This is a letter that my dad wrote to my brother Mark back in 1966.
My dad's job was transferred to Pittsburgh and he lived there while
we lived in Mt. Hope while my brother finished up his senior year in
high school. After that we joined my dad in Pittsburgh. I find this
letter to be just about perfect on every level imagineable. Following
this masterpiece is a poem my brother wrote and sent to me a couple
of years ago.

Pittsburgh, Penna.
June, 23, 1966

Dear Mark,

I thought I'd take this opportunity to write you a few
lines, because if I were home I would talk to you about your upcoming
trip to Boy's State.

You may not realize it but both your mom and I are especially proud of
you because of this wonderful honor you have earned. I underscored
"earned" because this is exactly the truth because it was your hard work,
your talent, and your personality that won this honor for you (and us).
Mark, you know that a selection of this nature is not made hastily,
there are many people - teachers and businessmen that
evaluate you before a final decision is made. That's shy we're so proud,
because we always knew that you were something special, and this means
that you've proved to everyone that you're something a little "special."

Also, we're proud of the way you went out on your own and got this job with
Mr. Barbara, and that you're doing so well at it, again on your own.

These things, coupled with the fact that since I've been gone you have been
nothing less than a model son, makes us very proud parents. I might say that
it isn't every parent that has a son that they can be as proud of, as we are of you.

Mark, next week will bring you a wonderful opportunity to learn so much about
our government, our way of living and the standards by which we govern ourselves.
You don't realize it now, but the things you learn next week, could mold your
future and your entire life - there is no doubt that it will make a better man
of you. I know that you'll make the most of this opportunity and learn all you
can. But one thing I want to clear up for you and and that is - you shouldn't
feel that you have to prove yourself - to anyone. You've already
done this very satisfactorily to your teachers, the people of Mt. Hope, and
to your mom and I. So when you go to Boys State go with the idea of participating
in a very interesting, worthwhile and important project. Make new
acquaintences and friends - give of your talents and yourself freely and you'll
find that this will be an experience that you will long remember.

Make an effort to record what takes place each day - ask questions - join in with
with everything and when you come back home, do the "good job" I know you are
capable of at making your presentation to the Lions Club.

Remember Mark, these men are your friends - they thought enough of you to
sponsor you in this project. So justify the faith they have in you by doing a
good job- at camp and at the Lions Club.

Well buddy, I didn't mean to preach - but you know me!!! I do want you
to know that I am very happy you're my son - and I know that mom feels the
same way - keep up the good work - and good luck at Boys State.


P.s. I'll see you on Saturday at Boys State.

poem written by mark marchetti

third pain pill in two hours

a nice sweat glows through my skin

last twenty goes down hard

the slot machine doesn't budge

back up hwy 61 to the home of the blues

already thinking next time i'll hit it

i've hit it --- and it's hit me

it's not cool, it's not funny

i call for blood money

sorry doesn't cut it

it cuts me - it cuts you

pain laughs, like a slamming door

like a lack of respect

like a weight around your neck

words don't make it better

but we wait

and pull the handle and wait

shuffle the cards and wait

in our offices and schools and home and bars

we wait

it's sad, the more i say it's not about money

the more i think it must be

it might buy freedom, or maybe you could do something good with it

songs, cards, dice, poems, jobs, you need money

i'm hurting you when i'm hurting me

it's all been said

i just don't say it as good as some do