Lumberjocks; the Community ,Creates an Memorial #1: The Idea ... In Memory of Mark (Osconer)...

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Blog entry by Dusty posted 01-13-2008 02:55 PM 2920 reads 1 time favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Lumberjocks; the Community ,Creates an Memorial series Part 2: Im Memory of Mark; The Drawing »

December 30, 2007

The idea was very simple and straight forward; create a memorial project to Mark (Osconer) that would generate funds for Lumberjocks, the common dominator amongst all of us. Simply stated, without the website as the common thread we wouldn’t have been introduced to Mark or been brought together as a group.

For this reason it occurred to me that the best way to memorialize someone would be to see to it that the vehicle that brought everyone together had the resources to continue operation . This could be perpetuated and perhaps expanded in the future as another way to contribute to the constant financial demands of developing and maintaining the Lumberjocks website.

The economic reality of any website is that its growth will also fuel financial demands beyond what an individual is usually able to support on their own. There comes a point in any hobby or business when that “invisible” line is crossed and one is at a point of no return.

Obviously, Martin and Lumberjocks reached this point some time ago when he sought revenue from advertising sources and when he began the donor program to help offset expenses.

The sad reality is that it took the passing of a good friend of the Lumberjocks community, Mark (Osconer) to generate this idea.

However, this provides an opportunity to honor and memorialize a good man and at the same time, become a positive method of contributing more funds to ensure that Lumberjocks is able to continue in the future.

The following is the actual text of the message I sent Karson. This will help put in context the idea…

“To Karson Sent 7 days ago Subject A memorial Idea, Message


I have a idea that I would like to bounce off you.

As you know I like many others was profoundly sadden and taken back by Marks passing.
I was thinking one way to ensure his contributions would be create a memorial to him via this web site.

What I mean is this, one of the ways to ensure that all of Marks contributions stay alive is to be sure this web site continues to exist.

I propose, (and welcome any ideas you and others may have regarding this) that I design, create, build and ship at no cost, a stained glass window to the highest bidder in a silent auction that is conducted here in Lumberjocks of an original piece of my stained glass work.

All moneys would go to Martin via PayPal.

If willing, Martin would then accept and acknowledge receipt of the money but not state the amount.

This is the proposed piece I would make. I would do a blog about creating this piece and a step-by-step detailed pictorial.

I would then ship the piece to you in the raw and, if you agree, you make the “wood frame” and perhaps stain it and then ship it to the winner of the silent auction.

Let me know what you think.

If you would like to talk about more feel free to call me.

612- 916- xxxx

I am very open to suggestions.

Perhaps others could make things like small boxes or whatever to create ways for this to allow for others to contribute to keeping this web site alive.

That to me is one way to keep “Marks and others” alive in memory.

Here is my suggested piece … I would call it ”Marks Heavenly Flight”.

This piece would be a new one I would create especial for him, but would be very close to this design.

It would be 24” x 24” and you or whoever, could make the frame to hang it. Stained glass needs to be hung in a window or someplace where light can shine through it.

One possibility would be for me to donate the one I created and built that hangs in my front window of my home “This Old Crack House”, if this would be timelier. That could be shipped to you in a mater of just days.

The new one I would build would take approximately a month or more to design and build and to blog, ect. I am open to ideas.

I would prefer to build an original piece, and detail it in a blog so others could be part of the whole memorial process.

I will email you some pictures of what I had in mind.



The text of Karson’s reply was as follows.

“From Karson Sent 7 days ago Subject Re: A memorial Idea, Message

Dusty that is a beautiful suggestion. I think a special stained glass would be best, That way it would be more unique to Mark. And an offer of others to make items and put them up for bid would also make a great purpose of this memorial.

We are having our family Christmas here this weekend so I’ll call you later. My number is ….

The idea had been born and all that had to be figured out was how and what could should and would be done and by whom.

Besides getting Martin on board with the whole idea, the best way to “donate”, auction, sell, or give the piece of stained glass with Karson’s custom frame had to be worked out.

