Sunday, June 09, 2013

Sunday Sunday Sunday At Raceway Park!

One of the first things I do when I log on to the innertubes is to peruse the latest Facebook posts. This is what I found this morning:

Sunday Sunday Sunday at Raceway Park!
That was P.T.'s way of saying good morning Facebook on Sundays. It was a catchphrase of his, and when we could see that, we knew P.T. was still with us. But not today.

fishing in his younger years
 P.T. was a blog father of mine. He was the proprietor of The Plains Feeder, based in an old feedlot in Nebraska. I found him surfing around for bloggers who lived in my area when I first got online.  I learned very quickly that P.T. was a unique human.

He was a very well educated man - a lawyer who traveled the world and lived the life. Revolution in Spain? He was there. He was more or less somewhere between libertarian, Constitutionalist, and anarchist. His criticisms of the government were ruthless, concise, precise, acerbic and surgical. And yet, he was kindly with his intellectual powers.

Doing his best Hunter S. Thompson in Venice
He was also a recovered alcoholic. I always figured he'd just burned out, because he was more or less a recluse out at that feedlot. Society burned him out, and the internet was a lifeline. He freely admitted to his mistakes in life - never blamed them on someone else or some entity. His errors were all his.

I have tried to do the same myself.

Then, his health worsened. Cancer. His ex wife, a professor in Iowa, had him move in with her. In my mind, the friendship P.T. had with  his ex wife was a measure of the man he really was, because she more or less became his live-in nurse. She retired, and they moved to New Mexico. This, as far as I remember, happened in 2009-10.

P.T. had a huge tumor on his neck, and it was removed, plus he received chemo and radiation therapy. The medical folks were less than enthusiastic about letting him have pain meds because of his past history, so he was in some pain for some time. At some point, when they knew he was just counting the days, they relaxed that thinking and P.T. was able to enjoy some relief. Simple foods and drinks were appreciated. The wildlife at their place was savored. Wild horses were always dropping by for P.T.'s amusement.

A man of simple needs
It is with great regret that I never took the chance to meet him. I had one chance some years ago - I was coming back through Omaha, and he'd have met me at one of the truck stops. But, my company wanted my butt home, so I didn't take the time. Damn. He certainly led a fascinating life, and I'd have loved to hear more.

And we all knew his days were numbered and that he was in pain. He had become enamored with Facebook over blogging because of it's more immediate social interactions, and it was a great relief to me to see him post as often as he did. I know I'm not alone in this, either, because he did have some close pals who thought the world of him.

And, while it is best that he has left us for a better place, and isn't suffering any more, my day is far less bright today than it would have been.

Goodbye, P.T., and hope to meet you in the future.


theMickey's said...


Genevieve Netz said...

Thank you, Jeff. I met PT on the internet in the same way you did, while looking for Nebraska bloggers. He had a great vitality and joy in life that he shared through the keyboard. I hate losing him, but I am thankful that his suffering is done.

Dad Bones said...

This is long overdue, Jeffro, but I wanted to thank you for a great tribute to my cousin and friend, PT, who I've known since the fifties.

When he was living at the feedlot and looking for a 53' trailer to live out his years I went with him on a search one day. He was armed with a raft of things to look for that you had clued him in on or warned him about. We had fun looking and the good news is neither one of us decided to live in one.

He respected you, trusted you and liked your writing. In a tone of voice only PT could pull off he said you were "pretty cool". If you had met him at a truck stop that day it would have been just like him to have talked you into coming over to the feedlot to shoot the breeze, and helped you concoct the perfect story for your company.

Jeffro said...

Damn. Thank you, DB. You take care, y'hear?!?