Everyone Should Have A Green Man Pet

A Warm TY to Lisa (Druidess02) for Sharing 
Her Memories of Meeting Peter Steele:
...  I have to say that not a day passes that I haven't gone on the site, and it warms my heart that you all write such beautiful stories about a man that changed my life forever.

I was turned on to Type O Negative when I was nine years old by my older brother, Joe, and immediately I fell in love with their music, and of course, your brother/uncle. In fact, I laugh a how open you all were as a family, because I can relate—I was raised in a very open household, and since my mother knew how much I loved Peter, she went out and bought the Playgirl which many of her friends (not to mention my friends' parents) shunned, but her reaction was, "Well, she's going to have to see one sooner or later." Anyway, I guess it's fitting that I'm now a pornographer, and one of the magazines at the publishing company I work at is Playgirl. Anyway, like you all, we're a tight-knit, fun-loving family, and I am so thrilled that you're all keeping his memory alive.

I was lucky enough to meet Peter three times, with one being of epic proportions (at least to the 17-year-old me at the time) when he got a picture taken with me after the two years before when the picture I took with him never came out. At the time, I was livid, since it was the first time anyone ever said I was beautiful. I still get  choked up when I think about his holding my hand and telling me that, considering my self-esteem has never been on the high end. To this day, he has been the only man to tell me that, which, to me, is awesome because it from your brother/uncle—a genuine, kind soul.
A Special TY to Marci for Sharing Her Green Man "Pet" - I Love It !
Peter Steele's sister, Pat, notes that she heard this song the day before Pete died and it has stuck with her. She thinks that it would make a great song for a band to do as a memorial to Pete.  
Against the Wind by Bob Seger
It seems like yesterday but it was long ago
(Janey) was lovely she was the queen of my nights
There in the darkness with the radio playing low.
And the secrets that we shared, the mountains that we moved.
Caught like a wildfire out of control
‘Til there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove.
And I remember what she said to me, how she swore that it never would end
I remember how she held me oh so tight.
Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then !
Against the wind; we were runnin' against the wind
We were young and strong, we were runnin' against the wind.
The years rolled slowly past and I found myself alone.
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends,
I found myself further and further from my home.
And I guess I lost my way, there were oh so many roads.
I was living to run and running to live
Never worried about paying or even how much I owed.
Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time
Breaking all of the rules that would bend
I began to find myself searching, searching for shelter again and again
Against the wind; a little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter against the wind
Well those drifter's days are past me now; I've got so much more to think about.
Deadlines and commitments; what to leave in, what to leave out
Against the wind, I'm still runnin' against the wind. 
I'm older now but still runnin' against the wind.

Note From Darcie:
Big Thanks To Everyone Who Sends Me Their Artwork,
Their Poems, Their Stories, Videos, Photos, etc.
I Am Back Logged At The Moment On Email,
But I Promise I Will Let You Know
I Have Received Your Email & Your Work.
Much Thanks To Everyone.
The Family Knows How Much Work
You All Put Into Your Creations.
And We Love Them !!


Stranger Reminds Me Of Days Gone By

Normally, when I'm going into the city it's in the early hours for a meeting, or late afternoon for an event. Yesterday, I spent the day riding up- and downtown on the F train going to various meetings. On the way home about 3pm, I got on the F train at Lexington & 63 street going downtown. I was hot and sweaty from walking 8 crosstown blocks from my last meeting.

The train was a little stuffy and I could barely feel the AC unless I stood up and cranned my neck upward. Out of the corner of my eye, I see someone waving their arms wildly. I tried to ignore, but he persisted and said, "Miss, there's a seat over here if you want to sit down." I thanked him but said I was trying to cool down by standing up. Then, of course, as soon as the words came out of my mouth I realized my mistake. It was an open invitation for him to start speaking to me, about everything that popped into his head. Of course he was going to Brooklyn, as I was. Of course he was hot too. Of course he was going to stand next to me talking and chattering about everything and anything. But, instead of leaving the car, I stayed and talked with him.  He seemed lonely. He seemed happy to have someone to talk with. So, I listened and he shared his life experiences being a Brooklyn boy, opening Johnnypumps for the neighborhood kids, and a bbq during last week's heat wave. He got me thinking of a few things about Summer fun with Peter and his Father.

Peter standing on the porch in the backyard on East 18th Street

You may have read the rest of this personal note about the subways on my FB yesterday, but this part is different.

As lonely train guy talked about his Johnnypump memories, he reminded me of hot Summer days and evenings when the pool had lost it's novelty and we wanted something else to do. If it was a Sunday afternoon and most of the family was over Nettie's house for Sunday supper, all the kids were there together. And bored kids do what we do best, we fight, scream and act-up. But Pete and Nettie knew how to keep us busy and less bored.

Pete Sr. would instruct his son to get the tool that opened the Johnnypump, while he strolled outside with 5 granddaughters clad in bathing suits ran behind him usually barefoot. With Peter helping him with something that looked like the largest wrench I've ever seen, together they'd unscrew the cap and water gushed out of the pump like an open firehose. If Pete's uncle Louie was around, he had a sprinkler cap that could be screwed in place so the pulsing water turned into a large sprinkler that covered the entire street and allowed for enough room for 10 people to run under and threw it.

With Pete Sr. keeping a lookout for cars, Peter, Nancy, Michelle, Tara, Marie and I would spend hours running under the cold sprinkler or taking turns sitting on the spout where the water gushed out until the sheer force of the water pushed you off and Peter would be there to catch us so we didn't fall down. Peter and Nancy would ride their skateboards through the water, or call their friends from down the street to come out and play, like Josh and Dennis.

We'd do this for hours, until Pete Sr. got tired of standing there, or some nasty neighbor would call the cops. But it was Peter who would nudge his dad on these Sunday afternoons to create a little fun for us. It's these hot days that you remember the good old days when you had summers off and you were able to make sprinklers for a bunch of bored city kids.



I first met Joey Rudolph at Pete's wake. He was standing with a group of big tattooed guys with long hair, with tears in their eyes, talking about how insane it was that Peter Steele was dead.

Joey has graciously allowed me to repost a story he wrote for and about Peter here ... enjoy. Thanks to Isa from Germany for finding this treasure & telling me about it.

P. S. I love you-------------------------- originally written for Peter Steele on April 16 2010

The Green Man  appears before  me- in from the mist, he calls to me from afar and I raise my fist, he sees me hobble and stumble through the grass as I come close, the eyes of green come into focus and I just froze.
"This cant be" I think to myself as I stood still, "Didnt we lay you to rest, over by the hill?" I hear him speak to me but his lips don't move, his voice booms and thunders but it sounds so smooth.

" I see you brother but can't touch your hand" I hear him say to me as if by command. "Whats happened to me son, I dont understand? Will you help me to locate, help me find my band?"