Ideas could be sought from other Lumberjocks who also knew Mark and perhaps wanted to help with the memorial.

Douglas had already set up a memorial avatar for Mark and had it posted for any other Lumberjocks who wanted to use it.

Due to my limited computer skills, he downloaded my picture and set it up for me.

That is the spirit of this Lumberjocks community that I was referring to when discussing with Karson the reasons for a lasting memorial.

He agreed.

Over the next few days several back and forth messages between several Lumberjocks kicking around various ideas that might be the best way to both memorialize Mark and expand the concept into the future.

Karson rightly pointed out that Mark was the first Lumberjock that we knew had passed away. Sadly, he certainly wouldn’t be the last Lumberjock to pass on.

One of the inherent problems of the internet, is just that, a person can remain anonymous or suddenly drop out and never be heard from again and leave many wondering what ever happened to that person.

The very nature of close-knit cyber-communities is that they remain elusive when attempting to track the individuals of which they are made up.

Many ideas and thoughts were exchanged with a handful of Lumberjocks about the best way to raise funds and yet memorialize both Mark and others in the future.

The idea of e-bay was floated however this introduced several problems and for the most part was set aside as the least effective way to create a simple lasting memorial for Mark and to serve future needs of this community .

Dan Walters, suggested in his discussions that a lottery could be held, where a small donation via Pay Pal which was already set up on the Lumberjocks site could be made. In turn this donation would enter you into a drawing and from that pool of names a winner could be drawn at random.

This idea would not only give everyone an equal chance at winning but would remove the competitive nature for someone who is unable to afford to bid on a project.

This idea seemed to be the fairest with the most potential to become an ongoing concern.
For example, if someone wanted to build a box, piece of furniture, or even offer up a tool, or something of value that they no longer used or wanted to build or donate to Lumberjocks with all of the proceeds going to support the website this method would be the simplest.

This also provides several avenues for others to participate in various ways other than just giving cash as a donor. One thought was not only through memorials for Lumberjocks but someone mentioned they would like to donate a piece of furniture that they built in memory of their long time pet.

Ideas are endless for this fund raising vehicle. If one chooses not to participate in this, there is no obligation to do so.

This way as a neutral party, Martin could be the keeper of the funds and have control over the intake and the final disposition of the funds once they had been received. He would then notify the donor to ship the project.

One other safeguard in this method is, if for some reason the project wasn’t shipped to the winner, the money could be refunded to those who wanted a refund.

After several ideas and exchanges back and forth between various Lumberjocks, the basic idea and concept had taken a rough-draft form. What had to be worked out were several of the final details along with presenting it to Martin for his approval. It was anticipated that Debbie would be the one who would approach Martin with this idea and present it.

Regardless of the outcome, and I hoped it would become reality, I decided I would move forward with creating, designing, drawing and building a stained glass window in memory of Mark.

My reason for starting this project without all the details finalized with Martin and the Lumberjocks site was very simple; I wanted to do something in memory of Mark.


This felt right and was the right thing to do in my mind.

I have a natural outlet for stained glass projects anyways and would sell whatever I built for a memorial to Mark and in turn simply donated the proceeds from the sale, in the event Martin felt uncomfortable with this idea.

However, I preferred to involve as many other Lumberjocks in this project and felt strongly about helping set up another method of an ongoing way to raise funds.

Later in the day, after I had sent Karson a message detailing some of the ideas and asking for his help, he called me.

We had never spoken previously.

We spoke on the phone for over 41 minutes the first time and it felt like I had known him my whole life.

It was a tremendous pleasure.

What a selfless, gifted man he is and his offer to help was very touching.

We agreed on a ‘general idea’ for the type of stained glass window. From some pictures we had exchanged, we decided on what we felt would be the most appropriate as a tribute for Mark.

