A Giant of a Man

If you’d like to share a memory about MARK GREMSE, please leave a comment below.
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Mark Gremse died this week.

He was someone you’d want at a memorial service — a service for someone that everyone knew, someone you happened to love.  I keep thinking I should call him about Saturday.

Mark didn’t just speak.  He inscribed.  Sometimes he engraved, with flourishes.  You could count on him for a eulogy that would make you understand why you were crying so hard.  He’d put all the words together for you and breathe feeling into them.  He’d conjure the grandeur and the meaning of the life that had passed, and then make you remember a private moment that only you could keep alive now.  You might imagine what he might say about you at your own funeral, and suddenly see how you, too are a part of history, a part of him, and, yes, a part of baseball.

You would never imagine him dead, silent. 

If God were a Giants fan, Cooperstown would be on East 4th Street on the Lower East Side, between Avenues A and B.  Closer to B.  You can tell He’s not, because Mark would be alive and curating.  And the Giants would have won more than that pennant in the 50 years Mark shared with us.   

You may have read the beginning of a story about him that I finally posted August 9.  I hope he did.  The rest has been coming out slowly, forever.  But now, without Mark in that apartment, forever feels different.  It’s not an ongoing thing anymore.  It’s not like Pitchers and Catchers, or Next Year, which always rolls around if you wait long enough.  It’s not even like a baseball game, pure in its unclocked timelessness.  I counted on Mark to connect next season to last year’s, and all the seasons before that.  To take me into history, with him.  Is baseball really timeless, after all?

Credit for the title of this post belongs to Marc Marc.  One late morning, Marc made me coffee and a proposition.  "Let’s go to Gremse’s.  For the game.  We can make it."   I thought he was talking about a bar, and went, willingly.  But he took me to the apartment of one of his closest living friends, a friend who then grew deep into me, like that tree on 4th Street grew into to Gremse, the sapling he tried to save after it got hit by a car that was trying to squeeze into a parking spot.  He used his belt to tie it together for the moment and convinced someone to watch over it while he ran to the hardware store, for wood glue.  Can you imagine, being the passer-by whose aid he enlisted on behalf of that tree?   I asked him about that tree a year or two ago.  He looked away.  "It died." 


A memorial gathering for Mark Gremse is planned for Saturday AFTERNOON Nov. 19 (note change),
3-5pm, at Sophie’s Bar, 507 East 5th St., between Avenues A and B.  Closer to A.

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34 comments

  1. elrucell@aol.com

    Besides a being a Giant’s historian, Mark Gremse will also go down in infamy as the man responsible, for introducing me to my husband of 14 yrs. He did this against the better judgement of his then girlfriend (my ex-classmate, currently serving time for manslaughter in a LI prison).

    We will always remember him for this, & may even eventually forgive him.

    Aside from his instant recall of baseball arcania, Mark will be remembered as a gentle man with a corny but golden heart, who loved to sing in a sweet baritone on his acoustic guitar…as he did at our wedding, so long ago, (when he let everyone know just how we had met).

    He will be sorely missed.

    ER & GM

  2. ejohnson@nyc.gov

    Mark was the first person I met when I joined the Law Department. What I remember most about him was his quick wit, love of all things trivia and his weird infatuation with the Giants and the Red Wings. I can recall many sessions at Sophie’s discussing race, religion and the overall state of the World. He ws one of the most genuine and compassionate individuals I have ever met. It saddens me that I did not spend more time with him. I can remember his encouraging words when I was applying to law school and the pride in his eyes when I achieved my dream. The world is a sadder, emptier place without his presence. I will miss him greatly.

