You Have An Enormous Soul

The Ratajczyk Family  is very thankful to a wonderful lady (and friend) Jeanne (dunebuggy4) who graciously takes our worn out old photos, restores them and sends them back to me. Jeanne - You are amazing ! Thank you for your beautiful friendship and help in making our treasured photos clear again ! Sending some pug love to you:


 House With The Garden Where A Single White Egg Sits

Thank You Christine Batchelder  For Sharing Your Peter Story:

Hello lovely members of the Ratajczyk family,

I stumbled upon for the love and I thought it incredible and touching and I wanted to share my Pete story.

My dad always supported my shenanigans, if i wanted to dye my hair green and listen to "music with bass lines that cause a sonic massage" he was fine with it, but he'd be damned if his baby girl was going to a rock show un-supervised!  So on or around halloween, from age 14-16 my 5'4 father would accompany and watch over his 4'11 daughter, in a shitty dive bar like "club" in Boston (either axis or avalon), even if i would give him a ration of crap for wearing ear plugs that glowed under the black lights. 

My 17th year of existence, we both got jobs working security for their concert crew (mostly so i could afford my friday night concert addiction).  So when I got the go to work both nights of TON's scheduled gigs I could've done back flips.  During set up for the security crew, which was after TON's sound check had wrapped up I found my 4'11 inch self standing infront of a 6'7 Pete and his red-headed lady friend.

 I craned my neck back to look him in the eye, and the only thing that would come out of my mouth was "God damn I'm short!"  and he in kind responded "Well you have an enormous soul."  So my father and I talked about the nature of the soul, and how music can affect peoples moods. My dad, true to form, gave Pete shit for the volume of the music at the shows, and apparently (he didn't tell me this till 10yrs later) pulled Pete aside to ask why he was conversing so freely with his 17 year old kid, and Pete shook my father's hand and told him he raised a polite girl with wisdom beyond her years, I don't know if he was buttering him up to avoid "angry dad" or what but it was still nice to hear 10yrs after the fact.

The next year I didn't work security, but still wrestled my way to the front, and pete handed me a set list at the end of the show.

The next TON show I made it to was in Worcester for the Life is Killing Me tour and the largest venue I'd ever seen them play in, after the show as I was walking to my car I saw Pete as he was heading out the back, he took the time to say hi and chat for a few minuets despite the fact it was freezing out and his ride was waiting.

I feel privileged to have had even those few short conversations with him, I only wish I could have had a chance to talk to him at length.  He was articulate, polite, and genuinely nice.  He took the time to talk to an awkward girl with hair the color of a safety cone and her crazy over protective dad. 

Type O's music offered me refuge, solace, peace, and as odd as it may sound a feeling of kinship.  Type O would become my coping mechanism, when shit hit the fan, or I found myself emotionally gutted, Peter's music was always just a button press away, a balm to my tattered mind.

I just wanted to share the brief kindness Pete showed me, even if having written it out it seems trivial and passing, but it's always meant something to me.

My deepest condolences for your loss.

All the best,


Thanks to Michelle Frost to pointing us to a website about "old Brooklyn." Here is her note to us:

Dear Ratajczyk Family,

Thank you for the wonderful website about Peter. It makes me feel that he is still alive--in our hearts--because of all the love and devotion he inspired in so many. Reading your posts helps get me through my dreary workdays. I especially enjoy the old family photos.

These photos of Old Brooklyn, in particular, Coney Island should prove entertaining: http://www.screanews.us/NewYork/BrooklynOld.htm

Best Regards,
Michele Frost, cat lover


Want to know WHOA's best songs to work out to? Jessica Cassino
was gracious enough to recognize TON for her gym playlist

A Gym Playlist For A Bearable Workout

By: Jessica Cassino
Working out sucks. I hate it. The cheesy Top 40 hogwash they play at the gym doesn’t help either. It is distracting and makes me want to jump off the treadmill. I made a playlist to get me through my daily sweat sessions.

