Yesterday just as Jack and I were getting ready to go onstage at the Crossroads here in Honolulu, I got an email from one of my old buddies… Charlie. Charlie was in Barcelona and he wrote to tell me that my old University Of Santa Clara room mate, Peter Byrne Manchester had just passed away yesterday morning. Peter was my room mate and friend, back when I was in Santa Clara… trying to keep my grades up while playing out as much as possible, Peter was a taper before the tapers knew what taping was. We’re talking 1962 and ’63 here. He had a machine that was hot rodded to record at 15 ips and he also had some fancy condenser mike. Many of the tapes that are floating around today from that period were made by him.
After college, he was in grad school and I was in Jefferson Airplane… another kind of grad school. He and his wife at the time Susan and I and my ex Margareta (may she rest in peace) were pals in those halcyon years. Time went on as time does and we lost track of each other. He wound up teaching philosophy at SUNY Stonybrook… and I… well I just continued to follow my path. He came to visit me in Ohio five or six years ago and stayed at the Fur Peace Ranch. It was great to see him. His health was failing, and his age was circling him like a morning mist. We broke bread, shared old times… caught up on the not so old times and promised each other we would get together again.
We never did…
Life is a funny old dog and replacing hope with regret is a poor choice…
There are those moments and they just never fade
The look in his eyes and the way the light played
God moved in that moment and the angels all cried
And they gave you a memory that you have till you die
And the lessons you learn and you don’t forget
What makes you grow old is replacing hope with regret
Patty Loveless… Too Many Memories
Yeah… death comes in its own time… unbidden and patient. The sadness of course is all for those of us left behind. What more could I have done? At this point it really doesn’t matter. The answer will not change… this book is closed. I guess it’s just another example of life on the backside of the mountain.
Peter was one of us… we were friends when our earth was new.
We were young together…
Fair winds and following seas brother