Mark Carpenter

Profile Updated: January 14, 2015
Mark Carpenter
Residing In: Baton Rouge, LA USA
Spouse/Partner: Divorced
Occupation: Massage therapist. Recently retired piano teacher.
Mark Carpenter


Yes! Attending Reunion

I have been deep in philosophical thought as I reflect on the last 30 years. I'll post my thoughts once they are organized-which may not be until our 50 year reunion.

School Story:

BRHS, as it was for many, was my salvation because for the first time in my school history, I felt that I fit in. My life would have been very different had I attended my district high school, Glen Oaks.

My funniest memory is that one morning before leaving for school, something possessed me to go into our garden, gather quite a few ferns, and tape them with freezer tape all over my clothing.....and during the school day, NO ONE said

That was the beauty and magic of Baton Rouge Magnet High School.

What did you want to do, or think you wanted to do when you finished high school?

I was born to teach.

What did you always want to do that you haven't done yet?

Have a song I wrote recorded by a known singer. It seemed that it would happen a couple of years ago when I met the sister of Grammy winning singer Cynthia Clawson. Cynthia is mostly known as a Christian music artist, but I knew that she had always wanted to branch out into secular music. Since Rod Stewart, Carly Simon have had great success in recording songs from the 40's, and artists such as Harry Connick, Jr, Michael Buble' and Diana Krall had established themselves by singing such music, I began writing songs in that style. Little did I know that Cynthia was making plans to record such an album. I happened to meet and develop an online friendship with Cynthia's sister Patti, who loved my music. She obtained permission for me to submit material to Cynthia, who liked it, as well. It seemed like a dream come true. I even flew to Santa Fe to meet Patti. Cynthia has begun to record the album, but it does not seem likely that any of my songs will be on it. To come so close to having a dream come true, and then to have it suddenly dissipate broke my spirit. This was not the first time I came close-Michael O'Connor, whose publishing company had supplied songs for Crystal Gayle loved my songs but explained that he already had a paid writing staff, and to recoup his money he had to promote their songs. So, as much as he liked my music, he explained that I would have to write something that surpassed what was being written by his writing staff. I do have a bad quality recording of Patti Clawson, Cynthia's sister, singing one of my songs and I treasure it.

Where's the farthest that you've been from Baton Rouge?

Not very far-I'm not much of a traveler. When I flew to Santa Fe, a year and a half ago, I had not flown since 1985, and 9/11. I was surprised at how much security has increased. I told Patti, when I arrived in Santa Fe, that I thought I was going to Aushwitz, because I was made to remove my shoes, my watch, my belt-I was waiting for the SS to extract my tooth

What would we be surprised to know about you?

It surprises me that some of my closest friends from high school were not aware of the fact that I have a speech handicap-I stutter and at various times, it has been severe. It had worsened greatly during the last 4 years or so. The good news is I qualified to recieve a free electronic fluency device ( a $6000.00 device), as well as speech therapy, so maybe that disability will be behind me soon. It's been uncomfortable for me when I've run into former classmates-one asked me if I had suffered a head injury, lol-so I have shied away from previous class reunions. I plan to make this one, though. :)

If you could relive your time at Baton Rouge High, what would be the biggest thing that you would change?

I would have been more open about my stuttering and would not have tried to hide it. My story is very typical, I've learned, of people who stutter. When called upon at class, I would act as if I did not know the answer or had not completed my assignment, when I had. This reflected on my GPA, which could have and should have been much higher.

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Jan 14, 2015 at 1:09 PM