"I wish I could" I said with a smile, "wont you sit down with me and chat for awhile?"
"You're friends are close, back over at the bar, you know the one, where you're the brightest star"

"Come closer Peter, can you tell me why, you have this sad look coming from your eyes?."
" I have this feeling thats come over me, I can't understand how this can be?." He said to me softly as he flipped his hair, " Whats happened to me, Joe, I'm so worse for wear?"

I leaned in- on my cane for balance, to tell him what he already knew of his valiance.
He listened to my words with patience and fortitude, for this  was news of immense magnitude.

"Theres something hard for me to tell you man, I don't know how to, cause I'm your loyal friend, and I'm feeling blue."

"Its really serious, you have got to see, this is so hard, so very hard for me."
"You've had this thing that has happened to you, something terrible, and I promise to, cherish your memory and your honor too, will you at least let me follow-thru.?"

"You've died and gone to Heaven, this is my pledge, to protect you until the very end. Please look for my brother Steven, he will help be your guide, where Heaven Above and the World collide."

He then sits and he ponders and he searches his soul, soon he succumbs to the notion as it unfolds, "I saw Angels and Devils and unspeakable beings, they come to me at night and then steal my things.

They tear at my flesh, my heart, my fingers do they burn, tell me what it is, did I have to learn?. I am broken and suffer so terribly so, can you tell me what it is, that I should know?"

The ground shook and rumbled and the sky went dark, we both dove for shelter as I grabbed my heart.

Then snow and wind did come from above, the man in green protected me and he gave me a shove.

Under a bush did I fall to the ground with a thud, I saw The Devil and he was out for blood. I got up and stood with my pal- back to back, Peter grabbed me and we planned our attack. The demon flew by with thunder and fire, it was a battle for the ages in ecclesiastical attire. We smashed and we clobbered  and we fought till the dawn, Peter whipped up and destroyed the beast of Hellspawn.

Falling softly like a whisper the flakes floated down to Earth, they clumped together trying to be first, We fought the devil as we have since birth, this was our mission for what its worth.

"VICTORY IS OURS!!!!"  Peter screamed loud and clear, for the Angels and Devils, for ALL to hear, "I am Alpha-Omega, I did tell you all, come at me again, and I'll turn you into a FIREBALL"

The sky then did open and invite my friend, to go into the light so his heart could mend.
Then Angels came down to guide him above, with organs and drums and guitars and love.
Peter looked at me with eyes so wide, he smiled and he grinned with peace and with pride.
He lifted off the ground and floated so lightly, as if at a concert like he did so, nightly.
His music filled the wind, the valley and the World, his fingers touched the clouds as they unfurled.

Then it was over as whence it began, the sky closed up to envelop the man,
that I grew to know, as a friend, as a brother, as we ALL did from one to another.

I tell you all this to remember his name, as a man, as a friend, but not for his fame.
Remember the man, his greatness, his magnitude.

And all that he said with bombastic amplitude.

Remember the man, flawed and with sadness, with love and talent and for all the badness.
He gave us SO much of his soul and his heart- His mind, his intelligence, this was his art.
Peter leaves behind two families of loved-ones, His blood and his fans- of these there were tons.

And wherever he is, we know this is true- it is the Grandest of Palaces in the new venue.

He is calm, he is warm and so follow this creed, " Whenever it is that you have the need,
give to your family of time and of love, and shall any of us look to the Heavens above.
See the clouds swirl swiftly as they blow in the sky, remember Peter Steele and wave him goodbye."

                       RUDOLPH III


Sharing Makes It Easier To Deal

Peter Steele's sister Cathy shares a bit of herself ...

Even though I felt she was not going to make it, it was still a shock that Amy Winehouse  died. It was the same shock I felt when my brother Pete died.

I had not heard a voice that sounded like that since I can remember.
She started at the top of her career with that voice. So many voices all in one.

It is so sad how Amy's life turned out, another tragedy in such a short period.

All you need is the predilection, that one tastes, or the soul sickness to become captured in addiction.  I am sure Amy and others with this disease did not start their life aspirations by saying “I want to be an alcoholic or drug addict when I grow up".

Addiction is a horrible, horrible disease. It ravages and takes the souls, minds, emotions, and the spirits of the individuals and has already taken so many creative, inspirational, vulnerable people who succumbed. Diseases of addiction have minds of their own. I know, I have heard it say, "drink it ... snort it ... smoke it"  many, many times.

Recidivisms rate is about 95% with alcoholism and drugs.

Other forms of addiction (money, sex, people, food, love) are a little more successful in helping the recovering individual. Recovery depends on how willing you are to surrender and realizing that you are living to die and dying to live, at the same time.

Some of us know from our own personal experiences what it is like for them and what it is does to us.

To say the least it is torture every day for them and for us...heartbreak and despair.
There are no words to describe what you see and feel for the person you love so much tangled in their own inevitable destruction.

I know in my heart that those around her did not just stand there and watch her decay right before their eyes. Moreover, out of shame and embarrassment she said or did much to push them all away.

I have been on both sides of this deadly disease: twice-in rehabs for multiple addictions (a garbage head) and for other demons like depression, anxiety, self-loath, suicidal ideations and attempts. Finally and fortunately after 33 years of messing around, through rehabs (yea I screamed “I don’t want to go to rehab, I say no, no, no!”), 12 step meetings and getting out of my own way, I’m  lucky to be alive for the last 19 years.

My heart and my soul go out to Amy’s family, friends, and fans like me.

I am sorry Amy did not have the same fortune and divine intervention as I did.

I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest in empathy of her despair and for our loss of her from our world!

There is a special place in the universe for people with gifts such as Amy’s and she will never be forgotten. 

I wish that Amy were here still to share more of her life with us and show us more of what she can do.

My hope is that Amy finds my brother Pete.

Bet is they would have a lot to say to each other.


With This Pool, You Didn't Need Airconditioning

Pete with sisters Cathy, Pat, Pam 2007 Carnivore Show

I mentioned before that Pete had a pool in the backyard on East 18th Street. It was about 4 1/2 feet to 5 feet high, above ground and round. The backyard was filled with oak and maple trees, so in the summer when there was full leaves on the trees, there was no sun. And man, was that water cold.

Now, being a kid, you know how we are. Cold water means nothing to us. This water, well, even in the hottest of weather, it brought an instant chill to your body. It took hours before you could get used to it, and that was only because you really couldn't feel your toes and legs. But, we all fought to see who could be first in the water on pool opening day.

Every Wednesday we had half a day so that public school kids could go to religious instructions. So, Pete Sr and Peter would open the pool in June before school ended so we could play in the pool on those half days. Peter made it a contest to see who could run off the bus, down the street, into the house, change and jump into the pool first.