  1. “Shoot to Thrill” – AC/DCThis song should be playing while I am doing crunches. 3 sets of 15. It will make me forget about the burn that goes with ab tightening.
  2. “Dog Days Are Over” – Florence +The MachineThis song has gotten me through plenty of Spin classes. It makes me forget about my shitty day and helps me focus shrinking my butt. It is also good for running. Florence says it herself, “ The horses are coming/So you better run”.
  3. “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” – The Vaccines
    Great song to do pull-ups OR push-ups to. It is catchy and fast.
  4. “The World Is Not Enough” – GarbageWhen you are lifting that Olympic bar, put this on and keep going. It is well worth the blood, sweat, and tears.
  5. “Main Offender” – The HivesThis is a great warm-up song. Go get your jump rope.
  6. “Too Fake” – HockeyFast enough for the StairMaster or the Elliptical. “I do everything that I’m told to.” Yep, like not eating a jar of Novella.
  7. “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” – JetI still fit into my gym pants from freshman year of high school. I am 30. While I am doing lunges and squats, this song is blaring.
  8. “A Dustland Fairytale” -The KillersAnother good song for Spin class or lifting my 15 lb. weights.
  9. “Zero” -Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    Every gym should play this song. Everyone is there to become a size 0. “Can you climb, climb, climb higher?” Karen O asks. Does going to the gym 6 days a week count?
  10. “Pain” – Type O NegativeWhile I am pushing myself to the point of almost puking, Pete Steele is screaming macho crap into my dainty, pink Urbanears.
  11. “Fundamentally Loathsome” - Marilyn Manson
    I wish they would play this in my Pilates class. It would make it so much more bearable. It is one of Manson’s lighter songs, if you ask me.
  12. “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake” -The Sounds
    “You know it hurts so bad/Just like I knew that it would/But I’d do it again/Do it again if I could”. That is how your workout is supposed to feel.
  13. http://whoamagazineonline.com/2011/10/11/a-gym-playlist-for-a-bearable-workout/


  1. Thank you soooo much for this beautiful site. I look forward to reading it each night before I go to bed. One little question...who is the shadowy figure in the top middle window, above the door, of Pete's old house? Love the story of the egg!!

  2. This is a wonderful post! It is very nice and kind of your wonderful friend Jeanne(dunebuggy4)to restore your photos for you. Thank you for sharing Christine Batchelder's awesome story on how she met peter. I know how it feels being short i am 4"11 as well and i'm always looking up at my husband who is 6"4..lol.
    A big shout out to Jessica Cassino for having T.O.N as part of her workout playlist routine...Awesome! Thank you for sharing :)

  3. Thank you for sharing this blog, makes my day better, helps support the idea of the absence of Peter. Always accompany the updates are great ... it made ​​me laugh and cry a lot. Thanks for everything. I love you!

  4. Awesome! The pics always look great and I love seeing pieces of your family album. That egg is going to be such a stinker...heheheh.

  5. Whenever I see another update to this blog, I always stop what I'm doing to read the latest post. I love the fact that there is a lot of variety in the content. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad...and sometimes just goddamn nostalgic.

    I'm sure Pete would have something to say about my stripy green-and-black knee high socks I bought as a tribute to the Green Man. I'll be wearing them to an event I'm MCing for the Seventh South African HorrorFest.

  6. I know what it is to lose a childhood home. We just lost our grandmother's home where the best memories lived. I know what it is to stand outside and still hear the laughter, the songs, and all of the holidays. My grandmother's tulips are still there, the old clothesline is still there. But the experiences? Nobody can ever take that away. Sometimes, it's what has to happen, but it's heartbreaking. In memory of all we've lost I'm stinking up an Egg for Peter. I'm going to put an egg on my front porch right where the sun can get to it, and when Halloween comes I will throw it in the face of all the bad, stupid stuff in the world that causes us pain, that is injustice, and especially for all of the homeless, neglected animals in the world. I cannot abide or tolerate harm to animals, especially abandoning pets. So, I suggest, let's start a movement. An Egg for Peter! Get an egg all stinky and rotten and throw it on Halloween in the face of stupidty! Yeah!

  7. Thank you Christine for sharing-- it is those few moments we are interacting with someone, that matter the most. A person could make you feel important, loved, like you belong, or... their words can slice your heart, damage your self-esteem and make you wish you lived in a hole far, far away. From your experiences and so many others that I've read, Peter was willing to acknowledge anyone who was in front of him, and that alone, is what everyone wants, and remembers- always. Darcie and family, God bless you all for your sharing and allowing the rest of us to share, grieve and celebrate Peter's life and death with you. Love and hugs from IA...

  8. The photo's on Michele's link are wonderful for having given us outsiders a nice view of your beloved neighborhood of Brooklyn, and Jessica's workout playlist, ecclectic! 'The World is Not Enough' for lifting & Marilyn Manson pilates, yes, easy to envision.

