Monday, May 29, 2006






About a month ago, I dug through my very disorganized photo boxes to see if I could recover any images of Mark. Even in college I must have been "behind the technology wave" and without a decent camera to take candids, because all pictures I found including Mark were taken "professionally"...Aaron helped scan them so I could post them below! [We were discussing at the Molnar's recent cookout, who Mark would have attended the Chi Pledge Party with...we think it was a basketball player named Myrna (she's the one on the far right in the 2nd group shot), but we're not positive...] It seems we were all a bit younger-looking and possessed much more hair back then (even my husband, Frank, who didn't have a lot to begin with)!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

More from the Cabin

These are from the summer after Mark's (and my) freshman year of college when he gathered up some newer friends and older friends for a Canada trip. It's me, Mark, and Carl. Did I see Carl at the memorial? I thought maybe I did but I wasn't sure and got distracted before I could find out.




And this is me and Mark messing around with his keyboard and portable multi-track recorder. For some reason we were trying to get a good recording of us whistling the theme to The Andy Grifith Show with the two part harmony.



Carl and his girlfriend Sharon road up with Mark, me and my now wife Teresa in the Greenwood's blue van. Later, Beth Winters (now Stewart) and her boyfriend at the time showed up as did Mark King.

There was a lot of ski footage taken by me with Mark's camera as one of the Marks drove the boat. Some great shots of Mark (and Mark King) slolam skiing in front of the Goulais pine backdrop. Sadly, it looks like no such videos exist anymore. I also remember some footage of me doing one severe nose dive after another on a knee board trying to jump the wake. Never did get it. Mark made that look very easy. It was not.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Few More Photos

Here are a few more photos I came across - the first three are from Thailand, and the fourth is from a 1998 HW&M trip to Chicago...




Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Three Amigos



Ole'!

Post-Memorial Thoughts

Though thanks have already been given by several individuals in regards to the memorial concert, I want to extend my gratitude also. I thought that the slide presentations would be the catalyst for shedding tears, but for me, it was the music and Claudia's and Ben's speeches...I have sincerely missed seeing all of you Cap musicians play live and I am astounded by how much emotion and musicality was present after limited rehearsals. You are all so talented! Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us!

Thank you also to Claudia and Kristen for attending the event. I could never guess how therapuetic it would be for me to hug you, talk to you about Mark, and gain insight about where you are in your greiving process. It would have been so easy for you to isolate yourselves from Mark's past and instead you showed great courage by allowing yourselves to grieve with all of us. I hope you both found some comfort and peace seeing how many of us cared about Mark...

One last thing - if anyone has the lyrics to the pop songs that Mark wrote and which were played at the concert, would you please post them on the blog? I loved the Tin Can Suzie song that was a part of Rae's presentation and because I couldn't hear all the words to Promises and Whispers, I'd like to see those lyrics too.

Great effort by all involved - loved reuniting with you all. Hope we can gain some sense of closure now while still examining how this has affected our lives...

The Crown Dynasty

Soon after graduation from Capital, Mark and I played in a surprisingly great production of Ain't Misbehavin in North Carolina. I was contacted first and was asked to bring a long a trombone player so Brian Banyon went down with me. The guy who was directing the show also provided the singer/dancers for some cruise ships. He was happy with Brian and I and the show's drummer was not cutting it. So, I called Mark and he drove all the way down with his drums from Ohio in his Blazer.

The show went well and the guy was pleased that I had brought along such great musicians so they trusted me to put together a band for a cruise ship. The Filipino band that played regularly needed a vacation. Anyway, here are some photos and memories from the ship.

The first picture is one of us in our tiny space where we played for dance sets and twice every night for the singer/dancer performances. We also played for any special guest performers and official party games the cruise director scheduled. You can just see Mark's head back at the drum set.


It was during this time that Mark started to experience some serious health problems. There were at least a couple weeks where he would barely get out of bed and times when he couldn't play. The ship physician could find nothing wrong. Later I think there was some speculation by other doctors that he had a parasite from the trip. I now wonder if this was the case and how that may have eventually triggered other problems with his condition.

Here's Mark standing in the doorway to our very, very tiny cabin.


The next two are from one of the times when we stopped in Costa Rica. Randy Wanless, the guy with the injured leg, spoke a decent amount of Spanish and worked out a deal with a cab river to take us around for the day. Here we stopped for a photo. The second shot is when we took a dip in a swimming hole. Unfortunately Mark's head is blocked by a leaf but you can see him giving a peace sign.





Next is most of the band on the upper deck where we often lounged around in the sun when we weren't performing or rehearsing. This was a great shot was taken by Randy.



Finally, here we are at a beach in Acapulco where we were pressured by some locals to buy hammocks. You can see me in the silly hat and Mark looking at the rainbow colored one that they're spreading out. That's the one he bought.

Across from that beach location was a fresh water lake where we could jet-ski and water-ski - although I don't think anyone water-skied for some reason. Probably too expensive. We also had some great authentic Mexican food over there.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Memorial Concert Follow-Up

My head is still reeling too much from yesterday's concert to write about it yet. It seems like a dream - both because the event came together so much better than I ever imagined, and because I still can't believe Mark is gone - but there are two items of business that I wanted to take care of right away.

First, is to thank again everyone who came together to make this happen, especially Jenn Kern and her parents. As I was driving back from Deer Creek Sunday morning, heading straight for the Columbus Music Hall with a mini-van filled to the brim with kids & dirty laundry, I thought of a million things that likely needed to be done before the concert. When I got to the Music Hall, Jenn - who cancelled her students' piano recital and drove up from NC for this event - and her parents already had the chairs set up, the coffee made, and were pulling together a shopping list for a last-minute run to the store. I hadn't seen Jenn in 13 years, and yet the moment I walked in the door, I could tell she had not only read my mind, but thought of a million other things that she had already taken care of. Dana Maccabee also took on a lion's share of the set-up and clean-up (the whole while looking absolutely fabulous, I must say!)

Second, someone asked that I post the lyrics to the song I wrote. Using the magic of the Internet, below are the lyrics, with hyperlinks to some other information that may help illustrate the process of how this piece of music came to be:

Closer to Believing

When some people walk along beside you, so sure of their way, you're touched by their presence.

And others may cross paths with yours as you wander through the mire, compelled by uncertainty and desire.

I can't define the imprint you left behind, I can only think about the meaning that you're life had in mine

And I'm a little bit closer to you
And you're a little bit closer to me
And we're a little bit closer to believing in love.