So, cousins Nancy, Michelle, Tara, Marie and I would race Peter through the street, screaming and dragging our book bags while trying to outrun him. But he gargantuan long legs would always out run us. We'd try to hit him with our book bags or throw our lunch boxes at him, but still he'd get ahead of us and be in the water waiting with the hose in hand.

I remember he cheated by wearing his swimming trunks under his pants one day, so that all he had to do was strip and jump in. For us, we had shirts, vests, jumpers and shirts to get off, before changing into our bathing suits and running out the back door before Nettie realized we were in the house.

One Wednesday when Peter got in the pool first, he wet down the porch with water, knowing full well we were going to be running from the porch and jumping in the water. But because it was wet, we all slipped and piled ontop of each other, skidding into the water in a lump of girls. After getting kicked in the face by Michelle stepping over me, Nancy, Michelle and I took Peter down into the water to drown him for being .... well ... a boy ! And all he could do was laugh and tell us how stupid we looked all clumped up as we skidded off the porch. I think he laughed all day.

Howard Stern Show Talking about Peter's death


Why Is 27 The Magic Number To Lose People

In light of our discussions last week, I think it's fitting that we digress a little from our usual banter and make reference to another troubled artist lost this weekend:

Though I have never been a fan of her music, (Pete's sister Cathy does)  I sorta liked her "do it my way" style. And, any 27 year old spiraling out of control and ending up dead is a tragedy ... I just wish she realized how special she was ... without drugs and alcohol. While we are just speculating, at this time we don't know what caused her death.

It makes sense to note that the late great Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kristen Pfaff (of Hole), Robert Johnson (blues artist), Brian Jones (Rolling Stone) all share Amy's death age as well as troubled past.

I wonder if it's a coincidence or an age that young troubled artists stress over that ultimately leads to the point of no return.



TON Covered Britney? Say It Isn't So ...

From Carrie Schwarz ~CreepyGreenGirl13
Much love, adoration, and respect
Thank you so much to the Ratajczyk family for sharing all your memories of Peter, and for taking the time to listen to us fans. You are so wonderful to us, and we are forever grateful!

It was at a Horror Convention in New Jersey back in August of 1998. I bought a ticket for a meet and greet with Peter, which included a black and white photo for him to sign. I waited nervously in line for which seemed like an eternity. Next thing I know, Peter is gone and the people who were still in line were dispersing. There was a security guard nearby so I asked him if Peter was coming back (thinking maybe he was taking a break). The security guard replied that he didn’t think so and that he thought Peter was leaving. I told the security guard that I had paid for a meet and greet and wondered if I could get my money back. He says hang on a minute and walks away & goes behind a gate and curtains.

I'm thinking ok, he is going to ask someone if I can get a refund? He comes back out and says, come with me. I'm thinking wow, maybe I shouldn’t have said anything, its not a huge deal if I don’t get a refund. Next thing I know there stands Peter... I was in AWE. I remember we exchanged Hello's and hugs. I felt bad and didn’t want to take up his time. I had taken my October Rust cd for him to sign, but I didn’t ask him to sign it or the photo I had bought because I didn’t want to be a pain in the ass!

But I quickly told him what a musical genius he was, and what a masterpiece October Rust was and how much the band and the music meant to me. When I was telling him this, I remember feeling like he was really listening to me. He was so humble and sweet and thanked me. What I said to him seemed to mean a lot to him. I will never forget this day as long as I live.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This gorgeous artwork was done by ANGELA



Thank you Angela for allowing us to share your work with the world

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 Ha ha ... someone is claiming this is TON.
Personally, I can't imagine Peter would do anything this boring .... Thoughts? 


Getting Into The Weekend Stretch

Thanks again for ALL of your WONDERFUL comments to yesterday's post. It took me a while to put it up and it took Marie a while to put her feelings into words, but I think that its a subject that affects practically every family. Drug addition. A disease that destroys lives.

Thank you Isa from Germany for Introducing me to this Polish Artist: Beksinski

On this blog, many of you shared enormous things about yourselves. From people from other parts of the world  sharing their own personal demons ... to the reader in PA having a sister in FL who was arrested for possession ... to the girl who had to change her identity to be able to get a job in another state ...  to the guy who told us that he hated himself so much that he wanted to die. You guys are so giving of your personal info and stories to us ... it makes it easier to exhale and know we are with good people.

Now, I'm not that kind of person who judges. Hell, my mother taught us about the acceptance of various lifestyles. We know that some people get on perfectly well in life dabbling a little in this or weekend partying in that. That's not what we are saying here. Sometimes no matter how much you want someone to stop abusing themselves, it's just not time for them yet. Interventions are usually the start of the downward spiral. Rarely are they the catalyst that makes you want to stop.

While I'm on this subject, I ask lawmakers and the medical profession to figure out ways in which families can legally keep their drug addicted loved ones in programs. Why is it that their has to be a court-appointment before someone pays attention to this person's ruined life. Why do we have to wait till a person becomes a danger to him/herself before a family can get assistance. Whose rights are we really protecting here? What good does that do when there are so many drug overdoses and deaths?

As Marie noted in her post yesterday, that Peter had accomplished sobriety, I think of the shock and wonder we all had when we heard of his death. While we knew in our hearts he had overcome his addiction, just like some of you, we wondered, was it a relapse? In the case with Peter, his autopsy revealed that he was clean and sober -- no legal or illegal drugs in his sytem and absolutely no trace of alcohol.

I guess that a man who set out to accomplish so much, and who made a huge impact in his industry and on his fans, left this world after making a personal accomplishment that saved his soul. Too bad he didn't get to enjoy it for very long. Hopefully, Peter Steele is enjoying something more amazing in another time, place, galaxy or altitude.

Now this is a weird mix. Thoughts:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPn70UuH_KI&feature=fvsr


You Know You Have A Drug Problem When ...

A great comedian Robin Williams once said,
"You know you have a drug problem
when you are spending $50,000 a year on snacks !"

I have to admit, I hesitated about posting this piece today by Peter Steele's niece Marie (ha ha .. got it right this time Patty ! ).

Why? I guess it's a sore subject. For the blog, I'm constantly trying to find the boundaries between privacy and memories. Our biggest critics are people who wonder why this blog was created. Are we just airing Peter's dirty laundry or is this a place to talk about memories, feelings, and truths, while keeping a legacy alive? I think I can speak for the sisters and family when I say it's about healing. We are not here to get our 15 minutes of fame like so many others who write on FB about their 'relationships' with Peter. This blog is here to give readers a little glimpse into the background and personality of a conflicted man ... who could be ANY MAN (or woman) -- but in this case, he is the legendary Peter Steele ... (Darcie).

