By Nat Arenson 12/2004
The Florida Pistol Shooting Fraternity is delighted that material was gathered here in to permanently memorialize Clem Theed. It is opined that no one deserves this recognition more than this outstanding individual.
Clem made friends over a number of years, who admired him immensely.
Clem was a lawyer and respected in his field. Unfortunately, we are certain that his practice suffered as a result of the time spent pursuing his favorite avocation and the promotion, development, and support of the Shooting Sports, both inFloridaand nationally.
Clem can well be considered the father, or grandfather, of Shooting Programs inFlorida. He was directly involved in the creation, development, and improvement of severalFloridaranges.
It is a fact that Clem used his legal and persuasive talents to have the drainage district in southFloridato dredge around an area that was then set aside for aShootingRange. Somehow, Clem’s name became attached to the property, a shooting range was developed and became known as the Trail Glades Range. The property was then turned over to the county, with the stipulation that it be utilized as a range in perpetuity. Now that’s an accomplishment!
Clem was also active Nationally in the Shooting Sports and served on the NRA Board of Directors from ‘52 to ‘55, and then again from ‘57 to ‘64. Doc Arenson, from Pensacola remembers beginning his tour on the NRA Board in ‘67, and understand from many that Clem contributed substantially to NRA’s success.
Clem was a delight to know. Quiet, unassuming, never seeking recognition or praise for his many accomplishments. Clem also had a terrific sense of humor. At times that humor was a little on the mischievous side. One episode, which speaks for itself, Clem, Mike Santanello, and Doc Arenson were in the Miami Airport. They came to see Doc off after the Flamingo Matches. They were sitting at a counter with a cute waitress taking the order. Clem was wearing a bolo tie that he had woven out of long strands of black and orange licorice. He proceeded to tell the waitress that this was his first flight and that he was very nervous. He inquired about flight safety, and intimated how scared he was, and on and on. While describing his fear of flying, he inserted the lower end of his bolo tie into his mouth, started munching on it, at the same time describing his terror. The poor waitress became justifiably startled, wide-eyed, open-mouthed and looked as though she was about to faint. She may not have recovered yet.
In 1957, in support of the Pensacola Rifle and Pistol Club’s Fiesta of Five Flags Pistol Regional, Clem hired a full-sized coach bus, loaded it with pistol shooters, and they drove all the way from Miami to Pensacola to participate in the tournament. To commemorate the occasion, Clem presented the Pensacola Club with a plaque decorated with a pistol and a protruding alligator head. The plaque proclaimed “The Palmetto Pistol Club was here”.
Get the picture of Clem Theed?