Mark grew up in New York City, where trees and grass were scarce. The sky, narrowly glimpsed between tall buildings, and inhabited by flocks of pigeons and gulls, was his emblem of a wider, more livable world. Once he had mastered riding a bicycle, it became his means of exploring ever further into the outskirts and suburbs, in search of greener vistas.
Eventually, on vacation from his first full-time job (office clerk in Manhattan) he pedaled his way North to New Brunswick. He was entranced by the people, supremely courteous and amazingly capable, to his city-bred eyes, and by the landscape; rivers. forest,
farms, and coastline- clean air and clear water! For three years he attended Antioch College in Ohio, including six months in Mexico as an exchange student.
Thereafter, he revisited friends in New Brunswick and here he met Peggy, soon to become his life partner. They settled in Albert Co. and took Canadian citizenship. They have two children, Cora and Vernon, who are now more than half his present age of 74. After a stint as a lumberjack, he worked five years for Visitor Services in Fundy National Park. (Mark is functionally trilingual; he speaks Spanish, French, and English.) He then acquired the boat rental concession in the Park, which he maintained for 15 years. This line of business provided him and his family with a rich stream of interaction with both local and international visitors.
The boat business was relocated for its last three years to Rockwood Park in Saint John. This was on the occasion of Peggy becoming an art teacher at Kennebecasis Valley HS, and it was then that they bought their present home overlooking the Kennebecasis River.
Mark's last working years, 14 in total, were as a Teaching Assistant in District 8. Most of this time was spent at KVHS. He was keenly aware of high levels of stress experienced by both students and staff. His proposed remedy would be smaller classes, more adult staff, and more outdoor activity.
Mark has been retired for nine years. He continues to enjoy swimming, skiing, sailing, and cycling and playing the ukulele. He does volunteer work for the Green Party, Standing For Water (KV watershed protectors), and Joshua House in Saint John (repairing bicycles).
Through the years he has been saddened, often angered, in response to media reports, and to more direct evidence, of social and environmental loss. Corresponding problems are seen in the world at large and close to home. He is heartened by grassroots
initiatives such as the Green Party’s program to counter the many blatant abuses of greed and power.