5.02.2011

Well Done, Greenman -- You Live On In All Of Us


My favorite story of my uncle Peter is not just based on one particular episode. Peter had so much comedic personality in him its hard to point out just one.

I fondly remember the green pumas that he jumped into the pool @ his sister Nancys house, his love for Tab soda, yelling at my cousin Marie and I as we sat on the basement stairs secretly listening to him play "Smoke on the Water", the baritone voice who read to me "Where the Monsters are".

I can see him clearly whistling down 18th street on his ten speed with no hands and thinking that's cool. I remember the first purple skateboard he gave me and the lesson!! Loved the ice tea in the summer and pool parties.

Hated when he would scare Marie and I with masks but loved the time we broke Grandpas back window at Mickey Ds and he took the blame for it. And I profoundly remember asking him to be my son Antonio's godfather and Baptise him. Antonio is very saddened by his death and was the first one to tell me.

He is the first boy in 36years to come into this estrogenic powerhouse of girls. Antonio will make his Confirmation this year and will take Petrus as his name. Peter's cross that laid on his coffin hangs over his bed to always protect him. He now takes guitar lesson with Stan Pillis a longtime friend of Peter and former member of Canivore. He holds Perer's pic in hopes of playing like this genius someday.( I am waiting for my son to hit puberty for his voice to deepen.)

Peter's talents, generosity, devotion to his fans and family will always be front and center. When I think of Peter I am not sad, he always made me laugh! He always lived like there was no tomorrow. For a man of 48 although too soon to depart from us, he did what he wanted, said what he wanted and didn't pretend to be a megastar, he was real.

He sang about the stuff we all push down and he embraced his stature ,christian upbringing and all the demons. We didn't have much but we had each other. Born and raised on the Brooklyn streets, the era was grand. He is missed but had lived a life only some of us could only dream of.



Well done, Greenman you live on in all of us...family friends and eternal fans who get it. While others were stealing from you, tears rolled down my face to find a paint set you kept that was my favorite comfort as a child. I visit your grave often in the early morning hours after delivering a new life. Its a paradox that i come to you for comfort even though you are not physically here, you are always here.

When I scream for blood you know I need TYPE O NEG to save my patients' life. You are always with me.

Love Tara

21 comments:

  1. Wow--how very touching! What a wonderful soul Peter was. I am just a fan; never knew him . . .loved his band, music, and wisdom though. I know now that Peter is happy now; singing and playing bass with the angels (perhaps him and Ronnie James Dio are sharing vox duties)! I cannot imagine what its like to have such a wonderful person taken from you at such a young age. I hope it comforts you and your family to know that SO many people cared about Pete; he touched many lives, including mine.

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  2. Deborah Fischer10:26 AM, May 02, 2011

    thanks for this very touching story and tribute Tara. What a beautiful soul and touching personality he had !

    i'm glad your son is following his path


    much love

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  3. Wow....what beautiful memories...xo

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  4. Greatest respect to you Tara for your determination to keep the dream and memories alive of Peter.

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  5. TARA, I AM GLAD YOU CAN FIND THE HAPPY TIMES THAT YOU AND YOUR UNCLE PETE SHARED AND KEEP THEM CLOSE IN YOUR HEART. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU KNOW HES IN A GOOD PLACE NOW. NO MORE PAIN OR PEOPLE USING HIM OR STEALING FROM HIM NO LONGER. IF ANYTHING, IT IS QUITE THE OPPOSITE WHEN HE PASSED...HE STOLE OUR HEARTS AND SOUL. WHAT A GENTLE CREATURE AND SO HUMBLE. PETE TOUCHED MY LIFE ALSO EVEN THO I DIDNT KNOW HIM PERSONALLY. I HAVE A VERY DEEP RESPECT AND LOVE FOR PETE THAT I WILL CARRY WITH ME TO MY OWN GRAVE. HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN HUN.

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  6. Everything that is written here, touches!
    I.