  3. fatimadeen@hotmail.com

    I haven’t known Mark for as long as most of you have, only three years. But since I have known him he has been nothing but kind to me. He could never get my name right no matter how many times I told him so we settled on him just calling me “FA”. But that was only his thing. Me and Neysa shared the same memory of him when Pleadings was having a meeting and he just came in and sat near me and I whispered to him, “wrong meeting Mark”. He just laughed, said sorry and left (the look on his face said a lot). I guess he was just so used to coming to the meetings on Friday’s. Me and Neysa looked at each other and laughed. I guess what is so hard for me about his passing is that there is no closure. Over the weekend I just kept thinking, “what happened”. My only comfort is knowing that he is in a better place and resting in Peace.
    God Bless Him

    Fatima/Law Department

  4. nmendez@law.nyc.gov

    My best shared memory about Mark besides the one Fatima shared (yeah that moment was very funny!!!), I believe was the first year we became E.I.U. and we had a party, with disco lights and good music in one of the rooms here at 100 Church. I saw Mark with a beer in his hands and his legs were making funny movements (like somebody please ask me to dance!!!) most of us where dancing with each other and I saw his face, and said to myself, this guy probably can’t even dance, but he looked like he really wanted to join us on the dance floor so I finally went up to him, and surprise, surprise!!!! Mark gave me a run for my dancing shoes on that dance floor. We made Ginger Roger and Fred Astair look like amateurs…ok, ok just a bit of exageration here…gotta make him look good…hahaha…seriously I had a great time on the dance floor with him.

    so Mark maybe one day, if we should meet again I will come up to you and say “Shall we dance”

    IN MEMORY OF MARK GREMSE

  5. ngoldbac@law.nyc.gov

    The tears come out of nowhere. The sadness overwhelms me. Twelve years of daily interaction, then darkness. I am trying very hard to sort it all out. Your collective dedications made me smile for the first time in weeks … Thank You. More to come.

  6. nomailplease@nomailplease.com

    We are Luddites who are not computer literate and had to have this site brought to our attention by Mark’s dear mentor. It made us smile through the tears, and we very much appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.

    -Mark’s Sisters

  7. janeensjones@yahoo.com

    I worked with Mark Gremse during the period that I worked at EIU at the Law Department. It was great working with Mark everyday. He was a nice guy and a true pleasure to work with. Although, I left the Law Department over a year ago I kept in touch with Mark. It was really hard for me to leave the Law Department and leave behind the many friends I made during my time there. I remember when I told Mark that I was leaving he looked at me with such sadness in his eyes that I almost stayed. Mark was loved by the people that he worked with at the Law Department. He was respected as a colleague and thought of as a friend. He will be truly missed.

  8. msroscrea12@aol.com

    There is “crying in baseball” Mark is gone. He was my fellow San Francisco Giant obsessive.We both loved the team unconditionally, despite their abandonment of us.

    What really is so unfair is that the Giants could not win a World Series for him. His heart ached and yearned, but the Giants always managed to let it slip away. Each Spring, we would come together and proclaim that this would be the year- the season Barry Bonds and company would achieve World Series triumph.

    I am haunted by Mark and his “steely greyness” as he would stare into my eyes and say “Mary, I know this is the year” “We can’t miss” Each year I would agree, but, somehow, we both knew we were dreaming.

    But, I thought our dreams would go on forever. I thought we had all the time in the world to share our Dodger disdain

    There are two spots in front of 100 Church where Mark always stood. Funny, but it was always the same two places. I see him there now and realize we have lost a truly gentle soul. For that I am eternally sad.

    On October 20, Mark gave me $70, my winnings of a baseball pool he had run. He did not do very well himself, as he had picked the Giants to win the World Series. “I chose with my heart” is all he said to me. That was truly Mark’s way.

    So, once again it is that long, hard winter without baseball. Mark and I always talked about how we hated this time. But, I see from their web site that the Giants are making plans for 2006. Bonds will be back and there are some really good prospects. So maybe, just maybe 2006 will be the year Oh Mark, It will never be the same without you

