Posted October 24th 2013 at 6:46 am by
in In This Building

29 Edison Green: The Man On The Porch

“Twenty five years ago I was a homeless drunk walking the streets of Boston. Now I’m a family man owning a three-decker in Dorchester. That is a miracle. That is, in reality, a miracle. Because in all likelihood, I should be dead.” – Mark Lawless 

 
Listen to Mark’s story below.
The Man On The Porch by Sofia Campos.

29 Edison Green: The Man On The Porch
Mark Lawless on his porch in Dorchester, Mass.

Having recently moved to Boston from Los Angeles, California I had to crash with friends for a few days before my apartment was ready this past September. During part of that time, I stayed with my friend Conrado in his Dorchester apartment, just a short walk from the UMass/JFK T station.

Conrado mentioned that I should talk to his landlord, Mark, if I got the chance. He told me how great a storyteller Mark is – how much he knows about Boston, how he always sits on his porch watching the neighborhood, and how he’s a grandfather-type character that dresses up as Santa Claus around Christmas time, with the white beard and everything. I was intrigued, in part because I love storytelling and I got the sense Mark would be able to share some stories I hadn’t heard before.

I met Mark on his porch, with his small blind dog Frankie at his side. Not only did he teach me a new definition for the words courage and perseverance through his story, he also taught me many useful sayings, including my new favorite: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

When I decided to base my project for the “In This Building” class on Mark and his house, I could not foresee that his story would connect with mine on so many levels. I also didn’t expect to gain such a special, new friendship from this half semester project, but I did and I am very grateful for that.

Post and audio story by Sofia Campos.

• 29 Edison Green is one of six buildings buildings profiled by students in the fall 2013 MIT course, “In This Building.” See what it’s like to live at the other five buildings.

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