Pamela Martin's ClamWednesday, May 24, 2006
Vancouver Magazine editor, Mac Parry (aka Malcolm Parry) assigned me in May 1984 to find 6 interesting Vancouverites who happened to own boats for a summer themed June issue. I called my friend Alyn Edwards, car collector and restorer (specializing in convertible hardtop Fords, Meteors and battle ship gray T Birds) and BCTV newscaster and asked him if he knew anybody who owned a boat. "Pamela owns a boat but I cannot tell you if it is a good one." So a few days later I made an appointment with Martin at a dock where she had her boat. I will never forget the occasion because of two details. While I was taking pictures of Martin I watched as my prime 50mm F-1.4 lens rolled off (in what I perceived as slow motion) the dock and into the sea. The second was the name of the boat. I asked Martin about it. She explained that her man at the time was called Clyde. "Combine Clyde and Pam and that's how you get to Clam," she said.
Quite a few years later, when Fanny Kiefer had a radio talks show program, she invited me for an interview. She made that usual question of what person I had photographed that had made the most impression on me. I decided to be playful and said on live radio, "I want to tell you about Pamela Sue (yes!) Martin's Clam. Within seconds a man called into the show who said he had purchased the Clam and was very happy with it.
For an interesting explanation on the the origin of the sexual connotation of the clam to a woman's privates check page 79 of Stephen Jay Gould's Leonardo's Mountain Of Clams And The Diet Of Worms (1998, New York, Harmony Books). The illustration on that page is reproduced above.