Thursday, June 14, 2012
Dr. Clark Langley
“I was on my way home, and it started raining. My car spun, and I went from 50 to 0 directly into an embankment,” Dr. Langley said.
KILGORE Clark Langley is a man that wears several different hats. He is the type of person that likes to use his natural talent to produce extraordinary results in different ways. Because of his extreme passion and endless energy, Langley has become a family medical practitioner, a museum exhibited photographer, a professional musician, and a missionary – all rather unexpectedly.
Langley spent his early adulthood doing many different things. For example, he once had a job as one of the electricians helping construct America’s largest land rig in Oklahoma City. But in his 30s, Langley had a wake-up call: “I was on my way home, and it started raining. My car spun, and I went from 50 to 0 directly into an embankment,” Dr. Langley said. “It was one of those classic ‘should have been dead’ wrecks, so I decided to do something with my life. When that happened, I knew it was time to straighten out.” Langley discovered a calling to be a missionary. But in order for him to do that, he had to have a college degree. At the age of 35, he was a first-time freshman at the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Langley adamantly proclaims: “Never wanted to be a doctor! But one of my friends mockingly said to me, ‘I bet you could get into med school too.’” On that dare, he applied to medical school and was accepted the following Christmas. Langley’s wife Christy jokingly remembers asking him, “Why don’t you have a plan B?”
After medical school, Langley got the opportunity to do a rotation with his wife’s long-time family doctor, Dr. Beats, in her hometown of Kilgore. When it was time for him to find a residency, he took over Dr. Beat’s practice.
With the invention of the digital camera, Langley became consumed by photography: “I remember one night when a thunderstorm was rolling through, and I finally figured out you had to be on the right side of the storm to capture lightning. I just got in my car and drove. By the time I got back home around 4:30 a.m., I showered and went back to work.”
Langley is best known for photographing the derricks in downtown Kilgore. He has developed a following on Facebook which has fueled his passion to keep taking photographs.
Suzanne Warren, wife to Darby Warren of the Darby Warren Project, noticed Langley’s photography on Facebook. A conversation started, and Warren discovered that Langley had a hidden talent for playing the upright bass. Mrs. Langley says, “Clark was instantly attracted to the band because it was all original music. Darby had a genius that he was attracted to.” Dr. Langley remembers, “My great grandfather wrote three hymns. My grandfather was a professional trombone player during the Depression, and my grandmother played the organ for silent films.” Langley’s father played with Patty Paige and other well-known artists including some big bands while working full time for Gulf Oil Company. The Darby Warren Project has become a local success and has played at the Kilgore Main Street Art Walk, Downtown Live at 5 in Longview, the AlleyFest, Party in the Pines and opened for Little Texas at Charlie’s BackYard Bar.
Langley is a multifaceted man who still finds time to be an exceptional husband and father. He goes on a series of short mission trips throughout the year. His original plan was to attend college and get out as soon as possible to become a missionary, but his path took him on many unexpected routes, most of which were beyond his wildest imagination. Because of his passion and energy, he has been able to lead the kind of life most people only dream about.