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Headstrong Girl Runs Off With Motorcycle Racer

April 16, 2010 |  1:51 am

 Pearl Clark

Pearl Clark, young runaway … 


… who climbed out her bedroom window …

Jake De Rosier

… and into the arms of Jake De Rosier, French motorcycle racer.

April 16, 1910, Pearl Clark

Doctors examine the girl after her brief adventure and confirm certain parts of her story. Her mother swoons.

April 16, 1910: Pearl Clark was an exceedingly beautiful 16-year-old with a mother who watched her like hawk. Young Pearl was exposed to painting, reading, music and the social arts and was accompanied by her parents wherever she went.

Somehow, she managed to meet French motorcycle racer Jake De Rosier, a noted daredevil of the early 20th century who had set several motorcycle speed records.  One night, she climbed out her bedroom window to rendezvous with him.

Pearl said: "He took me to the Bristol Cafe, where we had supper and drank quite a lot of Burgundy. In fact, we drank so much that we didn't know much what we were doing. I didn't at any rate." 

The Times said: "Miss Clark showed little remorse. She admitted that she had not enjoyed her escapade as much as she expected, but that she would like to have a couple of bottles of Burgundy to take to the Detention Home with her."

De Rosier, arrested on charges of corrupting the morals of an underage girl, told The Times that he thought he had treated Pearl well, but assumed she was much older. 

In 1911, De Rosier, riding an Indian motorcycle, set several speed records at the Los Angeles Motorcycle Stadium, nicknamed the “pie pan,” but ran out of gas before finishing 100 miles. He was clocked at 41.2 seconds for a mile; 10 minutes, 35 seconds for 15 miles; and 1 hour, 6 minutes, 35 seconds for 92 miles, The Times said.   On March 10, 1912, he was thrown against a barricade at nearly 100 mph. He died of his injuries Feb. 25, 1913, in Springfield, Mass., at the age of 33. 

April 16, 1910, Pearl Clark
April 16, 1910, Pearl Clark

April 16, 1910, Pearl Clark