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  7. Alone

    Poem by Edgar Allen Poe (1830)

    From childhood's hour I have not been
    As others were; I have not seen
    As others saw; I could not bring
    My passions from a common spring.
    From the same source I have not taken
    My sorrow; I could not awaken
    My heart to joy at the same tone;
    And all I loved, I loved alone.
    Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
    Of a most stormy life- was drawn
    From every depth of good and ill
    The mystery which binds me still:
    From the torrent, or the fountain,
    From the red cliff of the mountain,
    From the sun that round me rolled
    In its autumn tint of gold,
    From the lightning in the sky
    As it passed me flying by,
    From the thunder and the storm,
    And the cloud that took the form
    (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
    Of a demon in my view.

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  8. I had tears in my eyes reading this Tara. Thank you for sharing these precious memories of your beloved Uncle Peter here with all of us. How blessed you were to have him as part of your family and how blessed we all have been to have him touch our lives the way he has with his music and unique personality. Bless you all for keeping Peters memory alive! All of my family adores him and we have planted trees and have a carved wooden Green Man in the garden in his memory : ) xxxxx

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  9. I miss him ... I will not be sad, but I miss him so ... Since my father recently passed away, it became worse again ... I also try to always remember the jokes to the funny ... But I do not always succeed ... Thank you to the family Ratajczyk for all these things! Greetings from Germany, Nicole!

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  10. Oh Tara! Your memories brought tears to my eyes, especially when I read your son will take the name of Petrus. God bless you hon.

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  11. This brought tears to my eyes

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  12. I agree, very touching. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  13. Tara that was so moving. But just a note it was I that pushed Peter in Nancy's pool with his BRAND NEW GREEN PUMAS. A very proud moment for me cause no one pushed Pete he always did the pushing. LOL
    I remember his feet being green and thinking he would be the Jolly Green Giant all because of me. Love him to death, miss him always but I know he is watching over us all.

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  14. thank you so much for sharing this touching tribute with us Tara. Peter was indeed a true original, with a heart as great as his talent and never afraid to be his own genuine, uncompromising self. You and your family honour us greatly with all that you share, while celebrating the life and qualities of your extraordinary brother/uncle. His fans find great joy and comfort in this blog and I only hope you all do too. My best wishes and warm, healing thoughts are with you and your family.

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  15. That was very touching. Thank you for sharing.
    And your son, Antonio... do we have another Pete Steele in the making???

    I want to thank all of the Ratajczyk family for sharing all of these important and personal memories with us, the fans.
    I don't post my appreciation every time, but believe me, I DO enjoy reading these blog posts and I do appreciate the honor.
    You guys will be in my prayers.

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  16. tara St. Ellen4:24 PM, May 03, 2011

    I love my son's special connection to his godfather. No one could ever be, sing or fill Peter s amazing unique vocal range. His creative side, brilliance and artistic spin on everything he touched. I hope all musicians feel encouraged to play an instrument with passion, my son has been touched by an angel who gave him- a role model, one who represents the free human spirit to laugh, to love and to be better than the average. If he never sings or plays like him thats ok with me, if he is a fraction of Peter's humanitarian traits then I am truly blessed with the best son ever!

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  17. Tara - what a touching story. I am so grateful that you all share these wonderful memories with us. A big THANK YOU to all of the family for sharing all these wonderful stories with us - Peter was really blessed with a family like this. Please keep telling us these wonderful stories - this is something so precious and beautiful. He gave so much to us the fans - amazing, unique, unforgettable - each day I am impressed and touched again when listening to his music - it's incredible. Thank you & all the best to all of the family. Greetings from Austria, Sabine

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  18. Very beautiful tara... best go wipe my tears than you for this amazing story

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  19. Such a wonderful,heartfelt story as well as all the others i have read. Makes me love peter even more! Very sweet, thank you for sharing :)

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  20. Just wanted to say Thank you Tara for sharing this great story (still drying my eyes) N hell I'm proud of your son Antonio for taking Peter's name Petrus, God Bless all the family and please do keep sharing
    Amy Wigle, Newark, OH

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