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams, in death's dream kingdom these do not appear.
There, the eyes are sunlight on a broken column.
There, is a tree singing, and voices are in the wind's singing, more distant and more solemn than a fading star.

Between the idea and the reality
Between the motion and the act
Falls the shadow

Between the conception and creation
Between the emotion and the response
Falls the shadow

Between the desire and the spasm
Between the potency and the existence
Between the essence and the descent
Falls the shadow

For thine is
For life is
For thine is the kingdom

For thine is
For life is
For time is a river, and life is very long.

The Tribute Concert

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who worked so hard to put together the concert in memory of Mark yesterday. The DVD presentations were terrific, the music hopping (I didn't get it either, Claudia, heehee), and the company wonderful. Some fellow Cap grads I hadn't seen since I graduated in 1990, and although we've all gotten older and grown (some of us in more ways than one, wink), it sure did my heart good to reconnect, and I could have imagined Mark walking through the door to join in.

But I have to say, how many pictures of Mark made me think of him as someone who lived life to the fullest. I bet he packed more living into 35 years than I will have into however many I make it to... So many pics gave us a chuckle. Wow, the Thailand pics in the waterfall just look amazing to me...

Finally - Tiffany - your song was what Got Me. It was beautiful way to remember Mark and, for me, the highlight of the afternoon.

(Then there was watching my daughter and your son play together.) :)

My best to all,
Tina

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Korp Kun Krap

Ah, yes, Thailand. A lot of memories have been popping up recently from that trip - I'll try to share a few as I remember them. First, Jim mentioned the Singha drum. For those of you who have no idea what this is about, For a long time, Mark's bass drum said "Singha" across the front - cleverly rearranged letters from the "Slingerland" logo, I think. Singha is the name of the biggest (maybe the only) Thai brewery, and the most popular beer in Thailand - we drank a lot of it on that trip. (Oddly enough, the second most popular is the Danish beer Carlsberg, only because they happen to have a brewery there). So, for many years after, the Singha drum served as a great reminder of that trip. I actually found some Singha beer here once, but it just doesn't taste the same unless you're sitting on a tropical beach drinking it. Nevertheless, maybe we should track some down and have one more for Mark.

Aaron's mention of the boat trip is another good story. While we were in Phuket, all the bands got a free tour of Phang Na Bay on a couple of authentic (but updated, fortunately) Chinese junks. This is the place where all of the strange-looking rock islands just seem to stick straight up randomly out of the water. (These are the islands seen in "The Man With the Golden Gun" and "The Beach", to give you an idea). There were two boats, and when we arrived, almost all of the other musicians quickly got onto the other boat because they thought we were too weird and wanted to keep their distance. And yes, it was so hot that several of the guys decided to take a swim after lunch, despite the warnings that there may have been jellyfish lurking about in the water.

There are a lot of other memories from that trip. The seemingly endless flights over the Pacific and back. The airport at Samui, which was basically a collection of buildings with thatched roofs and no walls. Steve's bass being carted overland in a truck because it wouldn't fit onto the small Thai "commuter" planes. The first concert that ran so far behind schedule we didn't play until something like 2:00AM. Mark braving a very unsafe-looking bungee-slingshot ride in Phuket. The Songkran festival in Hat Yai, where basically everyone takes the day off and rides around in the streets throwing water at each other. The surreal 12-hour layover in Seoul on the return trip (enough for another story in itself).

What a trip! There were a lot of good times in those couple of weeks, and I'm glad Mark and I and everyone else had the chance to share them. Oh, and by the way, "korp kun krap" is Thai for "thank you". Thanks, Mark!

More from Thailand

Here are some more pictures from Thailand. For those who don't know, we were playing with Honk, Wail & Moan in a three week jazz festival in honor of the king of Thailand who apparently loves jazz. Rudely, however, he never showed up. I know there must be a lot more pictures out there from this trip so I look forward to seeing some from some other guys. Thanks to Tim for sharing so far!

The first photos are from when Mark, Dick, John, and I rented some mopeds on the island of Koh Samui. You can see them standing in the some shallow water where we stopped to "cool off". That turned out to be a joke since the water was like very warm bath water. I have never been as hot as I was (temperature hot) on that island. Even when we were riding around on the mopeds creating a good, steady breeze it felt like my forearms were on fire from the sun beating down on them. Another time I was walking down the main road and found my self walking faster in between the tiny amounts of shade from various little storefronts like you might otherwise do to get relief from a downpour.



Another very hot experience was in Phuket (the second stop on our tour) where Mark and I were determined to take advantage of our time and experience all that we could in spite of the brutal heat (this was the off season when most tourists would stay away). We took a hike up some little mountain that we'd read about in a pamphlet or something. Man, by the time we got to the top, I was feeling signs of heat exhaustion and the water we carried with us tasted like somebody warmed it up on the stove. What saved us was the cold waterfall at the top that we let pour over us to cool off. Before that, I'm convinced that at least my body temperature was at a dangerous level.



I'm the photographer in my family so there aren't many pictures of me cause I'm always behind the camera. Still, I like to think that I'm actually in every shot sharing my perspective with the viewer. So, here's a picture of me that I like because Mark took it and I can imagine that moment through his eyes. I was holding one of the sea slug things that we'd seen in the water all over the place and he dared me to pick it up.

Finaly, here are some various other pics - one from a boatride we took as a band. Maybe someone else can tell that story.




Friday, May 19, 2006

Today It's Real.

First, thanks to everyone who has contributed to this memorial. I come here ever day to read the posts and comments. It really helps.
The toughest thing about Mark's death has been accepting the reality of it. I haven't had direct contact with him since he moved west, so it's hard to believe he's not still out there somewhere. For years, I've had it in the back of my mind that one day he would just fall by a Honk gig at Dick's and tear us all a new one. "Hey Mark, Great to see you again!" You know? He had such a gift for groove, energy from way down deep. If you missed Claudia's poem "Distant Drummer" you should definitely find that post. It captures Mark's musical persona perfectly.
Well today, quite by coincidence, Mark's death came home to me. Every day I wake my kids for school with a song or two that's stored on my PC. This morning I grabbed the Blanton-Webster band recording of Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore". No special reason, just hadn't heard that one in awhile and kids love old time swing. As it happens, the next thing on my hard drive was the Honk recording of "Don't You Methyl With My Ethyl" from the Saturn Swings CD (alphabetical order, eh). If you don't know the recording, it's a classic example of Brian Casey's lyric wit. Mark sings the lead (really well) and keeps things simmering from the kit too. We all had a great time making that recording. Well, hearing Mark's voice warm and vibrant from all those years ago was all it took to push me over. Suddenly, his death was real to me. Horrible and impossible, but real.
Maybe we should all record something for the future, even if it's just a few corny jokes or a short howdy. It secures a kind of imortality. More importantly, it really comforts those left behind. We're lucky to have so many recordings of Mark. I know he loved making them. It was always a great pleasure to play with him, whether it was recorded or not.
Maybe one of the other Honkers can tell the story of the "Singha" drum kit. I don't remember anymore.
Maybe I'll fall by your gig someday Mark.
"Mr. Engineer, faders up!"

