Friday, December 10, 2010

On Mark's Birthday

Reason 7,842 to Love Mark McGee:
He is the Good Samaritan of public transportation

Mark has ridden trains and busses to work and school for years. He’s passed out Book of Mormons. He’s given rides from the train station to various people in need. Once he made an alliance with a fellow passenger to come to the aid of a young woman being harassed by punks. Once he gave a car to someone he met on the road. (It wasn’t much of a car, but still.)

A few weeks ago, Mark was riding the train to work in the morning and couldn’t help but overhear the phone conversation of the man sitting across the aisle. The man was recounting how he and his family had recently moved to Utah only to find that the apartment they had rented and been sublet to someone else. They checked into a hotel until they could find another apartment. But in the meantime, one of the man’s children was hospitalized with RSV and his wallet was stolen. The child was to be released from the hospital today, and the new apartment would be available tomorrow, but with no wallet, the man had no way to pay the $60 he needed for one more night at the hotel. “I think we’re going to have to sleep in the car tonight,” Mark heard him say.

When the man got off the phone, Mark leaned over and said, “If you’ll ride the train downtown with me, I’ll take you to an ATM and give you $60.” Mark watched the man’s face work through shock and relief. “You will?” he asked.

The pair rode downtown and Mark gave the man far more than $60. When he arrived at his office he called me and said, “I have good news and bad news.” The bad news being that our budget for weekend festivities was gone. The good news being that my husband is a true disciple, a true gem.

Happy birthday, Mark. You’re my favorite.


  1. My admittedly small gift to Mark was not complaining when Rob said that instead of staying home today as planned (he has a big paper to write) that Mark needed him to come in to go through some things.

    And it's telling that in reading this, I wasn't thinking "Wow, what an amazing thing to do" but more "Yeah, that's just Mark.

    And, in honor of Mark, "Have a helluva great day!" :)

  2. You are a well matched pair of awesome individuals.

  3. I'm priviledged to know this guy! I agree, "Yeah, that's just Mark."

    28 years ago, when I was considering grounding him for a year for sneaking out to go to an AC/DC concert, the best of resources whispered distinctly in my mind, "he's an older and wiser spirit than you and you aught to be grateful to be his mother."

    p.s. Mark only got grounded for a month, but a decade later told me, a year of grounding would have been okay, because he was so glad he had gotten to go to that AC/DC concert.

  4. Such an awesome story. It should be in that section at the back of the Ensign filled with great little stories.

  5. When Angela first told me that she had met Mark, she said, "I think you will actually like him". Admittedly, I had a history of thinking the guys she dated were not anywhere near good enough for her and as she had come of marriageable age, this was an increasing concern. She was right about Mark. I have never thought him anything but perfect for her. They are amazing individually and together. Happy B-day, Mark!

  6. Yep, they are both amazing....that's why we love them so:)Happy birthday Mark! and Haley! and Logan!

  7. I love this story!

    There has to be a book in these transportation experiences, fiction or non-.