My friend, Mark Kiesling, who I met while working for The Times of NW Indiana had a seizure and died yesterday.
Mark was a straight-shooter. He told it like it is. He told great stories. And he was the funniest person I've ever known. Mark told stories that caused me to laugh so hard I had trouble breathing. And when I got calmed down, I would look at Mark and the laughter would start all over again. He was that damn funny.
I want to share one of my favorite Mark stories with you.
One day while I was at my desk inking an editorial cartoon at the newspaper, Mark told me a story that made me laugh so hard, I knocked over my bottle of ink. My first instinct was to quickly move under the bottle to keep the ink from hitting the carpet in our office. The result was my shirt and pants covered in ink.
It made Mark laugh.
Mostly because I was confined to my office chair until I started and finished a new cartoon.
I wasn't about to go anywhere. It looked like, as one of our co-workers put it, "A squid exploded in your pocket." When it came time later that day for me to show my cartoon to my editor for approval, I asked Mark if he would do it since I was embarrassingly covered in ink.
He simply said, "No."
And then erupted in crazy laughter.
Those shirt and pants hang in my closet because I will never forget that day.
And I will never forget Mark Kiesling.