Memorial Concert - Reminder

The Concert will go forward this Sunday at 3:00 p.m., rain or shine. The music portion will be indoors, but pray for decent weather anyway so we can visit after the concert in the courtyard out back. The Columbus Music Hall is located at the corner of Parsons and Oak. (click here for a map) Free parking is available in the lot adjacent to the Music Hall and along Oak Street.

See you Sunday.

photos related to my previous post


Party at the Columbus Music Hall--June '96

The opera date--circa '91


658 Sheridan Ave. dinner party. Fall '92


Travis Rd. party. summer '94

Amazing

After a few attempts to complete a post which failed due to the antics of my young children (and not so young computer) I'm trying agian to add my part to this tribute to Mark. Unfortunately, I am unable to be at the concert on Sunday and feel compelled to share...

I first met Mark on a blind date toward the beginning of our time at Capital. I was amazed. How could someone be so impossibly cool and yet remarkably easy to be around? He was so talented and smart and funny. I was so impressed by how he seemed to love and respect his parents and sister. I was thrilled to meet someone who seemed to have similar relationships with his family to those I had with mine...

Over the course of our college years and a few beyond, Mark and I were involved with each other in various ways. What is most memorable to me now is that during the time in my life when I was trying hard to learn how to live as my adult self (and spending too much time trying to figure out who other people wanted me to be) with Mark I could just...be. It was as if I had known him much longer than I actually had. It was amazing.

What seems most impressive about the transition of our relationship from "dating" to "friends", to "friends of friends", and back again is that it always seemed to shift rather seemlessly and without awkwardness or animosity typical of such situations. OK, so there was the time he referred to me as "Baked Alaska" during a rousing group game of "If I Were Gonna' Eat You" at Tiff & Amy's and my apartment on Sheridan. But he had also been one of the first official "dinner party guests" (along with Dave B.) there too. Ironically, he was the first person I ever saw an opera with. And then years later he somehow managed to get me to be in one of his short films in a role I could never let my children see. Amazing.

The last I had heard from Mark was nearly a decade ago when he called me in NYC because he was in town for a gig. I was not able to go. I wish I had. It is hard to know how to grieve for someone you've not seen for so long...someone you may not have seen again. I grieve over a life cut short. I grieve for his family's loss of a son/brother. I grieve over a new closure on that part of my past. But at this point I also try to breathe a bit deeper, hug my children a little more often, and smile when I eat Grape Nuts. I look in the eyes of my son and hope harder for him to follow his dreams. Mostly I am thankful that I had the opportunity, even if only for a little while, to be close to someone so amazing.
Katie

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Remembering Mark Greenwood
1971 - 2006

Remembering Mark Greenwood
1971 - 2006


About 2 months ago, I opened a fortuned cookie and read “You love Chinese Food.” I laughed and thought of Mark and put it in my bag planning to mail it to him, thinking that too many months (was it actually 2 years?!) had gone by. Mark once told me about a slightly uncomfortable first date he had at a Chinese restaurant…after the meal he opened his fortune cookie and read “you love Chinese food” and it struck him so funny that he was practically balled up on the floor of the restaurant laughing…the girl thought he was a bit strange for laughing so hard at a fortune cookie and I don’t think they dated again! He liked to tell that story.

I met Mark, along with some other great musicians/ soon to be friends, in late ’94. After he moved out west, I realize that I only kept track of him through his mom. (I’d take Bruce and Claudia for parents any day! And Mark was so openly proud to be their son and Kristen’s brother) ....It led to a first date at the "round bar" and then over the years to come, we were many things to each other- there was a lot of love, and friendship was always at the heart of it. I knew Mark before he started getting ill, but soon after we started to become close, the mystery began to develop. Somewhere in that time, we found Isabel, the wonderful German Shepard who brought Mark so much love. I was granted Godmother status and it never occurred to me that such a thing could possibly have any real meaning.
Mark moved out of one house, hoping there was some sort of underlying allergy at the root of his health problems, and into a “new” house down the street. That dilapidated, crooked house took months to become a home – largely due to Bruce and Claudia’s laboring! The discovery of a well in one of the rooms downstairs, the wicked slant of the house…all these things became a good laugh ---in retrospect, that is! The painting, the stripping, the mending…Mark took pride in seeing that house turn around, and great times were had there by many.

I was fortunate enough to be part of the Canada crew for 3 years. As many of you know, there’s no doubt that Mark loved the cabin in Canada like no other place- and that when he was there, there was no place he’d rather be. He gave an everlasting gift to many of us by sharing it. For some reason, Jeff seems to think it’s a funny story about how pissed Mark got when I almost ran him over with the boat motor! Personally, I’d rather remember other things! (and heck, there were several feet to spare!) I prefer to think about how Mark was delighted to sit by the fire, always wanted everyone to do stuff together as a group, and joked about how since he started inviting girls to the cabin they'd stopped catching fish. (He quit complaining as soon as Alicia made dinner!) Aaron, you should know that “Billlll” wasn’t just circa ’94- I think that the cabin brought out a lot of old catch phrases! About the camp supper thing though, I think that after Mark came back from Thailand that was replaced by Pad Thai. That’s really the only thing I remember him cooking! He loved to make it for people almost as much as he loved to eat it. I remember when he came back from a doctor/nutritionist one day he was so happy because he’d told her about his Pad Thai cravings and she’s said it was probably because there was so much stuff in it that’s good for you. Yup, then he started eating even more pad thai!

For now I'll have to organize my pics for Sunday, but will try to add some (like one of Mark cooking pad thai!) as soon as I have a place from which to upload them!

