In memoriam: Peter Prifti

By Julika Prifti

Zef Shllaku, Julika and Peter Prifti (at Zef house, San Francisco, 1994).

Today is the 10th anniversary of Peter Prifti’s passing.

He is well known in Albanian community for his work with bishop Noli, books about Albania and Kosova, his view on the Unification of Albanian language,  for writing the Albanian part in Encyclopedia Britanica and for his writing in every newspaper in America or other countries to denounce false accusations and lies about historical or political events about  Albania or Kosova. He was relentless and worked  in this field over 50 years.
Those are known facts by many people.
An unknown fact is his original  short stories. After uncle Peter’s visit in Albania, in summer of 1985, we established a regular correspondence. I wrote about the news in Albania and he wrote me about things about Albania in America.  After a while I asked uncle Peter to  write to me in English so I could practice the language. Uncle Peter came up with an original idea. He decided to send me a short story written by him. I could not wait for the mail from America that needed few weeks to arrive in Tirana to read his short stories. I loved his stories and read and reread them many times.
Now, that I am “ in a house- arrest from coronavirus,” I decided to put some order in my  letters and card of decades. I was searching and finally I found these original pieces written for me by uncle Peter. They ring as beautiful, as fresh,  honest and truthful as I remembered them in my first reading 32 years ago in the apartment in Rruga Bajram Curri 330/3 in Tirana.

 

Maxine

By Peter Prifti

We never dated, Maxine and I… never kissed, never held hands the way teenagers do. I just adored her from afar.

One day, however, quite by chance, we met and talked for a few minutes. It happened in the morning on my way to High School. I say her coming out of her home, half a block down a side street, and stopped for her. She smiled and kept walking toward me on her flat, moccasin shoes and bare legs. My pulse quickened and I flushed with excitement and bewilderment. As she drew nearer with each step, the world around me began to dissolve and disappear.

“Good morning!” I said in a trembling voice.

‘Good morning,” she replied calmly.

“How are you? I continued, wondering what I was going to say next, afraid I would be tongue-tied.

“Just fine, how’s yourself?”

She was also walking to school that morning, so we walked together. For about twenty magic-filled minutes we walked together, side by side. For twenty minutes I heard the music of her voice and looked at her lovely face. Each time she looked at me, each time she smiled, I was in Heaven. If only we could walk together like this to school every morning I said to myself.

What did we talk about? Nothing much, just small talk. I did not tell her I loved her. I figure I didn’t have to. She could see that I was infatuated with her. So we kept walking and talking. Soon, all too soon, we arrived at school and went our separatë ways, Maxine to her class, and I to mine.

We continued on our separate ways ever after.

 

San Diego, California

June 26, 1988

Celebrating Peter’s 75 birthday at Bruno’s Restaurant (Manhattan 1999)

Eri, Julika, Peter Prifti, Mary and Peter Terpatsi ( the other Albanian Peter living in San Diego. San Diego 1994).

Peter Perpatsi’s sketch of Peter Prifti.

Rafaela, Peter and Naum Prifti with Adem Demacin and other friends ( Kosova 2002)

One Response to “In memoriam: Peter Prifti”

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  1. Sami Repishti says:

    Peter R. Prifti: good man, good friend of mine. IN miss him. May he rest in peace

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