Tom Clausen is a life-long Ithacan, living with his wife, Berta Gutierrez and their two children, Casey
and Emma, in the same house he grew up in. They share their home with three dogs, Ollie, Cotton and Griffin and three
cats; Fruittree, Squirrel and Scarlet. Tom works at Cornell University’s A. R. Mann Library in the Access
Services Department,where he helps coordinate staff and the part-time students who work at the Circulation
Desk . He enjoys bicycling, haiku, tanka, poetry, movies, the Twilight Zone, music, trains and the St.Louis Cardinals. Some
of favorite bands are: Donna the Buffalo, Big Leg Emma, Sim Redmond Band, Railroad Earth and Keith Secola and his Wild
Band of Indians.
His parents bought their house on Slaterville Rd, two miles east of Ithaca in 1951, when Tom
arrived and he has always loved the woods and reservoir that are behind the house.. Tom's parents were both botanists. Robert
Clausen taught taxonomy at Cornell and made a life long study of the genus sedum. His study took him all over North America
and Central America in searches of unique populations of sedum, which often grow in mountainous areas. As a child Tom was
given a wonderful view of America and Mexico when the family accompanied Prof. Clausen on sabbatical trips. Although
Tom unfortunately did not pick up any botanical interests from his parents he did develop a genuine wanderlust and love of
travel. To this day he enjoys a feeling of being on a perpetual sight seeing adventure whether it be running a local
errand or visiting some of his favorite places in Vermont, Wyoming, Oregon or anywhere on the Great Plains.
Tom attended Cornell from 1969-1973, these four years perhaps being the most tumultuous in Cornell's history.
There were dramatic anti war activities and a wealth of alternative living energy in full blossom during these years and Tom's
dream upon graduation was to travel and see as much of the United States and Mexico as possible by bicycle, buses, trains
and eventually in his father's 1967 Chevy Carry All which Tom inherited when his father died in 1981.
Tom made a variety of long distance bike trips from 1973-1980.
Included were two tours around New England, a trip to North Dakota and back to Ithaca and in 1975 Tom and
his friend Jim Black, a neighborhood friend, rode from Ithaca to Guatemala City, a trip that took just over three months.
Two years later Tom made another bike trip through Mexico with another friend, Jonathan Fischer.They started in Brownsville,
Texas and ended up spending a fascinating month in Ciudad Mante and then after getting to Mexico City decided to amicably
go sparate ways. Tom took an extended train trip to San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Aquascaliente, Chihuahua and
then through La Barranca de Cobre to Los Mochis where he hopped a freight down the Pacific Coast to Mazatlan. He then hopped
another freight to Guadalajara and eventually back to Mexico City where he resumed his bike riding to Guatemala City
and then to Honduras by bus to visit two friends in the Peace Corp there.
In 1980 Tom joined three adventurers from the Bennington Vermont area on a summer long canoe trip in northern
Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. Their trip began near the headwaters of the Kazan River which they followed through
a chain of magnificent lakes eventually concluding their journey in Baker Lake on the Chesterfield Inlet in NWT. Although
Tom thoroughly enjoyed the experiences in this pristine, primordial and beautiful part of the world he discovered that he
prefers a bicycle to the tether of a canoe!