L to R: Peter, Cathy, cousin Susan, Barbara, niece Michelle
Taken at Aunt Pinky's house 1975

So, for this post, I'll have to defer to Marie, as it's her story, and this blog is here to allow people to share:

So alot of people have been asking about Peter's past problems with drug's and alcohol. This to me is a heart wrenching matter. You have to understand. Peter as a teenager occasionally drank, a little here and there! He never like smokers (used to complain to me all the time to quit). Never touched drugs...Until a girlfriend introduced him to it!!!

First it would be: "Please baby..just do a little with me"  Then it went to being up all night long, not eating, not sleeping..etc.  That was the worst! Some people can do the occasional drug here or there. But other people get addicted. 

We lived down the street from my grandparents house where Peter lived downstairs. When Pete was at his worst he would call me at all hours of the night with freaky thoughts. He used to call me and tell me someone was watching him ... or that his house was being watched ... that people were lurking in the bushes or that his cats had bug's crawling on them and now they were crawling on him.

So, I would walk over there and check it out. Nothing. And I would think to myself, what is he talking about? It doesn't sound like Peter.

But, at his worst, I found him in his apt with the windows covered in foil. His computer was covered in foil. When I asked him why, he said it was to block the sound waves coming into the house.

Then he would have me search his cat's for bugs. I would be there for hours. The whole time his mind was racing with thoughts..Ideas..Facts..Knowledge. He would open a history book and talk about some point. Then a math book and show me calculations he was doing to solve some world problem. Then  would go over the periodic chart with me. 

Believe me, my uncle was a genius to begin with. The drugs enhanced his thought process 100 times more.
As a family (and countless wonderful friends/bandmates) we did interventions on Pete. If you've ever been involved in an intervention, you know how sad it is. We would tell him how much we loved him. How much we needed him to be in our lives. How much we cared for him. How much the drug had distorted his mind. For the longest time, no matter what we said or did, it didn't matter to him. He turned on himself and it was an awful, helpless thing to watch.

After a long, awful, horrible journey to first get him help, then to witness and support him getting better, he finally overcame the drug and alcohol addiction. I knew he was strong. We all knew he could do it. AND HE DID. But just as life is complicated enough, when he did overcome and was ready to move on, he was taken from us. I'am so proud to call him my Uncle everyday of my life.  --  Marie.

* * * 
Darcie's Note: I believe it's important that the medical community find ways to work with families who are trying to help their family members or spouses get clean. During our long process of trying to help Peter achieve sobriety, a million medical and legal doors were slammed in our faces -- until Peter's drug induced behaviors became a real danger to himself and other people. It shouldn't have been that way.

* * *

I saw this really long article and interview with Pete that I thought I'd share. I was trying to find interviews where Peter talks more in depth about Elizabeth (so I can post them here) and we can answer some questions about their relationship. If anyone has any suggestions on articles done about her, leave it in the comment box - gracias (Darcie)



Beach Vampires in Training

We are the type of family that enjoys doing things together. We plan dinners together. Go on trips together. Vacation together. Plan museum trips. Go to see free concerts in Coney Island. Like many families, there were a lot of us, and we continue to be each others best friends. I see at least a few cousins several times a month. I speak with my sister almost daily. And, when when Summertime came around, just about every week, we'd get everyone together and go to the beach. That's 30 of us, piling into cars and going down to Brighton Beach Bay 5 (it's the one with the parking lot).

Pete and his signature smirk

Nettie, Pete's mom, would make gallons of family Iced Tea (a big secret recipe punishable by never getting another glass), pot loads of meatballs and sauce, her famous 'crusher' sandwiches, and a load of other goodies. Pete's sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, their kids would all meet at Nettie's house, getting everyone into their bathing suits and waiting for Pete Sr. to get home from work.

We'd almost never leave the house before 3:00pm to get to the beach. Most usually, it was closer to 4:00pm. Nettie would say that we couldn't go anywhere until the men got home from work, but even on weekends, we never got to the beach any earlier. Nettie never liked to sit in the sun. She usually had an umbrella with her and preferred to swim when the sun wasn't directly on her. So, when ever other family was packing up to go home from the beach. We were just arriving ... all 30 of us. Most of us had no suntans ... we were like beach vampires ... light skinned water loving monsters.

We'd take up a huge section of the beach and all the kids, Pete Sr and Peter would go into the water. Peter's father was a lifeguard so he would swim out far, past the rocks and just tread water for a long time. Peter, Nancy, Michelle, and I would swim out after him. It was especially thrilling when the beach lifeguards went home and Pete Sr. and Peter would allow me to stay out really far with them. I loved not being able to feel the ground beneath my feet. Peter would tease me that sharks were going to bite my toes, but he promised he wouldn't let them get more than one toe, maybe only the pinky toe, because no one really needed pinky toes.

Then when I couldn't stand the thought of losing toes to sharks, Peter would swim back in with me so I wouldn't be frightened. Then he'd swim back out to his father. We'd stay at the beach late, till the sun was going down (or a lightening storm was brewing). We'd eat warm meatball sandwiches (sometimes crunchy with sand in it - yuk), oatmeal cookies  and drink ice cold tea sitting on our blankets. We were usually the only people on the beach. I loved those days !

I still get down to the beach late afternoons at least a couple of times a season to spend an evening eating dinner and watching the seagulls on the beaches of Coney Island (West 27 Street). As my husband and I are walking onto the beach, droves of sun worshippers are coming off. The sun is less harsh, the water a little cooler, it's so peaceful and it brings me back to simplier days when all I cared about was how long we could stay in the water and if my aunts would let me help make a sandcastle with them.

By the way, when Nettie died in her 80s, she didn't have one single wrinkle. Good genetics or never a sun-tanned face? Who knows, but everyone always thought she had a face lift, even her doctors, and she never did.


Blind Men Don't Leave the Pool

Keeping with my Summer pool theme I wanted to share another day at the pool story.

We were in West Islip at Pete's sister Nancy's house which was on a private street near the bay leading to Fire Island. It was a hot Summer day - degrees in the 90s ... the concrete surrounding the pool was hot on our feet ... the pool water was a refreshing 80. We had been in the pool since 10am - all of us - neices, uncles, aunts swimming and playing our usual games.

Pete decided we should play "Blind Man's Bluff" which to you younger people is similar to "Marco Polo" but no one says anything out loud. The "blind man" closes his/her eyes, goes into the deepest part of the pool and counts to 10 underwater, while everyone moves away from that person and remains silent. Then the "Blind Man" swims around the pool hoping to grab a person and tag them. Then, that person is "it."

We only have a couple of rules. No running out of the pool. No hurting the blind man. No peeing in the pool. And no cheating. Which of course, I always cheated, because I could see under the water with my eyes open. So, Peter decided that because he couldn't trust any of his neices to not cheat, he demanded the "blind man" wear a bandanna over their eyes.