    Mary O’Rourke

  9. bcnhscollege@yahoo.com

    I wish I’d known Gremse better, but the few times in which I shared space with him, I found him very gracious. This summer, we were all watching a Yankee game at Sophie’s. I was wearing one of my two Mets shirts–I’m a Yankee fan, but I support good players everywhere. It was also one of those two days when the Mets seemed like they might make the playoffs. Without even hesitating, in some discussion about the NL East, Mark said, “Of course, we want the Mets to win.” I smiled. The comment was too nice to contradict. Later, around labor day, I was standing with a friend he was inviting to a gathering. I had just lost a close friend and I was barely able to keep my head up. Mark motioned to my friend and said, “Of course, bring a friend.” He didn’t know me well enough to ask what was wrong, but he wanted badly to make things better. I always looked forward to seeing him during my visits to Sophie’s. He was smart, kind and handsome.
    Floraine Kay

  10. spriggly692002@yahoo.com

    Words cannot express the loss of Mark as a very close friend. Mark, Mike A., Andrew C. and I would go out to lunch as a ritual on payday Friday’s when Mike and Andy worked at the Law Department. Mark would invite everyone, he would invite Betty and Ray and a close friend we called uncle Bob. He always had a different approach to things and viewed the world from a different perspective and loved life and really enjoyed people from all walks of life. Mark always had a way of finding little articles in the paper if he knew you enjoyed something he would go to arms length to make it real special or more enjoyable. Mark did have a passion for writing and loved history and sometimes I think he lived in the moment of the era he was writing about or talking about with a passion larger than life. I remember when Mark would talk about his friends and colleges he new little special things about people, like their accomplishments, their passions or their hobbies that other people would sometimes over look or not even think twice about, I loved that about Mark. Every summer as Labor Day rolled around he would invite many of his friends to his sister’s Cabin upstate New York, I’m glad to have shared those times with Mark. Through Mark I learned that you can adopt your friends as your family and you can never have too many friends or people that you care about or that care about you. I will miss you Mark, your silly ways, your sense of humor and you thanking me for being me. May God Bless and May you rest in peace.
    Celeste-Spriggly 🙂

  11. gracieusa@aol.com

    I worked with Mark at the Law Dep’t. and just wanted to tell you that this site has had a healing effect on many of us at the job. The “Giant of a Man” beginning to this – so well written that it was breathtaking – brought us together and allowed us to express our admiration for brilliant, soulful Mark and the depth of our loss. In a way, Mark’s friends have wound up where he would want them to be — at the MLB site. To Mark’s family, my heart aches for you, and I hope that in reading all of these tributes you find solace.
    Please tell us what time people are gathering at Sophie’s.

    Martha Rix

  12. dstuddar@law.nyc.gov

    To the family of Mark Gremse: Sincere condolences from me and my family. I have worked with Mark for 11 years. We were friends, and shared our love of animals, and travel. Mark was a warm-spirited individual, and full of wisdom. I miss him, and hope that now, he is at peace, enjoying fun, loving moments with his beloved Rosemarie. Mark: gone too soon, but never forgotten. Rest well, dear friend. From your friend, Diane Studdard….

  13. kborkows@law.nyc.gov

    The words still do not come easy. They feel so inadequate in expressing
    the feeling of loss.

    Mark brought a lot of joy to my life and I know I am one of many people

    he touched deeply. He was smart and very caring of others. Mark loved

    life. His sensitivity combined with his sense of humor was disarming.

    He helped me through some hard personal times and showed me that I did not

    have to be alone in difficult moments.

    My mother said he had happy light in him even though she only met him briefly.

    Reading the e-mails with memories and messages to Mark made me realize that

    even now he is with us, making us reach out one to another, sharing thoughts.

    With Mark, it was never about him, it was always about the other.

    I will remember Mark cracking a joke , pretending he is speaking Polish

    and laughing. I never thought I could miss somebody so much.

    Mark, thank you for being you. Your smiling face will always stay in my heart.

    Connecting in this way in memory of Mark is helping us deal with our

    grief and I hope it will bring some comfort to Mark’s family as well.

