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Notable neighbors: Clarence, “mayor” of Hopkinsville

The annual National Night Out celebration is always a special event in Hopkins Circle in south central Bloomington. Neighbors in Hopkinsville, as they have named it, enjoy the chance to get together and share food, games, laughs and safety tips. They also see the event as an opportunity to celebrate the birthday of Clarence Gosewisch, the unofficial “Hopkinsville mayor” of 38 years. 

He turned 94 this year and has lived in Bloomington since he was 35. Clarence will tell you that he never campaigned for the title of mayor—it was a role assigned to him by his neighbors. 

“He’s really the glue that holds the whole neighborhood together,” said Mary, a Hopkins Circle resident. “If you are going out of town, he’ll pick up your mail and take care of your pets. If a tree falls in your yard, he’ll be out there before anyone else chopping it up and hauling it away. If something is broken at all, he’ll fix it.” 

Clarence has been a repairperson all his life—he and his late wife owned and maintained a trailer park until their retirement—and he doesn’t plan to slow down any time soon. One concession he agreed to when he entered his 90s was not doing roof repairs anymore, he admits with a laugh. Everything else is still fair game. 

Hopkinsville is a close-knit neighborhood by any standard. All the neighbors have their own story of Clarence lending a helping hand in a time of need without being asked. 

“It’s nothing really. I’ve been doing this work my whole life and I still have an able body and an able mind. I like helping however I can. And I love living in Hopkinsville,” Clarence said.