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FLEXO Magazine : May 2011
FTA TODAY Talley’s Tally By Katherine “Talley” Samworth When Mark Samworth walks through the door, something changes in the room. He brings in energy, enthusiasm, a zest for life. That is what attracted me to him when we first met and still does today. Mark is a devoted father and husband. He adores his two teenage daughters, Julia, 16, and Melissa, 19. Mark easily moved into the role as father when they were born, finding immense joy in connecting with them as they grew. He loved being ac- tive with them-–swimming, bike-riding, rolling in the leaves and even wrestling on the floor. He still runs, plays tennis, swims, watches the Phillies and often engages in philosophical discussions, trying to get them to think more deeply and ultimately to think for themselves. Over the years, Mark has also loved his role as uncle to his five nieces and nephews. Mark has an ability to engage directly with children. He comes up with all kinds of cre- ative ways to have fun. At a family picnic, he concocted the idea of “people bowling.” He had all the kids (including himself) set up like bowling pins and then another kid would “bowl them down” with a big huge ball. Mark loves to engage in lively conversation. He is a person who thinks for himself. He always questions established ways of thinking and then makes his own decisions. He will never go along with something just because “It’s always been done that way. ” He has a strong need to be honest and true to himself. In my family, the tradition is to say a prayer before Thanksgiving dinner. But saying a prayer did not feel “honest” to Mark, so when it was his turn, instead he cited a study that showed how much happier people are when they are grateful. This brought about some lively discussion around the Thanksgiving table about gratefulness that year. That’s what Mark does. He comes at life situations in his own way, bringing new perspective and freshness to the table. Mark has a huge heart. If he sees someone in need, he will go to extra lengths to help that person. About 10 years ago, our family was at a local food closet, handing out food baskets. A man, new to the U.S. from Guinea, came in to pick up a basket for his family. Mark became aware that the man had no car and was planning to walk two miles car- rying the basket in the frigid cold night. As Mark drove him to his apartment, a wonderful friendship began with this man, named Tidian. That year, Mark started a yearly tradition of bringing Christmas presents to Tidian’s four boys. He taught Tidian how to drive, put together his resume and helped him purchase his own car. Today, Tidian supports himself and his family with his own airport shuttle business. He often brings Mark to the airport and so their friendship continues. Mark has an enthusiasm for life that few people have. But along with that, he demands excellence. If you’ve spent any time with Mark, you know that he loves beer--not just any beer, he loves a strong-tasting, micro-brewed, hoppy, India Pale Ale. He savors every single sip. When going out to dinner, Mark is always hopeful that there will be “good” beers on the menu. One time, when only less desirable beers were listed, Mark had a talk with the restaurant owner, suggesting he revise his beer offerings. Mark’s enthusiasm shows up in his love of music. His band, Runnin’ Late, named after one of his original songs, has quite a following. Mark describes the genre as “classic rock with a touch of jazz.” P laying music is an avocation for Mark but he takes it seriously, practicing when he can and demanding excellence from himself and the band. Speaking of enthusiasm, Mark is a huge Phillies fan. He is unable to hold back his excitement when the Phillies make a good play or score a run. He can be heard throughout the house and beyond, loudly cheering his favorite team on. Mark stays in shape by mountain biking and running. His self-discipline in getting regular exercise is unmatched. Even on business trips, he never makes excuses not to continue his exercise regimen. He’s been known to forgo drinks or a meal with a colleague in order to fit in a workout. Mark loves taking his beloved Chesapeake Bay retriever, Kelly, running in the Brandy- wine Creek State Park, near our home in Wilmington, DE. Sometimes he does what he calls “the embarrassing workout. ” He runs down to the river with Kelly and then proceeds to do jumping jacks, push-ups and sit ups there by the riverside, throwing the ball in for Kelly to retrieve between sets. When Mark was fresh out of college and starting out in the working world, we began dating. At times he would try to explain printing lingo, speaking of halftones and dot gain. Those concepts didn’t really sink in, but what I remember, after almost 25 years, is his answer to one of my questions. I asked him what his future goals were for his career. His answer was, “I want to be the best in the world at what I do.” n www.flexography.org mAY 2011 FLEXO 137
Sustainable Spring 2011