Peter Ryan (1974)
I do not know the circumstances of my friend's death or much about his life since I last saw him in 1976 or 7 while driving on Sleepy Hollow Road. I got him to come inside B&R where I worked at the time. We spent an hour just talking and catching up, and then he was gone from my life.
That was the nature of our relationship in 73 and 74, to sit and talk as we cruised in his impossibly long midnight blue (could have been black) and white vinyl-topped Buick Riviera through Barcroft, ate at Papa Gino's or McDonalds or Roy Rogers and smoked cigarettes, etc. Sometimes we stopped at my house and listened to records and continued to talk. Chicago, Rare Earth and the Jackson 5 where the only records he tolerated in my collection. My nights ended at 11, 11:30; his began then, so at night he'd be off on his way to 'his parties' after dropping me at home.
I just enjoyed the hell out of my friend's mind and the comradery we shared. He was smart, funny, sharp witted, dismissive and patronizing toward my 'ignorant white self', but a friend with whom I could talk like no other in high school....and he could also talk 'old white lady' like nobody's business .
When I moved back to Virginia in 1984, I tried to find him several times. I knew where he'd lived on Lacy Blvd and knocked on the door a few times hoping I could trace him, but no one answered. It's like he disappeared. These were the days of pre-internet and pre-cell and pre-facebook. I got married, started raising a boy, and moved to New Hampshire for 11 years, but I asked others about him at the 30th reunion - "I think he's living in apartments near Lake Barcroft" was all I got - and I looked for him online with no success. I just wanted a chance to chat again, to re-capture the friendship however briefly.
So when I heard he'd died at the 40th, I felt the loss of Greg anew with the sad, poignant finality of missed opportunity that only death brings. I don't like this feeling, I wish it weren't true, but let me finish by saying, good luck, God Bless you Greg,where ever you are.
Joel Russo (1974)
Peter Ryan, very well said. A very nice tribute. Hope you are doing great.