pleased me more. It never has happened and never will.

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Fear … Americans are consumed by it.

Fear that goes way beyond being prudent and careful, the kind of intense fear that is whipped up by our government to suit their own needs and stoked by TV newscasts that often no longer have the budget or the talent to do the kind of reporting that makes a difference … so the easy road is taken.

From bird flu to bed bugs, to the sex-offender living next door to your kid’s school, to you being afraid of that big black man walking towards you on the street … we are so afraid.

There are so many kinds of fear; from the time we are kids … especially if we’re different from the rest, then when we become adults, for so many the fear of what would happen if the truth was known?

Confusion and misinformation leads to fear.

Fear that the other guy may have something better than you.

I have been very guilty of leading a life of fear, but for the rest of my life the story will be different, for me fear will be part of the past.

This book lays it all out as to who I am and how I got here.

My challenge is to put all of the events in some kind of an order that makes sense to you. Of course the easy way would just to go chronologically, but that may not be the best way.

I do have one advantage, I don’t have to use any imagination to write this book because, as Mark Twain said, “The difference between truth and fiction is that fiction has to make sense.” There is no way I could just make this story up.

My fear is still not all gone, to exercise it from my life is one of the reasons for this book. Shed the fear and it is so much easier to just enjoy being in the journey, having the experience that is life.

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Why am I not overwhelmed with what is happening now in 2015? … It’s kind of been the story of my life;

CHAPTER 2 – MY MEMORY BEGINS WITH A GUNSHOT

I was born into dysfunction; my first memory in life is the suicide of my maternal grandfather.

It was the day after Christmas in 1961, I had just turned 3 on the eighth, my mother, Lucy Lennox Cliatt, still just 24, left Florence, South Carolina early in the day to return alone to her job in Washington, DC. She left me in the house she had been married in just four Decembers before, leaving me in the care of my grandparents.

My grandfather, James Sanders, 61, went out the kitchen door. He was part owner of a small chain of gas stations, ‘Super X’ in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

How was he carrying his pistol; was it in his hand, in his pocket, in a holster? I don’t know. What I do know is that he went from the kitchen door, about 50 feet to a small white one car garage, climbed into the drivers side of the front bench seat of his ‘56 DeSoto and ended his life and began my memory of life by taking his gun turning it on himself and firing one shot right through his heart.

The chaos of that day stained the fabric of my life.

There was never any consideration of moving from the house. The small garage stood for many more years; I even painted it a couple of times as a teenager and a young man.

I have gone to my grandfather’s grave in the Quaker Cemetery in Camden, South Carolina and yelled at him for what he did, not for what he did to himself, but for what he took from me.

I still wonder why the heart, not the head? There must have been pain as he died in his DeSoto. Was his shot to the heart a last message to his wife, my grandmother, did he feel his heart was broken?

My grandmother was a small, but in her own way very powerful woman, so much so that she ran off my father, James Edward Cliatt, III, at the time of my birth an Air Force officer, second in his class at the Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, in 1957.

Her birth name was; Frederica Alexander (Alexandra) Kirkland

My name at birth was; Frederick Kirkland Cliatt

I don’t think my mother had much choice about it.

By the time of my birth my father was already out of the picture, he never saw me until I was six. …

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As bleak as the picture looks today … I feel better than when I had ‘it all’.

Life pushes you in ways and into places you would never go yourself.

I am blessed to have survived it all … I am still here, still able everyday to see the darkness of the night fade into the day.

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In the big picture of my life the NBC29 issue is not a big deal … the only reason I am spending so much energy on it is because of the important basic issue that it holds for so many … where do your basic rights as an American start and stop and who has the power to unilaterally take them away from you?

There comes a time where you have to practice what you preach … I’m taking a stand.

Please join me … Thank you so much for reading this, right now that is all I ask.

More information on how you can help keep America the land of the FREE coming ASAP!

One of my supporters told me my message is all over the place … he is right. A new consolidated web site coming ASAP as complexities of this story only grow deeper … Stay Tuned!

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Aftermath Of Being A Responsible Citizen? … You’re Fired!

22 03 2015

My statement to Charlottesville City Council on Monday, March 16th, 2015

Here is the audio version;

Kirk Clyatt – Charlottesville City Council – March 16, 2015

Link to the video, my appearance is at ~25 minutes into the meeting;

Video Charlottesville City Council – March 16, 2015

This is the transcript;

Mayor: Kirk, Kirk Clyatt?

