I first met Mark some years ago when one of the first Art Parades and Light Up the City events was held in his neighborhood.
I think he gravitated towards me simply because of the camera I held in my hand to record the event.
First thing, though, is he wanted to know what the heck we were doing in his neighborhood! I explained as best as I could what we were doing and what its purpose was and he happily and enthusiastically joined us on the parade.
Along the route Mark pointed out various places that he found interesting along with many of his friends and neighbors we encountered along the way. Mark also shared with me some of his visions for his neighborhood and for his cherished hometown of Flint.
Mark was born in Flint, graduating from Ainsworth High School prior to the merger with Carman. While a Flint native, his life travels took him to California where he spent nearly 3 decades prior to moving back “home” to be near family.
Mark was a visionary and was not shy about sharing his plans and visions whether you were a willing listener or not. If he had your ear, you’d hear his ideas.
Mark wasn’t a farmer, but he taught himself to be one. He was a prolific photographer, rarely seen without a camera in hand at multitudes of events around Flint.
He was involved. Involved in his community. Involved in his city. Involved in the lives of his friends.
I shared many a meeting room with Mark, whether it was Flint Neighborhoods United, the Charter Commission, City Council meetings, and most recently, the fight to get the 2017 Zoning Code passed by Council.
Mark fought many battles and would never admit defeat. Victory was always on the horizon. An admirable attitude to have.
I do hope that some of Mark’s visions will come to fruition as a lasting legacy to the man.
Mark was a Champion for his community, his city, and his friends.
Flint will miss him.
Mark Baldwin Memorial Service
Friends and neighbors met outside the old White Church on Gillespie Street on Flint’s North End to eulogize Mark Baldwin on a warm October evening.
There were some tears, there was some laughter and fond remembrances of a good friend. Also there was an “unveiling” of sorts of a mural dedicated to Mark on the old church’s wall to remember his vision and love for his neighborhood.