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Mark 's Story > Chapters > My Entire Life

Growing Up In Lawrence, Mass (1982-2001) 

 
Date Range: 08/16/1982 To 2001   Comments: 0 Views: 674
Attachments: No    

I was born on August 16, 1982 at the Lawrence General Hospital at 6:52 a.m. (6 pounds 8 ounces) to Rosemary (Cavallaro) and Gaetano Sinacori. My Mom was born September 8, 1953 in Lawrence, Mass, and my Dad was born on June 20, 1950 in Salemi, Sicily. We lived on Wilmot Street in Lawrence, Mass, directly behind Holy Trinity School.





Wilmot Street in June of 1998


 


 


My house on Wilmot Street in July of 1989.


Lawrence at that time, was turning into a very poor city. Drugs, houses getting set on fire, students dropping out of school, gangs, et. My neighborhood, however, did not see any of that when I was growing up. We lived directly behind Park Street, but it was closed by a fence and lots of woods that was connected to the Turn Hall, which did see a lot of vandals and gangs over the years, but my street and surrounding streets were closed off by a fence, so none of the gangs ever migrated to my area to start trouble.


When I was a child, I loved playing garbage barrels, pretending I was a garbage man. Up until the age of 10 I loved to do that, but then after that point, I outgrew it.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkle0q_the-best-of-mark-ages-5-10_fun

CLICK THE ABOVE LINK TO SEE SOME OF MY FAVORITE HOME MOVIE CLIPS OF ME WHEN I WAS AGES 5-10 BETWEEN THE YEARS 1988-1992 IN LAWRENCE, MASS.




I would be watched by my Nana and Nanu (My Mom's parents) at their house on Howard Street on Prospect Hill every morning up until I was 10, while my parents worked day shifts, and I attended the Rollins School from Kindergarten through grade 5. After that point, I was old enough to be trusted with keys and staying home alone, but by this point, my Mom was now working nights, so I then transferred to Holy Trinity School for 6th-8th grade (which was originally what my parents would have done with me since Kindergarten, yet nobody was home in the early afternoon when school got out, so I went to the Rollins instead for 6 years).



My Nana was Rose Mary (Tomaselli) Cavallaro and was born on October 26, 1912 in Lawrence, Mass. My Nanu was Anthony Richard Cavallaro and was born on January 17, 1906 in Bianca Villa, Sicily and moved to Lawrence when he was 4 years old in 1910. My Nanu passed away on August 3, 1997 from congestive heart failure and my Nana passed away on December 12, 2003 from congestive heart failure. They were simple people who never owned a remote controlled TV, a ceiling fan, a microwave, a dishwasher, a VCR, or "the next big thing" that was popular in the 1970s to 1990s. They lived in a bungalow on Howard Street in Lawrence, Mass and owned a triple decker after they were married in fall of 1945 up until they both passed away.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkk5fv_nana-and-nanu-retrospect_fun

CLICK THE ABOVE LINK FOR A VIDEO OF MY NANA AND NANU.


My Nonna was Marianna (Pisano) Sinacori and was born on January 31, 1928 in Salemi, Sicily and my Nonno was Vito Sinacori and was born on August 23, 1925 in Santa Ninfa, Sicily. They moved their family to America to Boston and settled in Haverhill, Mass in January of 1970, then in 1982, they moved out of their Bartlett Street apartment and moved to a single family newly built split ranch on Derry Road in Methuen, Mass where they lived for the remainder of their days. My Nonno died on August 5, 1997 of ruptured kidneys and my Nonna died on September 3, 2003 after a blood clot.


http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xzsxyj_vito-and-marianna-sinacori-s-50th-anniversary-april-1997_fun

CLICK THE ABOVE LINK TO SEE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MY NONNA AND NONNO IN 1997.





My teachers in the Rollins were Ms. Fusco for Kindergarten, Mrs. Castiglione for 1st grade, Mrs. Farrell for 2nd grade, Mrs. Nadeau for 3rd grade, Mrs. Salvo for 4th grade, and Mrs. Krawiec for 5th grade. In the Rollins, I was always well behaved, and got Student Of The Month for June in 5th grade. In the Rollins I was always one of the top spellers in my class, was the best at states and capitols, and in 3rd grade, was one of the best in Math, where I placed 2nd in the math bee which consisted of multiplication and division tables.

