Mark Shirkey

I have made it my job (besides gossiping) to recognize the club’s Stakhanovites who go above and beyond of what is expected of them.

These last few weeks, we have seen a steady improvement of our playing field. First, there was the (once controversial) fence, then the move of the scoreboard to a better location, and recently the replacement of all the boule-stopping planks around the field.

Contrarily to what some might believe, our mini-wall owes nothing to our Twitter in Chief, and no good fairy was involved either. A few dedicated club members led by Mark and Sandra Shirkey did all of the work… without any fanfare.

Mark and Akira. Photo by Sandra Shirkey

Mark is a true “work hero” and like true Stakhanovites, he deserves a shiny Pour le Mérite” medal… or at least a keg of beer.

But he was not alone. My Intelligence Officers are telling me that Akira Okawa, Mike O’Leary as well as Marc Davantes, and Nick Davantes  were involved.
I might have overlooked some additional volunteers; I will glad to rectify this omission as soon as I learn more about it.

I was just reminded that Charlie was there (of course) and that the excavator operator was Paul Vierra. Thank you Marc Davantes. Evan Falcone was also very helpful in moving the kiosk.

In the former Soviet Union, Mark would have been called a “Work Hero” and be awarded a medal. In democratic Marin County, he will get a firm handshake… and maybe a peck on the cheek. If you feel exceptionally indebted, you might also let him win a few games.

Good deeds cannot go unnoticed. They inspire and nudge other people into participating in a project.

“Every time you do a good deed you shine the light a little farther into the dark. And the thing is, when you’re gone that light is going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.” Charles De Lint

After the battle of Austerlitz, Napoleon addressed his troops and said:
« You will just have to say: I was at the battle of Austerlitz, to be answered: here goes a brave lad!”

To paraphrase the Emperor « You will just have to say: I was at the battle of the Pétanque Court, to be answered: here goes a brave lad!”


Next time you see Mark, Sandra or any of the other Work Heroes, feel free to hug them or share our secret handshake with them.


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