belongs to Rebekah L. Copeland
"Always Keeping Two Eyes Open"
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|A photo-manipulation that I designed using a photo of a person, and a photo of a button mushroom. Yeah - you know.... those little white, innocent, edible, NON-NUCLEAR - things that you like to put on your pizza. With a good lighting tweak in Photoshop, any innocent thing can be turned deadly looking. The function of this piece was to advertise really hot mushroom curry, in the product button 'shroom #13.|
I hope that this will be the last death dedication that I will ever have to type this year on Facebook – because this is probably the hardest and most heartbreaking one that I’ve ever had to type.
By now most of you know that former GST employee, Peter Price was hit and killed yesterday while riding his Harley on Route 541 N in Burlington, but it wasn’t his death that made him significant. It was his life.
Everybody loved Petey, and he was in TOTALLY in love with everybody in return.
Peter “Petey” had a passion for the road – owning at least seven Harley Davidsons, one of them a 1976 vintage special edition.
I recall that he had taken the time one afternoon, when we were out on a date, to open up his storage area and show me each of them. As he lovingly explained which bike was which, he had never left out one minute detail. By the end of the introduction, I knew exactly where he had acquired each bike, and what importance of memory they had held to him.
Oh, and Petey was never selfish with his bikes. He invited anyone to ride with him, and – in the past – I had ridden with him to Bowman’s Tower in Pennsylvania and also to Ellis Island for a tour of the Statue of Liberty.
Petey was the silly, quirky type who liked to make people laugh. He once, on a suggestion, pulled on a bright yellow tutu that had been left behind in fellow coworker, Emily’s bus and started dancing around the yard – showing it off where ever he was beckoned to. Peter Price also liked to hug and kiss people. Lots of us ladies were overwhelmed with his flirting and compliments. He was a lover.
Peter Price was the best friend of Chuck McClintock, my beloved friend – who preceded Peter in death by exactly two weeks. The two of them are together again, where Chuck’s fiancé – Kathy, and myself are convinced that both men are in the great WaWa in the sky, holding a 20oz in their hands and chatting, as they always had in life.
Petey was the love of my life, not just another beloved friend. Not just another BFF-type. He was my veritable soul mate. We hung out together. We saw movies together. Our first date movie was the remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with Connelly and Keanu. Petey and I had similar opinions on the exact things. No kids. Small house. Travel often across the USA. Be silly. Make the world smile.
Peter had even gone to church with my parents and me on several Sundays, at St. Matthew’s Baptist Church in Gloucester, NJ. He was saved on the first Sunday there.
Petey had a tragic life, where he had taken care of both of his parent’s until their death. He was the youngest of a large family of four older. He grew up on High Street in Mt. Holly – in the big brick house that sits across from Sacred Heart. I think it was house #330. Peter’s father had owned a paint store in old downtown Burlington. Petey liked to bring me to Burlington, where he would walk along the banks of the Delaware, near St. Mary’s at night underneath the bridge and talk about his parents.
I suspect that Petey may have been headed there after work when he was struck and killed.
Peter Price also liked his memories. He had several big photograph books, which he had brought over to my parent’s house one evening several years ago. He showed my parents the pictures of his father and mother and also of his prized dune buggies.
He owned two, I believe. From there he would talk about Captain Jack down the shore, and hanging out with friends he had known.
Petey was a clean freak about his vehicles, but not so much with his house – but he lived on the road, and not in a four-walled box. We jokingly called him the ‘pack rat,’ a name of which I have no right to judge upon, as I’m the pack rat queen.
Petey had lived in a doublewide trailer home on the border of Southampton/Eastampton Township, after selling his parent’s home on High Street in Mt. Holly. He lived right around the corner from GST.
Petey used to drive for Bishop Eustace Prepatory School & Camden Catholic High School in bus 1302, when it was brand new. Before he drove in 1302, he drove 1116 until it became Pierre & then Joan’s bus. Petey also drove the swim shuttle for the YMCA camps with Chuck in the summers. Before the end of Petey’s time at GST, he had been driving for Holy Cross High School and then covering my Ashbrook 3 run shortly after I had taken over it for Barbara T when she retired last May.
After leaving GST for pastures less-child-filled, Petey had taken a full-time job at Miller Trucking Company, the same place that Chuck McClintock had worked at nights in his second job.
Petey often rode with Skip Slaymaker and his band of bikers to various locations across the region. I recall the first time that Petey drove me over to Skip’s house on his ‘Punisher’ Neon Green & Purple bike. Petey and I had rode into Lumberton. I had told Petey that I had lived in Lumberton. Petey and I then had rode into the area of Hollybrook. I had told Petey that I had lived in the area of Hollybrook. We had veered down the road where I used to live. I had told Petey that this had once been my road that I had lived on. Then, we had pulled into the driveway of my old house.
I thought Petey had been confused by what I had been telling him, but it turns out that Skip had lived in my old house of which I had grown up in. Talk about a small world!
Petey used to make subtle jokes over the 2-way radio, while he was working at GST. I recall the “Wasabi” crew of two. William Winstanley and Peter Price used to whisper the words, “Wasabi” over the radio every now and then to each other. It always brought a smile to my face in the morning.
My first bike ride out with Peter Price involved a pit stop in Medford one afternoon, where Petey had decided to drop in on Chuck and Kathy unexpectedly, as he dragged me in tow as his passenger. A picture of Petey in the yellow tutu adorned Kathy’s refrigerator door. It always makes me smile when I see it. It was a great afternoon. I had realized after that point just how close Chuck and Peter were to each other. They were both great guys.
I sat next to Petey Price at Chuck’s funeral nearly two weeks ago today. I had my arms around him the whole time. He smelled so good, like that fresh cologne. It was the same brand of cologne that he had always worn whenever we were out on a date. He was neatly pressed in his plaid dress shirt. He had to leave early from the funeral, because a thunderstorm had hit and he had rode in on his motorcycle. He hadn’t left until he had given me his new number… again.
We were always losing each other’s cellphone numbers. I finally took his number in the one place that I was guaranteed not to lose it again – my iPad. He asked me to call him… I had promised. We hugged goodbye and kissed our love until next time.
With my new summer bus run and several-commissioned graphic art projects to be done; I never did get to call him again, or see him again. That was a week and a half ago.
Petey and I were going to go back to New Hope and visit the art stores there, listen to some Pink Floyd, and groove around the town on his Harley, but I’m not sure which of the seven. We were both into the same things. He was my male clone, a term that I always called him to his face. He’d just smile, turn his famous Petey Price red, and hug me and tell me he loved me. I loved him too.
It’s strange how we take time for granted. It’s so short. It can’t be taken back.
I will miss Peter Price so, so much. I wish that I had gotten the chance to see him once more alive, or talk to him again, or to have had the opportunity to say, “Goodbye.” And like Chuck, Petey will be a string of stories and memories to share with others, but I can never hold him again, talk to him, or hear him speak.
I’m so sorry, Petey, for everything.
You’ll hold my heart forever,