Sunday, May 14, 2006

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.


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