Peter was notorious for breaking the cardinal rule of getting out of the pool and jumping on you when it was your turn to be the "blind man." We could never do anything about it, but it was frustrating that he cheated like that.

I remember it was my turn to be "it," so I went to the middle of the pool, counted to 10 and started swimming in a random pattern hoping to hear someone moving in the water or struggling to get away from me. I felt someone tickle my toes so I swam down to grab them. Turned out to be Peter.

Peter loved to be the "Blind Man" because one of the youngest cousins would start to giggle or make some sort of noise and he'd get her.

But this time, we already had a pact between the neices that when Peter was the "blind man," and he was counting to 10, we'd all very quietly get out of the water and make the water splash a little with our feet on various areas around the pool. It was about 5 minutes of Peter racing around the pool grabbing at imaginary things before Michelle jumped directly on his head. That was it. He was mad that we played this trick on him. He bolted out of the water, grabbed Nancy, Tara and Marie in one large arm grasp and pushed them into the pool. Then, as he was running for me around the diving board, he burnt his feet on the concrete and did a belly wop into the pool.

He swore he would never play with us again ... but he did ... every time we were all together in the pool.
But, when we did play, he'd go back over the rules, as if it was the first time we were hearing them:

No out of the pool

No hurting the blind man

No cheating

No peeing in the pool

PS: I think we all peed in the pool !


Take The Monster Down

Being in the pool this Summer has been a painful reminder of missing Peter. While I spent the day at Peter Steele's neice Nancy's house, with Pete's other neice Marie, Marie's daughter Tristan, her fiance Ty, our mother, Pat (Pete's sister) and Pete's grand-neice Siobhan. While playing a game of Punch Ball/Dodge Ball in the pool, I couldn't stop thinking of the days gone by. While Tristan was jumping on me, trying to get the ball out of my arms,  and Ty pulled my feet out from under me, I remember Summers when we'd play, "Take the Monster Down."

And who do you think was the MONSTER?

It would be all of us in Nettie's cold pool in the backyard on East 18th Street. All the neices - Nancy, Michelle, Tara, Marie and I - and Pete with a cheap blow-up ball. First, if we couldn't throw him in the pool, he'd cannonball jump into it. Then it was a game of who could get the ball away from him, while he tried to drown us, or run in circles with five little girls trailing behind him grabbing at his feet or accidently scratching him with our fingernails. He'd use his big hands to hold us back by our heads, as he screamed and we chased him.

And he trained us well. From the time I was 5 yo, till just a few years ago, Pete played this game with us. Of course, as we got older, he had a harder time with us.

I remember one time, we were all at Nancy's pool. All the neices and Pete playing dodge ball, which quickly grew into  "Take the Monster down." Pete was standing in the middle of the pool - the deepest part - on his flat feet holding the ball high over his head with one hand. So, figure the ball was about 7 feet high. Marie and Tara had managed to climb on top of him, with Tara trying to climb up to his shoulders. He kept one hand holding onto the the blow up ball, and the other he used to push Marie off of him. Nancy and I swam under the water to bite his ankles. Michelle I believe was able to get the ball from him by cannonballing almost ontop of him, he lost his balance and dropped the ball. Then we fought each other until one of us got it. Peter easily grabbed it away with one long arm and ran out of the pool with it. I remember being yelled at by my mother for screaming so loud, but by then we were all in a fit of laughter, while we chased him around the pool till he jumped back in. 

The best part of all this is we were all adults ... acting like silly kids ... enjoying the day with our Uncle Monster.


Peter Steele Is Her Aria in Green

Fellow blogger and Peter Steele fan, Kay Irvin would like to share her poem with the family of ForTheLoveOfPeteSteele blog
Kay notes, "I always loved the Type-O-Negative version of Summer Breeze but I didn't know about the band. After Peter passed ... I read about them and discovered other songs that I really enjoyed. I found interviews and clips ... your brother was a very kind man. (it comes through).  I was shy to write ... but wanted to send you something I wrote (below) ... lyrics/poetry ... it's also a post on my blog. Thank you for your blog ... you and yours are incredibly generous to share private memories with everyone."
This photo is so spooky to me. Peter seems like he's made of wax here.
Aria In Green
Green light, green dreams come to rock me to sleep
Your memory comforts me, ease me deep
Such brightness can never really be gone
Haunting bass and baritone echoes on

Release what's inside, I know you were right
I can still hear your voice in the night
Sending .... "Laugh, cry, challenge reality."
Oh, the green man brings luminosity

Be an open book, I know you were right
I can still feel your presence in the night
Suspended in dusk, touch of Halloween
Oh, rocking mist come aria in green

A thousand candles, a thousand windows
Green dreams come swaying and the green light glows
Lyrical flickering reflects to fly
Softly ... a tall, winged shadow passes by

(c) Kay Irvin
A Special Thanks to our friend Petra for posting this on her FB
Kat Bjelland Babes in Toyland featuring Peter Steele


Don't Listen To Track # 3

The best part of being a family member or a gf of a musician, is from time to time you get mentioned on albums/cds or you get songs written to  you.  In my younger days, my musician bfs would write beautiful love songs about me (which I treasure). As Peter Steele's neice, I've been thanked from a stage, in artwork and on their cd.

But imagine Pete's father's reaction when he and Nettie were thanked for the Carnivore album:

I think we need to remind you that while Peter's dad was proud of him, he didn't understand the music. He came from a world (30s, 40s, 50s) where music illustrated the loves and your life. He didn't quite get "Jesus Hitler" or "Thermonuclear Warrior." So when Peter came in to show his parents his album (I was sitting in the kitchen) Peter Sr. looked at the cover, admired the drawing and turned it over to see his  special thank you. He smiled at Peter and opened the record to see the song list and asked, " Is this what I've been listening to for the last year."

Nettie, who favored anything her son did, was looking at the album, offering congrats, praise and hugs. Until Pete Sr. started reading off the song titles ... "Angry Neurotic Catholics," "Race War," "Predator," ... He wouldn't even utter "S.M.D." but he did look like he wanted to kill his son. I remember both of Peter's parents telling Pete he was going to go to jail for writing such filthy words and that people were going to think he was a bad person.

I know I was told to leave the room at some point, but Peter just smiled hugely. Told his parents that it was his creative expression and to not worry about anything. While he stormed out of the house, he threw me a copy of the album and said, " Here you go. You should probably listen to it when your mom isn't around. And don't listen to track #3.



Peter's Spoiled Children

Many of you have asked about an update on Peter's surviving children, his cats - OJ, Weena, Sexy and Nixon. At the moment, they are enjoying their life in a sprawling ranch house with a sunroom in NJ with Peter's sister, Pam.