Meanwhile, Here’s a song Mark wrote and recorded in 1999. I have no doubt it was just as much for him as it was for me. From a musical layman's point of view, I find it magnificent and a little sad. It came to me that I should share it because even though Mark hid a lot of things as he lost hope of recovering, I know that deep down he really wanted to be open and share with people. And, I guess that’s what this blog is about. Thanks for the url, Aaron!
http://www.aaronmolnar.com/Playlists/MarkSong.m3u

Rae

Remembering Mark Greenwood
1971 - 2006: May 2006

A few memories

I met Mark when we were freshmen together at Capital. Looking back, Mark and Aaron seemed to always be together. The first thing that struck me about Mark was his self-confidence and self-assurance. Watching Mark play the drums was a magical experience, he made it look effortless. Meanwhile, I was struggling to discover my path in life, was vocal performance it? Mark was born to be a musician, to tell stories through his talent. Mark also struck me because of his sense of humor. Mark and Aaron showed me the art of the wisecrack, the power of wordplay, the importance of humor. At that point in my life, I took everything seriously and to heart, even the little things. One story stands out concerning Mark's sense of humor. Our first two years in college Aaron, Mark, and Frank hung out a lot together. I was Frank's roommate and being a litle gullible and naive, was ripe for the pickings. One night these three convinced me that someone in Schaaf Hall had intentionally taken my Reds ball cap. I frantically looked for it where they told me, making numerous trips up and down the stairs. Upon finding it, I went back to my room to find that someone had taken our orange chair! I must have been color blind my sophomore year because we had red carpet with one brown chair and one orange chair, definitely not on par with what you see on HGTV. Well, after what seemed like an eternity of searching and asking everyone where my chair was, it magically reappeared in my room. Mark was a prankster, but he made me laugh and accepted me for who I was and who I was becoming.
I hadn't seen Mark for 12 years when Missy and Frank called me with the news. I am thankful for my time with him, to listen to music, and talk about music. He taught me the importance of having a sense of humor, of not taking everything so seriously, and of focusing your passion. I'll remember his laugh that could move mountians, and his ability to get in the zone when playing that enabled him to be such a great musician.

Matt Groenke

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Few Words & Photos...

I didn't know Mark as well as many of you, and most of my thoughts and feelings have been expressed already and better by others here, but still I wanted to add a few words of my own. I can't remember exactly when I met Mark, but our paths first crossed for about a year at Capital - he started in '89, and I finished in '90. We had mutual friends and played off and on together for the next few years, but I didn't get to know him very well until I started playing with Honk Wail & Moan in '96 (ten years ago already?), We shared quite a few memorable experiences, including the infamous Thailand tour, several trips to New York City, and countless gigs at Bernie's, Dick's Den, and other high-class local establishments.

Mark and I weren't really close friends, but we did play together quite a bit for a few years, and it always amazes me how well you can get to know a fellow musician and how strong of a bond you can form just through making music with them. Though I hadn't seen him in years, the news that he was gone affected me more than I would have thought. Other than being an all-around great guy, the thing I remember most about Mark was the sense of humor he always managed to incorporate into his playing. Seemingly with little effort, he would change the groove for a couple bars or throw in a quote that would have me and the rest of the band grinning and barely able to play. Someone else here called it "personality" - whatever it is, it's a rare quality to find in a musician, and even more so in a drummer. I've missed playing with him since he left town, but I'll always be glad to have had the experience.

I don't have that many photos of Mark, but here are a few: One with Steve from a HW&M trip to NYC in '97, and three from the Thailand trip. Steve has my Thailand album, so hopefully we'll see more on Sunday.

Rest in peace, Mark - we all miss you...





"From Bruce and Claudia" reposted

An earlier post titled "From Bruce and Claudia" was incomplete due to email issues. If you read it before 9:20 am on Tuesday, May 16, you may want to take another look. I corrected it at that time.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Memorial Concert video

I'm planning to film the performances at Mark's concert and produce a dvd for Bruce, Claudia & Kristen. I'll also make the dvd available to anyone else who wants one, for a small fee. (to cover the cost of duplication & materials) More details this Sunday. Also, thanks again to all who've supplied me with photos to use in the tribute video.

Neighbor Pal


I lived next door to Mark from the time he was born until he was about ten. Even though my family moved away, I still got updates on the happenings in his life from his mom to mine. Almost every memory I have as a child involves Mark and Kristen. I can remember trying to catch fireflies at night in a field next to our houses, swimming in their pool on hot summer days, eating pop sickles on the front steps scheming up our next great adventure. When we were supposed to be raking up leaves, we would build leaf forts and play for hours.

Halloween was one of our favorite "holidays". Our costumes were usually made from things we found in our attics and always required a lot of imagination! It took us forever to make it to all of the maybe 15 houses on our street since the houses were so far apart. The biggest part of the night would be to see who was brave enough to go up to the "spook house" (an old abandoned house). We were sure there were ghosts living there.

July 4th was also a favorite holiday. We would light sparklers and bottle rockets in the Greenwoods driveway, then go down to Saybrook Plaza for the big fireworks. Bruce would lift us kids up on top of the van so we would have a clear view.

We spent most of our summer days exploring the creek behind Mark's house on Munson Hill road. We would try to catch little crayfish and water spiders. Usually the killer mosquitos chased us up the hill before we could catch anything. One summer night we decided to camp out in the side yard like we had done so many times before. This time it was just me and Mark. I'm not sure where Kristen and LeeAnn(my sister) were this time. We set the tent up, got our sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, flashlights, some snacks, and a few games to play. Once it got dark we swore we heard a bear outside our tent! When we finally got brave enough to look, it was just Teako (sp?) the dog! Some time during the night it started to rain really hard. The tent started to sag almost to our faces, probably because we forgot a stake or two. Water also started seeping in the bottom of the tent. We must have set the tent in a low spot. At this point we made a mad dash the entire 30 feet to the enclosed porch next to the garage where we spent the rest of the night.

Winters were spent sledding down the hill hoping we didn't land in the creek, iceskating at on old pond behind our house, building snowmen, and one time we even tried to build an igloo!

The things I remember most about Mark are his sense of adventure and huge imagination. Tom Sawyer definitely comes to mind when I think of Mark's childhood. To Mark I say thank you for sharing your adventures and dreams with me ( and for sharing your toys! You always had the coolest toys). We could not have had a more perfect childhood. Memories of Mark will always stay with me when I think back to the great times we had on Munson Hill road.

Inquiry for Mark's Memorial

As Mark's Memorial Concert is fast approaching, I want feedback from those of you who have already added to the blog and those who may be reading it, but not yet sharing. Is there any interest in having a "memory board" at the memorial where friends could contribute photos, poems, quips of Mark, condolence cards for the family, etc.??? While it seems a bit redundant to his blog, (and certainly we'd all like to read contributions here instead), I am thinking that there may be individuals who are not as technically based or haven't yet had the strength or time to share their "Mark stuff". Also, it may be nice to have Aaron or Dave B. scan whatever is presented at the memorial for Mark's folks and sister to have (especially photos during college and after, when children aren't a part of your everyday life). If anyone wishes to bring items to the concert, would you please email me at mcombs@copper.net a.s.a.p. If I don't hear from anyone, I won't plan to coordinate this...so far, I know that there will be a slide show, a guest book and obviously, this blog which will last indefinitely, to serve as forums for sharing instead.

