Uncle Pete is dead
Although I haven’t seen him in a decade since my mother’s death, Uncle Pete is always in my mind – partly because he was someone who was always in the right place at the wrong time, or the wrong place at the right time. He dated my mother’s sister, Alice, in the mid-1950s at a time when my mother was in the hospital and Alice took it on herself to care for me – which meant she took me with her when she dated Pete. I remember how awed I felt at 8 years old when they married and how beautiful she was, and how happy he looked to have her as his bride.
In the 1960s, Pete became the other son my grandfather never had, someone so close to us that he might as well have been born into the Sarti Clan, indeed, we spent as much time at his new house in Fairfield as we did in ours.
It was Pete who greeted me on the front porch of our house that day in 1966 when he told me my grandfather had died. Pete and Alice took my wife in a few years later when I went to jail and the family needed time to raise the bail to get me out.
It was Pete who helped Alice’s brother Ritchie, even after Alice had passed away prematurely in the mid-1970s, and Pete, who continued on as part of our clan, even as faded away, providing cheer for us as moved by our loss as we were
In 2002, when my mother died, it was Pete who came to comfort me.
My mother’s brother Ted pulled me aside after that funeral and said, “Well, it’s only the two of us left from the old house.”
I thought so, too, especially after Ted passed away in early 2010.
But he was wrong. There was still Pete, and now, there is only one of us, and I’ll miss him greatly.
Pete Mastrangelo 1932-1912