The valley recently lost a friend and a good man with the passing of Mark Attwood. I knew Mark for most of my 33 years here in the Vail Valley. He was one of the original transplanted proud “Maine-iacs” that graced our town. He brought his love of skiing and biking to Vail Mountain and was the consummate “ski bum” ... there was no “bad ski day” Mark! The “perma-grin” he sported from his play time was infectious.
I treasure the years he spent as part of our Foto Finish family. I always told him that if I were ever a corporate CEO, he would be my “president of customer service”! His knack of greeting people as they walked into our store was unforgettable. His famous line, whether he knew the person or not, was, in his best DJ voice ... “Who’s next? You, sir, step right up!” People would stop in Foto Finish just to say “hi” to Mark. I never tired of locals and guests alike who would go out of their way to tell me how great he was with them and the extra special compliment, “I’m glad I stopped in Foto Finish today ... he made my day”!
Christmas was one of my favorite holidays with Mark. His mother would always send him a care package around then with L.L. Bean clothing and her famous toffee made with saltine crackers. He was so proud of his new Bean shirts, pants and sweaters (I couldn’t get enough of the toffee!).
As much as we all loved Mark, he had his demons to contend with. Our Foto Finish family reached out to do what we could for Mark and to let him know we were there. Sometimes we all have difficulty admitting our weaknesses and asking for help. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed my brief encounters with Mark the past several years and will always remember his friendship. Wherever his travels have taken him now, I hope he was met by St. Peter, who greeted Mark with a booming, “Who’s next? You sir, step right up!”