In the Rollins, I recall many talent shows and assemblings that my class got to take part in on stage. Usually, the majority of the class was shy at performing, but myself and maybe three or four others were not as shy. At each assembly, the teacher's would always put me center stage. The final performance in the Rollins School was when I was in 5th grade and my teacher, Mrs. Krawiec made my class perform "Wearing My Shades". It was then I started getting from teachers and classmates that I was very much outgoing when it came to performing and I had a lot of energy and to keep at that in life. 

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkhwx2_wearing-my-shades-april-1993-john-rollins-school_fun


 

CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO SEE MY FINAL PERFORMANCE IN THE JOHN R. ROLLINS SCHOOL FROM APRIL OF 1993 "WEARING MY SHADES", A SONG MY TEACHER MRS. KRAWIEC HAD US PERFORM ON STUDENT TEACHER NIGHT. I'M THE GUY ON CENTER STAGE WITH MY TROLL'S GYM SHIRT SHAKING ALL AROUND THE PLACE.


 




My teachers in Holy Trinity School were Mrs. Fillipon for 6th grade, Mrs. Autieri for 7th grade, and Mrs. Kurto for 8th grade. In Holy Trinity School, I was always well behaved, always one of the best at Geography and the best at states and capitals, the top speller in my class for both 6th and 8th grades, and received many awards. In 7th grade I was Student Of The Month for March, won 3rd place in the Science Fair on a project on Cigarettes, and got Honors for 3rd quarter. In 8th grade I was Student Of The Month for November, top speller for both November and April, won 2nd place in the Science Fair on a project on the Six Major Land Biomes, won the School Essay contest for my class, and got an Excellence in Spelling award for the entire year. It was around 8th grade when I was in Holy Trinity School, that I realized I wanted to move to Los Angeles someday and work in TV/Film, as instead of getting into trouble or playing sports as many kids did back in the days, I was home watching TV, Films, or writing and thinking up ideas for TV/Films.
 


 

In Holy Trinity, much like The Rollins, the school was small. We didn't have a lot of activities or afterschool stuff. It was just simply school and that's it. But my first year there, the sisters used to take charge of it well, and they used to have each class perform for Christmas. My teacher in 6th grade, Mrs. Fillipon, created a skit for our class to do, and she began casting roles for the skit...most of the class was just featured and part of the chorus, but the lead role of Santa Claus went to none other than myself. It was between me and maybe two other guys who wanted the role, but everyone voted I'd be best for it. There were only three lead roles from my class in that skit, and it was a lot of fun to sing, dance, and perform for that one time there. After that, they stopped Christmas plays when the sisters left the school at the end of the school year.



 


My best friend in my neighborhood was a girl named Stefanie. I met her around the time I finished first grade in May of 1989, though she lived across the street from me for several years but was too young to really go out and play before that point. We always did everything together up until she moved to Florida with her family in July of 1994. In my neighborhood, there were some good kids, several Hispanic and several Caucasian mostly, and also some Lebanese, but one girl in particular would be the bad seed, and this would cause everyone to turn against me at some point. Living in Lawrence was scary in the 1980s and 1990s but my neighborhood was safe because all the parents made it safe, however, the kids were a different story. It could be that because the homes were too close together that nobody had privacy. Even though a few homes on my side of the street had driveways and small yards and were separated more than the congested homes in bad neighborhoods, the space wasn't far enough, and if someone was in their driveway they could be seen from the home next door which was right smack up against it, feet away, not separated by a lot of grass, unlike the suburban homes in Methuen or other towns where things were more peaceful and private.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x109kka_best-friends_fun

CLICK THE ABOVE LINK TO SEE SOME CLIPS OF ME AND MY BEST FRIEND STEFANIE FROM THE YEARS 1991 AND 1993.


http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xknh45_mark-and-his-childhood-friends-in-lawrence-mass_fun

CLICK THE ABOVE LINK TO SEE SOME CLIPS OF ME AND SOME OF MY GOOD FRIENDS FROM MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD INCLUDING STEFANIE, C.J., JOSHUA, SHAYLA AND JEFFREY.



After Holy Trinity, I went to Central Catholic High School. By this time, Lawrence had gone through a lot of changes. Many homes and buildings that were burned back in the days and boarded up had been torn down, and there were less fires and gangs at this time around 1996.


In the fall of 1996, I wanted a cat. So my parents and I went to the MSPCA the day after Thanksgiving that year and got an orange and white cat named Roy. He was about 6 weeks old at the time and he lived until April 30, 2010 when he died of cancer and a Kidney Infection.



