Thursday 27 April 2023

Peter the Hermit, Part Two

   ( Continued from yesterday)

    The photo shows the Holmes River.

    Sometime, probably around 1985, my wife and I were in McBride waiting for a Greyhound Bus to take us to Prince George and then on to Victoria.  As we were waiting, I saw Peter also waiting, probably to catch the bus so he could be dropped off somewhere close to Boulder Mountain.  We began talking.

    By this time, it began to show on Peter that living isolated and being too much on his own, was starting to take its toll.  He spoke in a very low mumble, and some of the things he would say didn’t make much sense to me.  Peter asked me where we were going, and I replied that we were going to Victoria to buy a car.

    Peter then said, “I wouldn’t buy a car until they perfected them.”  I nodded that I understood, but I sure didn’t, when would any vehicle, or any machine, ever be “perfect”?  

    I don’t know exactly when Peter moved away from Boulder Mountain, but he started living in a tentout the Holmes River, which was much closer to McBride, just 12 km (7 miles) east.  Trevor, a friend, who also lived east of McBride, made arrangements with Peter to periodically pick him up and drive him into town.

    Once when I was in the library, Peter was there too, and he came over and handed me several pages of print, and told me I should read it, because it revealed the secrets of the universe.  “Wow,” I thought, “What a treasure.”  I thanked Peter and later tried to read it, but try as I could, my brain just couldn’t digest the secret.

    Another time, Peter left a note to me with the librarian.  It said that his guitar was broken and needed a new tuning peg, and ask if I could find one for him. 

    Each make of guitar is different and use different size and spaced tuning pegs.  I left a note to Peter with the librarian asking about exactly what kind of tuning peg he required.  Peter then left the broken 3-peg mechanism from his guitar with the librarian for me, so I could see what he needed.  I took it up to Prince George and to a music store to see if they had a replacement, but they didn’t, so I took it back to the library to be returned to Peter.

    I saw Peter in town a couple of more times after that, his mumble seemed to be getting quieter, and I didn’t always understand much of what he was talking about.

    Last year I heard that Peter had died.  His body had been found in the cabin up the Holmes River.  I don’t know how long it had been between when he died, and when his body was found.

    I always tried to be friendly with Peter, the life he chose to live seemed so isolated and lonely, but  sadly, Peter is not the only person I have run into that have chosen that lifestyle.     

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