This Just In: Pete’s Still Pete – December 7, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pete Villarreal.

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

HERMISTON, ORE. – When his family took Pete Villarreal away from Arcata in January, 2008, it seemed his increasingly fragile health had ended his road-roaming days. But now, back in his family’s home town of Hermiston, Ore., Pete’s back on the streets.

His family isn’t happy about it, but can’t contain his wanderlust.

Sometimes he stays with the family, but only for a maximum of two nights, then he’s off roaming the streets again.

“We can’t keep him down,” said Alma Villarreal, Pete’s sister. “We try to get him to stay with us but he says, ‘No, I got things to do.’”

Those things center around wandering the streets of Hermiston and getting arrested for various petty crimes, spending time in Umatilla County Jail, getting out, visiting his family and staring the cycle all over again.

“He’s Pete,” Alma observed.

Hermiston Herald Editor Neil Woelk had been wondering who the individual was that kept showing up in his paper’s police log.

“I just see his name on the arrest blotter once a week,” Woelk said.

He hadn’t been aware of Pete’s legendary stature in Arcata, but had gotten wind of the Ragman’s familiar pattern.

Umatilla County Jail Inmate Pete.

“Whenever he needs a meal, he walks into a restaurant and sits down in the restroom and just waits for the police to come,” Woelk said.

Alma said Pete still speaks of his many Arcata friends. He does get confused sometimes and frets about having left his stuff at “Alan’s house,” referring to his Arcata benefactor Alan Sanborn.

But by and large, she said, he’s following his bliss. “He’s in and out of jail and the ER, always with a smile on his face.”

“Thank you to everyone that still remembers him,” Alma said.

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33 Responses to “This Just In: Pete’s Still Pete – December 7, 2011”

  1. Rose

    That’s a great story.

    #47542
  2. Famous Pete is still around, glad to hear! He used to be on the transit bus when it picked me up for school, HSU. Great guy to converse with. He always appreciated the goodies I gave him to eat and to stack away for later chow. He has a very upbeat attitude and great smile! Love, another one of his “Silly Monkey”‘s! :)

    #47661
  3. taxpayer

    And who pays for his shenanigans?

    #47674
  4. r.j.42

    get a life taxpayer.

    #47702
  5. YOU SILLY MONKEYS ! ! ! !

    #47745
  6. Wendie

    I remember Pete serenading us girls as we walked down the streets of Arcata getting our lunch at Huchins Grocery. He never made us feel uncomfortable just wanted to put a smile on our faces! There was a rumor at one point going around that he was a millionaire and had once paid a classmate several hundred dollars to take him to his mansion. But like all rumors that seamed to be all it was!! Glad to hear that “stinky Pete” as we called him is still roaming around with his big smile!

    #47749
  7. Melissa Stansberry

    I have known Pete for at least 46 years from around the Arcata area, we were co-workers @ the bulb farm. Hi Pete! Glad to see you’re still kickin’ dude! Good to see you’re still smiling. Keep warm, it’s freezing out. I’m happy you’re with family. Thank you family for taking Pete, he’s a good guy.

    #47758
  8. Amy

    I remember in High School a class I was in that Mr. Warze taught, took Ragman Pete to Golden Harvest for breakfast..It was all good till he brought a lady friend to the table and started passing a whisky bottle back and forth under the table…but it was fun!

    #47772
  9. Janice

    we always called him called him crazy pete growing up, adoringly of course. He was harmless but intimidating to most who ‘s path he crossed. I’ll never forget my grandfather giving Pete his old coveralls for Christmas. My grandma just knew we’d never be rid of him from that point on and she was right! Pete was always with a smile and always singing a song. Glad to hear some things dont change!

    #47816
  10. Steve

    Ok, now you need to find the guy that used to bike between Arcata and Eureka, towing a model of a submarine,then the guy that used to roller skate along the same route, waving to every car. How about the guy that walked around Old Town shouting “Pay-pee”. Orik Johnny is gone, rest his soul but you could still profile him. Who did I miss?

    #47821
  11. blerg500

    taxpayer,
    It doesn’t sound like Pete has a need for your tax dollars.

    #47825
  12. betz

    He may have been a little frightening at first sight, but the gentle voice and happiness he expressed washed away those tattered intimidating looks. He used to call us sweetie and honey. I always got a smile when i saw the gentle “Rag Man.”

