Last night, Peter Bis, a well-known and well-liked fixture of Capitol Hill, passed away of an apparent heart attack.
Anyone who has ever been near the Exxon at Massachusetts and 2nd Street NE knew Peter, even if they didn’t know his name. From his place on the sidewalk, he would engage in conversation with passersby, wishing people a good day at work, or encouraging them to get through the week with a countdown of how much longer it was to the weekend. When I used to walk to Union Station, I always made it a point to remove my earbuds before walking by Peter, because I knew he would always brighten my day – and he never disappointed. I fondly remember his “no skinny dipping!” exhortations to people as they were heading home for the weekend. He was always willing to strike up a conversation and he never asked for handouts.
Peter had been in the neighborhood for as long as I can remember (I moved here in 2005), and you can find many fond write-ups about him, including in The Hill and various blogs (a good example found here). And, of course, you could read his various musings and theories on his personal blog. He will be greatly missed by many people in the neighborhood.
We will post updates regarding any planned memorial services for him when we hear about them.