I’ve mentioned before about spending summers and Thanksgivings in Kentucky with my grandmother. I would do all manner of things while I was there, like steal horses, look for stills in the blackberry brambles, practice my water witching, pick ticks off the dogs, and roughhouse with my boy cousins. Well, since my boy cousins had at least eight years on me, it was more like they would roughhouse with me than I would with them.
My cousin Mark was real good at playing hard with me, squishing and flipping me so much, that I even threw up once or twice. Now, don’t think that I didn’t enjoy the playing just because I threw up. No, the throwing up meant that I was enjoying myself a little too much…and once I threw up, an adult usually intervened to usher me off to a spare bedroom so that I could rest up until the next session. Usually I would spend that time wisely moaning and thrashing about the bed as if Mark had squeezed scurvy or lock jaw or epilepsy into my body somehow (my knowledge of ailments was somewhat limited at that time due to lack of life experience). So, by the time Mark would come and check on me, he would be so grief stricken at the state that he had left me in, he would punch out all of my paper dolls for me. At least that’s how I remember it. He may recollect differently.
When the Dukes of Hazzard first aired in the late 70s, I swore that my cousin Mark and Bo Duke were one and the same. To me they looked remarkably alike. Both had all-American good looks, feathery blond hair, and could enter and exit a car through a window (I speculated on that last fact). AND I never saw the two of them in a room together at the same time. It’s a fact.
Mark and I have stayed in touch sporadically over the years: him coming to see my mom and dad several years ago in Rainbow City and us being Facebook friends. Distance doesn’t make it any less distressing to find out this morning that the last time anyone saw or heard from Mark was on February 16. Mark is missing. And although I am a positive person, my experience with missing persons is not good. Regardless of whether Mark has dropped off the grid to clear his head over something that the rest of us don’t know about, or something unthinkable has happened to him, he needs help. I cannot do much for my cousin Mark, but I’m going to do what I can through this blog.
Now, I don’t know where my readership is, but I would appreciate ANYONE reading this blog to please look at Mark’s profile on the National Missing and Unidentified Database. Better yet, here is more info about Mark that is not on the NamUs site: His full name is Mark A. Smith. He is 50 yrs old. He has short brown hair. He is about 6’3,” 220 lbs. Mark is from Independence, KY, Kenton County. Mark drives a 1999 Blue Ford Ranger with KY Tags 816-AYK. His sister Mechelle Wallace posted this on her Facebook about Mark: “Mark's cell phone has been going to voicemail since he has been missing, which is not like him at all. He always keeps in touch with his family & friends on a daily basis. He didn't take anything with him that he would normally take is he was leaving to go out of town. The Independence Police Dept. are doing everything they can but have little to go on, so if you have see(n) Mark Smith or know anything...Please contact The police dept, Mechelle Wallace or Jane Smith with anything that may help.” Or message me here on my blog.