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Some days this is exactly how I feel

I saw this the other day and thought you all could relate to how I miss Pete.

Submitted by Angela Ratliff

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New Year’s Eve

Awww, isn’t that cute :)

Submitted by Mike

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Pete at Christmas

Such skill! At Rich’s house I would guess.

Submitted by Mike

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Pete on New Years Eve…

So many great memories on New Years Eve at Christine’s house.

Submitted by Mike

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Happy New Year!

1993 at Lopat Pool for Senior day.

Submitted by Mike

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Class of 1993

I’m pretty sure Mike is thinking, ”I will BURN this shirt as soon as I get home.”

It’s funny now to think about celebrating high school graduation like some great accomplishment.

Also, it’s funny what one could get away with wearing for shorts in 1993. In our defense, we’d been swimming. I have no excuse for the shirts, except to say, ”Screw you. Those were awesome.”

Submitted by Rich

1993


Best bully

Whenever I think of my middle-school years (which, not surprisingly, isn’t all that often) I remember Pete, Mike, Scott, and hanging out constantly. Which is kind of funny, considering that I was actually kind of a bully back then.

In sixth grade, for example, I did absolutely ludicrous things in Mr Chavez’s ”Employment Orientation” class – an incredibly useful class which dutifully prepared young P’burgers for aspiring careers in carpentry, masonry, and wire splicing – and constantly blamed them on Pete. I claimed I knew how to solder, and after melting an entire spool of it onto the floor, I claimed that Pete wasn’t doing his part right. While building a brick wall, I threw mortar everywhere and told the teacher that it was Pete’s job to clean it up. I nearly set my block of wood on fire while drilling a hole into it, and then subsequently did the same to Pete’s, somehow managing to get him in trouble for smoking the class out.

For his part, Pete sat directly behind me, and egged me on. When I got yelled at for putting my feet on the desk, not finishing my work, or causing some minor catastrophe, Pete was always there to whisper in my ear: you gonna take that?

No. No, I wasn’t. …which got me into considerably more trouble. But I made an amazing friend in the process.

Submitted by Rich

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Gift-giving

In recent years, Pete and I didn’t ”exchange gifts” so much as ”buy awesome crap without regard for price, and then give it to each other.” It was like an arms race of Christmas gifts more than anything else. And frankly, he almost always won. He’d plan for weeks, having shirts printed up, or ordering signed original comic art. Some truly cool stuff, most often wrapped in horribly offensive paper.

Submitted by Rich

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Meeting Pete

It took me awhile to be able to post on here. I have so many memories of Pete.

Rich’s previous post reminded me of the day I met Pete. It was our first week of high school, in freshmen gym class. It may well have been the first day of high school, period. Thus, no one was comfortable, knew anyone, or wanted to be in freshmen gym with Mr. Thompson.

We were outside, in small groups, feigning practicing kicking a football either off a tee or with someone holding the ball. Pete was in my group. This was 1989, so Pete was wearing white sweat pants rolled to his knees, and weighing all of 98lbs on a good day. On his feet were high top Converse sneakers. He was looking good, people.

It was his turn to kick, so he took this huge running start, much more than needed. Think Charlie Brown, ready to kick the ball from Lucy. Well, much like Charlie Brown, he completely whiffed, missed the ball entirely, and landed flat on his back. Poor guy knocked the wind out of himself, and lay there sputtering, gasping for breath, and a bit mortified.

Me and one other kid sort of picked him up and dusted him off, and didn’t make a big deal out of it. On the way back to the gym, 30 minutes later, someone chuckled, and the three of us laughed so hard we nearly fell over. We hung out in gym class every day for the rest of the year.

-Christine

Submitted by christine suplick


High School Chemistry

You’ve probably heard this story already – it was one of Pete’s favorites.

In one of our high school science classes – I’m going to say it was freshman honors general science with Mr. Yannick, but I could be wrong – Pete and I were partners whenever possible. One of our first ”lab” assignments was to make ball-and-stick models of molecules. Our teacher said something to the effect of ”pick your favorite molecule, and model it with the parts you have.”

When we were done, the teacher went around to each group and asked which molecule they’d constructed, and what elements it contained. Most groups would say something like, ”We made Methane. It has one Carbon and four Hydrogen atoms,” or ”We made Carbon Dioxide. It has one Carbon and two Oxygen molecules.”

Of course, when he got to Pete and me, Pete busted out with, ”We made a dog! It has a tail that wags. Ruff, ruff!”

The class, predictably, lost it. And the teacher (I believe it was his first year of teaching) was predictably flustered. Unfortunately, he insisted that we come up with the proper chemical name for our pet (I can’t remember what we came up with) and explain what each ball and stick represented. But it was still totally worth it, and I always think of our little dog molecule whenever I look at those models.

Submitted by Rich

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A song Pete and I loved

I finally started listening to the musicians Pete turned me onto again. One of them was Bright Eyes.

