December 30, 2007
The idea was very simple and straight forward; create a memorial project to Mark (Osconer) that would generate funds for Lumberjocks, the common dominator amongst all of us. Simply stated, without the website as the common thread we wouldn’t have been introduced to Mark or been brought together as a group.
For this reason it occurred to me that the best way to memorialize someone would be to see to it that the vehicle that brought everyone together had the resources to continue operation . This could be perpetuated and perhaps expanded in the future as another way to contribute to the constant financial demands of developing and maintaining the Lumberjocks website.
The economic reality of any website is that its growth will also fuel financial demands beyond what an individual is usually able to support on their own. There comes a point in any hobby or business when that “invisible” line is crossed and one is at a point of no return.
Obviously, Martin and Lumberjocks reached this point some time ago when he sought revenue from advertising sources and when he began the donor program to help offset expenses.
The sad reality is that it took the passing of a good friend of the Lumberjocks community, Mark (Osconer) to generate this idea.
However, this provides an opportunity to honor and memorialize a good man and at the same time, become a positive method of contributing more funds to ensure that Lumberjocks is able to continue in the future.
The following is the actual text of the message I sent Karson. This will help put in context the idea…
“To Karson Sent 7 days ago Subject A memorial Idea, Message
I have a idea that I would like to bounce off you.
As you know I like many others was profoundly sadden and taken back by Marks passing.
I was thinking one way to ensure his contributions would be create a memorial to him via this web site.
What I mean is this, one of the ways to ensure that all of Marks contributions stay alive is to be sure this web site continues to exist.
I propose, (and welcome any ideas you and others may have regarding this) that I design, create, build and ship at no cost, a stained glass window to the highest bidder in a silent auction that is conducted here in Lumberjocks of an original piece of my stained glass work.
All moneys would go to Martin via PayPal.
If willing, Martin would then accept and acknowledge receipt of the money but not state the amount.
This is the proposed piece I would make. I would do a blog about creating this piece and a step-by-step detailed pictorial.
I would then ship the piece to you in the raw and, if you agree, you make the “wood frame” and perhaps stain it and then ship it to the winner of the silent auction.
Let me know what you think.
If you would like to talk about more feel free to call me.
612- 916- xxxx
I am very open to suggestions.
Perhaps others could make things like small boxes or whatever to create ways for this to allow for others to contribute to keeping this web site alive.
That to me is one way to keep “Marks and others” alive in memory.
Here is my suggested piece … I would call it ”Marks Heavenly Flight”.
This piece would be a new one I would create especial for him, but would be very close to this design.
It would be 24” x 24” and you or whoever, could make the frame to hang it. Stained glass needs to be hung in a window or someplace where light can shine through it.
One possibility would be for me to donate the one I created and built that hangs in my front window of my home “This Old Crack House”, if this would be timelier. That could be shipped to you in a mater of just days.
The new one I would build would take approximately a month or more to design and build and to blog, ect. I am open to ideas.
I would prefer to build an original piece, and detail it in a blog so others could be part of the whole memorial process.
I will email you some pictures of what I had in mind.
The text of Karson’s reply was as follows.
“From Karson Sent 7 days ago Subject Re: A memorial Idea, Message
Dusty that is a beautiful suggestion. I think a special stained glass would be best, That way it would be more unique to Mark. And an offer of others to make items and put them up for bid would also make a great purpose of this memorial.
We are having our family Christmas here this weekend so I’ll call you later. My number is ….
The idea had been born and all that had to be figured out was how and what could should and would be done and by whom.
Besides getting Martin on board with the whole idea, the best way to “donate”, auction, sell, or give the piece of stained glass with Karson’s custom frame had to be worked out.
Ideas could be sought from other Lumberjocks who also knew Mark and perhaps wanted to help with the memorial.
Douglas had already set up a memorial avatar for Mark and had it posted for any other Lumberjocks who wanted to use it.
Due to my limited computer skills, he downloaded my picture and set it up for me.
That is the spirit of this Lumberjocks community that I was referring to when discussing with Karson the reasons for a lasting memorial.
Over the next few days several back and forth messages between several Lumberjocks kicking around various ideas that might be the best way to both memorialize Mark and expand the concept into the future.
Karson rightly pointed out that Mark was the first Lumberjock that we knew had passed away. Sadly, he certainly wouldn’t be the last Lumberjock to pass on.
One of the inherent problems of the internet, is just that, a person can remain anonymous or suddenly drop out and never be heard from again and leave many wondering what ever happened to that person.
The very nature of close-knit cyber-communities is that they remain elusive when attempting to track the individuals of which they are made up.
Many ideas and thoughts were exchanged with a handful of Lumberjocks about the best way to raise funds and yet memorialize both Mark and others in the future.
The idea of e-bay was floated however this introduced several problems and for the most part was set aside as the least effective way to create a simple lasting memorial for Mark and to serve future needs of this community .
Dan Walters, suggested in his discussions that a lottery could be held, where a small donation via Pay Pal which was already set up on the Lumberjocks site could be made. In turn this donation would enter you into a drawing and from that pool of names a winner could be drawn at random.