The one armed man

After reading everybody's posts and telling myself "I gotta do that!" for too long, I'm finally writing about Mark. I guess I've been avoiding it since it seems so final. Looking at the dates at the top of the page still tears my heart out. Too young.

Mark was always one of my favorite drummers to play with. I don't even remember what groups we played in at Cap, a few anyway. We always had fun playing together and I knew that I could try anything and even if/when I screwed it up he'd be right there keeping the groove together and laughing at/with me. It always just felt good playing with Mark.

Somehow we ended up playing in the band for a "musical' called Me, Myself, & I that went to schools and performed a variety of show/pop tunes that were supposed to help the little ones learn about life. It was pretty wierd getting up early and trying to figure out where some elementary school was so we could go and play in the gym for 8 year olds. Naturally, Mark was one of the few things that made that gig tolerable. That was true a lot, I don't think I ever turned down a gig if I knew that Mark was playing.

Then there was the jewish band, MazelTov Orchestra. It was a pretty big challenge for us corn-fed midwest boys to understand what to do at an orthodox jewish wedding. Part circus, part rock band, and all culture-shocking ethnic extravaganza! Six hour gigs, hour long dance sets, and NO stopping between songs! As Wiester used to say (and probably still says) "the whole thing's a drum solo!" Mark was the first drummer that came in to sub that gig who "got it" right from the start. Since I kinda knew the routine I was in charge of helping Mark out with a never ending stream of shouts, looks, winks, twitches, and "bass conducting" so that he would catch the hits, stops, breaks, tempo changes, style changes, and all around madness. We would spend the whole gig staring at each other, me hoping that Mark would understand my "directions" and Mark laughing out loud when he didn't. But he never dropped a beat and he was such a great musician that no matter how bizzare things would get, he always nailed it the second time.

My favorite Mark story. Carpooling to a MazelTov gig in Cincinnati in Mark's tan "Jimmy" we had a blowout on the highway. We stopped and tried to put on the spare but it wouldn't fit because it's the wrong size wheel and/or tire! After messing with it for a little while we walked about half a mile to the next exit and went into a gas station to try to get help. There was one guy working there who says that the mechanics just left for the day. Mark asked him if we could bring both wheels and tires in to get a new tire or try to swap them, ANYTHING to get it fixed so we could get to the gig. The guy say's he'd love to help us out but he can't use the tire changing machine because he's only got one arm. We walked back to the car dumbfounded. What are the chances that we get a flat on the way to a gig and the only gas station for miles has everything we need to get back on the road but the guy working there can't help us because he only has one arm. We somehow pounded the wheel onto Mark's truck and it would drive but the tire rubbed the wheel well every time we turned left. We were late to the gig and spent the rest of the night inventing other scenarios where one bizzare coincidence could ruin everything for us on the way home.

After another MazelTov gig in Detroit we were all hanging out in the motel parking lot waiting for the bandleader to get our room keys. The "other Mark Greenwood" (trombone player) was also on the gig and was telling Mark what a great job he did playing this difficult gig as a sub. We were all joking about how it must be the name when the "other Mark" explained that obviously anyone with that name was pretty damn cool and the rest of the world just needed to deal with it. The "other Mark" eventually proclaimed with great fanfare:

"Mark Greenwood.
You know me,
you love me,
or F*ck You!"
I don't think I ever saw Mark laugh harder. That was a running joke between us for the rest of the time that he lived in Columbus, and it still cracks me up. Granted, that's a little "salty" but I think it's true. Everybody who knew Mark loved him, and anybody who couldn't enjoy being around him obviously had their own problems.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

More on the Tunnels

I can elaborate on the tunnels story. You know, it sure seems to me like it was the toward the end of college near graduation too. The only thing is, Mark and I were still roommates and I remember exactly how the bunk beds were arranged when Mark came in looking very spooked and upset. I was sitting on my bed and Frank was sitting at one of the desk chairs when Mark came in and said "I got arrested".

You see, some days or weeks before this incident, someone had discovered that there was a door in the conservatory, inadvertently left unlocked by a custodian or someone, that lead down some stairs to the fabled tunnels beneath Capital's campus. (That's another reason I know this was earlier than senior year - this was in the OLD conservatory before the remodel that happened during our junior year). So, of course, we put a posse together and went back late at night to explore.

I'm not 100% sure who all went on that first adventure other than me and Mark but it was just a few of us. Frank? Did you go that first time or a later time? Anyway, I don't think any of us really thought this was going to work. I mean, if there even were such tunnels, there was probably another locked gate or something that would stop us. Nope. Within minutes we were scampering around water pipes and heating ducts in this strange little underworld.

We were actually able to get inside other buildings on the Conservatory side of campus. We could emerge inside the locked library and even climb the stairwell to the roof. It was great!

We did this once or twice more but then too many people started to get wind of it so I, at least, started backing off. Also, the thrill was wearing off with tunneling on that side of campus. We needed new territory and we'd heard about a second set of tunnels on the other side of the street. Some folks had beaten us to it and there were stories about people making it to the cafeteria and helping themselves to ice cream sandwiches and stuff.

Well, we planned our own low profile trip (I think limited to Mark, Frank, and I) through those tunnels. We knew the entrance was through a side door in the building across from the conservatory. Now, Frank and I never considered going anywhere near the tunnels during the day. Mark, however, on the way back from class, decided to check out the situation to prepare for that night. He ventured in to see if the internal gate was unlocked.

As Mark told the story, the clumsy, out of shape security guard who was sitting on a chair in the shadows jumps up and shouts "FREEZE" and then immediately gets on his walki-talkie shouting "Bexley PD! Bexley PD!" like he was some sort of undercover sleuth on his first stake out. Mark was kicking himself later for not just running out of there since it was just a security guard who was obviously more scared than he was and needed the police to do anything anyway.

Well, apparently, someone had been down there prior to Mark some other night and done some sort of damage or left some evidence that people had been there. Like, I think they were trying to kick in a locked gate. Whatever it was, they wanted to pin it on Mark. Of course, nobody I was with ever did anything like that. We were just looking around. The thrill was that we got in so easily. Breaking in kind of takes the fun out of it.

