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Thursday
Aug162012

RIP: Peter Biz

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:

http://peterbis.blogspot.com/

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.

Click here for audio from TRNS's 2008 interview with Peter.

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/

 

 

 

 Questions/Comments: Kevin@biketothebeach.org

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Reader Comments (15)

Very sad. I fondly remember Peter from my days in the Senate. Sadly, a year or so ago another frequent face around the hill -- Andy Bestor -- died in Maryland. He was the guy with the straw hat and the funny signs.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Very sad. I lived on the Hill in 2008-2009 and worked at the Heritage Foundation from 2010-2011. He was a bright spot in my day every time I passed him. Somehow, he knew I'm Jewish and would always have a countdown ready for major Jewish holidays.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBethany Mandel

I was just an intern at the time that I met Peter, but he always remembered my name and greeted me everyday. The interaction was quite interesting to me because I think that he cared about me and what I was doing more than most of the people I was trying so hard to impress on The Hill...yet to many, he was a "nobody." Over the last few years I've come back to DC and I ran into him again. The first thing he did when I neared the Exxon station where he resided was to say my name with a huge grin on my face. What a sweet memory.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather M.

Last year I was taking a photography class while interning at Heritage... Peter let me take this portrait of him. One of the more recent photos as far as I know -- feel free to add/use it. http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/s480x480/482027_3630045117624_2052972160_n.jpg

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecka

RIP Peter thisis very sad news. He's been a staple at that corner since I moved to the Hill in 2004.

"No Skinny Dipping!"

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny

Pete has been a staple of my weekday since I started working at Heritage several months ago. I am shocked to hear that he has left us. I remember introducing Pete to my brothers and his entertaining warnings against skinny dipping every morning. I miss miss him.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Brewster

So sad! Thanks for this post. I don't think I've talked about aliens with any other person in the world. His theories were definitely entertaining! I will update our volunteer team at National Community Church. He spent many a nights with us at our home cooked meal for those without homes. In fact, one of our volunteers helped him get housing for a season...but he preferred the streets over a nice place to live. So in a sense, he passed away in his home. We'll miss him dearly!

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Schmidgall

I worked on the hill as a Senate Page years ago. Me and my fiancee still talk about Peter from time to time. How interesting it is that Peter touched so many lives. He was funny, quirky, and quick to smile. He said some pretty outrageous things but he always made my day better with a nice word or some encouragement. I only hope he knew in some way how many people cared for him as well. Rest peacefully old friend, I'll see you in another life.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam

This is so sad. I just saw him yesterday too. I've been in the habit that last few months of telling him "no skinny dipping" before he can say it to me... it always got a good chuckle from him.

He will certainly be missed. RIP Peter.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterA Brown

I met him before I was married and before I became a mom.... and everytime he saw me, no matter how much time passed, he asked how the marriage was going and how it was to be a mom. He said he liked to keep track of things going on.... and then reminded me to keep smiling (and sometimes to watch my back - you never know who was out there). :) - Amanda

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Sad, sad day to hear that the great Peter has passed. He used to utter the classic line that he gave to many "No skinny dipping!" followed by rants about the law. And only in DC will you find a homeless man with his own business card, which I'm lucky enough to have received. May Peter RIP. He will truly be missed by all.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter's Biggest Fan

I passed him every morning and evening on the way to and from work. I noticed this morning that the crates he sat on were gone and was saddened to find out not long after I got to work that Pete had passed away. He was certainly a fixture on this side of the Hill and will certainly be missed. The neighborhood will certainly be much different without him.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

I actually called the Exxon Station this morning to confirm what I had heard. The man sounded genuinely sad telling me the news and when I passed by this afternoon, there were gas station flowers, Peter's shades, and two cans of pepsi sitting on his crate. I am a nurse and would walk by him everyday in scrubs and he always expressed some sort of gratitude, while also warning me against skinny dipping. He was a staple of everyday life on the Hill and will be missed by a wonderful community!

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeggie

What sad news! I just found out today. I used to live at Mass and 2nd and I had many a conversation with Peter, whom I called Pete. He always had something ornery to say, but we also had a lot of down to earth conversations. I learned quite a few conspiracy theories from him! He remembered my name and we spoke every morning and evening. :( A great man will be missed by many. RIP Peter Bis

August 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I wanted to add that he very may well have been the first person I met when I moved to DC. And a big THANK YOU for writing this article.

August 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

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