    Krystyna

  14. glozowsk@law.nyc.gov

    It’s very difficult to express my deep sorrow and accept the loss of Mark who was a unique and wonderful person. I still feel his presence. The only words that I can express are words of gratitude.
    Thank you Mark, for your help to write motions, which you were an expert at, yet your modesty always opposed that recognition. Thank you for your sincere concern when I dealt with personal problems, and for your thoughtful gift when you coincidently found out about my birthday. Thank you for your advise and materials about NYC when my friend from Poland came to visit me. You were a great source of information about the city, which we both love a lot. I could not wait to read the book you were writing about NYC. Thank you Mark for being in my life. You’ll always be remembered.

    Also, I would like you to know that Krystyna and I wanted to give you a cat. But I didn’t get the chance to read your book nor make you that little surprise.

  15. mpott1@mac.com

    Dear Mark,

    Billy told me that you were dead. I had just seen Sive up in Portland Maine that morning. We talked of the old days, organizing the building, ducking Dom and Makeba, favorite memories of Kenny – his gold-painted Congress’s, his feather boas, his charts of Lower Eastside timelines – and I told her a bunch of us old-timers were still there, you among them.

    I can’t believe you are gone. We are trying to take it in here. Someone who was a part of our gang, a part of our life, a part of our home for over twenty five years.

    And our trees. You and Freddy haphazard efforts to repair the shattered trunk, like all of us at different times in our lives, wood glue and a belt. And then traveling upstate to bring a baby sapling, back with little chance of making it in the big city.

    And the years we spent in court trying to wrestle the buildings free of extortion, threats, malfeasance and mischief. And we won, didn’t we? A very odd team we made, much less suited to victory than the Giants, but we won. Over 8 long years, we made a safe home for 100 or more people for the next 25. A home with you and me as officers at various times, but always neighbors. A home of people who organized block parties, tree plantings, memorial plaques for friends dead and gone, a home where people knew each other’s names, where people could stand on the roof together for hours on September 11th, the dust from the attack still in your hair, and watch and witness and pray in our own very different ways.

    And you, not only helping make it all possible, but leaving a mark. I guess you got the right name. A mark in our hearts, a mark in our home, a mark to remember how precious and fragile we are. How hard we humans take things, how big our hearts, how important our connection.

    Reading the postings above, they describe a Mark I knew and loved. We all did Mark. We’ll miss you forever and remember you always.

    Is it possible your team won the world series after all?

    love, Marty

  16. bcaponyc@yahoo.com

    It takes a Village…Mark was an integral part of my village, my daughters village, our village, your village, Loisaidea Village, the East Village…his family owes it to us, (his extended family), to tell us the autopsy report, WE want to know, we need to learn what happened to our dear friend, if & when he was buried or scattered where on the winds in ash, AND WE ASK…whatin his last days he needed, whant answers to mystery to know what could happen to us…
    I apologize to all of you, if I could have in any way fulfilled a need, filled a void, lifted up & suppoted…given our dear friend any joy or strength, or help, that would have helped keep our dear friend a vital part of our world…future.. I need to know,,,want to learn…don’t want to allow another impotant life to slip away from mine…not that there is an equal to Mark, there is no substitute,

    ..but let us listen to the silence that speaks volumes, when friends give a look, but leave unspoken the pain or need …for them to thrive..

    THIS LOSS SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN..

    PLEASE let us hear eachother’s needs, speak to eachother from the heart, and find the medicine to heal..before the last inning…

    WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU MARK…life is different now for us

    Barbara & Rockella

  17. joseluishuertas@msn.com

    As a member of a class who has known Mark Gremse for over 21 years, You My Friend are surely missed. In your last week we emailed each other and spoke on the phone about Apple Picking and Apple Pies, etc. All I can mustard to write ….We miss You. There are a Bunch of folks who don’t know yet…bbut when they learn of this….the Flood gates better be opened…YOU are surely missed. Put in a good word with the Big guy upstairs for us…and oh yeah, next year…no, no I not speaking of the Giants…to a more earthy subject….next year, some of us could use “Better” apples than this year’s bushel, you know…to taste great like that great apple pie in the sky. Pax Nobiscum.
    Con mucho Amor Y Carin~o, Jose y April (CL’87)