So, some security guard probably would have been sitting there that night when we went in as planned. As bad an idea it was for Mark to check it out during the day - he probably saved Frank and I from the same fate.

From Bruce and Claudia

I am delighting in the stories being written to honor relationships with Mark. Of course, parents' relationships are a bit different [grin!] but I would like to share three that may shed light on the fact that few ever knew for how long, or to what extent, Mark was ill these past ten years or so... Bruce wanted me to share these with you.

The first was a Goulais River story, of course. We recalled this the other day at lunch with Kevin Root, a special treat for us. One warm, sunny afternoon Mark, Kevin, and Dave came speeding up river toward our dock, all three in the stern of the boat, the bow riding high out of the water. As soon as the boat touched the dock, Mark lept out and ran up the steps: "Where's Dad?" "Why?" I remember inquiring. "Well, we think we put a scratch in the bottom of the boat on the big turn upriver." Bruce, who had heard them return, approached and asked, "How small? Where?" "Think it's serious?" Mark said he didn't know but it sounded like it was near the center of the boat, as they were making a sharp turn and hit something submerged. It didn't sound quite like a log. "Well, we'd better pull it out and take a look," Bruce, unbelievably calml! y, suggested. And so they did. Emergency room surgery was performed that afternoon on a little red boat in the Goulais garage. The boys learned a valuable lesson in fiberglassing....and we learned a whole lot about how Mark could minimize the importance of events! We found the culprit later: a 12 inch spike on a railroad tie!

The second story came in the form of a phone call home finals week of Mark's senior year. "Mom, I need your credit card number. Ihave to charge "something." Thinking it was something for graduation I asked, "What?" "My bail," he said. Of course you know what my next question was....and how I was feeling at the time, but there wasn't time to talk as this was his "one phone call." And so began the saga of Mark's being commanded to "Halt!" by a 300 pound security guard in the tunnel between wherever he was and the library.... Thanks to his friends for suggesting that the tunnels were a "must do!" before graduating! [grin!]

The final story many of you are familiar with. It involved a certain house on Dodridge which Mark described to us as "a great deal that just needs "a little work".... There are many pictures to confirm the amount of work that was done to make the hovel a home, the subterranean cistern centerpiece of a studio. But, as much as the Goulais, it is responsible for great memories-- and wonderful music, too.

And so, it shouldn't surprise any of us that when he would get the "flu" he would say, "Don't worry. I'll be better in a few days." Or that he'd tell the hospital staff in Las Vegas, "Don't call my folks. I don't want them to worry."

Again, we are so glad to know that he had many talented, engaging and playful friends who filled his too-short life--and theirs--with such good memories. I look forward to thanking you in person next Sunday in Columbus.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Old Man's Cave

Here are some photos from a day trip to Old Man's Cave that Mark, Faith, Teresa (now my wife) and I took. I was kind of waiting to post these until I heard from Faith.

Remember that most of the pictures on the blog can be clicked to see a larger version.







A Little More Markspeak

Glad to hear from you, Faith. I hope you're doing well. Your post made me remember some of Mark's other phrases...

"Shake a tower" - take a shower

"High-speed backwards" - hairstyle where hair is drastically smooshed all the way forward

"We got acres of..." - having lots of something

"Shmee" - not sure what this one meant, but it was funny

"Billlllll" - friendly greeting, circa 1992

"Reff" - Jeff (Ludwig)

"Take a dook" - go to the bathroom

"Hammy" - hammock

I sure do miss hearing these kinds of things. Thanks for helping me remember, Weezy.

Piss on a Rock

It’s horrible to lose a friend. But what’s horrible about Marks death is that as much as we loved each other, we also regularly frustrated one another. And so in a way that is probably typical of our relationship, I have spent the last weeks going through a full range of emotions: deep sadness, emptiness, anger, and guilt over the many times we fought, broke up, and got back together.

There are also times over the last week that I have laughed about his ways, his style. How he would call things different names.….Cadbury Cream Eggs = Crappy Cream Craigs….Tonka = poop. Horsepistol = Hospital. Tod Thortons = Tim Hortons. Vacay = vacation. Sammie = sandwich When he’d get frustrated, he would say “Piss on a Rock.”. I cringe when I think how I’d call him Greenie and Burg and how he’d tolerate it. It seemed at times, that he put up with me - someone who wasn’t a musician, wasn’t a skier, hated volleyball, made fun of Rush….and brought nude artwork into the apartment. (see Beth’s blog entry)

A couple days after Dana called me and told me he died, we were jogging on the National Mall (I live in DC now, have a baby, and a husband. )and we stopped so that my daughter could get out of the jogger stroller. We were sitting and Julianna started delighting in watching two dogs play. One was a German Shepard, the other a tiny little mutt. They were playing, but really the little one was antagonizing the German Shepard. And the German Shepard was so gentle. He could have stomped on the little one, but didn’t. We were laughing about how hyper that little dog was. .and we walked over to talk to the owners. I said, “Your German Shepard is so kind to that annoying little dog.. what’s the Shepard’s name?” and the guy replied “Jazz.”

The line between life and death isn’t always a harsh divide. Sometimes there are thin spaces where it seems as if those we love reach across. That day on the Mall, watching two very different dogs interact, Mark’s playful spirit became known to me in a way that I can’t totally describe. My eyes were open and I saw the gift Mark Greenwood’s friendship.. His life as I knew him, demonstrated getting along and being friends with all different types of people. Throughout our many differences, he still remained a friend.

As grace would have it, one of my last conversations with Mark was in spring 2000, right before I was heading to seminary. We debated God’s love and the role of religion in our lives. In typical Colburn/Greenwood fashion, we didn’t come to an agreement – but at least we enjoyed the banter. Since then, I finished school and serve as a United Methodist minister at a church in DC. I can’t be at the Tribute concert because I gotta baptize a baby that Sunday but I want everyone to know that I will be thinking about you. I really wish I could see everyone, and hear more stories like these online. Thanks Aaron for the blog and Tiff and Rob and everyone who is pulling the tribute together.
BTW – the naked butt picture that Beth refers to still hangs on the wall of my house. My nieces, who are 7 and 5, like to tell people “Did you know that’s Aunt Faith’s Butt?”.

Friday, May 12, 2006

“the kid that jumped into the bushes”

Many years have passed since Mark and I spent hours together talking, listening to music, driving around town, and “hanging out” with our friends but he never seemed far away because I thought of him so often.

Mark and I met in the early 80s while in junior high. I don’t remember meeting him or when we actually became friends but over time we developed a special bond that kept me connected to him over the years, even though we lost touch with each other after high school. I would like to share some of my thoughts and memories of Mark with you, the people who loved and cared about him, like I did.

