That's the G rated version of my ecstatic outburst when just a short time after posting a request for help in finding a sign from Clem, one showed up at my doorstep. I didn't even have to leave my house. I will be forever grateful to photographer Stephen Puliafico for his rapid and heart stopping response to my plea for assistance. He sent me a link to this 1964 Knickerbocker News article that not only referenced the subject of my search it also included a photo of him. The photo shows a checker-shirted Walter Clements (Clem) painting meticulously with gold gilt. My instincts may prove to be more accurate than I first imagined. Not only was Clem a sign painter who loved his craft he was involved in rescuing a portion of Saratoga's historic past. At first I thought Mr. Puliafico's link was spam but I recognized his name and fortunately I checked out the URL he provided. I am being totally honest when I say my heart skipped a beat upon seeing the photo of Clem. I was nine years old in 1964 and I lived in the nearby Greenfield Center but my grandparents lived in the city just a few blocks from Broadway. I am sure Clem crossed my path in some way during my younger days. This adventure is just a few days old and it has already surpassed my expectations. Seeing a simple photo of Clem would have been great but seeing this one confirms my idea that Clem had more artistic desire than to just paint signs. This discovery will keep my investigative juices flowing. I now have a thank you card to pen and a favor to repay. Wow, this is fun!
*Note: The link to the article takes a minute to upload. Be patient, it's worth the wait.