My Mom and Dad - Always there when it counted and plenty went it didn't. Taught me to live and love and see a life beyond 'Thunderdome.' My Mom is a constant source of hope, comfort, and counsel. A greater Mom I could not conceive of. My Dad left this earthly plane in 1991, way too soon for any of us. A day doesn't go by where I am not reminded of him, whether through dealing with my son (I remember one of his consistent refrains, "C'mon Mark, have some brains!") or just looking at the stars. Having been a navigator in the Air Force, he used to show me around the sky and still does.
My wife Linda and my son Joshua. Linda has to be the heartiest lass I have ever encountered. Unafraid to take me on when I'm wrong - perish the thought... She has remained by my side through not enough thick and way too much thin, sickness and health, more often than not a portrait of grace while I attempt to stumble into it. I sure do love that gal. My son Joshua... a Brave New World indeed! And just like right after Dr.Who regenerates, "Not a moment too soon!" He has taught me more about life in the relatively short span of his seven years than I learned in the forty before he was born. May the Great Spirit, Buddha, Jesus, Allah, and any other hard working deity watch over you, Josh. You have given me so much by just being, my teacher, my student, my son. Some gems; We were in a butterfly house where the butterflies are free to fly within the confines of the house. I remarked to him how cool it was that the butterflies were free and he quite astutely and calmly stated, that they were not free as they could not get out of the house. I stand corrected. I also remember asking him once when he was about three or four what he wanted to be when he grew up, and he simply stated, "Myself." Though I may wish you the world, I could not hope for more than that.
My siblings, older brother Zollie (by 1 yr), younger brother Craig (by 2 yrs), and younger sister Suzanne (by 9 years) who have all had a hand in me becoming who I am. Blame them!
All the professors I had at Suffolk County Community College all of whom have helped to teach an old dog new tricks! Professors Gerard Donovan, Andrea Dunkirk, Michael Gerien, and Angela Bari I salute you! In particular I want to thank Professors Robert Barta, Bruce Barton, and Ed Hasseldine - All of whom took me under their wing and mentored me while having plenty of other students to worry about. They are collectively responsible for any academic success I have achieved. No amount of thanks would give them the kudos they deserve for each being a Real Live Teacher. All three welcomed me into their universes and allowed me to invite them into mine.
To all the musicians I have had the good fortune of playing with in no particular order (sort of): My brother Craig/bass, Patrick Reynolds/bass, Dave Sones/drums and percussion, Rob Garcia/drums and percussion, Tony Mapp/drums, Don Turillo/saxophones, Tom Rossi/precussion, Rory Dineen/guitar, Doug Kinney/guitar and sax, Tony Hall/guitar, Wayne Sabasto/drums, Frank Centrone/keyboards... And to all the musicians who have inspired me and strengthened my spirit: Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Roy Haynes, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Elvin Jones, Billy Higgins, Ornette Coleman, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead, Trey Anastasio, Phish, Bela Fleck AND the Flecktones, The Allman Brothers, Jeff Beck, John Scofield, Jimi Hendrix, The Family Marsalis and so many more. All of whom have given me joy and light, truth and understanding, both questions and answers and more questions, a glimpse of something beyond myself.