My daughter is friends with Mark Glende’s sister, Michelle. Last night we were on the phone together, with Michelle telling me about the article about Mark in the Wednesday Journal, Feb. 22 issue upon his tragic accident and death. She thought the article said some nice things about him, but she still didn’t think people understood the real story about Mark.

She and Mark were two of the triplets born to their parents and each were only about one pound in weight?#34;causing some mental problems in Mark.

He was always well loved by his family and friends here in Oak.

At the time, whenever I saw him, frequently on my way to and from Oak Park Avenue?#34;and I didn’t know Michelle then?#34;he was standing there like a statue, just pointing at “something,” looking so (and I can’t find the words) with his black bushy beard and a gaze, staring out to something “out there,” and he never said a word. I would see him and not want to stare?#34;I looked away, he would see me and look away?#34;but I understand he would go into the stores there and everyone knew about him and let him come in.

Once, I must admit, I called the police when I saw him sort of looking at the mailbox?#34;just looking. The police always said, “We all know him and his family, and he is harmless.”

I started to feel so sorry for him. I told Michelle I would write to the paper and explain away a few things.

Don’t laugh, but I really think it would be fitting if Oak Park would erect a statue or some suitable remembrance of Mark because he really was a unique individual and I think this story could go much further than Oak Park?#34;in helping the plight of some of the many homeless people walking our streets throughout America.

We miss you, Mark. Michelle and my daughter send their love, as do I.

Oak Park has Hemingway, Frank Lloyd Wright and now we have Mark Glende, a harmless, loving homeless person who liked to roam. He never said a word and never harmed anyone.

Louise Johnsen
Oak Park

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