This idea would not only give everyone an equal chance at winning but would remove the competitive nature for someone who is unable to afford to bid on a project.
This idea seemed to be the fairest with the most potential to become an ongoing concern.
For example, if someone wanted to build a box, piece of furniture, or even offer up a tool, or something of value that they no longer used or wanted to build or donate to Lumberjocks with all of the proceeds going to support the website this method would be the simplest.
This also provides several avenues for others to participate in various ways other than just giving cash as a donor. One thought was not only through memorials for Lumberjocks but someone mentioned they would like to donate a piece of furniture that they built in memory of their long time pet.
Ideas are endless for this fund raising vehicle. If one chooses not to participate in this, there is no obligation to do so.
This way as a neutral party, Martin could be the keeper of the funds and have control over the intake and the final disposition of the funds once they had been received. He would then notify the donor to ship the project.
One other safeguard in this method is, if for some reason the project wasn’t shipped to the winner, the money could be refunded to those who wanted a refund.
After several ideas and exchanges back and forth between various Lumberjocks, the basic idea and concept had taken a rough-draft form. What had to be worked out were several of the final details along with presenting it to Martin for his approval. It was anticipated that Debbie would be the one who would approach Martin with this idea and present it.
Regardless of the outcome, and I hoped it would become reality, I decided I would move forward with creating, designing, drawing and building a stained glass window in memory of Mark.
My reason for starting this project without all the details finalized with Martin and the Lumberjocks site was very simple; I wanted to do something in memory of Mark.
This felt right and was the right thing to do in my mind.
I have a natural outlet for stained glass projects anyways and would sell whatever I built for a memorial to Mark and in turn simply donated the proceeds from the sale, in the event Martin felt uncomfortable with this idea.
However, I preferred to involve as many other Lumberjocks in this project and felt strongly about helping set up another method of an ongoing way to raise funds.
Later in the day, after I had sent Karson a message detailing some of the ideas and asking for his help, he called me.
We had never spoken previously.
We spoke on the phone for over 41 minutes the first time and it felt like I had known him my whole life.
It was a tremendous pleasure.
What a selfless, gifted man he is and his offer to help was very touching.
We agreed on a ‘general idea’ for the type of stained glass window. From some pictures we had exchanged, we decided on what we felt would be the most appropriate as a tribute for Mark.
One of the pictures seemed to capture the “essence” of Mark. I had sent a picture of a stained glass piece that hangs in the living room of my home, “This Old Crack House”. Although one of my own creations and favorite pieces, I wanted to create an original piece just for Mark.
It was decided that I would use that piece as a theme but start over and create, draw and build a one-of-a-kind original piece in memory of Mark.
Although I was honored to be able to do this, yet I felt so humbled and inadequate. I knew no matter what I created, it would fall well short of expectations and never ever be deserving of being an appropriate memorial for Mark.
Never-the-less, I would try. The only thing I knew for sure was my heart was overflowing with passion and desire to create something worthy of a small memorial of Marks life and worth the time and effort that Karson would put forth to create the frame.
I felt somewhat daunted with the heavy burden of making something worthwhile of the frame that I knew Karson would build.
I accepted this was going to be an impossible task but would do my best.
I would try.
That was all I had to offer, was my word I would do me best. This was all I could do.
I began with first cleaning up my shop and clearing off an area on my work bench to lay out a single piece of off white 24×24 paper.
On top of the paper I had pencils, a few rulers, several erasers and some other drawing items.
I just stated drawing. I had no idea what I would create. My shop was total silence.
I noticed that my paper has a few wet spots as I rough sketched a design I had in mind.
Their were tears that were running down my cheek and falling onto the paper.
I stopped drawing, and they flowed freely.
My hand shook.
I thought to myself, I can’t do this.
I stopped, and just sat in silence.
I tried the best I could to compose myself.
I started drawing again.
I didn’t stop until I finished.
I have no idea how long it took or what I was doing.
I just did it, it just happened.
When finished, I stepped back to look over the drawing.
There were a few smudge marks on the drawing from where my tears had fallen and caused the pencil marks to run. I was thinking to myself, ‘I hope whoever ends up with this drawing (I intended to send the original drawing with the piece so that it could never be built again and was really a one of a kind creation) would be understanding and look past the smudge marks and be forgiving.
Time will tell on that thought, I will just have to wait and see.
For the moment it didn’t seem to matter, the drawing was done.
It was the best I could do; I had put my heart and tears into the drawing.
To be continued ; there will be several parts to this blog and project .
The story about creating this memorial from various Lumberjocks and others who have so unselfishly contributed to this project will move you.
These Lumberjocks are what makes this site so special.
I promise you, that there efforts are not only moving and a reflection of the Lumberjocks community spirit but there work and creations are nothing short of stunning.
Please stay tuned in days and weeks ahead as this project unfolds.
I can honestly say this had been one of the most moving experiences of my life.
I am so humbled to be a small part of this project.
The best part of this is it involves so many members and each and every one who chooses can be part of this memorial.
That is the what Lumberjocks is all about, the coming to together as a community and sharing what our passions are.
Nothing more, nothing less.