Thursday, November 15, 2012

I found you my love, as I begin my new journey

Dear Readers,
     Most of you may know this year has been filled with many challenges for me and my family, this new one is a real whopper, I must move from my home of nine years, one that I shared with Mark briefly during our final years together.  So saying this, I was thrilled to find this photo.  It is my very favorite of mine of the many I have of Mark as his expression is so happy and at peace.  My Mark, as I knew him, loved the water and in this photo, he was up North with friends a trip he took in the last ten years from now, one of who also took this shot, however because I didn't write the information down, the exacts of the photo's history, well the information is breaking down and all I really know is how much I like it.  Mark now sits on my desk, I can gaze back at Mark starring back at me, and I feel he and I can share our thoughts, though most of mine are spoken, he just sits there and smiles.
     Also, as such, I am down sizing.  I have given Irene Silbert most of Mark's collection of Plays and Erika Nadir most of his guitar sheet music and Jean's classical sheet music.  Erika also was kind enough to take those famous gigantic photo of Mark's Dad, Herb Voland and three lovely black & white large vintage shots of Jean when she was younger, like us.  Erika has contacted David Read (Dread to the rest of us) who now apparently lives back up in northern CA, and who has offered Dread one of the large Jean vintage photos of her; Dread and Jean formed a very special bond during the reign of his and Mark's friendship, Dread behaved like a true son to her so I am happy he may take one of these fabulous photos of Jean (will post later the shots I speak of, no time to be perfect today).  The shot of Herb was also one Dread took and it was quite large at 36" x 40" I think.
     I am still downsizing and taking the collections of memorabilia with me as having to move and finding a place was a traumatic event, which had a path all its own and one I am not finished with yet.  Mark's cousin Laura has graciously offered to take the boxes of Jean's collections and collections and collections, however I think I may go through them again after the move and change my thinking of what to send to her.  There are duplicates and maybe things that might be better off here or with the vast network of Marks friends out there, including Laura, his cousin.  I spoke with Irene when I gave her the plays, about how I had thought about maybe doing an art show about the Voland family, for they should be remembered for who they were, each and everyone of them was filled with a talent so huge, I still feel an awe moment to have been shared in this life experience. If this comes to pass, I will need lots of insight from all of you to help bring your stories to light as this is not my story, but ours and the stories we remember of Mark and his family. I have been given permission to give these precious objects away (from Bonnie Voland, Hayley's Mom) and perhaps when the dust from moving is settled, I can add this task to my list, scanning and posting the family history, I have found some very remarkable items.
   So happy sailing to us all as I start a new adventure, into a new home and organize over ten years of ignored chaos, which started for me back in 2001 and now with the grace of the universe, and much hope, I will get the minutes I need to finish this project (my moving) and get back to you after the move.
     Please send me your thoughts and let me know who is out there.  The Voland family was a world unlike any I ever experienced and I am glad to be the keeper of the family history; now I want to share more of it with you, if you would like. Those who have shared your desires with me to their past, no worries, I know what you are looking for, but there are some of you, well, who haven't, so I want to let you all know this is a great time to think about it and let me know- JP

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mark and his Mom Jean

May the force be with the two of you where ever you are and guide us all in peace and love. (This is the best photo I have ever had of Mark and his Mom Jean) -- Jenny (JP)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Poem by Abby Schiaffino

This is a poem written for a classroom assignment for a creative writing class describing the loss of a person.
©2012 AMSchiaffino:

She called.
It broke the day with her news.
I cried at the sound of the mews.
The day was dark suddenly,
I cried as I drove
I gathered my thoughts into a ball in my head
What was it she said?
Oh yes, he’s dead.
Her lover, a man
Not one I did know
Not the man that she knew
nor the man she will ever know.
He had died,
She had been called
She was quiet with her views
She sat and cried too,
And the room became blue.
A man,
A lover,
A man I did not know
A man she knew forever
was gone
and now she is alone.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Another Friend Remembers Markie

Hi, this is Jenny again. I just figured out how to open up this blog and get into to it to make a new edit. The world of computers, even though I love them, are all too confusing for me, which is why I have now written down the important stuff and will be able to come back a bit more frequently.

