Peter Eichenberger died Thanksgiving morning and proved well his enduring unique qualities with the breadth and nature of his mourning. Just one of those qualities was: if you were ready for it, Peter was down with it, and so he made many many friends. They have mourned the loss of his excellent company and all he might have said, but celebrated a life lived full speed and damn the torpedoes, smelling the roses and leaving no stone unturned along the way. Teasing and sarcasm was our way, as with many, and he would hate those cliches, but he was a man worthy hyberbole, since his life consisted of it.
I feel very lucky to have explored Cameron Park’s myriad of alleyways on bike with him this summer, and glad that I shared so many drinks at Sad’s with him, and I hate like the dickens I never got him together with my dad, whose stories of Depression downtown Raleigh and Southern Railroad energized him any time I touched on them. He could ably discurse on innumerable subjects, and he taught me much. He reminded me that Willie York had ditched and piped Pigeon House Branch to build the first shopping center in the Southeast when I was writing about that troubled creek, and he explained to me that the “geodesic” dome I liked so much at the Fairgrounds was actually made of hexagons (instead of pentagrams like Bucky’s). He could write in the Downtowner of dog history and at Metro of Raleigh history and in the Indy of technological history, but I loved to hear him talk of cultural history and the local media history he had lived with all these years. He was a writer, Raleigh’s own Gonzo, but he was rooted in the Earth by what he could do with his hands, which was just about anything if he wanted to.
What he wanted was for the world to be right and what he knew was that the world is very very screwed up. He was right, and when those dark spectres bothered him he would share about the Mayan prophecies or the bombed levees or some other conspiratorial tale that bothered some but seemed clearly to be metaphors: the world is very very screwed up.
Peter also gathered the best kind of vibes and lived in the harmony of many positive energies. Thus was he beloved and is honored by so many in the words that have flowed since his passing. He leaves behind many words of his own, but scattered over the town of Raleigh (and the world wide web) like raucous crows, singing a noisy chant of art, art for life, art against the controlling state and the corporate fascists, art for love. Peter love Peter.
Here are some of the many links for the outpouring online for Peter and links for his own writing:
Here we go and you are welcome for the ride. Raleigh Rambles. A Raleigh native’s rambles. Raleighites making art and making good. The city of Raleigh rambles out to the big wide world. The big wide world rambles into Raleigh. All of the above. This is my personal blog – mostly art and culture, but whatever else as well, because it is all good, all is good. Everything we do is art – or can be. Welcome to my new blog.
This online world is a hoot and a holler, isn’t it? It’s been fun to watch and even more fun to join. I’ve been very lucky. My school had a Nando account, allowing us to use gophers and ftp’s to look at a few data bases, before the World Wide Web came to exist. I have watched my buddy Clyde take the Net by the horns and shake it like a money tree for some time, while building his hip hop web empire. My friend Richard has been hand-rolling a blog since before there were blogs – I guess that means he helped create the blog culture. Blogs seem very much to be the universal multi-media uberform that Clyde and I dreamed about in the late seventies. I like them very very much.
Raleigh is blessed with great local blogs. Raleighing was fun while it lasted. New Raleigh does a most professional job, as recently with their slideshow of Rebusfest, and a review of my new neighbor, Rosie’s Plate. And RDUwtf, of course, has my biased adoration, and is back in business after a nasty spamlink attack. Here, I’m not trying to review Raleigh – I’m portraying myself and my cultural mileu as a native Raleighite.
A fine cultural mileu indeed! World class museums, enough of a city to be a city but rural scenes a ten minute drive away. Greenways galore, which I blog about at Raleigh Nature. A decent music scene, I understand, but you will not read much about any music other than jazz here. My favorite piece of Raleigh is the whole scene anchored by The College of Design -with Sadlacks’s as its lodestone. I love to run into old friends or find out what young art entreprenuers like Sarah Blackmon are up to. And I still get to enjoy catching somebody up on The Paper Plant and being reminded it is still remembered.
So here goes my personal take on Raleigh, old and new, work and play – living the examined life in the New South. Join me when you have a chance!