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Which one grew up the most seems to be up for grabs. Tammy says, "All of a sudden [ Ralph] had a son who was a man who had a wife, two kids and a life."
Says Ralph, "I think he just matured."
It's crazy how things work out. Jack saved Ralph from the fumes. Ralph saved Jack from the phonies. They can both go to your head.
The years have covered their grudges in dust. "I think I rode him too much," says Ralph. "I guess I wanted him to be outstanding. But [the criticism] didn't help anybody."
Jack has forgiven him, too. "He was just working, just trying to put a roof over our heads," he says.
Oh, yeah, they still argue plenty. His father thinks Jack is crazy to spend money the way he does. "But he's 21, he can do what he wants," says Ralph. And he still thinks Jack needs to move up in the box. But who knows what the rest of the season will bring? Clark could go 300 miles an hour or he could have a gigantic explosion, right?
They're getting along so well now that Jack can even nag him. It drives him crazy that Ralph, 68, won't go to the doctor. "I've seen him let broken fingers heal crooked," says the son. "He can be dyin' and he won't go to the doctor."
The last doctor Ralph went to said he had a diabetic condition and gave him a prescription for it. But when the prescription ran out, Ralph didn't get it renewed. "These doctors, they always want you to come in before they'll renew your prescription. [In a mocking voice] 'No, you have to come in.' Well, forget that. Do you know how far a drive that is?"
Bring the subject up with Jack and the eyebrows get positively cobalt. Which means, of course, that underneath it all, he does care for his father.
It is not easy to break a cycle of anger. A man grows up angry at his father, he gets angry at his son. But Jack Clark broke the cycle. He loves Anthony and Anthony loves him. But does Jack love Ralph?