Mark Martin

Co-host, Martin's Must-Reads

Mark Martin (also known as Mr. Betty Martin) was born in Midland, Texas. In 1979, after graduating from Texas Tech University, he worked as a financial analyst for Conoco. Upon graduating from Concordia Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree in 1993, he began his ministry at Trinity Lutheran Church in Egypt Mills and later moved to the Associate Pastor position at St. Andrew Lutheran Church. In November of 2019, he began a new career as an Intentional Interim Pastor, currently for Concordia Lutheran Church in Sikeston. When he's not pastoring, he's watching sports, reading, or riding his BMW motorcycle. His reading tastes gravitate to nonfiction: history, sports, science, biographies, and the human condition. As a monthly guest reviewer, he adds another dimension to Martin's Must-Reads.

The days between election day and the presidential inauguration are normally quiet and uneventful.  The four months between the election of 1860 and inauguration day in 1861 were anything but quiet as they were filled with events that would change the course of the entire country.

"My mom explained that everyone makes mistakes and that we have to learn to forgive our friends.  So that’s exactly what I did…I went to school the next day and told my friend that I forgave her. She said she was sorry and we hugged and made up.  Years later, I came to learn that was, in fact, not forgiveness.”

In the spring of 1961, the newly appointed head of the Federal Communications Commission, Newton Minow, gave a speech in which he described television as “a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, Western bad men, Western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence and cartoons…Is there no room on television to teach, to inform, to uplift, to stretch, to enlarge the capacities of our children?”

Late in the afternoon of April 12, 1945, Vice President Harry Truman had just finished presiding over a session of the senate.  As was his custom, he was relaxing by having a drink with senators when he received an urgent message: come to the White House as quickly and quietly as possible. The next 116 days changed everyone involved, indeed the entire world.

“October 26, 1881.  In Tombstone Arizona, thirty bullets were exchanged in thirty seconds, killing three men and wounding three others.”  And so, begins a story of betrayal, corruption and cold blooded murder that has become legendary in  stories of the American West.

I’m Mark Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and Tom Clavin in his book Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday and The Vendetta Ride from Hell recounts familiar parts of this story but also reveals many, less noble facts that the movies and  myths don’t include.