Clyatt: Clyatt, that’s right thank you Mister Mayor and Council, my name is Kirk Clyatt, 208 Meade Avenue and I’m going to talk about what happened after I was here last time.

In 1968 I remember as a small boy, nine years old, the impact of Walter Cronkite’s words in changing America after his trip to Vietnam.

Well unfortunately that can’t happen anymore; I have learned the hard way after having the audacity to speak before this council as TV weatherman about the Civil War and Lee-Jackson Day, that act of civic responsibility, has cost me my job and I have never been prouder to be fired.

I was told by NBC29 management that by coming here tonight, that I would make a fool out of myself and I never work again and by innuendo it was inferred that they would make it hard for me to get unemployment compensation.

Well I say to this council there are things that more important than TV weather.

I’ve prepared a packet; here is one if you’d like to take a look at it. I’ll be emailing them to you individually and I’ve got an extra here if you’d like.

In case you don’t remember I was here on February 2nd, I’ve also included in the packet a little background on why this is an important issue to me.

I came to Charlottesville because I viewed this as a progressive community and NBC29 seemed to fit into this community.

The company handbook even stated;

“It is policy to allow and support ALL employees to participate in civic, political, charitable or other community activities of the employee’s choosing.”

Then on February 3rd, even though there were no complaints about my actions, I get an email that states in part;

No testifying before a public body on personal opinions.

Now I certainly understand not taking a public position on stories that you are actively covering, but I wasn’t covering this as a story … I was a weatherman.

Then on February 6th I received a letter that directly contradicted what was said in the employee handbook.

This is amazing to me because the station knew when they hired me that my side job is a USA news commentator with politically tinged commentaries for radio stations in Australia, including some of the major cities, for the past 13 years.

To obey this letter, as a gay man … and I have to wonder as a side bar if that is part of this, as I had planned to soon publicly come out … well I guess my coming out is to this council and to this meeting tonight.

(Applause)

Thank you.

I didn’t expect applause, but I appreciate that.

You know I would not be allowed to take a position whether it was OK for me to be discriminated against.

Would I be allowed to write a Facebook commentary on the tragic suicide of Leelah Alcorn the 17-year-old transgender girl you may remember last December in Ohio that brought me more than a few tears?

There is also the issue of religion;

I was told if I had said the exact same things that I said to you in a place of worship that would be fine, but to me coming here had such an impact that it rises to the level of freedom of religious expression, so much so that I have registered the website after this happened ChruchOfTheCitizen.org.

I consider the actions by NBC as unethical and possibly illegal.

I’ll be in touch with you independently about how maybe this council can help me?

And it just goes to show unfortunately in too many ways the Civil War is not yet over, especially here in Virginia.

Mayor: Thank You.

Clyatt: And I thank you for listening to me.

(Applause)

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It would seem hard to imagine, but the story is getting even stranger … more to come ASAP.

Thank you for reading … your comments are welcome.





Kirk Clyatt – ‘Bio Demo’ – Take FOUR

28 06 2014

Kirk Clyatt – ‘Bio Demo’ – Take FOUR

It’s like a personal ‪#‎infomercial‬. Up this late reading ‪#‎Tweets‬ and/or reading Facebook/Word Press posts? This has got to be more interesting  http://bit.ly/4Clyatt  OR click the link above!

Longer! Better? I’m now up to Take FOUR. Now 18’30”, with 244 elements … at least I’m now reasonable competent with Final Cut Pro X … looking for a new ‘thrill ride’ ASAP!





Stories On Line …

28 02 2011

Since there is some work from the ‘other station’  I briefly worked for in the area here on the blog, I thought at least I should post how you can take a look at my new work;  (Click the link below)

Kirk – Recent Stories – CBS21, Harrisburg, PA

As I enter this post, the two most recent stories are Kids Boxing and Horse Manure …  it can be just about anything, so at work … there is never a dull day!

(Of course it is ‘Flash’ so it won’t work on your iPhone … what is the matter with Apple?)

It’s weather on the weekend … got to get back to it, a sure sing of spring at last, good chance of some thunderstorms to end February!

Have a good week!

BTW: ‘Tiny’ … is now at 249,025 and still going strong, thank God, I’ll post a picture when he rolls over the quarter of a MILLION mark … that is right about 10 laps of our planet!