After hearing this and Bright Eyes’ song ”We are Nowhere and It’s Now” I started calling Pete ”my little yellow bird”. Strange how fitting that nickname is now.

Poison Oak – Bright Eyes

Poison oak, some boyhood bravery
When the telephone was a tin can on a string
And I fell asleep with you still talking to me
You said you weren’t afraid to die

In Polaroids you were dressed in women’s clothes
Were you made ashamed?
Why did you lock them in the drawer?
And I don’t think that I ever loved you more

Than when you turned away
When you slammed the door
When you stole the car and drove towards Mexico
And you wrote bad checks just to fill your arm
I was young enough, I still believed in war

Let the poets cry themselves to sleep
And all their tearful words could turn back into steam

But me, I’m a single cell on a serpent’s tongue
And there’s a muddy field where a garden was
And I’m glad you got away, but I’m still stuck out here
My clothes are soaking wet from your brother’s tears

And I never thought this life was possible
You’re the yellow bird that I’ve been waiting for

The end of paralysis, I was a statuette
Now I’m drunk as hell on a piano bench
And when I press the keys, it all gets reversed
The sound of loneliness makes me happier

Submitted by Angela Ratliff


Camera fun…

Practicing my newly acquired skills as a photographer, with my new Pentax. Pete was a good sport :)

Submitted by Mike

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Christmas 1995

I know that because it says so on the print :)

Submitted by Mike

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We will miss Peter

Our entire office at Wellness Solution Centers in Newtown, PA loved Peter. We call him by his formal name. Seemed a good fit. We just discovered his passing today as we hadn’t seen him, had sent several postcards and just by chance discovered his obituary. We are shocked. Peter lit up our office and we all loved him. Before I adjusted him I would make me tell me his latest greatest story wonderful what spectacular feet he may recently has achieved.

We will miss Peter and pray for his mom and dad, brother, sister, girlfriend and friends.

Peter, I didn’t get to say goodbye, but we will meet again. And you’ll surely have lots and lots of stories to share with me. I loved adjusting you and I will miss you, plain and simple.

Denise M. Chranowski, DC

Submitted by Denise Chranowski, DC


Hamburg, Germany, March 2008

Pete came to visit me in Germany in 2008. I was living there for work, and excited to show him around. He, on the other hand, wasn’t the least bit interested in Germany as a tourist destination. He just wanted to hang out, and make fun of people’s accents. (Which we did. Often.)

Still, I forced him to do at least a couple of touristy things with me, like this Harbor Tour. The tour was in German, so we mostly just wandered around the boat and stared at whatever was around. Occasionally I pretended to translate.

We also walked through the Elbe Tunnel, went climbing at an indoor/outdoor gym in town, and drove really fast on the Autobahn while listening to a ”mix tape” CD he’d burned expressly for the occasion. We went to Berlin and to Königstein to see the Bastei rock formation, and it snowed while we were there. It was one of the more beautiful things I’d ever seen.

But mostly we just hung out and made fun of people’s accents. And that was just fine by me.

Submitted by Rich Dalrymple

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Pete’s college experience

I went to Rowan College in the fall of 1993. I didn’t know anyone there, and I was more than 100 miles from the only home I had ever known. I was scared.

The first week of classes, some guy came to an 8AM class in his pajamas. I remember thinking that he was trying for nonconformity too hard.

Sure enough, that was Pete, and Pete was going to be my best friend.

He only spent a year at Rowan (I spent four). But in that year, he and I developed a friendship that was more like being family members than friends.

I think everyone wants to be part of a community. Some choose faith, some choose civic groups, some choose a particular sub-culture. No one wants to be alone. Pete and I (and a few others) discovered that staying up late, playing music softly, and just talking was a creative, communal experience. We spent a lot of time doing exactly that. That year was the best year of my life; I was surrounded by a group of people who cared about me and about each other. Those people are still largely in my life; hell, I married one.

In the last few years, my wife and I were lucky enough to own a house with swimming pool directly between Pete’s house and his parents’. So we saw him twice a year, and swam together when it was warm enough. He was the DJ at my wedding (just manned the iPod).

I miss him. There’s a lot I don’t understand about his choices. I wish I could have been there for him at the end.

Thanks, Jonathan, for getting in touch with me. Thanks for setting all this up. Pete was a daily part of my life for about 1/37 of it; everything I’m feeling must be magnified for you and your family.

Submitted by Erik Strohmeyer

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Tis Your Birthday

Oh my brother Pete, where to begin. Lets start with a Happy Birthday, bitch. Generally, we would exchange very terrible birthday messages to each other and I would post one on here, but the idea isn’t to think any less of either of us. :-)

With that being said, when we think of Pete on his birthday, remembering Pete as Pete and not your best friend who passed away is important, at least to me. None of us want to be sad anymore, but we all have to recognize that isn’t possible. So instead of being sad in a ”the world is over” way, I am going to remember Pete as I would expect that he would remember me. To bring humor and levity to a situation that otherwise just isn’t possible to do. When I get home tonight, I am going to go to 7/11 (no Wawa in California) and buy a 40 ounce of some terrible malt liquor (hopefully they have Hurricane or Mickey’s in stock) and pour one out for my homey. On your birthday, this drops for you Pete. Word.