Weena in Peter's Kitchen

Not counting Peter's childhood cat, Venus, he was father to Grizzelda (Grizzy), Sexy, Sharpton, Weena, OJ, Tito and Nizon. Peter's cats were usually children of other family cats, or rescued kittens that he found on the street starving with no mother cat around. It's a family trait to love animals and care for them like children. Grizzy and Sharpton died several years ago and were taken care of by Pete's neice Marie and the vet she worked with, Dr. Montello (in Marine Park).

The day Peter died, ironically, his cat Tito died that morning. Peter loved all his children, but had a special connection to Tito. You can imagine our trauma when we found out that Tito died in the AM and Peter died in the PM. Weird connection ... I don't know.

The day following Peter's death, his sister, Cathy, myself, Marie and Nancy went to his apt to collect his cats. They were hiding on an upper top shelf in the livingroom closet. Since Marie was a vet tech, she had equipment to trap the cats. Because they were traumatized and hungry, it took Marie and Cathy 3 hours to  grab them and get them into safety -- with Marie covered in cat scratches -- a small price to pay. Peter's sister, Pam graciously adopted Peter's cats and we buried Tito's remains.

RIP Tito

Many of Peter's friends and ex-gfs asked to adopt Peter's cats, but since they are the only children Peter has, we wanted to keep them in our family. Between vet care, food, upkeep, and litter, they have become expensive kiddies, but it's a labor of love from his sister.


Peter Steele Wasn't Born With Those Fangs ...

Ok, so it's really common for family and friends to call you for recommendations of dentists and doctors. Everyone experiences this. But when sister Pat's family dentist Dr. Wasserman called one day to talk about his appointment with Pat's brother, she couldn't believe her ears.

Pete called his sister one day and told her he had a need for a dentist. He told her he had a problem with two of his teeth and needed to see a dentist about this - but he didn't know any dentist who could help him with this problem. So Pat gave him her long-time local dentist Dr. Wasserman's phone number because he was close to our home and located near Avenue M in Brooklyn. Pete didn't exactly disclose the "tooth problem" he was having, and Pat didn't ask.

But then about a month later, Dr. Wasserman called Pat very perplexed. He thanked Pat for her recommendation to her brother Pete, but he worried about Pete. Dr. Wasserman said he didn't understand the new world of rock and roll, but he understood that Peter wanted to do something to his teeth that the doc didn't understand why.

Now, Pat just assumed that when Pete said he had a tooth problem, he was talking a cavity (though up till his 20s he had never had a cavity). What she didn't realize was Dr. Wasserman's call was more about fear of what Pete's mother or sister would do to him if he carried out Peter's request for FANGS to be implanted into his mouth.

But, ultimately, not only did Dr. Wasserman end up creating fangs for Peter, he was thanked on a future album, which he proudly displayed in his office, until he retired.

As for Peter's new fangled fangs, well, it was a shock when he first showed them to us. Actually, we were eating together, and when he smiled, I saw the fangs and I reach out and touched one and let out a scream. . He smiled wildly, did his nervous laugh and growled. Then thrashed his teeth and said," For better to eat you my dear" (referencing grandma and the big bad wolf). I wasn't there when he showed his mother, but I can only imagine the look on her face that he would do something so permanent to his teeth.

For years, Dr. Wasserman referred to Pete and the family as the vampires because in his mature mind, he couldn't understand why anyone would want fangs. To Wasserman's dental credit, he had to be convinced to create the fangs. Peter told him he had spoken to several other dentists and he couldn't find anyone who would do it.


Peter's Inner Circle

It's no secret that when bands form, it's usually made of a group of friends who liked each other, enjoyed jamming and decide to do something with their extraordinary connections. In most cases, early on in a band's life, it's friends who are the basic members.

In Northern Lights, Hot Ice, Fallout, Pete's bandmates were his closest friends. It was the guys who he ate with, played ball with, picked up girls with, hung out with, etc. In early Carnivore, Pete's first guitarist was Stan Pillis, a HS friend who Pete had shared a class with. Later, TON was comprised of a combination of his closest friend, and then friends of friends, which eventually led to a long-term partnership that we know as The TON years.

If you look at the later incarnations of Carnivore, Pete hired his friends to do the tours with him. When he had a new project or an idea, he looked to bring people into the mix with him --  in many cases to help them with a new career aspirations --  or just because he knew they needed the money. Then, he would do his best to align those friends with other business associates so that they could make their own connections in his world, which he was happy to help pave the way for these important introductions.

It's no wonder that roadies of his early bands where the bandmates' friends ... many of whom Pete kept with him through all the other bands.

It was no different for me. After jail and through the sobriety era, when Pete had an idea for a new project or an aspiration of something bigger, he reached out to those closest. For several years we discussed a couple of project ideas - with me giving him my advice from my side of the publicity world - to him sharing his music world knowledge and us discussing the possibilities of collaborating. When he wanted a personal assistant, he came to me first and I tried to hook him up with some ideas (then he hired his other neice Marie). When I was laid off after 9/11, he wanted to hook me up with some band managers he knew to help me get a job in his world. And when a variety of his friends wanted to publish books, he sent them along to me for advice ...

I was lucky to meet Jenn Rose, a talented writer and photographer who has been a friend for many years because of Peter making the connection for me.  I love her Gothic photography, which I hope to be able to show sometime soon on this site. She is just one of the caring, creative inner circle people I've gotten a chance to meet and befriend.


Thank You "Anonymous" For A Peter Steele Reminder

I usually thank the readers of this blog on Saturdays for their amazing contributions of art, song, poetry, personal stories. I'm breaking my own pattern for a moment to thank "anonymous" for posting the link to a Times Union piece that reminded me of the compassion of Peter Steele.

I believe this is a promotional photo done of Peter.
I found it on TON memorial site

When you think "rock star" an image arises in your mind of a priviledged musician who would shake your hand as you are buying their cd, but may not look you in the eye or acknowledge your existence. I've been to hundreds of 'meet & greets' for various rockstars and have witnessed this phenomenon. The 'meet & greets' are a necessary evil -- esp for newer bands who are trying to connect to their audience. It's rare that a star will make eye contact ... it's even more rare when they look in your eye, shake your hand, ask you about your life and hand you their phone number. But this was Pete. Many a tour, he'd come home with scraps of papers with notes that he took while on tour. Notes about interesting people he met. Phone numbers of artists he talked with or saw their work. I know, because he'd ask me to write it up for him.

For the people who never met Peter, I want to say that the link to the article about Peter hugging a wheelchair bound fan is not an unusual thing for him. He wasn't the type of guy who was only concerned about a person while the camera's were rolling. He was the type of guy who graciously thanked his fans for supporting him. When he met people, he asked about THEIR  life and THEIR job. Whether the person was an artist, fellow musician, construction worker, soldier, writer --  he was genuinely interested in knowing about who that person was and was appreciative that they took time from their lives to buy a ticket to see him.

