Christopher Robert Clarke

Christopher Robert  Clarke
World Trade Center

Buddha and the Classic Cokes

Christopher Clarke was fun-loving and had a magnetic personality, and of course he had his habits, for which there were no ready explanations. After dinner, he invariably lit up a cigar, and he'd have one on the golf course. He adored cheeseburgers. In the summer, he might have a cheeseburger for breakfast, a cheeseburger for lunch and a cheeseburger for dinner. He insisted on Cokes in the old-fashioned glass bottles. The refrigerator had to be constantly replenished with them.


"I have no idea," said Casey Clarke, his wife.

Mr. Clarke, 34, a bond trader for Sandler O'Neill & Partners, had gotten married last March. His wife had been living and working in Philadelphia, and he loved Philadelphia, so they settled there and he commuted to the World Trade Center. He joked that it took her three minutes to commute to work while it took him three hours.

He called his wife Pumpkin. She called him Buddha. Everyone had been calling him Buddha since he was small. When he was a baby, his mother had propped him up on the table in his diaper, and he sat there, his legs crossed, his pudgy stomach all too evident, and her brother walked in and declared, "There's Buddha."

Whenever he called his mother, Janet Clarke, he always began, "Hi, this is your M.C.," for model child. He has a twin brother, Tim, who would tease him, "Watch your step, because I'm the older one." Tim was born 14 minutes earlier.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on March 10, 2002.

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