I was attending a reading at the Kraine Theater here in NYC last night when I got the news that another classmate I adored had passed away. I learned it only moments before my friend went onstage to read her story, and so I shoved my heartbreak down and it stayed there…floating about as I tried to process his sudden passing. To be honest, I was afraid to let the heartache in, for fear it would reignite the raw and desperate pain of Paul’s death only 3.5 years ago. So I crammed that heartbreak down further and went to bed. I woke up and got ready for work, ignoring the nagging tap at the protective shield around my heart. But once I got to work, I couldn't hold it down any longer and sobbed at my desk, and wrote the following:
Yesterday this planet lost a vibrant soul. He was a man who made people laugh, bringing joy into their world by just being there. His smile was contagious and he had the ability to brighten your day and make you feel special just by taking the time to talk to you. He had that kind of effect on people. That’s why it’s no real surprise that even though Pete Crawford joined my graduating class at BHS in high school, his swagger, charm, and husky laugh immediately made him part of the family. Most of us at BHS went to school together since grade school. Many would have found that daunting, but not Pete.
I remember him walking into my DECA class one day (1986 maybe?), and even though he was a new student, he acted like he belonged, and so he did. Simple as that. It was easy to crush on him. Not only was he adorable, with dark hair and blue eyes (my weakness still till this day), but he was a funny, flirty, charming, and a genuine man who brightened the world in a way that’s hard to understand unless you knew him. He grew up to be a family man, a true friend to those in his life, and that sweetness under the bravado was never far from the surface. For him to be gone is not only a great loss for his friends and family, but to those who will never get to meet him and experience that kind of energy, friendship, and passion for life.
-------Last night I got this image in my head of Paul Butterfield running up to the gate of Heaven and goin’, “Well, that was earlier than expected, but I sure am glad to see ya. Come on, I’ll show you around. Oh, and by the way, David Bowie is giving a concert later, George Michael is opening up for him, and THEN Robin Williams and Carrie Fisher are going to host the after party...it's gonna be awesome!”-------
I wasn't the only one who met Pete in DECA, I think Ken Dey also met him there, and they became fast friends. This pic to the left is of Ken, me, and Pete at out 20th high school reunion. We’d all been drinkin’ and havin’ a great time (hence those red cheeks, LOL!) It’s one of many great memories I’ll cherish.
God speed, my good friend…until we see each other again. Love, me
P.S. One of my other memories of Pete (and Ken) was at a DECA weekend event at a dance where we all sang/danced our hearts out to this hit song that years. Every time I hear it, I always think of that time in my life. Hopefully you, Paul, Gary, and the others we've lost from the BHS class of 1988 are partying together right now in heaven with Adam Nathaniel Yauch, aka MCA from The Beastie Boys, as the concert begins...