In fact, during these chance meetings, there were many people who would say that they were unemployed, or that they had career aspirations that they couldn't accomplish. In those cases -- and I've heard, seen and witnessed thousands of times -- Peter offering his heartfelt advice or help to them. If you became friendly with him, he'd include you in his circle of business associates. From AA mentors to friends of friends to family members, if Peter felt something for you, he wanted to help bring you into his circle. He wanted you to be successful.

How many rockstars have you met that offered you their phone numbers and gave you their home addresses so you could "pop by" when you are in town? That's the kind of guy he was ...

(My apologies to referring to Peter as a "rockstar" in this blog. Pete would have rolled his eyes & ordered me to take this out of the posting if he was here. The problem is, I can't figure out another title for him. Maybe artist extraordinaire? )



How Can I Feel Loss For Someone I Never Met?

Thank You to Tricia Diaz
 for putting into words the loss she feels for Peter ...
Even though she never met him ...
even though no one understands how she feels.

This sketch is by "Face In The Sky"

Peter's voice moves me. Still, to this very day, I hear his voice and it hits me in this spot, that brings back all these feelings, experiences. Not painful at all, but refreshing and mysterious, a snippet of where I came from. Almost like a recharge of my batteries.

I hear his voice, and if I close my eyes, I feel like I can breathe it in, like his rumbling voice is right in the middle of my lungs, stomach, heart. Like he is there, still there, somewhere.

Sometimes I feel so sad, thinking about how such a great talent, and beautiful voice, is gone. But I didnt know him... I never saw them live, had never been to a show in the past, but the thought of the missed opportunities hurts. I feel like I shouldn't feel such a loss, I am not his family, friend, I have never known him outside of the music I heard, the articles I read. But I do feel the loss, like I had lost one of my own.
I really wish I could have seen Peter sing once, live. So I could feel his voice in my lungs, stomach and heart again, and just bask in that energy.

.... I am sure it seems really strange, I just feel like I need to share with someone how I miss Peter. I feel telling the people in my life – they wouldn't understand my grief for someone I didn't even know.

Thank you for letting me share.


We're Off-Road Kind of People

If you've had the pleasure of seeing Pete drive his car on Brooklyn's streets, I'm sure you heard the heart-stopping Mack Truck horn -- quite possibly you were one of those sorry ass pedestrians who had to jump out of the way when Pete decided to make a side road to the main road -- or, maybe you were a passenger?

I like the way Pete is casually lounging on the Cross behind the guys.

While Peter shared lots of things with us, he didn't take us for joy rides in his tank. If we were lucky enough to get asked to an event with him, or to go to Duff's, then we got an opportunity to ride in the passenger seat. The car was set aside for expressing himself and  impressing people -- not for his little neices to be seen with him in his chick magnet car.

The last time I rode in the car with Pete, I felt the seat belt wasn't enough to hold me in. I used my feet to brace myself for the hair pin stops and my arms held tightly to any possible part of the seat, while Peter zipped in and out of traffic lanes laughing wildly when I screamed and saw my life pass before me. But the looks we got. Trucks honked, cars tried to ride besides us to get a glimpse inside, girls hung out their windows to flirt openly with Peter in the front. When Pete hit a red light, he kept on moving ... gliding onto the sidewalk to get around cars in the lane infront of him. It put a whole new meaning to the whole "off road" experience alright.

But pulling up to Duffs was like being a guest on the red carpet. There was always a crowd hanging outside. When Peter drove up, people knew exactly who he was. They parted and let him walk though, shaking hands and allowing kisses (from women) as he strode through.

While Pete gave me some car rides I won't soon forget, it's a family thing. Pete's sister Cathy used to take the neices to an area in Starret City Brooklyn that had a HUGE hill and dip in the road in the middle of nowhere - no side streets so we didn't have to worry about cars getting in the way.  We'd pile in the car with her and she'd speed down the street, up the hill and try to make the car jump over the Huge dip in the road. Sometimes we'd made it, but more often the car would smash down and we'd all be screaming and begging her to "Do It Again Aunt Cathy."  It always reminded me of Dukes of Hazzard driving.

When Pete's sister Pam came into town, she drove a VW Beetle. It was the perfect car to drive down small paths where regular cars couldn't get to. Peter, Nancy, Marie and I would pile into Pam's car and go for a drive to the car wash first and then to Prospect Park. She'd take the car onto the horse paths which led to the pedestrian path and before you know it we'd be driving down staircases and going around the lake. We are very "off road" kind of people, I guess.

Ahh the memories.



If You Were Short ... You Couldn't Drive Pete's Car

Apologies to my brother-in-law Mark in advance ... but this is too precious not to share:

When Peter wasn't working on his car or repainting it, he would bring it to a garage where his friends would do some work on it.

Peter's neice, Marie's husband is Mark. One day, Pete called the house and asked if someone could go to the garage and pick up his car for him. Mark was home so he said yes and took a bus to the garage, got the keys and went to the car.

Now, I think here I have to explain that while Peter was 6'7", Mark is about 5'7" tall. Peter hovers a full foot at least over Mark.

Peter with Mark and Cathy in Staten Island

So, Mark opens the car, and crawls into the seat. His feet didn't even come close to the pedals. He couldn't even reach the steering wheel. He gets back out and tries to adjust the seat, but it won't budge because the seat is soddered to the floor. Mark gets back into the car and sits on the tippy edge of the seat and he can almost reach the pedals, but now he can't see over the steering wheel.

Mark doesn't want Pete to be disappointed in him. So, he bent his legs, balanced himself behind the wheel in a crouched, half sitting, half standing position. If he held onto the wheel tightly he could push his right foot onto the gas and brake,  and he could see over the steering wheel. Mark started the car up, and SLOWLY pressed on the gas with his right foot while trying to balance himself with his left while driving the car. If anyone saw him, they would have thought a baby was stealing a giant's car. He rode that way to Pete's house, hoping like hell he didn't have to slam on the brakes because he would have lost his balance and smashed the car. When he pulled the car to the curb in front of Pete's house, Mark could barely get out of the car. The muscles in his legs were so tired from being in this weird position, and his arms and neck were stiff from trying to balance himself and drive.

We always wondered if Pete was playing a joke on Mark, knowing full well that he was NEVER going to be able to drive his car. How Peter laughed when Mark told him how he drove the car. Then, whenever Pete saw Mark, he would hum and sing the words to "Short People" as a constant reminder of the adventures of Mark and Pete's Mad Max car.



