Untimely death: A mishmash of life and love

Mark (center) with Pharrel, Chad Hugo, and friends.

The past 5 weeks have been a whirlwind.  Joey left the faux pr agencywhoshallnotbenamed for RNR Freelance. His new boss, Mark Weinstein, had quite a legacy with the music Joe and I love; promoting artists like Special Ed, De La Soul, and Janet Jackson.  His good friend and confidante is “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels of Video Music Box fame.  The list of Mark’s friends and colleagues is seemingly endless and he was more than happy to share it with Joe who quickly became his mentee.  The two shared a mutual respect for each other – despite having known each other only for a few weeks.  Furthermore, Mark simply liked Joe and openly told him about the potential he saw in him.

So last week when Joey wanted to proudly show off his new office aka Mark’s apartment/workspace, I went during my day off for Rosh Hashanah (no I haven’t found a new religion, I work for a Jewish agency).  Upon arriving at the Peter Cooper Village co-ops in Manhattan, I went into Mark’s apartment, quickly admiring the clean Herman Miller theme. Of course, I turned over the office chairs and saw the Herman Miller stamp!  But the most impressive thing about the office was his display of achievements.  Silver and Gold records of artists he promoted.  All achieved while running a small boutique operation and in the early days – by himself. Being in the presence of these accomplishments made me feel proud of Joe for being under Mark’s tutelage. Furthermore, Joe had been showing Mark he is trustworthy (he had keys and security card to the apartment),  can handle the workload and be quite the people person himself.

Mark died suddenly a few days later.  Joe learned of this Tuesday afternoon. He went to work under the impression that Mark had a morning meeting and found out from his parents and brother that Mark collapsed and passed away Monday evening.  I’d never met Mark before, but after hearing so many stories from Joe and seeing his place, I felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness, confusion, and anxiety.  I felt sad for Mark and his family, but am anxious because Joey is suddenly without a job.

The response in the music industry to his passing has been overwhelming.  Joe has fielded hundreds of phone calls the first day as news spread.  Moreover, Joe is developing a closer bond to Ralph McDaniels as the two of them plan Mark’s memorial for his friends in the music industry.  The Weinstein family had a private service of their own.

It is interesting to see Joe in this way – professional, naturally working the room and talking to people. I am beginning to realize that this is him at his best and it is why he is good at what he does. We’ve talked extensively about all of this and what it means. His concerns about money, wanting to support himself and contribute to our financial stability.  It’s refreshing and perhaps this untimely, sad event will lead to something.  I’m not going to spill all the beans, but let’s just say that I am confident Joe will be okay and I will be there every step of the way to support him.

Rest In Peace, Mark. May God above watch over you and help your family through this difficult time.

Adventures of Giorgio

Life With a Cat

I think all kittens are crazy. This one wakes me up at 4:00 am wanting to play – biting my feet, hitting my face, and scratching my thighs. Sometimes he gets spanked, but I think he’s too young to get that we’re not playing around. So I’ve decided to let him tear up Timon. Poor Lion King Meerkat. He’s about the same size as my kitten and I’ve noticed that he’ll wrestle him to the point of just being too tired to do anything else. Let’s hope this works.