    Thank you Darcie for the ultra-colorful pug-love! The restorations are a tiny effort compared to all you've done to create and share, and the incredible beauty your uncle brought to my life through his painstaking work as a writer, musician, fellow oddball and genuine person. ...so thanks so much to you and your family. *blushes*

    Christine, what a heart-warming account of your various encounters with Pete. The "God damn I'm short!" and 'angry-dad avoidance' moments are priceless! It seems as if Pete never forgot a face or a kind gesture. Excellent writing. Missing him more now after reading this and seeing the Ratajczyk-Steele family homestead ...daggone-ya'! :)

  9. Hi all--

    It's neat to read other people's stories, and it's even better when there are great photos that accompany those stories. Thanks to dunebuggy4 for all her work restoring your photos, Darcie. A labor of love, for sure! The photos of Old Brooklyn are great too. Ah, the good ol' days...
    Thanks for this!
    Love & Gratitude--Patty P

  10. The Ratajczyk's house is so cool..so American. We have nothing like that in Australia.Looking at it must stir up so many feelings and memories for the family.Has anyone ever spoken to the new owners...I wonder if they would like to know that Peter grew up in that house. Darcie I hope you are able to put an egg there every year.
    Christine your story is definitely NOT trivial and passing. You are so blessed to have those memories of Peter. He is such a giving person, always happy to talk to his fans no matter what situation he is in.
    The old photos are great...I love old cars, so much better than new ones. I also love picture 33 with the guys (black and white) playing "stick ball?" together. I am guessing for that time period the guys playing together was not a common thing???

  11. Thanks for these posts again, especially for old Brooklyn photos! I have become really interested on history of Brooklyn and I know I will visit Brooklyn some day. This all started because of TON. Love you all there.

  12. I too have had those moments of kindness from Pete..and I'm soo grateful I had the chance to tell him 'Thanks again Pete!' when I last saw him. And cool to know I have a workout partner out there somewhere..I have The Killers,Yeah Yeah Yeahs,Florence, and plenty of Pete's voice mixed in my stength training soundtrack..workout at home you can listen to it all!! Sue

  13. Darcie, good for you hiding that single white egg. Peter is smiling and laughing down from the heavens because of you. Thanks to Jeanne for touching up the old family photos. They are priceless. And to Christine, I really liked your story and experience with Peter and how Type O music effected you. It also gave me a feeling of kinship. I will have to share our story and art ASAP. Thanks again----Jessica D. (Black Number 1)

  14. p.s. Thanks for Sharing a photo of the Ratajczyk family hose. My husband (than boyfriend) lived in Brooklyn for a while and I used to alway wonder what Peter's haunt looked like. So cool!---Jessica (Black Number 1)

  15. P.S. To those who've referred to this blog's photos: The ones you see here on the blog are not restored photos, but I found plenty to work with in them. Whoever's doing the initial scanning over in NYC is doing a very nice job of getting good high resolution files. The restorations are very much a labor of love, done gratis and seen as minor repayment for the Ratajczyk family's kindness.

    Photo restoration is not my occupation. I'm an industrial designer. My website, such as it is, is listed on my profile.

    Darcie, I trust your judgement regarding the handling of all of the restored Ratajczyk family files I've sent back to you via email. Those files are 100% authorized by me as yours to use or not as you see fit.
    Sending out a big pug-hug!

    ...and to Christine, I do somewhat envy you for your diminutive height. I haven't used the words, "I'm short" since about age 15, and nobody's offered me the kind of nurturing response or compliment remotely akin to Pete's reference to your 'enormous soul' you get to enjoy. Though Pete would never have said anything remotely similar, mostly I get, "Don't they make short high-heels?", "Those flats make you look unfeminine," and the fact of a scarcity of willing dance partners. Hope you realize how fortunate you are.

  16. Darcie - thx for sharing all these wonderful contributions. The pug love pic is great – love it. Jeanne aka dunebuggy4 - what a great contribution to restore the old pics for the family & make them alive again – something so precious – thank you (btw – I think your suggestion for getting back Pete’s properties to the family would be a good idea in both ways – to bring back missing belongings where to should be & to give others a chance to make the right decision). The pics of old Brooklyn are giving me even more impressions of the places you grew up - thank you for posting this link Michele – the pics are great. Ever since I was 15yo I wanted to visit NY – now there are so many more reasons for me to visit this awesome city ;-)The dimensions are so different than to what I’m used to from European cities. Christine - thank you for sharing your story – ‚ God damn I‘m short & avoiding an angry dad‘ LOL – and again it shows off that truly unique character of Pete for taking his time with fans. What a quote: ‚ You have an enormous soul‘ - great memories! And Christine – your story is not trivial and passing – it means so much for me to read it since I never was able to see TON live – so a BIG thank you to all who are gracious enough to share these memories here in the blog. Jessica - the tracklist for the work out is fantastic – thx for sharing. Leslie – what a great idea – I’m with u & your movement: an egg for Peter – to throw it in the face of stupidity on Halloween.
    -Much love & respect-
    P.S. Love the pic of the house ;-)