Peter Watson died two days ago. Peter was the inspiration for my "Desmond" comics. Peter passed away in his sleep, as is happening more and more with family and friends these days. We're at that age.
Peter's sister Leda (Janet) was my best friend, growing up. We were close enough that I always felt that the Watsons were family.
Janet Watson - Peter's mom - volunteered with our grade school, Westview, and was often in the newspapers about her involvement in civic activities.
Janet also had the "Glee Club" in her home, and I was a member. She played guitar and piano, and taught us many songs. Once, Janet, my mom, Leda, my brothers and I went skating at a rink in S.F. I think it was special because it was something both moms - hard-working mothers - could participate in, with us. Leda's sister Gigi is also a friend.
When I visited the Watsons in West Hollywood in the mid-1990s, Peter gave me a tour. He humored me when I asked him to pose for a few photos, insisting that he take my picture instead, for my memories there. It was the first time I walked the Sunset Strip, what a treat! He was quite patient with me as I checked out all the footprints in front of Graumann's Chinese Theater.
Peter was a great tour guide, showing me around West Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, and other places, like the Chateau Marmont, the Viper Room, and the Klasky Csupo studios, where Leda was a color designer for the Simpsons t.v. show.
Leda reminded me of another incident that I created a comic about: "The police tried their damnedest to arrest him, but the neighbors intervened. They were furious with the police and explained he'd saved the building from catching fire by rolling the flaming dumpster out of the parking structure and onto the pavement. The cops just assumed he was the villain. Some people find it hard to believe racial profiling even exists."
Peter worked for a gas station, when young. This customer interaction is pretty much as he described it.
Peter loved to run - he had a habit of running every day - and I included that in the strips.
Though Peter is gone from this life, I believe that we are all here for a reason, and Peter's memory lives on. Goodbye my muse, my friend. Until the next chapter....