Here Comes Mad Max ... Otherwise Known As Pete Steele

Many of you have asked about THE CAR... The Mad Max Car ...

In the late 80s, Peter bought a car that he completely stripped off the chrome, pulled off the bumpers and replaced them with large wooden planks. He painted the car a black flat paint, and spray painted his own symbols on it. He mounted large bright lights onto the top of it, so if someone dared to put their brights on him from behind, they were blinded by his super bright spots. He installed a truck horn so you knew to get out of his way when he was driving.

The inside of the car was completely gutted. He dismantled the dashboard so you could see the bar bones. He pulled off the inside of the doors, till he exposed only the raw metal. He removed the back seats and rigged the front seats so that you were almost sitting on the floor with the seat locked in a position where the back seats used to be. There was no cushioning on the roof. Only the seats were comfortable. Everything was bare, gray colored, and very Mad Max looking.

The Car went through various stages of decor ... First he painted it Black. Then it became the signature Green. Then it was painted camouflage. Then it was painted black again with Russian symbols. Then it was repainted with the hazard stripes. Whatever color or design it had, everyone recognized Peter in the car and people would point or wave when he drove down the street.

Driving with Peter in the car ... that's another story for another time ...

Perfect for a giant ... Perfect for Mad Max ... Perfect for Pete Steele


Don't Eat The Tomato Sauce ... Peter in the Kitchen

Ok, we have to fess up. While Peter liked to eat good food, he wasn't exactly the best cook. Or, maybe we should say, when Peter cooked, we would draw straws to see who was going to taste it first. Usually, we could coax the younger kids to try it first because they didn't know any better, but after a while we ran out of guinea pigs.

Pete joking around in his kitchen on East 18th Street

Pete's Famous Bizarre Tomato Sauce

1 can crushed tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
3 small cans tomato paste
Water - use the empty cans of paste fill 3 times
5 large garlic cloves
1 T of Cinnamon
1 t of Nutmeg
1/2 cup of sugar
Lots of Pepper
Sprinkling of Salt
And a dash of anything green he could find in the cabinet

Mix together. Cook for 1 hour and serve with spaghetti and meatballs.

Now, I think you see in the recipe that he put Cinnamon and Nutmeg in the sauce. He LOVED this. Everyone else would gag. He would bring his "Special Pot of Sauce" to family functions where he would eat a huge helping of it. To be nice, we'd all put a meatball and sauce on our plates and kid him about "what special and unusual ingredients were in the sauce."

He would say "I made it the way I like it" and we'd giggle behind his back. Pete's sister, Nancy would push the tomato sauce on unsuspecting guests - figuring inlaws and friends of the family who were invited wouldn't utter how awful the sauce was -- they'd either eat it or quietly throw it away hoping that no one would notice. Then after Nancy got rid of the sauce, she'd announce to Peter, "Wow, it's all gone. Too bad I didn't get a chance to eat it." Then she'd grimace and make a kissing gesture up to God.

Wolf Moon Video 2007


Memories of Those Who Serve

A Big Thank You to Mary Wolfe
For Allowing Me to Post This Georgeous Artwork
In Honor of Americans

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday with your loved ones. In our family, we are proud to be Americans -- a country made up of numerous nationalities -- but that's what makes our country special.

Thank you to all the servicemen AROUND THE WORLD who are away from their families today.
OUR freedom depends on your actions

Autograph session in Babylon NY:


Wedding Songs with the Druidess

Athena wanted to share this about Peter:

I wanted to share a story i have, but understand i never met Peter, i would have loved to. But when i was 14 yo, for Christmas 1993 i was given my first copy of Bloody Kisses (I have had to replace it 3 times :))
That started my love affair with Peter and Type O. Also thanks to Peter and Typo O, I was able to make it through high school without killing myself. I was able to drown out the world by blasting Type O.

In 2009, I met my husband, our first date had to be cut short because of the Type O concert he was attending that night, it was October 18.
Then, that fate full day in April when my dark prince, was called to play in Heaven. I was planning my wedding at the time and I then proceeded to change all of my wedding music to all of my favorite Type O songs. Be My Druidess played as my husband and I walked down the aisle after we were married.
Love you to Death played us into dinner and a whole host of other Type O songs played through out the afternoon. 

 Not a day goes by when at some point of my day I sit back and think of Peter, usually its because i am turning on the CD player.
I know its not a great story about meeting Peter, but its a lifetime of influence and love that he gave me. I want to thank you for the opportunity to get to know Peter the way his family knew him.


A Family Tree With Many Colorful Leaves

Top L to R: Michelle, Tara, Peter, Marie
Bottom: Me and Nancy (I am pouting so I must have gotten yelled at)

A lot of you noted that you wanted a "family tree" so you could understand the relationship between the family members who have posted here and others that are talked about. So here we go with the basic family:

So, Peter's creators as he commonly referred to his parents were Annette Pallon and Peter Ratajczyk

Nettie had four sisters: Victoria, Helen, Patricia, RoseMary & two brothers: Thomas and Louis.

Peter had 1 brother: Joseph

Nettie and Peter had 5 daughters: Annette, Barbara, Patricia, Pamela, Cathy. Of course you know the only son was Peter.

Some of Peter's aunts/uncles had children close to the time Peter was born. So, he had cousins Susan and Katie very close in age to him and older cousins who were closer to his sister's age: Steve, George, Peter, Roger. At the same time, Peter's own sisters were having children, so Pete has neices like Nancy and Michelle who are similar in age, and then younger neices like me, Tara and Marie who straddle 6 + more years younger than him.  Just a few years ago, we totalled about 30 family members (which includes wives/husbands/children of the above).

I don't know who started the tradition - it may have started when everyone lived in Red Hook - but every Fourth of July my patriotic family gets together, everyone, bringing along friends and in-laws to a designated house. For years when we were young, we all went to Peter's aunt RoseMary (who we call Pinky) and her husband "Little" Louie's house in Long Island. Here is a photo of Nettie's brother Louie (the one from the song) along with his wife and our aunt Dee dressed up as George and Martha Washington during Fourth Of July. They walked around the neighborhood dressed like that waving the flag. (taken in the 1970s - ignore date on photo)

Then, when Peter's eldest sister, Annette bought a house in West Islip with her husband Robert, we all flocked there. Parties would have between 30 and 45 guests on a given Fourth of July weekend. We would play "Blind Man's Bluff" in the pool, ride aboard a giant inflatable dragon on the Long Island Sound, drive around the neighborhood on Nancy's motorcycle in patriotic outfits, and the older uncles and aunts would light up fireworks while the kids all got sparklers (remember those?).

Pete with his sisters
As you can tell from Pete's expression this was
probably the 10th photo he was forced to stand for,
 in this position with various family members.
He looks like he wants to kill the photographer.