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.