–Jonathan
Listening: Frank Turner – One Foot Before The Other

Submitted by Jonathan Everett


My Best Memories of Pete

• A brilliant mind always looking for a challenge.
• Technical chops beyond anyone I know due in part to his curiosity of technical specifications that most people take for granted.
• An amazing storyteller that saw the world in a way to expose some fun or interesting fact that no one else would see.
• Long talks about philosophy and religion, I especially remember many talks about C.S. Lewis’ work. He also got me to read a bunch of books on pop phycology including “The Invisible Gorilla” which I really enjoyed.
• Flying remote-controlled helicopters at work and breaking a couple pieces of his best helicopter.
• Going as a team to Great Adventure Park to celebrate his birthday and it poured rain all day but we still considered getting a “fast pass” to beat the lines.
• Installing the security cameras at the Aikido Dojo using a remote-controlled tank to feed the wires through the duct work. It didn’t work out so well because we almost lost the tank in the duct work. We even caught someone on camera breaking into the Dojo and he gathered the information for the Police.
• After he bought a slow motion camera the first thing he wanted to test it out on was me slapping him in the face. It took 3 takes to get a good shot (thanks to Steve) and the last slap cupped his ear a bit which gave him a good ringing of the ears for a while.
• While our ideas on technical certifications differed from one another, he did have the “COOL” certificate in his email signature block for quite some time, which most of us found hilarious.
• After helping him move to his last apartment, Andrea him and I (I think there was someone else too – Dan?) went out for a good Chinese dinner. During a bathroom break that Pete took, I loaded his small hot cup of tea with as many packets of sugar as possible (supersaturated). When he came back he took a sip of the tea, Andrea started laughing uncontrollably and he thought that the tea “tasted like raisins”. Needless to say we had trouble finishing our meal being doubled-over from laughter.
• Pete always brought his personal computer into work which was a very helpful sandbox tool. I decided to pull a prank on him by scotch-taping the end of his network cable. He came back to his desk, got a call on his cell and needed to use his personal laptop. He sat there for a couple minutes diagnosing the problem with the network while I giggled in my cube. I eventually helped him out as he was getting a little frustrated. Don’t worry, he got me back soon thereafter and my mouse was having problems the next day. (Don’t worry since we didn’t smoke, these were our “smoke breaks.)
• After he received a call from an old girlfriend that he hadn’t heard from in a long time, I sent a prank text message to his cell from “her” which rustled his feathers a bit but was well worth it.
• We still have tons of test code that has “Pete is cool” or “Taffy is delicious” as the output.
• Pete decided to grow his hair out and got razzed from all of us. It got pretty long and he was trying to donate it but I guess it just wasn’t long enough.
• During a meeting at work, management asked if we had any questions. Pete asked inquisitively if there was any update on the mysterious hall pooper. He could keep a straight face, but when he was teasing he had a slight “tell” in his face that I learned over time.
• In the middle of one of his technical presentations, he explained the difference between east coast vs. west coast gang signs. It was completely off the wall and did a good job of waking everyone up for the last segment of his talk.
• I gave him a safe for Christmas without the key. I told him the actual present was inside and he was super excited for the challenge of picking the lock later that evening. He opened it without much issue and said it was a very thoughtful present.
• I miss Pete very much and have a deep sadness for the loss of my very close friend.

Submitted by Jason Camp


Punkday

Pete almost never remembered my birthday. But he was usually kind of close, give or take a week or two. Sometime around 2005 or so, he decided to get organized, and started putting my birthday into his Outlook calendar. Except since he didn’t actually know when it was – and he wasn’t about to ask – he instead put a reminder on his calendar for a date that he suspected was sufficiently earlier than my birthday, and labeled it ”Rich’s Punkday.” For the next several years I would get e-mails entitled, ”Happy Punkday!” about three weeks before my actual birthday.

Happy birthday, buddy.

Submitted by Rich


Hey there

Hey, little brother. I still miss you fiercely, but I think I might just come out of this ok after all. I love you.

Submitted by Karen Tibbetts


Pete at the DLA

Pete was an integral part of our team at the Defense Logistics Agency.

Submitted by Jason Camp

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Karen’s Wedding

According to the memory card I just found, this was 2004.

Submitted by Tracy

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Karen’s Wedding

According to the memory card I just found, this was 2004.

Submitted by Tracy

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Pete’s Rope Trick

I hope this link works here. If not, let me know and Can send you the file! Anyway, this is a nifty vid of Pete on a rope. He told me not to show it to anyone so here you all go! I’m sure he’s shared this anyway.

http://www.cynicalpirate.com/rope/pete.mp4

Submitted by Angela Ratliff