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Mark was born in Hollywood, California; his parents had heeded the siren call of the silver screen. Red and Lil were introduced by an older couple, Andy and Ev(elyn). Andy wore plaid shirts and jeans, managed their several properties, and always carried a Pekinese on her arm. Ev was a former Vaudville performer who owned a music store on Western Ave. She gave Slim his first clarinet lessons, long before he knew about lesbians.

Mark’s great grandfather drove cattle for John B. Slaughter from Texas into the New Mexico Territory. After trying his hand at running the local store he homesteaded 160 acres on the ‘Frisco River. His daughter (Mark’s grandmother) married a Scotsman that managed the Reserve Mercantile in what was now Reserve, New Mexico. Mark’s mother grew up during the Great Depression and was the prettiest girl in the county, according to her girlfriends. They all knew she would move to Hollywood.

Little is known about Mark’s father. He grew up in the industrial town of South Bend, Indiana, the home of the Studebaker Corporation, the South Bend Iron Works and Bendix Brakes, none of which exist today. Some say that Red got into trouble with the Chicago mob over collecting jukebox payoffs from bar owners, others point out he abandoned his wife and two children. Whatever the reason, Red moved to Hollywood and started a new life. After Mark was born, Red moved his new family to a small Quaker town, twelve miles east of the LA river. He became a rock hound and jeweler and died when Mark was a boy.