Within a week or two of joining the company, Peter invited me along to a Thai restaurant, the Lemon Tree Cafe. It was the first time I had ever eaten Thai food and it was where I met my wife, whose family owns the restaurant. Put simply, I would probably not have the happy life I have today, but for Peter taking me there that day.
We also shared an odd shared interest, Peter and I:
I'm a little embarrassed to mention this, but I've always had a fascination (shall I say, "appreciation") for spiders since I was a boy, as they represent a diverse array of highly evolved, skilled predators unparalleled in the vertebrate world. I won a prize at a science fair when I was 12 for keeping a collection of black widows and making scientific observations of them over the course of a year. Peter was the first person I knew (other than a college professor) who shared the interest. Although I had abandoned it long ago, he had a few specimens preserved in acrylic paperweights in his office. I seem to recall he had a Rhinoceros beetle in there, too.
On Monday, September 10, the day before his flight to L.A., I was in his office prepping his laptop for the presentation he was to give. We were joking and laughing about the fact that few others, including his wife, Rachel, didn't share his appreciation of bugs. Several weeks earlier, Peter had loaned me a book he described as his absolute favorite, cherished read, the Biology of Spiders (2d. ed., Oxford Univ. Press, 1996). His wife conveyed to me that Peter would have wanted me to keep it. And so, it remains on my shelf to this day.