So Long Pete

Pete Hamill died on Wednesday at the impressive age of 85.

He was everything I wanted to be as a writer: brave, passionate, prolific and humble, when people called out his name.

I remember meeting him on Astor Place right after rereading his book, Downtown: My Manhattan, for the 5th time. Since it starts at Astor Place, it was uncanny to see him strolling by the Public Theater in chinos and a windbreaker. I ran over to him, mortified later, but it was one of those moments it seemed you had no say in.

He was kind and gracious, and though already in his mid 70s, so damned alluring, still possessing that old-fashioned manly spark I’ve come to know and appreciate.

A man’s man, a lady’s knight, a self-made hero for any kid to look up to.

Originally from Brooklyn, raised by loving Irish parents, alongside siblings he stayed close to, married to a woman that, after years gone by, was still crazy about.

He was a friend of Bobby Kennedy, was the one who convinced him to run for president, and was 4 feet from him when he got fatally shot in 1968.

He was the last shred of that momentous history, not to mention, the quintessential, Meat and Potatoes Man.

Godspeed Pete, and thanks. I’ll miss you.

images.jpeg (1935-2020)

About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Books, creative writing, Culture, grace, Gratitude, Health, History, humanity, inspiration, Love, media, New York City, parents, words, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to So Long Pete

  1. I missed news of his death. Thanks for writing about him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    It’s always so sad when a great person leaves us. I’m sorry for the loss of a writer you admired. I miss Sue Grafton’s brilliant writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale says:

    A lovely tribute to one you so admired. Some do get to live their best life, don’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vasca says:

    Aah, those ‘meat and potatoes’ men…I love your description. It’s always sad when they leave us but, as you beautifully wrote, they leave such wonderful legacies. Thank God for their lives and what they leave for us. And, thanks for writing, Susannah…hugs!


  5. I’m sure he loved being the object of your attention, Susannah. May he rest in peace. So sorry for your loss, but then again he is still with you in his books.


  6. His words will live on, and his memory will never fade.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. He sounds like quite the man. That’s great that you got to meet him.

    Liked by 1 person

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