One of the pictures seemed to capture the “essence” of Mark. I had sent a picture of a stained glass piece that hangs in the living room of my home, “This Old Crack House”. Although one of my own creations and favorite pieces, I wanted to create an original piece just for Mark.

It was decided that I would use that piece as a theme but start over and create, draw and build a one-of-a-kind original piece in memory of Mark.

Although I was honored to be able to do this, yet I felt so humbled and inadequate. I knew no matter what I created, it would fall well short of expectations and never ever be deserving of being an appropriate memorial for Mark.

Never-the-less, I would try. The only thing I knew for sure was my heart was overflowing with passion and desire to create something worthy of a small memorial of Marks life and worth the time and effort that Karson would put forth to create the frame.

I felt somewhat daunted with the heavy burden of making something worthwhile of the frame that I knew Karson would build.

I accepted this was going to be an impossible task but would do my best.

I would try.

That was all I had to offer, was my word I would do me best. This was all I could do.

I began with first cleaning up my shop and clearing off an area on my work bench to lay out a single piece of off white 24×24 paper.

On top of the paper I had pencils, a few rulers, several erasers and some other drawing items.

I just stated drawing. I had no idea what I would create. My shop was total silence.

I noticed that my paper has a few wet spots as I rough sketched a design I had in mind.

Their were tears that were running down my cheek and falling onto the paper.

I stopped drawing, and they flowed freely.

My hand shook.

I thought to myself, I can’t do this.

I stopped, and just sat in silence.

I tried the best I could to compose myself.

I started drawing again.

I didn’t stop until I finished.

I have no idea how long it took or what I was doing.

I just did it, it just happened.

When finished, I stepped back to look over the drawing.

There were a few smudge marks on the drawing from where my tears had fallen and caused the pencil marks to run. I was thinking to myself, ‘I hope whoever ends up with this drawing (I intended to send the original drawing with the piece so that it could never be built again and was really a one of a kind creation) would be understanding and look past the smudge marks and be forgiving.

Time will tell on that thought, I will just have to wait and see.

For the moment it didn’t seem to matter, the drawing was done.

It was the best I could do; I had put my heart and tears into the drawing.


Foot note;

To be continued ; there will be several parts to this blog and project .

The story about creating this memorial from various Lumberjocks and others who have so unselfishly contributed to this project will move you.

These Lumberjocks are what makes this site so special.

I promise you, that there efforts are not only moving and a reflection of the Lumberjocks community spirit but there work and creations are nothing short of stunning.

Please stay tuned in days and weeks ahead as this project unfolds.

I can honestly say this had been one of the most moving experiences of my life.

I am so humbled to be a small part of this project.

The best part of this is it involves so many members and each and every one who chooses can be part of this memorial.

That is the what Lumberjocks is all about, the coming to together as a community and sharing what our passions are.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Enough said!

-- Dusty

27 comments so far

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4543 days

#1 posted 01-13-2008 03:00 PM


The memory banner was designed and created by Douglas.

Thank you for all of your help with this project.

-- Dusty

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4548 days

#2 posted 01-13-2008 03:08 PM

oh Dusty… you are indeed an Angel on earth.

With Mark’s request that rather than flowers, people make donations to some cause to help others, this is the perfect tribute -uniting his wishes with the “cause” that brought us all together. Just think of all the people this site has helped, both with woodworking and personal life struggles. Yes, a wonderful tribute.

Thank you and I’m behind this 100%.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4326 days

#3 posted 01-13-2008 03:34 PM

Dusty, I’m speechless. I will gladly support such an effort.

-- Working at Woodworking

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4262 days

#4 posted 01-13-2008 04:11 PM

Dusty, this is inspirational. And very selfless, I might add. You, Karson, and most of the crew around here are the greatest.

View Karson's profile


35188 posts in 4788 days

#5 posted 01-13-2008 04:46 PM

I amplify and magnify Dusty’s comments.

It was truly an honor to be requested to help in this project, in whatever way I could. If it came to sharpening Dusty’s pencils I was willing.

