Father’s Day is a day to remember and reflect on family memories and duties, Conway City Attorney Chuck Clawson said. It’s also a day to appreciate many days of sacrifice and encouragement given through the years.
“It is a reminder that being a father to the four young men I am responsible for is the most important job I will ever have,” he told the Log Cabin Democrat. “I want to make sure I am more to them than a shuttle service. I hope to be building the type of relationship with each of them that my father and I have, one that can transition as the years go by from father to friend.”
The Clawsons first moved to Conway in 1959 when Charles “Ed” Clawson, who is Chuck’s father, was 6 years old. Ed’s father opened the well-known Clawson Truck Stop in 1963 and kept the store afloat, serving memorable eats until 1994.
Working alongside his own father at the truck stop helped Ed build a good work ethic as the memories stacked up through the years.
“All during college and law school, I worked at the truck stop on Friday and Saturday nights, we would work until 3 or 4 a.m., have breakfast, then go home,” Ed recalled. “Those times together are my favorite memories.”
Ed and his father spent a lot of time fishing and hunting as well. Father’s Day is a great day to reflect, he said, but also an opportunity to continue building the relationships he has with his three sons: Chuck, Spencer and Grant.
“I am proud of all my sons, Chuck, Spencer and Grant,” he said. “Any father who can watch his children find success and happiness has to be filled with love and pride. I certainly am.”
Ed and his wife, Donna, have been married for 46 years. For more than 24 years, he has served as the Third Division Circuit Judge for the 20th Judicial District. He is planning to step down from the circuit court bench and instead run for the second division district court judge seat in the March 2020 election. Chuck, who is currently the Conway city attorney, plans to run for his father’s current seat.
Chuck said his father was “obviously a huge influence” regarding his decision to become a lawyer. Moreso to that, he said he respected his father for working diligently to help others through his career.
“I saw how hard he worked and the satisfaction he got from what he did,” Chuck said. “I also saw that Dad and other lawyers I came into contact with were able to make a positive impact on the community. When people had problems or questions, they would seek help from an attorney. I liked the thought of being able to help people.”
Because of his father’s influence, skill and integrity, Chuck said he knew he wanted to follow Ed’s path.
“I heard all the lawyer jokes and I knew the profession is viewed in a less-than-flattering light, but the thing that stuck with me is when my dad told me that everyone likes to talk bad about lawyer … until they need one.”
Ed set the example for his children on what it meant to be a father, husband and a Christian, Chuck said. He was always “kind, compassionate, honest and loyal.”
Living up to his father’s name is a struggle, because Ed “is truly a genuine person.”
“He was in church every Sunday and if he said he would do something, it was as good as done,” Chuck said of his father. “No matter how busy he was, he always had time for family. So, Dad has set a high bar. I am really not sure if it is even possible to be better than him, but maybe on my best days, I can be as good.”
Family time is important to the Clawsons.
Ed said he is looking forward to going to church with his sons on Father’s Day.
Conway has proven itself to be the perfect foundation for the Clawsons to call home, Chuck said. Through his career, he has found opportunities to work elsewhere but no reasons to do so. He has worked for American Management Corporation, the Brazil & Adlong Law Firm, the 20th Judicial District Prosecutor’s Office and now as the Conway City Attorney’s Office.
Being involved in a strong community and helping it continue to grow is a unique feeling, Chuck said, adding that he and his wife Shawn are rewarded to raise their four boys; Zane Brewer, 15; Caden Brewer, 12; Case Clawson, 10; and Sam Clawson, 6, in Conway. There is never a dull moment with this crew, he said.
“[It] seems like all of our time is running these guys back and forth between practices, games, rehearsals, tournaments, tutoring and school, but we are always having fun,” he said.
Conway is part of the Clawson family now.
“This community and my family have grown together over the years,” Chuck said. “Conway looks a lot different now than it did when my grandpa, Charles Clawson, came here 60 years ago to open a service station and later Clawson’s Truck Stop.”
The support the Clawsons share for each other is like glue. The family still gets together to share a meal once a week.
“I like that I can have Sunday lunch at my parents’ house every week. I am glad my boys will have the chance to grow up with my mom and dad as a consistent part of their lives [and] I love being able to see my brothers all the time,” Chuck said, adding that it’s a joy to watch his nephew and two nieces grow.
It’s been a unique experience, serving as a local attorney and having his father swear him in through the different roles he’s served — a deputy prosecutor and Conway city attorney.
Ed and Donna worked hard to teach their children to be accountable.
They were also supportive and dependable, two traits Chuck said he was thankful for on this Father’s Day.
“They provided me with opportunities to succeed and grow as a person,” he said. “They were at every game and got me to every practice. They encouraged me and held me accountable. They had high expectations for me wench lead me to have high expectations for myself. They gave me enough space to let me make mistakes, but expected me not to make the same mistakes again. They were always fair, but firm when they had to be. I was blessed with them as parents.”