Please Keep Wishing Him Well

“Chocolate never tasted so good!” That’s what Clark said when Dr. Simmie Armstrong gave him some Jello pudding after “upgrading” his diet to soft foods. As God continues to answer your many prayers and well wishes, Clark is comfortably relocated in the rehabilitation wing, and looking forward to coming home in a few weeks.

When I asked him how he felt about his progress, he said “Getting well is good, but getting ‘weller’ is better.” Clark has a sense of humor that never quits – even from his hospital bed.

Friends and family have come to cheer him on, and when I walked into his room recently with another surprise visitor, I said, “Terri Lyne Carrington is here to see you?” He said, “Terri Lyne! Where is she?” Smiles were on everyone’s face when she walked over to his bed and gave him a big hug, and when she made a speakerphone call to her father, Sonny Carrington, who said, “I love you, Clark. You’re one of the best friends I’ve ever had.”

Like so many young talented musicians, Clark encouraged Terri Lyne, too. We all reminisced about the first time that he heard her play the drums back in 1976, and then invited her parents to bring her to the Wichita Jazz Festival to sit in with his “East Coast West Coast Jazz Giants.” She said that she was just ten years old at the time, and it was the realization of a dream when Clark gave the okay for Louie Bellson to get up and let her play his double-bass drum set with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Al Cohn, George Duvivier, Jimmy Rowles, Garnet Brown and Clark.

Terri Lyne Carrington (photo by Gary Paris)

After we left the hospital, Terri Lyne played a drum set in our home. When I told her that Louie Bellson had given us the set, she said, “That’s wild!” I asked her to share one of the greatest lessons that she’d learned from Clark. She said, “I was late for one of his gigs and when I got there, Clark was playing the drums. So being on time was never a problem after that.” We enjoyed her visit, and we love her new CD, “The Mosaic Project.”

With God’s grace, your encouraging prayers, and visits from friends and family, Clark is getting stronger each day. It will be so nice to bring him home, again.


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14 Responses to Please Keep Wishing Him Well

  1. The Rev Canon Bill Moore says:

    My dear friend,
    Just heard the news. My prayer is that you’ll beat this just like you have always done. Know that Jacque and I are praying for you and Gwen. God bless you two and keep you. I’ll always love you.

  2. Tiffreau France says:

    Hello Clark

    From France, quite faraway, I wish you a very happy anniversary and all the best for your health and your family
    Very sincerely yours

  3. Simon Schorno says:

    Keep getting weller Mr. Terry, we love you!

  4. Tom Smith says:

    Clark!! Glad you are starting to feel better, that is great news. I have a nice framed picture on my desk I took of you at Glen Cove with your horns sitting on Louie Bellson’s Bass drum which was your coffee table!! You had his drums all over your house as coffee table, makes me smile 🙂 Remember our little back stage “Dry Sack Sherry party” at your Wooster show, with the little plastic champaagne glasses, so much fun! And your week here in Columbus with The Columbus Jazz Orchestra honoring Sweets, we did some partying at those shows too! Anyway, get well and weller and KEEP ON KEEP ON KEEPING ON!!
    Love, Tom Smith, Columbus Ohio

  5. Fabian Acuna says:

    I’m so glad you are getting “weller” Clark. It is great news to hear that a fellow “fella” is getting “weller”. Your spirit, even from the hospital bed, continues to inspire me as a human being. It is truly remarkable. I am so glad to hear that you are getting better and I can’t wait to hear the news of your arrival back at home. All my blessings and I’ll keep praying for a “wellerer” recovery!

    Lots of Love
    Fabian Acuna

  6. Dear Clark,

    Wishing you the strength to heal once again and sending you gratitude for all the music you’ve put in my ears my entire life. I’ve been blessed to have known you and had your music in my ears since I was a child. For me, you and Jazz are exalted and synonymous.

    The first time I heard you play live I was so young I couldn’t speak. The last time I heard you play live was at my father’s memorial at St. Peter’s Church and left me speechless. There will be a next time soon!

    Like Terri Lynne’s father, you were one of my father’s best friends and biggest inspirations.

    Thank you for all the blessings,
    Love and Peace,
    Erik Lawrence
    (Arnie’s older son)

  7. Claiborne Ray says:

    Dear Clark,
    The world is just a better place for having you in it!
    Love from a fan since the “Tonight Show” days,
    Claiborne Ray

  8. Sending healing love your way, Clark, you’re the very best!

  9. Michael "Migueligans" Miller says:

    P.S. – Thank you, Valerie Bishop, for your kind compliment. Without a doubt, Clark just brings out the silly in me!

    Speaking of that……I was thinking that, considering all the many delicious ways Gwen prepares chicken for Clark, instead of Clark racing Terri Lynne to the drumset once he’s home, Clark will most likely be heading to the drumSTICK!

    Keep on getting weller and weller, Clark, because once you’re home, you can have all the chicken you want for just a poultry sum!

    Love lots to one and all…and all the blest from way out west….


  10. Dear Clark and Gwen,
    So glad to hear this current news! We’re both so glad that you’re feeling “weller” and able have some real food-I can imagine that the pudding tasted great! Enjoy the new diet upgrade and I’ll look forward to talking to you soon. You are such an inspiration!
    Lots of love,
    Alan and Riina

  11. Valerie Bishop says:

    How wonderful that Clark has been “upgraded”!! i know TLC brought some smiles to his face. she actually brought some to mine as well at Disney Hall last Sat. nite w/Dianne, Angelique and Lizz. i, first saw TLC when Sonny brought her as a young teenager to the Jackie Robinson summer event in CT. she got to “sit in” for Max Roach that day!! i love her parents as well and was grateful to be in her grandmother’s company many times.

    i’m also enjoying the humor of Michael Miller. he keeps me chuckling. and lovely to see your god-daughter, Celine’s heartfelt posts. such a sweet young lady. met her at IAJE Toronto, again at Monterey and last year at Playboy in Hollywood.

    so we have some powerful folks here praying strongly for our dear Clark and Gwen. onward and upward, for sure!!

    valerie bishop

  12. Céline Peterson says:

    I’m so glad to hear that you’re doing better, Uncle Clark! I can’t wait until you’re home. Nothing can keep you down! You are the strongest person and hardest fighter that I know.

    I love you!

  13. Michael "Migueligans" Miller says:

    With all the healing time you’re PUDDING in at the hospital, Clark, you’ll surely be home soon, racing to get to the drumset before Terri Lyne does!

    You and Terri Lyne have both been so wonderful to Josh, so it was just beautiful to know that the two of you were finally able to have such a special reunion.

    May the good times keep on keepin’ on, Clark, and we look forward to seeing you buzzing merrily back at home soon! You could play that Gershwin tune…you know the one….”Pudding On The Ritz”!

    Sending a toasterful of love,


  14. Anthony R. Oland says:

    Dear Clark, In 2006, I went thru the hospital thing just like you. Keep your chin up man, it only gets better from here on in!

    We love you!

    Wasaga Beach
    Ontario Canada