  18. carencateyes@hotmail.com

    I met Mark back in ’71 at MAter Christi High School and thought that he was a funny kinda guy.If their was three things Mark loved it was the Giants, Marx Brothers and laughing. I was one of his good buddies all these years and my heart goes out to his family. Yes Mom, I was the one you would prepare the Pizza Snacks for out in Forest Hills while we were playing rummy 5000, not 500.WE played football out in Queens and softball down in the Village. Mark always had interesting apt’s from 65st and 1st to 39st on the West side and of course 4th St.I never knew anyone else with a bathtub in thier kitchen! When ever I went by 4St.I’d call him fronm the corner store to ask if he needed anything because I sure didn’t enjoy that 6 story walk-up although it didn’t seem to bother him. He was at my wedding 20 yrs ago down here in Miami and he knew that I was a nervous wreck. It was in MArch and he asked me if I wanted to leave and catch a Spring Training game instead. I took my family up to NY to visit in ’98 and of course we all went to a Giant-Met game and had a blast, I still have the ticket stub in my wallet. In ’99 I even got to have him as a roommate while I was up there and we spent many a night laughing about the old times.I will miss him a whole bunch as I know my other buddy’s Chris Gillespie and Bob Storch who have known him for as long as I have will.I wish I could have made it to Sophies and hoisted a few for him but believe me I think those of us who knew Mark well enough will always think about him whenever we are reminded of Groucho or Willie Mays.He also did a **** of a WAlter Brennan impression! Mark we’ll all miss you buddy, I gotta go dry my eyes now.My love to his family and Mom.
    Sincerly, Pepo

  19. storchfamily@gmail.com

    I’ve been putting off writing down my thoughts about Mark. I was fooling my self into thinking if I did not write perhaps he wasn’t really gone. Then I realized Mark’s Soul will always be with us. Mark shared his soul with all of us lucky enough to know him.
    As long as there is a New York City there will be Mark . When I see a Marx’s Brothers movie It will remind me of “The Gremmer”. I am lucky enough to have 30 years of memories with Mark . There ‘s the times we played touch football games by the east river. The East River Rats vs. the Hellcats Hogs. Or when we walk over the 59th St. bridge to see Mark when he had his place on First Ave. Hanging out all night singing Beatles or some crazy song like Sixteen Tons.

    Then there was always the East Village . To me the Easy Village is Mark. As long as a tree grows on 4th St. there will be Mark’s sprit.

    The reason Mark is such a good friend is he let me be myself. You don’t meet many people that let you be yourself. Mark did that, and that is not a easy thing to do.

    Finally there is Baseball. The game was the bond that first brought us together and baseball help hold us together over the years.

    “The Giants win the Pennant, The Giants win the pennant” How many times has Mark played that Russ Hodges call for me over the years ? With all the great memories I have with of Mark the best are the endless enjoyable hours we spent in the upper deck of Shea watching the Giants vs. Mets.

    In fact this summer my son Tom, Mark and I had a perfect day in the last row of the upper deck at Shea watching the Met’s boot away a ball game to the LA Angles. That was the last time I saw Mark. I could not have ask for a better last day with Mark.

    Its seems the world grows colder everyday and not to have Mark to call when I am sitting at Coors Field and Barry Bonds coming up will be hard. 2006 will be a tough baseball season with out Mark.

    Perhaps we can all meet out at Shea in June and go to a Mets vs Giants game and talk baseball and share our memories about Mark.

    Until that day I know that Mark has gone on to a better place and if he has any say watch out for the San Francisco Giants in 06.

    A Giant of a Man indeed.

