The last time I saw Pete, it was Dec 2009 at our sister Nancy’s wake in Staten Island. Pete had come in from Pa with a friend, who I thanked for making the long drive, and was later joined at the funeral home by the band members.
Pete looked different from when I saw him backstage at the recent October concert … at 6’8” and now with a full beard and some extra weight, I called him “Paul Bunyan”. (If you’ve seen the pix from the LTAN interview in Pete’s Pennsylvania basement, then you know what I mean.) He laughed and tried to get me in a headlock to “noogie” my forehead. We spoke briefly, but all of us siblings were busy talking to visitors and mourners, but everyone took turns spending some time with Pete.
Later, when I went to talk with him some more, I couldn’t find him. I don’t know why, but I became frantic, searching all the viewing rooms and the outside of the funeral home, asking everyone if they knew where he was. I even had my cousin check the restroom. Then I spied him in the parking lot, walking towards a car for the ride home. I called to him & hurriedly ran to hug him tight.
Pete said, “Hey, what’s up, what’s the matter”.
I said, “I just never know when I’m going to see you again, Pete.” He gave me an odd look, rolled his eyes back in his head and got into the car. “Sometimes it’s so long in between. Love ya; take care”. I waved goodbye as they drove away.
We spoke every week or so for the next four months -- up until April 10 -- just like always with him calling me some of the time and me checking in with him. But when I got the call four days later that curtly announced, “Yeah, Pete was throwing up for three days, and then he died”, I finally understood my anxiety-filled frantic search to see & hug him one last time.
I just wanted to say that I will miss you forever, Pete -- Everyday you are in my mind and heart -- xx Pat
I'm sure you have seen this video of the "Making of September Sun." I like it this one ... enjoy