One time, Mark rode his bike to my house and a bunch of us ended up playing football in the side yard. As most boys do in 7th grade, he was showing off. Someone threw a pass over his head and he ran and jumped to catch it. Unfortunately for him, he landed in the hedge and had to be pulled out by my father. Dad had to drive him home because he was all cut up. From then on, at my house, he was known as “the kid that jumped into the bushes”.



“Mark’s school picture from 1983 –
I believe it is his 7th grade picture.”


Mark and I were in the percussion section together at both West Junior High and Ashtabula High School. I was a year older than Mark and should have been coaching him in the band but that couldn’t have been further from what was actually going on. Of course, he was a natural and unfortunately, I wasn’t very good – I was lucky to hit the head of the snare drum without dropping my stick. Mark spent a lot of time helping me to “feel the music” - although my skills only improved slightly, we had a great time trying. He never made a negative comment about my lack of skills or about anyone who wasn’t as good as him, he just seemed to enjoy being around people who loved music like he did. Even though he was exceptional, he was also very humble and kind.

High school was a tumultuous time but Mark made it easier and more enjoyable. He was nonjudgmental, respectful, funny, thoughtful, dependable, loving and generous. Reading the other comments, I was pleased to see that his life was full of people who appreciated those things about him.

Often, Mark and I would sit and talk for hours - either alone or with friends. I can’t remember what we talked about but time always seemed to pass too quickly.

”Mark, Dave DeGeorge, Kevin Cherry, and me in 1987”

I will always cherish my time with Mark and think of him with a warm heart.

Rest in peace Mark.

- Stacey

Mark "Flannel" Greenwood

Here are some thoughts about Mark I received from a fellow Capital graduate...

===================

Hi Aaron,
This is Crystal (Hughes) Traini. You guys won't remember me , but I was the female saxophone major who came in two years after you and Dave. I never actually talked to Mark, but remember him well and was very sad to hear this news. I have had trouble taking him off my mind. He was a very talented drummer, and seemed to be such a nice guy. His smile could melt you. I remember a few things about him. I had a crazy roommate who named her underwear after guys in the conservatory, and gave everyone nicknames. I do remember that Mark's nickname was "flannel", of course because of the flannel shirts he always wore. I used to pass him in the halls in the morning, and would have a mug of coffee and that awesome unshaved chin and messy head, which really worked for him :) He'd tilt his head and say hey. He had a pretty intense gaze at Dr. Swinehart in Wind symphony. The picture on your tribute site of him with his "bedhead", is how I remember him. I was one of those people who was fairly backward in college. I wish I had been a little more outgoing, and had gotten to actually know him.

"Fishing" on the Goulais

Here is Mark, Kevin, and Dave taking a break from "fishing". I believe this was the summer between our freshman and sophomore years. I know, its hard to believe that this group didn't catch many fish, but its true. The fact is, in the 6 or 7 times that I went to the Goulais, I truly only remember catching 2 fish (collectively) and they were both within 10 minutes of each other. Mark brought the first one in, about a 28" Northern Pike. I followed with an even bigger one that was about 32". By the way, I am trying to resist the urge to turn this into another "fish story", but I do believe those dimensions to be accurate. We were absolutely ecstatic. When we got back to the cabin we immediately started to cut the fish into enough filets that would feed an army (more like butchered them since we hadn't had much practice). We cooked them up and I must say that it was the worst tasting fish I ever had, but we ate it all and loved it.

Great Moments

Hey Man,

There are so many good memories I have of you. I want to share a few one-on-one memories that most people would not have experienced with us.

One of our first great moments came together in the basement of the Conservatory (where we would spend many late hours practicing piano). We performed a touching tribute to Rush. You somehow convinced Mr. Square (me) with a classically trained voice to sing the vocal stylings of your favorite group. Your gentle reminders about 'NO VIBRATO' produced what sounded like a Monk on steriods with a few Joe Cocker like convulsions to screech out the high notes. The only saving grace was that we didn't record this 'fine' musical momment.

Of course there were other great moments. You would remember the time we were playing ping pong in the lobby of Schaff Hall. There was nothing better than playing a 'friendly' game of table tennis after a frustrating day in piano class. We were playing a very intense game hitting the ball so hard that we were actually grunting as we hit it (Adding to our tough guy musician image). Well we got in a slight argument about whether or not you meant to hit the ball on the back line of my side of the table (a perfect shot). And as I was explaining how lucky you were to have managed to pull off a like that, you smacked the ball back to me. I saw this white object coming right at me and before I could move, that damn ping pong ball hit me square on my left front tooth. That tooth vibrated like the handle of my grandfather's old lawn mower. Well we both almost peed our pants after that incident. You for obvious reasons and I because I lost control of all bodily functions from my tongue to my toes for approximately 60 seconds. I was soooooo pissed which of course made it even funnier to you. I don't recall you ever laughing so hard.

You would also remember practicing a piano piece called 'Homage to Bill Evans' which you lovingly referred to as 'omage'. You found this piece toward the latter part of our freshman year and played it to death. Every note of that song was etched in my head (As I'm sure you could recall at a moments notice the 2 songs in my expansive repertoire). Years later I remember asking you what you planned to play for your piano competencies. I knew exactly what you would be playing, I just wanted to hear you say it again. Without hesitation you said, 'Well 'Cabbage' (a name you and close friends called me as you felt I looked like a Cabbage Patch Doll when I wore a hat, I still don't get it!) I plan to pay 'omage' to India (our piano teacher). As many times as I slept through you playing that song down in the practice rooms, I wish I could see, hear, and experience you play it one more time. Mark, we will pay 'omage' to you and remember you with friends and family. We will celebrate these memories for the rest of our lives.

Love, Frank

So Many Memories

When I was first trying to think of what I could write about I told myself that that was almost 20 years ago what could I remember that would be worth writing about, I realized that it didn't matter as long as it was something I could share about Mark to all of the people that were his friends as he was to me all of the years ago. I was a junior in high school when I first met Mark, he and I both played the drums in band. We quickly became friends and started to hang out together. It wasn't long before it was me, Mark and Dave Degeorge, who was also was in Mark's class and played the drums, became good friends. Then reluctantly they talked me into letting Mark King join our group, which turned out to be a very good thing. We would go to parties, hang out at the H.O.G, we went cruising summer nights at Geneva-on-the-Lake and of course did a little camping in the woods behind Mark's house.
As I mentioned above we had a lot of fun growing up however we did go through some hard times together(mostly girl related), got into trouble and sometimes even made the police beat in the Star Beacon. One summer we went to the cabin in Canada, which has seen a lot of action from reading other people's stories, were Mark taught me how to water ski(that water was cold!).