    #47827
  13. Chacon

    Loved having my hermano over for beers during the early 90s. Glad to see he’s still kicking it around – albeit the wrong town. Bring him back to Arcata where he doesn’t need to get arrested for a meal.

    #47830
  14. [...] WARM, DRY, AND STILL THIRSTY: Kevin Hoover of the Arcata Eye has capably kept us up to date about Arcata’s famous icon and beloved former resident Pete, also known as Manila Pete, Ragman Pete, or simply Pete from Nayarit here in the Eye archives or more recently in this week’s edition. [...]

    #47849
  15. Linda

    I remember Pete, my dad was always giving him food and clothes much to my moms dismay. She was leary of him, but he was always harmless.

    #47877
  16. Sweet Raggedy Pete was a family friend. He often knocked on our door in Manila to say hello. He never wanted to stay for dinner, but was always happy to take a plate of food away. I’ve wondered what had become of him. So glad he is stil walking the planet. Love you, Pete!

    #47911
  17. jay patton

    pete helped me dig my first garden in arcata in 1991. it was at the world peace house on spear ave. i will always remember him and miss him. i am glad to hear that he is still kickin it in his very own style. i understand the feeling to be outside, etc., so it must be difficult for his family who wants to have him stay with them. thanks for the update!

    #47915
  18. fourty ouncer

    I worked with Pete at the bulb farm, back in the 80′s. We were standing at the ‘counting table’ in the field one day, talking, and I heard the sound of running water. I looked under the table and realized he was peeing on my boot. Just whipped it out and started peeing. He was very apologetic about his bad aim. A sweet guy.

    #47942
  19. Dan Hughes

    Nerd

    #48127
  20. Dan Hughes

    Only thing this guy ever worked at was grubbing beer money at the gasOcheckOmart.

    #48128
  21. Dan, if you don’t have anything nice to say…

    #48129
  22. truthteller

    Pete gets SSI. When he was in Humboldt, he got $125 weekly for spending money. It would be mailed to the pharmacy on f and 11th for him to pick up. A well meaning APS worker really wanted him put in a snf which is why his family was contacted by his conservator and he was “saved.” He is good natured but lets face it, he creeped my kids out big time when he tried to touch them with his unforgettable yellow long crusty fingernails and it sucked to be at work when he locked himself in the bathroom until the cops came. yes, he’s sweet but cleaning the bathroom after him sucked….and I’ve never had $125 a week of disposable income despite my being continuously employed. you’d be shocked by how many plazoids are on SSI….

    #48480
  23. Trisha Frank

    I remember pete he was by my place a bit in eureka, he was nice to us and our kids.

    #64702
  24. Trisha Lee Huffman

    I remember pete he was by my place a bit in eureka, he was nice to us and our kids.

    #65883
  25. Trisha Lee Huffman

    I remember pete he was by my place a bit in eureka, he was nice to us and our kids.

    #66074
  26. Trisha Lee Huffman

    I remember pete he was by my place a bit in eureka, he was nice to us and our kids.

    #66638
  27. Trisha Lee Huffman

    I remember pete he was by my place a bit in eureka, he was nice to us and our kids.

    #68530
  28. Maria Paradiso

    I remember Amazing Pete as I called him. He was alittle out there but he was so interesting but a great guy. Hello Amazing Pete. Sincerely, Mary Paradise.

    #64711
  29. Maria Paradiso

    I remember Amazing Pete as I called him. He was alittle out there but he was so interesting but a great guy. Hello Amazing Pete. Sincerely, Mary Paradise.

    #65884
  30. Maria Paradiso

    I remember Amazing Pete as I called him. He was alittle out there but he was so interesting but a great guy. Hello Amazing Pete. Sincerely, Mary Paradise.

    #66075
  31. Maria Paradiso

    I remember Amazing Pete as I called him. He was alittle out there but he was so interesting but a great guy. Hello Amazing Pete. Sincerely, Mary Paradise.

    #66639
  32. Maria Paradiso

    I remember Amazing Pete as I called him. He was alittle out there but he was so interesting but a great guy. Hello Amazing Pete. Sincerely, Mary Paradise.

    #68531

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