One of the things Peter enjoyed, even when he was a teenager, was hanging out with us kids asking us to do nutty things or sing crazy songs.
He and Josh would sit on Pete's front stoop and ask me and my friends to come over and hang out with them. He'd tell us to sing "Let My People Go" - a song that I could never really remember where it came from, but we would sing it loud and clear on the top of the stoop with Peter and Josh laughing at us. The words went like this:
In the halls of Bellevue
Where the crazies go
I saw (someone's name) shouting
Let my people go.
We'd do this for hours, with Peter calling out a different person's name. You know how kids think everything is funny. Then Peter would make up other words to go with our song, using his voice to mimic different instruments while teaching us how to become a drum, horn, bass, harp. Usually Marie, Michelle or a friend named Heather would sing out the chorus, while the rest of us played our pretend instruments with Peter as our band leader.
The other song that we took great pleasure in watching Peter sing was "Gopher Guts" which he would act out by picking imaginary things out of your hair or ears and then eat them while making a crackling noise in his mouth. When the song was over, he always picked something imaginary out of his teeth and offered it to us as a snack. This would always send Tara screaming into the house to tell her mom.
We never knew at that time that we creating songs with Peter. To us, it was just entertainment time with Pete.
But, I fondly think back to times like this when Summertime meant hanging out on the stoop with my uncle, his friends, my cousins and the kids from the block. Where did those days go?