Egret and crab

Monday, May 15, 2023

Goodbye, Pete


I received the shocking news that Pete died last night and sent this letter out to a few longtime Fallbrookians:
I got word tonight that Peter Wedll, longtime owner of the Artery Frame Shop in Fallbrook, has passed away. Cancer. Leslie had heard a rumor and we had a neighbor of his do some checking. We just got the phone call. Apparently Pete went to the doctor, found out he had stage four lung cancer and was gone in three one weeks. He passed away mid April. Nothing they could do.

Pete had a business on Main St. for a very long time. He was the best frame restorer I have ever known, a true craftsman. He was also an extremely nice guy, had a heart of gold, we never had a cross word in decades of working together. Happens so quick. I stopped going to the Red Eye, where I used to run into him now and then and guess I never got the word. Feel bad for him. I remember he had a daughter, who was doing well out of state.

I know nothing more, no idea if there will be a memorial. Thought you might want to know.


Robert Sommers
Blue Heron Gallery

Pete Wedll was the nicest guy you could ever meet. It would be exceedingly hard not to like him. Peter had a hearty, genuine laugh. He grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota, was used to getting up early and milking the cows, he was a man accustomed to hard work.

I looked around my photos real quick for a shot of him and didn't find a lot. Thought I had pictures of everybody. Here he is helping Leslie and I take a picture of a navajo rug. It shows his ever present smile. And his giving nature, he was always there to help.

I found one other picture but his eyes are unfortunately closed. Damn! Will probably find something better.

This is from back at the Moose Lodge days. Peter enjoyed his grog and I spent many an afternoon and evening sitting next to him on a barstool. 

You honestly learn a great deal of a person after a beer or a shot and time on an approximate barstool and Peter and I were pretty close.

We would laugh and we would commiserate. He had some pretty awful luck with wives, I think he would be the first to admit that. But it didn't sour his ever sunny disposition.

He was very proud of his daughter, Lacey. And his brother Don in Alaska, who was another amazing guy. Pete often talked to me about going back to Minnesota, where he had inherited family land.

I don't know what more I can say. He had a business on Main St. longer than anybody I know except for Mike Port maybe. Got royally screwed by the guy he sold the shop to. He was a consummate craftsman and a fine artist himself. Best frame restorer I have ever seen, very meticulous and expert at creating lost wax corner moldings. Pete was the first framer I remember in Fallbrook, think he was even here before Richard Goldsmith.

We sort of lost touch when he closed his place down but I would run into him very occasionally when I stopped by the Red Eye. 

He called me a while back and said he finally had restored an old frame for me and would drop it off. It never happened. Oh, well.

We are losing a lot of people now but Pete was taken from us way too early to that accursed disease cancer that strikes down so many. Just sucks how fast the world can fall apart.

He was loved by all. We send love and condolences to his daughter, family and close friends and to his friends at the bar. I look forward to hoisting a shot in his honor very soon.

I am told that there will be a potluck memorial for him this Sunday at the Red Eye Saloon at 1:00 p.m. Unfortunately I will not be in town and will be unable to attend.

Pete, you will be sorely missed!

postscript - I met with Peter's daughter today. I extended everybody's best wishes. Peter actually was diagnosed, went into the hospital immediately and died within a week, not three weeks. Terrible.


Will Shakespeare said...

Pete was a good friend and drinking buddy. I had no idea and am very sad to see him go! Thanks for the info Robert.

Diane O said...

This is bad news indeed. When I came down here from Santa Monica, I was used to very good framers, top notch. Pete beat them hands down. I had some difficult heavy ceramic pieces that needed to be hung, but he was not stumped and gave me excellent design advice too, something I thought I had good artistic sense about. But his ideas were clearly better and Im glad I took his advice. I was devastated when he told me he was retiring, and I tried to get him to work on my pieces even after he left but he was truly retired. The fellow he sold to was completely unfamiliar with anything to do with framing. I had a piece with the shop that I actually had to go in and snatch away, rescue it from his grasp. I'm sorry to hear he didn't get what he deserved from selling the place, but his reputation is undiminished in my eyes. He was missed then, and again now. ~ Diane O

Blue Heron said...

Ohhh, this is very sad news. Pete was such a cool guy and the best framer ever! We have many pieces of artwork in our home that were framed by Pete. He was always so helpful when it came to choosing the perfect mat and frame and then putting all together beautifully. I was so bummed when he retired and closed The Artery. I don’t know the details, but I understand there was a some kind of snafu with whoever he sold the business to. His daughter Lacey was in the same class as my daughter Kate, so we always had that in common. Thank you for sharing this news Robert. Even though it is heartbreaking, I am grateful to know. JH

Blue Heron said...

Such sad news. He was a gem and had such patience with me while I vacillated with choices. One of my favorite frames is with olive wood. I’ll think of him when I look at that picture. Thanks for letting me know. RoxAnn

Blue Heron said...

We were so sorry to hear this . We've been meaning to tell you but totally slipped our minds ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ขvery very sad . We’re losing so many friends lately ❤️


Blue Heron said...

Oh no, such sad news. Peter was too young, a very nice guy.Thanks you for sharing this tragic news.

Penny Fedorchak

Blue Heron said...

Wow. Thank you Robert. He was a very nice guy. I had him do some work for me too. Very sad.

Julie Reeder

Blue Heron said...

Tks Robert. Remember Peter well. He did a lot of framing for us over the years. We moved here in 1982. We had him doing work probably when he set up shop in the old Russell Kirk house?
We just turned 80. Lots of good friends and relatives passing away. One of us goes to a memorial event every other month.
Stay well.

Blue Heron said...

Peter was an amazing guy. I was in the last supper with him for seven years. He played Jesus I played Judas.
Very frequent customer at the Deli as well super sweet man.๐Ÿ˜ž


Blue Heron said...

Oh such sad news. He was an extraordinary craftsman and a very nice guy. Thanks for letting me know Robert. Jerri

Blue Heron said...

Thanks for letting me know Robert. Peter was a great guy, and I always enjoyed our conversations. He was an open book, which I found refreshing in a world full of manipulative people. I’m sorry to hear he passed so suddenly. He will be missed.