What is in a name? A lot, if you ask Camas Coulter Clark, a resident of Southern California, who recently decided to visit the city of Camas.
Clark, 45, is the owner of C3 Construction & Design.
He visited downtown Camas, before driving to Hermiston, Ore., to see a friend he had not seen in 30 years.
Clark went to City Hall, in a spontaneous effort to meet the mayor, but Scott Higgins was not in the office at the time.
Later, Clark was greeted by Camas Gallery owner Marquita Call, who gave him a copy of the book “Legendary Locals of Camas-Washougal,” by Rene Carroll, of Washougal.
Clark dined at Natalia’s Cafe, choosing the homemade corned beef hash and eggs, and he purchased a red, “Enjoy Camas” T-shirt at the Camas Souvenir Company.
“I truly enjoyed the beauty of downtown and the hospitality of everyone I met, not to mention the fact that my name was finally pronounced correctly by everyone,” Clark said.
He also met Tami Strunk, the Camas Police Department code enforcement officer, as she drove along Northeast Fourth Avenue.
“That really is a unique name, Camas and Clark,” Strunk said later. “It was very strange, funny and interesting all at once.”
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The origin of Clark’s first name involved his mother seeing the city listed on a map in 1969.
His parents were driving through Oregon to see a relative, before traveling to Wisconsin. Clark’s mother was five months pregnant at the time.
His father served in the Air Force and had been stationed in Japan in 1968 and 1969.
Clark learned three months ago, that Camas is in Clark County.
“It was pretty cool and surreal to finally visit Camas,” he said. “To everyone that lives there, it’s just the name of their town but I’ve lived with that different and unusual name all my life.
“I’ve been called Camay, Candice, Cam-ass, Cuh-mas and every other butchered version that you can imagine,” Clark added.
As a child, he wished his name was Steve. Then in the fourth grade, he met a friend named Steve, and he was finally able to appreciate his own name.
Clark and his wife, Shana, are the parents of two boys, Zen and Tao.
He said he is drawn to move to Clark County.
“After being there, it is definitely an option for me and my family in our consideration to relocate to the Pacific Northwest,” Clark said.