Excerpts from the Clark Rockefeller interview

August 23, 2008
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On his name:
Q: Did you tell people that you weren't a Rockefeller, from the New York family?

A: I never said anything about it one way or the other.

Q: Are you related?

A: As far as I know, I'm not. I could very well be.

Q: How did you get the name?

A: My godfather gave it to me.

Q: Was his last name Rockefeller, or did he just bestow that upon you?

A: No, no. He insisted that that's what my name is.

Q: What's your godfather's name?

A: Harry Copeland.

Q: Where is he from?

A: New York.

Q: Is he still alive?

A: No.

Q: When did he die?

A: The . . . late '90s.
Hrones (Rockefeller's lawyer): Hey, we're not going into this. Let's get on to after '93.

On the book he is writing:
A: I am writing a novel on this four amazing years. I have about 40,000 words right now. It's a novel, a novel about, um, not the Big Three, not the Council of Four, not the Council of Five, or the Supreme Council. It's a novel about three young participants in the Paris Peace Conference and how they perceive, specifically, how Chaim Weizmann and Gertrude Bell, how Gertrude Bell helped Chaim Weizmann find a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

On his memory:
Q: Why can't you remember certain things? Why is it so difficult?

A: I couldn't tell you. I just don't know.

Q: Does that trouble you, not being able to remember?

A: I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to remember.

Q: Most people can remember their childhoods. That gives them a sense of who they are and where they are.

A: Mm hm. Mm hmm. Not for me.

Q: How does that sit with you? Does that worry you?

A: I don't lose much thought over it.

Q: I'd imagine you'd be curious about it. It's your own background.

A: Well, you know, I try to look forward, rather than look into the past.

Q: What are your dreams about?

A: I very rarely remember dreams.

On proposing to Sandra L. Boss in 1994:
Q: How did you propose to your wife?

A: Very traditionally.

Q: Can you tell us about that?

A: Well, very much in the old style, you might call it, 19th century. You go down on one knee, and you present the ring and ask, "Will you marry me?"

Q: How did she respond?

A: A very delighted yes. And there's an additional story I should tell. It was, of course, meant to be a big surprise. And the evening before, we were at the Whitehall Inn in Camden, where we stayed. And she mentioned over dinner that she would love to get married at some point, at which point I said, 'Well, you'll have to wait for quite a while.' And of course I had the engagement ring in my pocket at the time. It was meant to keep the suspense going. It was very funny.

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