    Love

    Bob , Kelly , Tom and Marc Storch

  20. sexyshari1683@hotmail.com

    I was on the F train when my timer went off. I’m a nude model at the Studio School. The timer is how models keep track of time when they’re on the pedestal. Mark would have thought this was really funny,this woman beeping for no reason on the train. I loved Mark, a lot of women did. He broke up with me of course, but I still loved him all these years. I never knew him though. When I thought he was being cruel he was only afraid when I thought he was angry he was really scared. When i thought he didn’t love me anymore he was really just begining to love me for the first time. How is it I never knew him? I thought after he died that it was good we broke up because had we stayed together, now I would be his wodow. But i am his widow of course. And like any grieving widow I am pathetic mean and mad enough to kill him. Good night my prince. Help us this winter. Hold my hand like you used to do and put me to bed by the fire, because I am there, waiting for you always.
    shari

  21. ngoldbac@law.nyc.gov

    Dear Mark,

    I miss you. It’s not like you not to say goodbye.

    I am having very hard time dealing with your death, as are dozens of your friends and colleagues. I feel what we shared was unique; it’s very strange, but I could feel your pain, your anxiety, your joy, your trepidation. Did you know that your quiet, unassuming demeanor made you all the more charming? I hope you did. We shared twelve years at the Law Department and as just often as you would make me crazy, you would make me smile. We had a mutual understanding and respect for each other and that will never disappear. I have your picture in a frame outside my office for all to see and inquire …. and when they do, I will proudly tell them who you are.

    There was a memorial gathering held on November 19, 2005 at Sophie’s. The turn-out was incredible. I met Theresa, Freddie, Geoffrey and Elizabeth, Brian and many, many more. I met your friends from near and far, old and new. It was a tribute to behold. As all the folks were sharing in your memory, I kept thinking how you were watching us from afar with a great big smile and thinking “how did this happen?” Your two separate and distinct worlds collided and somehow gracefully merged … the NYC Law Department meets Sophie’s .. and it was wonderful.

    Mark, You are gone way before your time, just like Xiaoping, and I miss you both so much. Rest In Peace my friends.

    Until we meet all again, Godspeed.

    Nancy Goldbach

  22. adavis@law.nyc.gov

    I will never forget Mark passing by my desk, stopping by to talk to me about the knicks. He knew I enjoyed looking at the Knicks play ball. He always had such nice things to say. Mark was a very nice person but sometime sad. I hope Mark will find peace in heaven. We love you Mark but God love you best. We will always miss you, seening you at the union parties and meeting. Sleep my friend in peace.(love) Annie Davis.

  23. nomailplease@nomailplease.com

    Mark’s family believes that ‘friends are the family you choose’. By that standard, Mark’s very small immediate family becomes a very large one.

    The Jewish part of Mark’s Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, and Roman Catholic small-but-varied family believes that you do not die if you live on through your good deeds and in the hearts and minds of those who loved you. By that standard, Mark will be long-lived.

    What follows is a poem by Matthew Arnold that some of us feel sums up Mark quite well:

    Is it so small a thing

    To have enjoyed the sun,

    To have lived light in the Spring,

    To have loved, to have thought, to have done;

    To have advanced true friends

    and beaten down baffling foes?

  24. frankelesqpc@att.net

    Mark was my friend in law school. I can not believe he is gone. When Jose told me I was in shock, but after thinking about Mark I realized he lived life to the fullest and that he enjoyed every moment. Even though we did not stay in contact, I thought of him often. I miss him and feel very sad that he is no longer on this earth. Such a good heart…. You will always be in my heart and thoughts.

    Bryan Frankel

  25. gracieusa@aol.com

    As Christmas approaches, I think of Mark again (and again). I was struck by the poem posted by his family — “to have advanced true friends.” That’s Mark. Just know that scores of people were advanced by Mark, and try to take comfort in that. I will have the Gremse family and his dear friends very much in mind over the holidays.
    Martha Rix

  26. bats@virgomedia.com

    Sharon, thank you so much for starting this thread. These many thoughts and kind prayers are so beautifully written. Do you suppose they have high-speed internet in Heaven? I hope Mark has access to all these fond memories of ours (though he probably has even more).

    Some days I just still can’t believe he is gone. I think I can still pick up the phone and call him, or send along a newspaper clipping like he often did for me. Some days I think there will be another phone call, claiming someone made a mistake, and Mark is indeed still with us, on East Fourth, healing a tree, writing about baseball, imitating Humphrey Bogart, or just strumming his guitar; and we’ll all see him again and have a big party.

