Mark "Today Is A Gift"

Photography by    Randy Bacon

Photography by Randy Bacon

I was born in New Jersey July 13, 1969, Sunday morning at 2 o’clock. I lived there until I was 5, and then I moved to Pennsylvania. I lived there until I was almost 40 years of age and came up here in 2009 and have been here ever since. It will be 7 years in July.

What brought me to Springfield was I was doing a phone operator job in California. I did it late at night - from midnight to 8 o’clock in the morning. After spending all night working, I met one of my clients. And he came down to my apartment. I picked him up from the airport, brought him down for about 2 weeks. We really got to know each other and then he moved down here to Springfield. We went here, we went there - I got to like him a lot. He says “let’s get something done”. I said “what?” “Move to Springfield.” So that’s how I got here to Springfield.

I went to college, I mean, in my day. But every time I went to college it was like there was a setback. I’m a straight A student - and every time I try to study for a career, something always happens to me. I’m thinking about going back because I’m working now full time. And a lot of people try to talk me out of it. Today’s a gift - what can you do to make a better future for yourself? We’re all here for a reason and a purpose. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Some people say “look at what my parents did” - but go stretch to the next level, don’t become a victim of life’s circumstances but rise above it like an eagle and soar and fly high.

(Story chronicled in 2017)