Uncapped: The Unseen Letters of PG and His Tribute to DONDI

Posted on: September 27th, 2018 at 5:08 am by

Courtesy of NAT KOA (PG bottom right, red jacket, NAT bottom center, green jacket)

In December of 1998, PG (George Torres aka PGism) sent a letter to NAT KOA. It was a tribute letter to DONDI and in it was a simple request:

Courtesy of NAT KOA

Courtesy of NAT KOA

Courtesy of NAT KOA

On November 4, 1999, PG tragically died. He was only 36. A son, a brother and a father; the proverbial glue that kept a half-dozen graffiti crews together. For those who knew him well, he would say “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” He was right.

Along with the DONDI tribute, there are other letters from PG that NAT chose to share with us. In many, PG mentions Tabitha (DIVA). Last year, she shockingly passed away mere months after re-doing a PG tribute wall. The heartache palpable.

“My Brother.”

How many people out there refer to PG as their brother?  When these letters were penned (with impressive penmanship), we were so concerned about Y2K.  But the computers we feared would destroy our world waited at least another decade. Ironically, PG’s request was to make sure these ended up on the internet, a place where social media devours friendships, creates new beef, and births keyboard killers. How could he have known that his brothers would turn against each other behind phones and computer screens? Again, for those that knew him, PG represented hope. He would say “if I pass on don’t mourn me, break out the Colt 45.”

Courtesy of NAT KOA

What happens next is up to you. Brothers can continue fighting brothers. Or, seeing PG’s handwriting again, reading the correspondence in his baritone voice can be a reminder that, once upon a time, you were not defined by separate crews: VIC or TPA or KOA or FTR or YKK… You were family. His family.

So raise up a Colt 45 to PG. Here’s hoping the graffiti community finds its way back to that place. In honor of DONDI, in memory of all who have been lost like DIVA and for the sake of PG.

Rest in Peace and Paint.

Recent Stories

Chinatown Garment Industry Hanging by a Thread

Once a hub of manufacturing for the city’s garment industry, there are only a few remaining factories in Chinatown from a peak in the hundreds. The localized industry, which once employed thousands of immigrant women and men, sparked an area restaurant boom in the 1970s. Yet, began to decline in the late 1980s when manufacturers started […]

Residents Unite Against Developer Plans to Swap Park for Parking on LES Waterfront

Residents on the Lower East Side waterfront may soon lose more publicly accessible outdoor space. The developer of a new super-tall plans to reduce a children’s playground to a parking lot. As excavation work commences on Chetrit Group’s 70-story, twin-towered development at 265 South Street, tenants in the adjacent building – Lands End II – […]

Chinatown Homeless Murder Suspect Still Awaiting Trial

More than two years since the horrific murder of four homeless men in Chinatown, the suspect has yet to be held accountable for the crimes. In the early morning hours of October 5, 2019 Randy Santos stalked, then allegedly bludgeoned to death Cheun Kwok, Anthony Manson, Florencio Moran and Nazario Vasqez-Villegas while asleep on the streets. In […]

Excavation Begins for 70-Story South Street Towers

Cranes, and plywood, and pile-drivers, oh my! Such is the story down on the Lower East Side waterfront. Department of Buildings on April 12 issued official approval to the Chetrit Group to begin foundation activities for its dual 70-story tower at 265 South. A month later, the big trucks are mobilized. While excavation is now […]

For 7th Year Running, Greek Jewish Festival Returns to Broome Street this Weekend

After a more subdued outing last year, the Greek Jewish Festival this spring is on the rebound, pulling out the stops. It returns on Sunday for another go-round. Founded by Kehila Kedosha Janina on Broome Street seven years ago, the event celebrates the culture and traditions of the Greek Jewish community. Years past saw crowds […]