    It’s just not fair.

    I continue to have dreams about Mark, and he is always very happy. The first dream I had he showed me where he lived. It was a big white house on a small hill, overlooking a lake. It wasn’t the cabin, it wasn’t Indian Lake; it was similar, but it was different. It was easy to feel happy for him; it was a beautiful and tranquil place.

    Last night I had another dream. I can’t say where we were, just that everything was white, and bright. It almost felt like it could have been a stage, or a photo studio, with spotlights and floodlights; it was just so bright.

    Mark was lying on a white blanket, just giggling. Not realizing it was a dream, I kept saying “Mark you’re not here, you’ve moved on.” It was more like I was saying it to myself, because I couldn’t believe my eyes. He had this innocent air about him like a newborn baby who smiles because he’s just discovered his toes, but with a wisdom of “knowing” that surpassed my arguments. Everything I said seemed to go right over his head, and he just kept on smiling, but never said anything. Then right before the dream ended, I looked closely into his face. His eyes were a very bright blue, and were illuminated from within. Right when I thought to myself that I didn’t remember Mark having blue eyes, I realized his whole being was glowing from within. Everything about him was bright, and his skin was light, his hair was light. Not pale, but glowing. And he just went on giggling to himself, never saying a word.

    I miss him dearly. Thank you for the opportunity to share my feelings (and my dreams).

    Bats,

    Jo Ann

  27. Sharon

    I am so glad you wrote, Jo Ann. In a way, he always had that knowing innocence, didn’t he? I know you two had your own unique closeness. I wish he had not died. Thank you again for writing, and please do so any time. Your piece adds so much.
    –Sharon

  28. ngoldbac@law.nyc.gov

    A year has passed, but yet not one day has gone by without thinking of you. Mark, you greet me each morning with a smile and while for just a moment I am terribly sad, my thoughts quickly turn to a much happier time and the frown turns into a smile. You are always in my thoughts and in my prayers. Until we meet again,

    Nancy

  29. Sharon

    Thank you for writing on the anniversary, Nancy. For me, this postseason was especially tough without him because every moment was filled with living history that he would be commemorating as it happened. It was hard to take. I think about him all the time. God, I miss him.

  30. veeman462@hotmail.com

    Two quick memories of Mark:
    (1) April, 1984: Having just finished an overnight shift as proofreaders at Schulte Roth & Zabel, 460 Park Ave., we’re standing on the Lex. Av. station platform waiting for the F train. I live out in Brooklyn. It’s 4:30 am. We’ve been waiting half an hour for a train. Mark could take the bus or a cab, but he wants to keep me company. That’s Mark.

    Slowly, spewing oily smoke, a little yellow diesel engine roars past, towing a creaking train of ancient crumbly wooden gondolas piled with rusty tie plates and spikes for track repair. I’m watching it and, in my lunacy, actually thinking of jumping on it and riding it out to Park Slope. Mark, seeing me, turns to me and says, “You wanna jump on?” He would have, I think.

    (2) February 1992. I’ve moved to Jersey. Our friendship is not what it once was. We still get together. Mark shares with me his passionate hatred of Ronald McDonald. Notoriously, a McDs near the 59th Street Bridge — which Mark even more passionately loves — has a fake park bench on the sidewalk with a life-size painted seated statue of R.M. bolted to it. Mark knows all this because he’s examined it carefully.

    Mark wants to strike in the early morning hours, unbolt Ronald from the bench and carry him out to the center span. And — heave him over the railing into the East River. “The Clown — Must Die.” For weeks that is Mark’s refrain. He would have done that, too.

    John V.

    Hope, NJ

  31. Gail Lazarowitz Godber

    I know its years later. I didnt have the heart to write a note when it happened. Im so glad that we worked through everything and stayed friends all those years. Im so sorry youre gone. And to tell you I remember it all, the good and the bad. And I want to say goodbye.

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