Roy when he was a kitten in December of 1996


 


Roy in March of 1997




When I was a sophomore, I got a job at McDonald's on January 1, 1998, in Methuen, near the old Methuen Mall on Pleasant Valley Street (which was torn down in 2000 and made into the Methuen Loop). The McDonald's I worked at was torn down in 2012 and a new one was built on the same site of the original one. In Holy Trinity, but even more in high school, I was slowly gaining weight and was obese for my age and height. In 2000, I was promoted to a crew Chief at McDonald's, then again that September to a shift manager where I would open the store. That December, I transferred to the McDonald's on Pelham Street neaer the Outback when they were looking for a new closing manager at night, but it was a very bad mistake, as the crew didn't really care about their job there, and all new workers would quit after a few weeks, leaving all the areas to be run by so few crew at night.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xklz0k_the-best-of-mark-ages-11-20_shortfilms

CLICK THE ABOVE LINK TO SEE CLIPS OF ME FROM AGES 11-20 BETWEEN THE YEARS 1994 AND 2003.




Central Catholic High School was a hard school. I was a B student at Holy Trinity, winning many awards. In Central, I received not one (The only one they really gave was honor roll and you needed all B's and above for it). Math I usually got D's in, History I also usually got D's in, English and Religion would vary...sometimes I'd get B's in them, sometimes C's, Science was usually C/C+ and none of my Science teachers would take into the fact I did a lot of extra work by being the only student from my year level to do the Science Academic Olympics. My Science grades really should have been low B's instead of high C's. In central, my weight was very much uncontrollable, and with working at McDonald's it made it just worse with all the free food and discounted meals at times plus all the oils, sugars, carbs, and fats my body was consuming. I had severe acne and a prominent double chin from ages 15 right up until I turned 20.


 

My Freshman year at Central paved the way for how my experience there would be the next 3 years. I was "cornered" by so many things, one being my looks, I was not handsome like all the sports players or bad boys who would get the girls. Another was I was in all level 3 classes because I had to go to summer school before Freshman Year because I tested at an 8th grade 5th month reading level when Central wanted everyone at a 9th grade reading level when 8th graders took the entrance exams. I blew it big time on exams of any sort, especially the school exams, but I did excellent in Math but the reading area not so much, so I had to go to summer school before entering CCHS, and because of that, got placed in all level 3 classes. My grades, however, were most likely much better than most of the kids who went to summer school with me, as many were dunces that were incoming freshmen, but a few were very smart like myself, only had trouble with the test taking.

My biggest regret was getting Mr. Jowett for Freshman Biology. I was a great student in Holy Trinity in Science, I won science fairs, and this shmuck didn't know how to teach the subject at all. He placed people sitting in order of highest to lowest average, and I failed every quarter, every section of his class. What surprised me was nobody, not one student in his class raised their hand the first day to answer "What is biology?" Easily, I raised my hand and said "The study of living things." Of course, he was amazed I knew the answer, but then targeted me the rest of the year because his tests and quizzes were NOT on the notes we took in class and instead were based on the book chapters themselves, stuff he did not go over in class. All my other teachers I had in Science, they would explain things clearly on the board and that's what the tests would be based on, but Jowett acted like he was an honors teacher when he really wasn't. Because of that, I had to go to summer school again after Freshman Year, but guess what grade I got? 100. Yeah, that's right. I got the highest grade in the class. I got nothing below 100 because all the tests and quizzes were on notes my summer school teacher explained on the board, and after reviewing those notes many times, I made out with all 100s. So my "F" was turned into a C+ for the year. My other 2 Science teachers were better than Jowett, but they did NOT know how to grade fairly, as the sports players and girls in the class ended up with the A's and B's and I had to settle for C/C+ grades when I was much better than that, plus doing all the extra assignments none of my class would do, such as th Science Academic Olympics. Mr. Benedetto, however, was a good teacher, and Mr. Doyle was tough at first, but he was also a good teacher, only the way they graded me was unfair because some quarters I would be above C/C+ level and they'd throw those grades right at me.

Every year in Math I'd end up with D's, but I never had to go to summer school for the subject, though I was opted to, so I could raise the average higher though refused as I was busy working at McDonald's. My Math teachers, however, knew how much I tried. It was just that after my experience with the subject in Holy Trinity, I had enough of it, and it would usually ruin my chances of honor roll EVERY QUARTER. So I gave up on getting the highest grade possible in it. All my Math teachers told me to go for extra help but I told them "As long as I get a D or above, I could care less, as long as I pass and don't have to go to summer school." In a way, Math should not be required after 8th grade. In high school it was just sort of a re-telling of Algebra all over again in different ways, and I was sick of it. I also had no interest in History as the subject bored me completely after 8th grade. I wasn't a History buff, in school I was more of a TV/Film/Writing/English/Science buff.