In February of this year, (2012) another of Mark's friends reached out and contacted me. He did so because he checks up on all of his good buddies through, a place where people in the movie industry have important information listed about them and it was the way this friend found out Mark had passed away; the site updated Mark's death. Luck of the Universe his friend was re-directed to me, keeper of the Mark Voland "friend, love and legacy" group. It is my personal pleasure by the way, I enjoy being the central hub for Mark's wayward friends because I loved him so and he is still remains in a special part of my heart - a place no one can take away, nor would they. It isn't anything morbid, just difficult when I realize he is no longer as close as a phone call and yes I still do miss him, I believe this will never change. Losing a person like Mark leaves us all a bit sadder and a bit less complete. People like Mark managed to fill a room like none other and this is what Mark did for his friend Dan Rosen. So now I am going to post what Dan wrote me about his remembrance, about his friendship with Mark. He also sent a new photo which I will add too as Dan is in the photo along with other friends I remember. Bless and keep you Mark, you were really loved in this world and still are loved to this day. We all miss you.

Here is Dan's post:
I am so sorry to learn of Mark's passing, and so sorry that I didn't learn of it sooner. I am also sorry that I don't remember meeting you at Grant High. One of the great things about Mark was that he knew so many wonderful people that I otherwise wouldn't have known.
As documented so well by Hyam, I was one of the people lucky enough to have been a friend of Mark's. I was in his first band, Thursday Island, a name he picked at random from a dictionary. The attached photo was taken at my brother's Bar Mitzvah in 1967, which I think was our first (and only) paid gig. That's Scott Root on guitar and vocals, Mark on bass and vocals, Hyam on drums and me on guitar. Mark helped us build an impressive playlist for a junior high school band, from the Yardbird's rocking "For Your Love" to the Beatle's beautiful "And I Love Her".
By the way, I was sitting on the amp because the week before, during rehearsal, my guitar strap broke, dropping my guitar on the floor, which shattered the wood around the plug. Luckily, the electrics still worked, so I didn't realize the extent of the damage. But Mark could see it, and he pointed at the guitar as he made one of his famous wide-eyed, open-mouthed expressions of horror. I thought he was joking, as so often he was, until I turned the guitar over. The guitar held together for our gig, and the Gibson factory fixed it almost as good as new, but I will never forget Mark's expression of sheer horror. Brilliant.
What can I add about Mark? He was bigger than life and made every occasion better. What can I say about a guy who was over 6 feet tall and weighed over 200 pounds, and drove a Honda 600 mini-car? We hung out at his house and drank Coors, not from wimpy 12 oz cans, but from quart bottles. We went to great rock concerts including many at the Rose Palace, such as Led Zeppelin in 1969.
Over the years, I moved away and lost touch. Every once in a while I'd think of Mark, especially after seeing Herb in an old movie on TV, usually "Airplane." Occasionally I'd look up Mark on IMDb to see if he was still able to get some roles. I was shocked and saddened to see that his entry now says "Died January 13, 2010." A bit of searching brought me to your remembrance. I am so grateful that you created it, because it comforts me to know that with all that Mark went through, he went through it with someone who cared for him so much.
Thank you for taking care of Mark, and for remembering him.
-Dan Rosen
Alexandria, VA

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A year ago, the world changed

A year ago I got a phone call that changed the direction of my entire year. Now a year has passed and somehow I managed to accept I lost my closest friend, something I won’t find again; this is what I miss most over everything we shared during the forty-two years we were friends, lovers and soul mates. Not having him here has been difficult, even though we were having troubling times a year ago, I still miss what most people miss, which is to know someone that well who knows you equally as well.

Ironically knowledge of Mark’s passing is still being communicated and still reaching the people I didn’t reach a year ago or knew how to reach; I received an e-mail from Laura Voland, his cousin just last week. She wrote a very personal piece and her post follows this remembrance of mine. As I have said before, Mark would have found all of this funny because of its modern aspects; modernism was something he rebelled against, never fully embracing these tools of technology.

So as the anniversary of Mark’s passing has now arrived, I hope some of you are reflecting on your personal memories of Mark, remembering him for the gifts he has left with all of us, which are our own private memories of better times.

Truly, Madly, Deeply, I will always love you Mark. -- Jenny

Cousin Laura Speaks

Aunt Jean disclosed to me that John's passing was a horrific shock that she didn't really think she would ultimately survive. Mark, though, I thought might have some time left. Woof. I'm very sad. I loved him and often thought of him. I found him to be a delightfully entertaining human being-- always magnanimous. Little cousin privilege, I guess. I'm really kind of broken-hearted to learn that he's gone.

