Oh Captain, My Captain


I met Mark about 20 years ago when we were both working for Sports Eye (a.k.a. “The Bible of Harness Racing”). Every employee played the horses. We all had that one thing in common. Mark and I also shared a fondness for smoking weed. When his mother kicked her tenant out of the upstairs apartment in New Hyde Park, Mark offered the apartment to me at a low rent, and I moved in. At least once a week, we would get together, get high, and go to the local OTB. Afterwards, we’d grab a bite to eat, while we explained why the horses we picked lost. We went through this ritual for 14 years. Then, he bought a house in Texas, and I moved to Lancaster. I found out from his Mother that he just had a massive heart attack and died.

During the prime years of Mark’s life, his friends called him “Captain.” He outlived most of those friends, but I would still call him Captain, just to remind him of the good old days, even though I didn’t even know him back in his good old days. We had talked so much over the years that I practically knew his life story. He loved boats, and even lived on a houseboat in New York for several years. I think that he bought another boat a few weeks ago and was fixing her up. That might have been what did him in. I’m sure that Preparing for the hurricane that recently passed through his home in Corpus Christi didn’t help, either.

Now, the Captain will return to the sea. He’s a member of the Neptune Society. His body will be cremated and his ashes will be spread on the ocean.

Fair winds and following seas, Captain.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,