… Life is too short to be losing friends this way!

I’ve been trying to find out what’s going on with some old friends I’d lost touch with over the years. Lots of different reasons, but – our paths diverged.
So – I’d google their name and see what came up. Usually nothing – most of them had no real web presence.

But today I got info I had been dreading … I’d lost an old friend …
Peter Lackler – Deceased.

I’d met a whole new group of friends when my high school friend, Joe Perrone,
moved to the Wheaton area and started attending Northwood High School.
I became friends with Tony Lackler around 1971. Tony and I were the same age, but I also knew his younger brother, Pete.

After Tony graduated college he moved to Louisville for his first post-college job.
The following summer we all 3 got together for 2 weeks camping and dirt bike riding in WestVa. (This was back when I had a Triumph 750 twin).

After the trip Pete and I spent a lot of time together, just riding around the area and hanging out. I had the Triumph, and Pete had a friend’s Yamaha 650. We were pretty young, and we rode like we were immortals. Big fun summer.

Shortly after that we got word that Tony had died in a gun accident alone on the target range in Kentucky. Pete and I became closer friends for a while, he even got me into Alfa Romeos about that time. But he got serious about finishing his college , and I was having some bad spells of depression and denial. When I finally figured out that I had to turn myself around or life would be toxic, I went through a number of changes,
dried myself out ( just before I hit 38), came out, and took a turn that left most of my old friends behind. Pete was just one of many friends I didn’t see much after that.

Since then, life has gotten pretty nice. I met Emma, we bought a house together, and we’ve been a couple for since 1997 … but, I still wondered about my old friends.

I ran across an ebay ad last year that mentioned one old friend, Art Amsie. He was an engineer that had a hobby of pin-up art – years ago he had a shop called The Girl-Whirl. He showed me original oil painting from Gil Elvgren. I later found out he was involved in one of the early Betty Page photo shoots, years ago.

Also turns out that he died a few years back. I probably should’ve stayed in touch, but he got a bit private, so did I, life took some turns and … we just lost touch.

So – I’d been looking up some other old friends and a few days ago I saw the names Peter Lackler and Marian Lacker (his mom) listed on an 2006 Easter Service in Ellicott City, MD – but when I had time to go back and read the bulletin for the service – they were listed in the “Memorial” section. I googled and googled and finally found Pete’s name on a School reunion page – listed as “Deceased”. No other information.

Don’t know if it was a car crash, illness, home fire … no idea.

Life is too darned short to loose friends like this