Mark was born in Hollywood, California. His parents had heeded the siren call of the silver screen and moved to HOLLYWOODLAND after World War II. 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 Pekingese dog on her arm. Ev was a former Vaudeville performer who owned a music store on Western Ave in Hollywood. She gave Mark his first clarinet lessons, long before he learned 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 Ola (Mark’s grandmother) married the Scotsman who owned the Reserve Mercantile in what would become, with statehood in 1912, Reserve, New Mexico. Mark’s mother Lillian grew up working in the “Reserve Merc” until the family business was destroyed during the Great Depression, attended a year of business college while living with an aunt in a nearby town, and worked mostly in banks before starting a family. Lil then spent the next thirty years as the office manager for Pyro Engineering, a small company started by two engineers she met while working for Kaiser Steel Company.  According to her girlfriends at her eightieth birthday party in Reserve, she was the prettiest girl in the county and they knew she would be the one to 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 various jobs, he became the Los Angeles office manager for Kennametal:  a metals and machining company supporting the oil, aerospace and automobile industries. After Mark was born, Red moved his new family to Whittier, a small Mid-Western Quaker and Republican town, twelve miles east of the LA river. He enjoyed playing flamenco guitar and being an avid rock hound and jeweler. Red died suddenly of a heart attack when Mark was a boy.

After four decades of blowing glass, the last two making electro-optical devices in Silicon Valley, Mark is now an Associate Sociologist working to complete his Bachelor’s degree online through the College of Individualized Studies at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He studies the Digital Humanities, performs in historic reenactments, works as the learning designer\technologist at the Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley, California, and occasionally writes about his lifetime of experiences in the third person.

I created a Notion portfolio as a project for a BCcampous micro-course. Notion blocks any attempt to embed a Notion page into a website. There are paid services, but no FOSS tool. I will never use Notion again. Click the ugly link below to view my portfolio.