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Clarence Wabash Fairbanks Born 2:20:22pm Monday, September 22, 1924

Clarence Wabash Fairbanks was born to a loving family on September 22, 1924. This unfortunately, or rather fortunately, meant his inability to be registered for school until a year later than the average age. This didn’t stop his parents from imparting the fundamentals of knowledge to the young and eager mind.
Clarence’s life was far from easy, from the tight financial constraints before and through the depression, onto the color of his skin. This may be one of the many reasons he was attracted to Shirley.
He wasn’t entirely sure if it was the fact she was deaf, ostracized by society, or if it was how she held herself and others to a higher standard. Whatever it was, he devoted his free time outside of his schooling to learning sign language.
His first signed words to Shirley were like magic for them both. Despite obvious differences, and barriers in both communication and social, their relationship only grew throughout the years. Shirley’s caring, drive, fire, and unbridled desire to continue bettering herself matched Clarence point for point, bringing them even closer than before.
It wasn’t until late of 1947 that Shirley brought up the subject of marriage. This was soon followed by plans to take a trip down to New Mexico for a small ceremony in 1948.
Clarence’s relationship with his long time and solid friend, Ben Stillman, didn’t just yield a marriage to Shirley, but a long term investment into their engineering desires, and a resulting partnership and ownership of their own engineering firm. While both are skilled in engineering, and their skill is accompanied by a solid yet small family of engineers, it’s clear Ben’s is the head for business and Clarence’s is the head for engineering and design.
While racism still plays a large role in how Clarence and Ben have to deal with clients and how he and Shirley deal with the general population, it plays little in Clarence’s own concept of self-worth. With his head concentrated and firm on his and his family’s quality of life and future, he has little time and patience left to play the race game. Though it’s been far from easy, his calm demeanor and concentrated efforts of pressing ever on have granted him a solid financial and moral foundation, allowing both him and Shirley to live well.

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