Just don’t blink

Published 11:42 pm Friday, December 19, 2008

In just two seconds at the beginning of the Christmas parade that aired on Channel 13 last Friday night, my son had reached an important goal. It was one of the proudest moments I had ever had for him.

Mark Wall has been employed at Crewestone Technologies Inc. in Hampton as a graphic artist for three years. I knew that he had artistic ability ever since he was 5.

That is when my late husband, James, and I took Mark to see the circus in Norfolk. At home, Mark went into the kitchen, took out a large brown shopping bag and created almost the entire circus. He also created cars with steering wheels out of any kind of paper and made them for his friends. In school he won many art contests.

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He graduated an honor student from John F. Kennedy in 1989. While Mark was a student there, art teacher Howard Green was very impressed with his work.

His excellent school record was rewarded with a full four-year scholarship to The College of William and Mary, where he majored in psychology. After graduating in 1993, he took graphic art courses at Norfolk State University, where Dr. James Taylor and Gary Jenks were his instructors. He acknowledges Green, Taylor and Jenks as being his mentors throughout his employment.

After he completed those courses, Jenks and Taylor were responsible for his employment as an art instructor for the Chesapeake school system at Norfolk State for two years under a government grant. Now his dream job is with Crewestone.

At Crewestone, he created graphics for the Hampton Christmas Parade last year but his name didn’t appear in the credits. However, he was satisfied when he saw his graphic creations.

We had another function to attend during the parade this year so he placed a tape in the VCR. When we returned home, we rushed to view the tape. “Hurry, Mom, but don’t blink,” he said.

What I saw were two snowmen popping up and then disappearing quickly out of sight. Seeing the name during the credits that said, “Graphic artist, Mark Wall,” I gave him a high-five. We now have a VHS tape that we will cherish forever. He then said just to make those two snowmen required a lot of work and three days to create.

This parade is sponsored by Crewestone Technologies and WVEC-TV and will be shown again at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon on Channel 13.

Just remember, don’t blink at the beginning of the parade.