If there’s any one thing that consumes me it’s a sense of loss–ongoing, ever-present, beyond my control.
Today was a day of loss. It began with news that a former neighbor, a woman I’ve known for more than 40 years, suddenly passed away. While we knew she had a few health problems none of us expected this.
Then this evening the news of Pete Fornatale’s passing came over the transom. Truth be told, I was never a fan as some were. I recognized the passion for the music, the distinct Bronx accent, the gentleness. But I never succumbed, who knows why. Back in the 70s my friend Tom lectured me on the differences between the free-form stations we had our choice of listening to. WNEW-FM, he declared, was notable for its sets based on extended themes.
Pete was the king of those themes.
As I’ve suggested, my journey doesn’t have a path back to a garden and so that late 60s ethos always grated on me. And yet I was a radio obsessive, sucking in as much music as I could whenever I could. Still am and still do. So, almost inevitably, the WNEW-FM crew–including Pete–were part of that journey. Which is why I find myself missing a long dormant part of my youth. I find myself saddened by the loss of a fellow music lover with Bronx roots.
Death has been a companion–unwanted and unloved–since I was three. Yet death does serve a purpose: to remind us of the preciousness of life. So, for every song I ever heard Pete play that sparked a smile or a shout of joy from me or anybody else, here’s to life.
Get some rest, Pete, you did good.
One thought on “A Day of Loss”
Amen. Thanks for that lovely and worthy tribute. I’m really sorry for the loss of your friend and former neighbor.