This weekend, the core family got together to go through the last of Peter's possessions. It was very hard to do and very sad. The good thing was that while we poured over his expansive book collection -- about 25 boxes --and looked through his jewelry box (he saved from his mother), we found that Peter was fiercely sentimental.
He saved mass cards from dead relatives. He had his mother's costume jewelry. He had all of his father's tools - hundreds of them. He saved pictures of his cats. Every card he was ever given for confirmation and graduation. His father's wallet. His mother's hair pins. School books from Catholic School. Pictures of his sisters, their children, their pets. CDs that fans gave him to listen. A lock of his mother's hair. He even saved the first doll his parents gave him --- a cloth doll that was made by his mother when he was just born.
Finding these things led to many stories. Many memories. A little bit of laughter. And of course, sadness.
But I wanted to share this little tidbit that Pat, Pam and Cathy were talking about this weekend. Barbara added in some of the details. While I don't know how many of you have seen Peter dance ... we have a few times ... but back when he could first stand in his crib, Peter loved to dance ... to the LIMBO ROCK.
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Pete in Red Hook, Brooklyn
Posted By Pat:
It was the early 1960s and Pete was barely able to balance standing in the playpen. The livingroom (Nettie called it the parlor) was lively with music playing in the background. Pete's sisters sitting around, clapping to the beats of the song and singing along. There was Peter, holding onto the side of the crib with both hands, swaying forward & back, doing his own interpretation of dancing. Every time we played that Limbo Rock, Pete would move back and forth shaking his booty to the beat of the song.
We liked to influence his little brain with music of the moment. So, with Pete still in diapers, we propped him up in the corner of the couch sitting with sisters Pam & Cathy, sporting huge headphones over his ears. His eyes wide as saucers as they introduced his little ears with the sounds of Shout, Heat Wave, Wipeout and Surfer Girl.
Pete was born to the fading era of DooWop and Dick Clark’s Bandstand, and raised during the emergence of Rock & Roll as it progressed to next level of expression.
Over the years, all of the sisters had a hand in influencing Peter with music of the day, but it was his closest siblings, Pam & Cathy, that kept Pete’s ears busy with a progressive flow of music of the generation. They turned him onto the Beatles, Animals, Kinks; Rolling Stones, Momma & Pappas, Jefferson Airplane, Doors, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Who, Moody Blues, Cream, Iron Butterfly, Fleetwood Mac, Zombies, Blood Sweat & Tears, Led Zeppelin, Chicago, Deep Purple, Santana, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, Elton John, Grateful Dead, Blind Faith, & Janice Joplin.
By the time he was 6 or 7, Peter started to carve out his own music choices. But he always shared new things with his sisters. It was all part of the family's pleasure.