In Central, I always wanted to be in the school plays. However, my first try out was a complete disaster. It was for the fall of 1996 play "Heaven Can Wait". What hurt was we all filled out applications on what we did for former plays and such in other schools, and students who did completely nothing were called up over me to perform. I remember waiting out in the theatre and being the last to perform. It was something like this... "Oh, you're still here? What's your name? Oh, okay...we'll just pair you with this guy here, whatever..." At that point, I realized the Theatre Guild was not fair in CCHS. I refused to ever try out for another play or musical until I was a senior, the final play I was able to be in, and I was first to try out and got called back and cast in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as an Ishmaelite and part of the Chorus. Had I experienced a more positive audition back in Freshman year, I would have tried out more, but whoever was in charge of "Heaven Can Wait" auditions really was not professional, so I decided they'd probably be casting future stuff there and would be sloppy, and therefore I stood away from the stage. CCHS was indeed favoring with the stage, as the SAME students made the plays each year. Had I tried out again, most likely I wouldn't have made them. The school had no video club, and that would have been a better alternative to stage as I loved to act and wanted a future in TV/Film which the school did not focus on in extra curricular activities.





My teachers at Central Catholic were :

Freshman Year: Mr. Russo (Religion), Mr. Chris Sullivan (Reading), Mr. Hayes (English), Brother Richard Carey/Mr. Maldonaldo/Mr. Tamborelli (Math), Mr. Jowett (Biology), Mr. Gurry (History)

Sophomore Year: Brother Jim/Mr. beckett (Religion), Mrs. Keefe (English), Mrs. Durkin (Spanish), Mr. Pastore (Math), Mr. Bennedetto (Intro To Scientific Methods) Mr. Rich (History)

Junior Year: Mrs. Redmond (Religion), Mr. Welch (English), Ms. Warren (Spanish), Mr. Leal (Math), Mr. Doyle (Physics), Mr. Rich (History)

Senior Year: Mr. Russo (Religion), Brother Ernie Beland (English), Mr. Pastore (Math), Mr. Benedetto (Marine Biology), Mr. Callahan (Drawing), Mr. Demers (Drama)


 

In Central Catholic High School I was homeroom rep Fresh, Soph and in Senior Year I was homeroom alternate, I was also in the Knowledge Bowl for both Fresh and Soph years, the choir for Senior Year, the Theatre Guild for Senior Year, and Mission rep for Junior Year. I took part and competed in the Science Academic Olympics, losing every year to Lawrence High School, but in Senior Year, I also did Social Sciences and won gold medal in that area, which was NOT judged by Lucent Technologies, as that place gave the medals to the same returning winning students year after year.





After I finished Central Catholic High School, I had to attend Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill for a year because my grades were C level at Central Catholic. After a year there, I received no grade below B-, and was accepted into Merrimack College. Also at this time, in March of 2001, my parents and I packed up and moved to our new house in Methuen and I finally left McDonald's after 3 years there to go to college full time. I believe, had I stayed at my original McDonald's, things would have worked out better and I would have left around the end of summer 2001 or maybe worked weekends a little when I started Merrimack College, but I decided then to be a full time college student as I needed to focus on my grades. My co-workers (those who were there for a year or longer that is) at McDonald's were some of the best I ever worked with.


http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xs2snk_methuen-mcdonald-s-christmas-party-1999_fun

CLICK THE ABOVE LINK TO SEE A VIDEO OF THE MCONDLAD'S COMPANY CHRISTMAS PARTY FROM DECEMBER 1999. WE ALL LOVED A GOOD TIME!



Northern Essex was a short time for me, but I'm glad I went there a year, because it helped me get into Merrimack College. It was a nice college and had good teachers.


My teachers at Northern Essex Community College and grades I received were:


Semester 1 (Fall 2000)


Mrs. Dalton  (Basic Reading)                      A
Ms. Dunbar  (Computers For Beginners)       B-
Mr. Kramer   (Algebra)                             B
Mrs. West    (Drawing)                            B



Semester 2 (Spring 2001)


Mr. Holden      (Biology)                         B
Mr. Ficke        (College Writing)               A-
Mr. Brown       (College Algebra)              B
Mrs. Lareau     (College Reading)             B


 

In summer of 2001, my parents and I began fixing up our new house in Methuen.







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