Apr 20, 2011 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
All Mark Clark ever wanted was to sell “Star Wars” souvenirs and race slot cars.
Those childhood hobbies blossomed into a career for him as the kid who grew up livin’ in Liverpool became a vintage toy shop owner in Syracuse and an active eBay trader on the Internet.
Along the way, Mark married and had a son and, though the marriage faltered, he continued to live his dream operating a store called Toy Galaxy and organizing collectibles conventions at the State Fairgrounds.
Mark’s life-both his disappointments and his dreams-came to a sudden end in the early-morning hours of April 21, 2008, when he was shot-gunned to death in the bedroom of the house he rented at 109 Cleveland St., just this side of the railroad tracks here in the village.
That bloody Monday was four days before his 40th birthday.
Three years later, Mark’s murder remains unsolved.
‘End of nostalgia’
When he was alive, Mark made plenty of people happy.
“Mark Clark was responsible for a lot of smiles,” said his friend and fellow collector Rick Wallon, of Fulton. “He spurred a lot of people to get into [the vintage toy business]. He inspired a whole wave of guys to get into it, get into that nostalgic feeling you get from collecting.”
The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office took over the homicide investigation after Liverpool Police Department initially responded to the scene, and Wallon is frustrated that the case remains open.
“No one knows what happened to Mark,” said the owner of Rickz Toyz.
Mark’s father, the late Harry W. Clark, Jr., told Wallon that when he found his son’s dead body that Monday morning in 2008, Mark’s wallet was missing. The Sheriff’s investigators have declined to discuss such details-they won’t even confirm that a shotgun blast caused his death-and have never speculated about a motive.
Not long before the killing, neighbors noticed that a live-in girlfriend had moved out of the house Mark had rented for about two years.
Harry Clark, who lived on Fourth Street in the village, died in September 2009.
“The last time I saw Mark was in March  at the Rochester Toy Show at the Village Gate,” Wallon recalled. “It was snowing when we were packing up after the show, and we were both laughing about the weather…I’d chat with him a lot and with his father who helped him with his business. His death was a big shame, the end of nostalgia in a way. Mark was a trailblazer.”
Lizard’s tail is waggin’
The Limp Lizard Bar & Grill finally opened its doors at 201 First St., on Tuesday April 12.
The anxiously anticipated restaurant is already doing brisk business in barbecued meats, Tex-Mex fare and Southern specialties such as baked black beans, saut ed collard greens and cornbread. You can chow down on everything from quesadillas to catfish, and the well-appointed bar serves more than two dozen brands of beer to wash it down.
The Liverpool Lizard will soon add live music to its mix, says co-owner Scott Schimpff.
A state-of-the-art house sound system will make it easy for musicians to plug in. The Syracuse roots-rock band called the Z-Bones will entertain there Friday night April 29; 451-9774.
Two skunks shot dead
Wild skunks continue to ruin our quality of life.
No one in local government seems to be able to take a stand against the noxious nocturnal critters. As a result, law enforcement professionals are left to deal with the varmints.
On April 8, an Oswego Street resident called Liverpool Police after she observed a skunk haphazardly bouncing around her backyard. You might recall that April 8 was a lovely sunny day and, since skunks are creatures of the night, the woman was suspicious of the animal’s appearance that morning as well as its peculiar behavior
Liverpool Police Officers John Prasky arrived at the scene, agreed that the animal was acting strangely, and pulled out his Glock .45. Prasky “dispatched” the skunk with two slugs.
Then on Wednesday April 13, the scene was replayed on Sixth Street where LPD Officer Jerry Unger faced down another duotoned weasel out for an unusual daylight stroll. He shot it twice, but the animal refused to die. A shotgun was eventually used to finish it off.
These unfortunate incidents stand as fair warning. If something isn’t done to stem the proliferation of these infernal beasts, a child will eventually get bitten by a rabid skunk.