I have a few picture that might be fun to look at, the first picture is one of Mark and myself in the band room at Ashtabula High School. As you can tell I am giving him some pointers!




The next photo I would like to share is prom 1987, Mark was dating a junior at the time so it worked out that we could double date.













Since I learned about Mark leaving us I relived those two years in a matter of few weeks, what I time we had I would never want to change a minute of it. The only thing that I would change now is not letting old friends slip away without trying to find out how they are or what they are doing. I always thought Mark would be the famous person that I could say I knew but I think he was a lot more then that to all of us.

Kevin Root

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mark Skiing

We have read about how much Mark liked to snow ski when he was growing up. Here is a picture of Mark doing some kind of ski jump. I tried this once (once!) Of course Mark was always the best skier in the group.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The guy every girl wanted to date


I found this picture in the basement and it reminds me of a time when it seemed every girl on campus wanted to go out with Mark. I remember being so excited when Mark agreed to go to the ZETA pledge party with me. I'm not sure how much fun Mark had, but he sure made my night.

Sometimes it seems just yesterday that we were all hanging out at the Sheridan Ave apartment! What a brothel that place was, Ha Ha. I still laugh when I think of the day when the Gas company guy had to check for a gas leak and everybody's girlfriend was spending the night. What a sight that must have been!!

And how many times did the girlfirends have to do dishes because we couldn't find a cup to drink out of!! You guys sure were pigs.

Then there was the time that Dave told me about this amazing dish that Mark taught him how to make....Camp supper! I'm sure many of you experinced this delicacy!!??

Then there was 66 California. I can still see the picture of Faith over the mantel, what a sight that was! And who could forget the day the kitchen ceiling fell in. How many weeks did it take to fix that?? And I'm sure Mark would laugh at the fact that Dave still hates to do the dishes.

I really wish that Mark could have met Susannah, I think Susannah would have thought Mark was so hilarious, Susannah loves Steve Martin too. I always think of Mark when Susannah makes me watch Steve Martin on the Muppet show.

Squinty Tuff-guy Union of Diggers

Most people aren't aware, but Mark belonged to a fraternal organization outside of college life. Mark is pictured here, along with his brothers in the Columbus chapter of the Squinty Tuff-guy Union of Diggers (S.T.U.D.)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

All Style

Like many of you, I have thought of Mark almost daily for the past several weeks. I'm hoping for a flood of memories to surface and trying to make sense of his life/death and the lesson in it for me (or all of us). Though I have searched the deepest parts of my mind, my memory will not serve up many specifics. Maybe I didn't know Mark as well as some, maybe my exhausted brain has atrophied from becoming a mom seven years ago, maybe I haven't yet evolved through the sadness surrounding Mark's last 10 years and his recent death...My recollections of Mark are really more about his unique characteristics, his attitude/style. Here's what I loved about Mark:
*the way he'd saunter-shuffle up from behind, drape his arm around your shoulders, walking and talking you through campus
*when the rest of us looked just plain scary, he actually looked good for an 8:00 a.m. class with bedhead and full facial hair (if you doubt this, look again at this blog for the "don't mess with us" entry!)
*how he could make you laugh, even when he wasn't trying to...
*sandals - always!
*how anxious he was to get the group moving toward any spontaneous outing
*the way he was constantly in motion - either beating a rhythm with his hands &/or shuffling those feet
*how he made you feel comfortable "being yourself"
*how he played his instrument with eyes closed most of the time, knees waggling and jittering and peacefully "in his element"
*his crooked sometimes sly smile and that laugh of his, which I can still replay in my mind...It was the best!

Mark was always the one person "cool" enough to not have a date and still comfortably tag along with the group, plus, he was usually the guy with the wheels (a.k.a.- the one who got us there). It seems we were always packed into his gold Bronco (or was it a Blazer?). One time Mark let my boyfriend (now husband), Frank and I hitch a ride down to South Carolina on spring break. He was headed further south to Florida with a friend. It was me and three great guys...on a very long trip. Though I offered many times to do my share of the driving, I was not "allowed" to take the wheel. I was however good enough to be Mark's pillow in the back seat when his shift was up. Mark was a good snuggler and a sound sleeper (just ask Aaron - about the latter).

Aaron, this is the part I tried so hard not to include...so roll your eyes at me now! For everyone else reading this, Aaron gets very cranky everytime I bring up this next memory, but I could NOT pass up the opportunity to state, for the record, that Mark and his buddy still owe Beth Stewart and me a pizza! We four were in religion class together - thank goodness, because it was an early one and not extremely invigorating as I remember. So the boys sat behind us and kept us awake, and laughing a good portion of the time. Beth and I were a bit competitive academically and by the end of the term had become tired of the taunting and testosterone slung at us. So we bet them we could collectively score higher grades on an upcoming test. We did, of course! I'm pretty sure Aaron had trouble getting Mark to study, especially since the winners were to receive just a $5 pizza from the local joint - anybody remember the name? Paradise Pizza? Wish we still had an opportunity to cash in on that deal - good friends sharing a laugh and a greasy, cheap pizza...what happened to those days?

On a more serious note, I must say that there were many times I wished Mark had kept up with our college group's "life stages" - if not for him to find "the love of his life", then for the more selfish reason...he was good company and I wanted him to continue to be a part of all of our lives. But now, I'm realizing that maybe Mark didn't want "mainstream", and certainly attachments to places and people have their own set of complications. I truly respect his need to live life on "his own terms", to "cut his own path", and to follow his sense of adventure. I'm glad he had many opportunities to embrace his passion for music, continue his journey of "wander lust", and frequently exercise his love of the outdoors. Most of all, I like knowing that rather than following any social norms or individual set of expectations, he made up his own. Though Mark's life was cut too short, I think Mark lived much of his 35 years as he wished and to the full extent possible, even in the face of adversity. That's a lesson I will continue to hold close to me for many years to come...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Do NOT mess with us!


This is a picture that Amy Mailer (Anspaugh) gave me recently. It's me (Aaron), Mark, and Frank Combs early in our first year at Capital - I think. This dorm room did NOT belong to any of the three of us. I SWEAR! I don't even know what that clown thing is on the wall!

I don't remember if mullets were still in style back then - but Mark made it work. Seriously, just imagine me or Frank with one in that picture. Not so good.

Well, actually, I do kind of look like Rick Springfield...


Nobody messed with "The Theater Clown Posse"! Nobody!