Postcard to Gretchen in May 1987

I’m not exactly sure when I wrote this, but based on the Gary Hart reference, it may have been on 8 May 1987. (You can click on the image to see a larger version of it.)

JP to Gretchen (May 1987)

The job reference confirms that it was some time of May 1987. Mary was flying in because Dean and I were celebrating, with our respective girlfriends, five years at our respective aerospace firms. Indeed, I even had a cake made for after dinner that read “FFY” for “five years.”

Postcard to Gretchen

Here’s a postcard I sent to Gretchen (c/o Patrick) on 6 April 1987. Not much news but included for the completeness of the record. (Click on it to see a larger version.)

JP to Gretchen (6 Apr 1987)

About the Mary reference: Mary and I had driven to Vegas for my birthday celebration, but I failed to make hotel reservations. It was snowing up there, but we walked around and had dinner and enjoyed the sites, such as they are. I couldn’t find a place for us to stay so we drove to Henderson, still couldn’t find anything. We finally traveled over Hoover Dam through heavy snow and stopped for the night in Kingman, following big trucks, who cleared the tracks for us, in my Karmann Ghia. She was quite angry with and thought we were going to die.

You Coulda Been a Hero

Patrick liked the writing style in this letter from Gretchen, as did I, though it was painful for him to read. Some references have been edited at my sister’s request.

WARNING: Sensitive readers may be offended by this letter’s foul language or the reality of the tale itself.

CHAPTER ONE

You pegged Pedro dead to rights, when I called him a neanderthal. You said “no, cro-magnon, he wouldn’t eat his own children, but he would eat anything else.”

But at least he noticed I was there. Which was more than could said for you … during the important bits.

By the time we got hauled out of the 2nd orphanage, (the BEST SETUP EVER, lemme tell you) I didn’t even know who was doing the hauling. They SAID … but for all I knew, she could have been the Fucking Tooth Fairy, rumored to exist but rarely seen, since you had to believe it first.

Or the rare triangle-spotted ocelot. Continue reading “You Coulda Been a Hero”

Patrick’s Ring

Patrick’s Ring, a Gift to Him from Gretchen

Years ago Gretchen gave Patrick a small ring, red and silver, which he wore often. When he passed away she asked me to send it back to her, which I did.

A week or two ago I was surprised to see it in my mailbox. She sent it to me, hoping that I’d wear it.

This I am doing, even here at the race track where a year ago (minus two days) I received the news of his end. Like the other little things of his that I keep close, it provides comfort–a wee bit of comfort–for the sadness.

Another Short Conversation

A short recording (25 Mar ’17)  in which you can tell Patrick’s pain is clearly getting to him, yet he still shows his sense of humor.

John: Any interesting stories or any practical things you want to …?

Patrick: I’ll have to try to… I can’t think. Let’s see.

Continue reading “Another Short Conversation”