He visited us here in the Pacific NW twice in the year right around his 50th birthday; so, let's say we were re-connected and corresponding from like maybe 2001-2004? He said was taking Phenobarbital for a seizure disorder that he had which precluded him from taking any other substances. He did say that the seizure disorder could have arisen from his excesses, but that he had been officially diagnosed with adult-onset epilepsy. When he stayed with us he did not indulge in more than the occasional cigarette, which he politely smoked on our back porch while making conversation with our dog. He was a wonderful guest. We had a total blast. He entertained the girls, whom he called der maidchen, with all of his wit. He registered as ultimately cool when he bought Emily 40 Licks by the Stones. I think he gave Tedra a copy of The Complete Shakespeare and he gave me a wonderful Bergman film called Persona, as well as several other great films. Another one that he recommended was Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her. It haunted me because one of the stories looked to me like it had been filmed in Van Nuys near Sunnyslope. He was a big hit. Lots of naughtiness, eating of pizza, storytelling and expert delivery of jokes along with warm-hearted encouragement about how good our life felt to him.

He was an excellent correspondent and a very perceptive, intelligent reader. I really liked him and found in his own face, not only Herb's, but also Grandma's. Beyond that I had an appetite for his verbal cadence, a familiar (like family--what do you know) rhythm of speech and ever-so-slight NY accent, salted with the occasional fluent German. He also had a delightful, caustic, political perspective and wit. He was fun! For all of his scene stealing tricks, he could also be disarmingly humble. He told us that he got the job as the Prussian on Cheers because he spoke German and that much of his most lucrative acting work had come from having that one trick up his sleeve. He said that when you go on a casting call it's incredibly humbling because you go in there and...gulp, blink, blink, there are fifteen other guys who look exactly like you and you realize there is nothing unusual or unique about you, at all. Except, Mark could speak German and very few actors do. So when those gigs came up, the pool was much smaller. He learned the language in grad school and chose it because it was, after all, the mother tongue. No other reason. He said it was a lark, not meant to pay a single bill and it had turned out to be the smartest thing he ever did. He also described his career as "the MOST MINISCULE career ever recorded in the Hollywood archives."

We, of course, could see the tenuous road he was traveling, the fragile grip he had on whatever kind of resurrection he was attempting there at the mid-century point. We were concerned. When he went to jail, turned in by John, if I'm not mistaken, for elder abuse (?) after some kind of fight they had. (The three of them, Mark, Jean and John had always been an explosive combo. I could remember that from childhood and I had cautioned him to get the heck out of Dodge earlier, but of course, those things are easier said than done, and the patterns were completely entrenched). After he went to jail he could only make a very few phone calls. He was not allowed to call his mom or home for something like three years. This is where we also lost track of him because, by terms of parole, he said he could not even make mention of his mom (yet, I guess she could elect to call him and sometimes did). My worry with all of this is that she would arise as a topic in our conversations and I was worried that by conversing with me he was going to get himself in more trouble. I wish now that I hadn't worried about that so much. I did know that he had gotten into a halfway house, where he was still only allowed brief Internet and phone usage, and then moved to Oxnard, I think... The last time we spoke I gave him our new address and phone number he was really upset that we had moved. "Why, why, when you had such a great house in such a great little town?" I assured him that this was a good move and just a straight shot up the freeway from our last place still with plenty of room for guests, even more room, but he was totally exasperated and distraught. I felt badly about that. Jean told me that he seemed okay, the last time I spoke with her, and that they were slowly reconnecting. I asked her to have him call me. The weird thing is...I think he did call last Christmas holiday. Weird? I got a call and when I picked up, all I heard was an automated, "Mark Richard Voland." I tried to call back, but the number didn't work. I worried that he had dialed our number from his cell phone and was in need of something maybe and then his phone died... I will never know. I wasn't even sureif I had heard the "voice" correctly or if I had imagined it. I do know, there was only one Mark RichardVoland.

He is warmly remembered. --Cousin Laura

(Note: Picture 1 {Black and white} Laura added this note, "Mark and Uncle Herb -- to me, this photo tells the story. I believe that is why he wanted me to have it. He sent it with an original copy of his dad's death certificate."

Picture 2 {color} Laura added this note, "Mark with my daughters: Emily and Tedra (c 2001)")

Monday, May 24, 2010

Written for High School Class Reunion Bio Book by JP

Mark Richard Voland passed away on January 13, 2010 from a heart attack. Friends and family have posted a blog spot to honor their love of his friendship. He is survived by his niece Hayley Voland. I'm JP Denyer, a former Grant HS alumnus (1971) and life long companion to Mark; we met in 1969 in the lunch courtyard and never lost touch. I truly miss him and know he was needed for better things.