Public Character #7: Mark, who hosts a Beanbag League in his Yard off West 7th Street

[Mark, left, and his friend, the chef of the low country boil.]
During certain summer afternoons, just past Skarda's Bar along West 7th Street, you might find a big group gathered along the sidewalks hanging out, drinking beer, and tossing beanbags in a grassy lot along the Bay Street sidewalk.

That's the work of Mark, who has been hosting the league for almost a decade, ever since the 35W bridge fell down.

I was lucky enough to meet Mark and see the league last week!

Mark: Well when the 35 bridge come down we were all playing horseshoes over here at [the] Palace [rec center]. And we’re in the middle of league night and we heard this and we were like, “what the F just happened?” you know. And so we went through that experience playing the horse shoes that night and went home and watched the news and it was not good.

So that was 10 years ago, August. We’re all playing the horseshoe league, and then the same year the City of Saint Paul decided they were going to pull the horseshoes out of Palace and put a refrigerated hockey rink over there.

And so the horseshoes are gone and we got nowhere to go, so I had this yard over here and I sez we’ll go from horseshoes to bean bags. We had a women’s and a men's league over there so we kinda combined the women’s and the men’s league because everybody can play bean bags.

Se we started that and this is our 9-year finale.

So we brought all the folks over here and we play for 9 weeks, the first week of June to the first week in August. Last Thursday was just terrible, it was 50 degrees we got rained out.

And then we have the low country boil dinner that I was talking about. I’m gonna tell you again it’s a damn… First thing you put in there is your baby red potatoes, then you put in your an-dou-ille sausage, and then you put in your shrimp and you gotta spice it up just right. I was serving in the military down in Savannah and we called it “low country boil” down there.

There’s ten boards. We’ve got 38 people in the league, normally this is a lot fuller but U don’t know evidently they got scared away by my low country boil.

My name is Mark. You got that thing F’ing rolling or what? [referring to my iPhone]

Now you got a story.

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