… New Station Bio?

13 02 2011

An interesting ‘mind game’ (ego) project; had to write a new bio for work. How close will this be to what shows up on the station site? OK so here is the last 30 years of my professional life, at least the highlights, in just a few paragraphs;

Reporter/Meteorologist Kirk Clyatt came back to broadcasting and to CBS21 in December 2010 after working for Apple, Inc.

“It was quite an education to become intimately familiar with Apple’s amazing products, but it is great to be back home in broadcasting and in Pennsylvania.”

Kirk holds the seal of approval from both the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the National Weather Association (NWA).

Kirk may be new to CBS21, but not to Pennsylvania as he was seen in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area on WBRE and for three years in Philadelphia on WCAU and WPHL.

While working in Baltimore for WBFF/WNUV Kirk was awarded two Emmys for “Outstanding Weathercast” in the National Capitol Region.

Kirk also anchored weather for CNN and CNN International.

As an instrument rated aircraft pilot and the former owner of a Cessna 172, Kirk learned the true power and fury that Mother Nature can unleash after he flew thru a thunderstorm over Iuka, Mississippi .

Kirk started his broadcasting career in radio and even worked on a ‘Pirate Radio Ship’ in Europe’s North Sea. Kirk is still heard on radio in Australia, he is into his 10th year as the back-up USA News Presenter for 3AW in Melbourne, Victoria and now also heard weekday mornings with USA News on 6PR in Perth, Western Australia.

There is not much that Kirk won’t do; from diving on the Great Barrier Reef, to running marathons, to trying to pretend he was a professional athlete. Scrimmaging with the Baltimore Blast soccer team put Kirk in the hospital, but at least the story won an award for the Maryland Sports Feature of the year.

Kirk was born in South Carolina, but grew up in nearby Maryland and is the proud father of two children Kylee and Zane, Kylee is a student at Harvard.





Save $$$ … An Important Tax Break If You Hire Me Now!

19 03 2010

This week President Obama signed the H.I.R.E. Act into law.

This means I can save you 6.2% over many other candidates for your open position.

Since I have now been ‘on the beach’ for 60 days, should you be kind enough to hire me, for the first year you would NOT have to pay the employer share of Social Security (SSI) Tax … that is of course 6.2%.

So even for a modest $50,000 position, if it is a toss-up between me and another candidate, but the other candidate is currently employed (or has been employed within the last 60 days) … you will save $3,100 during my first year should you pick me!

Just trying to give you yet another reason to call or e-mail today … My complete presentation is below and much more as you go through the blog, but if you would like a much more user-friendly DVD it is just an e-mail away!

Hope to hear from you!





… A New Recipe?

4 03 2010

OK I know I said my last demo was the last one, but I try never to say never, plus I am never (oh no, I just said ‘never’ again) satisfied with my work … I am not satisfied with this, but there is only so much you can do, especially when you’re doing your editing on home computer … keep that in mind when you’re watching.

This one does include about ten minutes of updated material from January – mainly in parts four and five.

Why is it so long?

Because I offer much more than just a weather forecast, plus the way I see it; if you’re going to hire someone, you’re going to want a comprehensive look at what they can do for you … that is what this is.

Short term relationships are OK too!

That is one of the good things about weather … I can walk into almost any station anywhere and with minimal training I am ready to go!

After all when I worked for CNN International I did forecasts for Asia and Africa, so anywhere in North America is not a problem.

If you have an immediate need … lets help each other!

Of course I am looking for a LTR, but right now I’m also available almost immediately for ‘temp’ positions … so if you just need someone for a few weeks or a couple of months, I’m just an e-mail away!  Kirk@KirkClyatt.com

OK here we go … and somehow, my demo has gotten even a little longer, it is now 65 minutes, so since You Tube only gives you ten minute blocks of time … ahhh its in seven parts.

Now if you would like a MUCH more viewer friendly DVD, it is just and e-mail away!

Now if you’ve enjoyed part one and may be interested please check out my resume.

Kirk Clyatt Resume 3 10

Above Part Two …
… Below Part Three

This … you guessed it … is Part Four

Amazing the way it works … above is Part Five
Below is Part Six

And at last here is the seventh … and final part!

Thank you so much for taking a look … I’d love to know what you think!

Please think some good thoughts for me that with spring just about upon us … maybe the job market will at last start to thaw!?