I remember visiting Mark's house when we were in the fourth grade - or some time around then. He had fake guns, a Civil War greatcoat and a waist-deep hole in the back that we relieved of a few more spadefuls of earth. He was deep into the backyard adventures where young boys spend considerable time and imagination. Even then he was passionate, defied convention and followed his muse. He already had that radiant smile and gentleness. I didn't see much of Mark after high school - just at reunion events where he sometimes would entertain us with a few minutes of storytelling, a ribald song with Craig...or just by being Mark. But he was always one of those people who would lift my soul a bit even just thinking about him because that was obviously what he cared so much about - lifting everyone's souls around him. And he'll still do that for me.