You knew Peter. We all did. Tonight the flashing blue & red lights outside my apartment window were not for some drunks getting in a fight. They were for him. I woke up at 1:30 am and noticed 8 police cars at the Exxon located at 200 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, a stone's throw from the Hart Senate Building, Union Station, and the US Capitol. A few cars would've been normal, but not 8. I threw on a shirt and sandals to check it out. As I crossed the street I noticed the entire lot was marked with yellow tape and the Exxon service area's garage door was open. It looked like there was a body in there, slumped over.
I walked back across the street outside of Union Pub and told a couple regulars who were having a cigarette what I saw. They knew Peter better than I did, and were worried it was him. Peter used to sleep at Armand's Pizza a couple doors down from Exxon, before establishing the garage as his bedtime quarters. We decided to walk back over together and one of the guys asked an officer. She confirmed Peter was the man inside and that he had passed of an apparent heart attack.
Tonight was the first I heard that Peter's full name was Peter Bis, and that there was a detailed blog about him:
It is actually an interesting read, full of Pete's conspiracy theories. Some of which appear to have been rather accurate... and some that maybe weren't. Your guess on whether or not Bis built his first motorcycle at the age of three is as good as mine. Hillary Clinton connected to the mafia? Plausible.
After living across the street for over 2 years I had come to know the man fairly well in passing. It was rumored he had some type of a degree, perhaps a JD from Michigan. There was no questioning he was an intelligent guy. He always waved, nodded, and smiled to passersby. Occasionally we'd share a few words. On his off days he'd rant about Princess Diana's murder, how she was his ex girlfriend, and there was a whole conspiracy covering up their relationship, or something along those lines.
Others remembered Pete for his famous, "no skinny dippin!'', warning.
My best personal memories are of him egging me on with, "10 miles today". I'm going to miss that line, and Pete.
*** The correct spelling for Peter's last name is Bis. Above Photo from http://peterbis.blogspot.com/