I was thinking the other day…I am truly a lucky woman. Sure the farm is wonderful, the singing is great, being a mom to my two beautiful babies and my fabulous step daughter. But it is my husband that keeps me feeling like I got this life right…and okay..this all sounds good and sappy and it is true my hormones are taking that left turn again…But it is only right to share with you how wonderful and talented ole farmer Mark really is. He doesn’t get patted on the back too often and truth be known he really should.
Mark was born in Pittsburg PA. and lived there until his family moved to Mt. Hope West-by- God-Virginia (I have no idea why the folks from W.VA call it that) anyway this was a small coal mining town of about 2000 people. Mark dad Bud Marchetti worked with The Bureau Mines under the U.S.Department of Interior. After high school Uncle Sam called Mark’s name for service in the Army during the Vietnam war. Mark served his country in 1970 stationed in a valley in Vietnam returning home with no or little welcome home and thank you for your brave duty from his country men. His dreams of being a songwriter brought him to Tennessee landing a publishing deal at the famous Stax records in Memphis. After having some country chart success as a country writer Mark moved to Nashville and signed to Sony Tree publishing Nashville’s largest and most successful publishing giant in music city. Mark was living in East Nashville at the time and that is where we met…he lived across the street and then just down the street later on. Looking back on that time period this little block on a lets just say not so great part of town was an island in itself. Most of us that lived on that street were signed to either a major recording contract or had landed staff songwriting gigs or both. Most of us on the entire street were in the music business and all of us were hungry and moving up in the world. Our front porches of those old houses were the place we gathered to write, to sing, to heal and to come together for support and friendship. Mark and I in those times fell in love..one day I looked at our neighbor and friend Steph after three years of daily porch meet ups as I watched our old buddy Mark Marchetti come walking down the street to take his place amongst us and said “You know Mark sure is handsome isn’t he” Her month dropped open and she was shaking her head going…oh no…oh no.. That was that and less then a year later Mark and i were sitting in my jeep one late summer evening hand in hand looking over the land here that is now our home. I said I want you and I to build a life here on the land of my father, the place I was born. He took a long look across a run down, over grown horrible site of a place and said…well it kinda reminds me of West-By God- Virginia.
Mark had never farmed nor had grown anything in is life. His grand father that came from Italy used to have a small garden in inter city Pittsburg and Mark would run after the hucksters wagons to collect their droppings for that garden. There is not a chance in the world if someone were to have told Mark just 15 years ago he would be out in this hot..dewy field like he is tonight thumping his watermelons to see if they are ready for him to harvest for this weekends market and CSA he would of called you crazy and sent you packing back to Franklin pretty boy. No Mark never in his wildest dreams thought one day he would find such joy in his watermelon patch. But that he does. Mark gets up early every morning and works this farm. He mows, plants, feed the farm animals, digs out the beds and shovels load after load of compost. He has been known to work men more then half his age into tears begging for a break. He puts a lot of time and love into this place…never once has he ever said to me I wish we didn’t build this farm…although he will tell you he thought I was crazy when we started it…he has never once lost that sparkle in his sweet chocolate brown eyes when he is out there in the hot sun cutting kale or pulling carrots for a shareholder or farm visitor. One of our shareholders told Mark not too long ago “You have changed my life with this little farm…thank you Mark”. He still beams about her telling him that. After years of dreaming about hit songs and fame and I guess fortune I think he may just have found that there is more then one way to change lives..and the funny part is…both of the way he has tried consisted of a lot of manure.
This morning was humid so much so by 8am is felt like a sweat lodge in that field. Mark was beating back the heat pulling up spent crops and weed eating the whole creek front. I opened to door to find him soaked with sweat and grass stuck to him from head to toe. I said you need to come on in and call it day..its too hot for all that and you know it. He said I will be in soon I have work to do…I love him.