Peter Berliant

Sep 30, 2019

Belfast — Peter Joel Berliant of New York City, Belfast, Pattaya, Thailand, and most recently Camden, died suddenly Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, while reading the paper in his office.

Born on March 16, 1939, he was, in the words of a cousin: "a rich boy, son-of-a-doctor-rebel who refused to go to high school, stayed home, fishing, drinking martinis and shooting squirrels from his window with his .22 instead, wrecked his mother's car on more than one occasion, yet managed to win a NY State scholarship because he spent his time reading through the Encyclopedia Britannica."

When his mother finally threw him out the house, he commenced to slum around New York and hitchhike around the United States making an impression on quite a few interesting characters along the way. He liked to say he rubbed elbows with the likes of Burroughs and Ginsberg and he certainly shared their haunts and interests. He was drafted and declared unfit to serve in the army after arriving for his interview on near overdose levels amphetamine.

At some point in the late '60s he got a little more serious as he spoke frequently of his role as a labor organizer at Columbia University, never failing to point out a scar on his head that he earned from a police baton at a rally in 1968.

He met up with Barbara Reed in the '70s. They rented an A-frame on the Goose River and after a weekend spent skinny dipping, wondered why they couldn't live here. They moved to Montville with Barbara's daughter Laurie and had a daughter named Nina and then a son named Charles. As the family drifted apart, Peter began networking his next venture.

This is the only thing he was very clear about wanting included in an obituary: He provided decent quality marijuana at a reasonable price to the people of Waldo County for more than 20 years.

As he drove around the Northeast with his calculator watch and his backpack, he took his own kind of stab at raising two kids in a never-never land of bachelor pads and friends' couches and extra rooms. He was able to beg, borrow, and steal an impossible scheme where his kids were able to attend The Waynflete School. On the way he attracted a collection of odd balls and freaks who thought of him as family.

In an effort to leave reality behind he began seeking retirement in paradise. First Cuba, then Thailand. He settled in to Thailand, vowing to never return standing, and supplementing his meager social security by selling generic Indian Viagra to tourists. He stayed until he could not take care of himself and then went back, and then went back again, burning all bridges in sight.

After exhausting all possible options he finally landed in a retirement home. An insider with access to Peter at the end reports he was scheming a final run of debauchery in Costa Rica from which he swore he would not return.

He was a great cook, a great wit, well-traveled, and impossibly well-read. He could be unendingly generous and thoughtful, always had time for a pinner and a game of cribbage. The coffee pot was always on.

If folks were moved to donate they could give to the Waynflete School Scholarship fund — he owed them a lot of money.

If he owed you money, you can officially write it off now.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Alan Wood | Oct 05, 2019 20:06

The best obituary anyone could write. Rest in peace and wish I could have met you.



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