Monday, November 06, 2006

A Conversation with a Houston Institute: Mark Lacy

Mark Lacy is a long time friend who has been doing some amazing things in H-town for a couple of few decades now. Mr. Lacy challenges the sum up. Most people can be announced with a single defining quality - say "activist,""artist,""teacher," or "naturalist." Mark's all four and I'm leaving out the good stuff. He's also a photographer*, a former DJ, a back country traveler, a sociologist, a cultural leader and a Proud Okie. He's also a former roommate. We met on Lexington in the early nineties while attending the University of Houston where Mark occasionally teaches these days. Our house did unofficial UoH dormer duty for many years. Rooms were obtained word of mouth with a tendency to pull from UoH's theatrical community. I liken the early years at 2140 to Gilligan's Island with me as Gilligan of course, Mark as the Professor, and two girls Vanessa and Jeane as Mary Ann and the Glamorous Movie Star. The house eventually devolved into the de Schmog House with Mark and I the only survivors. Mark finally moved to an apartment on Lexington and remained there for several years after I moved away but we remain good friends. We've done several trips together to: Mamou, LA for 9 AM Mardi Gras, Guanajuato, Mexico by way of the "local" bus, Lake Powell, Utah where we camped in narrow ravines, and La Barranca del Cobre which remains the greatest outdoor experience of my life. Next month Mark's group, the Houston Institute for Culture, rolls out a new website that promises to broaden their influence beyond Harris County to the Panhandle, the Rio Grande, the Red and the Sabine. Almost in tandem they introduce a digital story telling project. This all sounds very interesting. Let's chat with Mark Lacy, unkay?

What will follow over the next few days is an email interview we conducted throughout October.
*The Lacy image at bottom is of Adam Sherburne performing in the early 80's with his Houston band the Usuals. Adam went on to San Fran with Until December and later put together his most memorable project Consolidated. Mark and Adam were close during Adam's Houston phase.

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