Without stepping on Dusty’s blog and going places that we will eventfully get to. I want to say my appreciation for the support of this community in honoring the loss of our good friend Mark. Some may have met him, others have talked to him and others still who sent and received messages with him.

Our hearts were touched by his love for his Lord and Saviour, his family, his job and his woodworking. I have a couple of pieces that he made and shipped to me because i shipped him some veneer for him to play with. We stand in awe and clap for our brother Mark, his wife Anamaria and his son Johnathan. We are proud to have known him and shared with him in ways that we may not totally understand.

Thanks Dusty for being alert enough the the inner voice that speaks to us all, and to visualize this truly great memorial, and for putting the initial steps forward so that we may all follow for a while and lead for a while thereby sharing our strengths for others.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 4632 days

#6 posted 01-13-2008 05:06 PM

Dusty, great idea and full of heart and passion. Not only the smudges on the drawing, but in the blog above. Keep us posted and the rest us of will do what we can.

-- Joel Tille

View stinger141jt's profile


8 posts in 4176 days

#7 posted 01-13-2008 05:18 PM

A memory shared is one that is never forgotten!

-- saw dust makes tree huggers happy

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4687 days

#8 posted 01-13-2008 05:23 PM

A great idea Dusty, I’m with you all the way.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4376 days

#9 posted 01-13-2008 05:28 PM

This is such a great sharing community here at LumberJocks!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4045 posts in 4451 days

#10 posted 01-13-2008 05:33 PM

Thank you Dusty, not only for being a kind heart and a decent man, but also a man of action who has put the ball in play to take Mark’s wishes and have them ampilfied to aid this site that he loved so well. Like many of us, Mark was among the first to welcome me to LJs and he will be missed by all he touched.

Even in the midst of your own travail with your Dad, you have had the strength of vision to bring this to fruition. I hope you will continue to let me know what more I can do to keep the ball rolling.

For those that would wish to post the “armband” banner over their own avatar, the link is near the bottom of Jockmike's initial post that we had lost one of our own.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4350 days

#11 posted 01-13-2008 05:45 PM

We’re with you, Dusty.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Karson's profile


35188 posts in 4788 days

#12 posted 01-14-2008 07:00 AM

Move back up.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4473 days

#13 posted 01-14-2008 04:42 PM

For some reason Mark’s passing has really bothered me….and I know the reason. I have seen a lot of death in my time here in this world. I have lost a lot of friends to accidents, terrorism, and combat, as a result, I sort of built up this shell around my emotions with very few events that would slip through the crack.

I had finally started to open up and let people in and start to care about them again. Mark was one of them. I understood the pain of his injuries and his apprehension about taking pills. I had a lot of respect for Mark as he was not a man who hid his faith. He put it out there for the entire world to see. He was a “City on Hill” That is a bravery that is seldom seen from a regular guy.

I don’t know if I could call Mark a close friend, not sure that I have let anyone that close to me. But I will miss him and his passing has pained me. In the short time I knew him; he managed to get through my shell. It wasn’t anything he said to me, more of how he presented himself to the world. I admired that. I am a pretty stand off guy, but as I take inventory of the people who mean the most to me, I find more and more, the people on Lumberjocks are high on my list. This is an amazing place with amazing people associated with it.

Dusty, I truly understand your tears. Your design is perfect, and the tear drops make it that way. I’m not sure what else I can add. I appreciate your effort; I will be one of the first ones to bid. This is a great idea and you have my full support in any way you need it.

Please forgive a broken old warhorse for rambling a bit.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4378 days

#14 posted 01-14-2008 04:50 PM

I’m in.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4543 days

#15 posted 01-14-2008 05:25 PM


You will never have to ask for “forgiveness” from me or for that matter anyone else in my mind or way of thinking for what you call “rambling a bit”.

This is what I call being human.

Carry on buddy.

Carry on!

-- Dusty

showing 1 through 15 of 27 comments

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