I hadn't heard from Peter in several weeks, tried his two phones several times and fearing the worst, checked the internet and just learned of his death today, November 11th, via this web site. Firstly, I'd like to express my sincere condolences to his brother, sister and other surviving family members.
I met Peter about 20 years ago through family friends who knew him from his St. Olaf days. His constant good humor was indeed infectious and no party really began before he got there to join it. He was energy personified and nothing slowed him down. Three or four times each year, I'd drive to his home above Dodger Stadium, an architectural masterpiece inside and out, defying easy description, to have a drink (usually a couple wee drams of Scotch and at Christmas-time, his home made Danish atholbrose liquer from an ancient family recipe) and have dinner at some unusual L.A. restaurant, old favorites of ours or a new one we'd try out. Sometimes we would check out a new show at a local museum.
His many civic engagements and contributions to his beloved Los Angeles have been detailed by other people in other pages, so I won't mention what I know of them here, but I'd like his family and friends to know how much he helped me personally as well:
I cannot thank him enough for the profoundly wise and sage advice he gave me covering so many aspects of my own life, over the many years of our friendship. He became like an older brother to me and our friendship, based on so many shared interests, attitudes and sensibilities intersecting through the rich panoply of our respective lives, was always a joy to me. We took several road trips together to celebrate Thanksgiving with mutual friends in Utah and what a trooper he was! I was so impressed with his travel savvy that I invited him to join me on a trip to Thailand and northern Cambodia where we toured the Angkor Wat ruins. We were planning to travel to Mexico to see the ancient Mayan city of Palenque before he passed away.
We had so much fun together! Now I will miss him terribly but my memories of him and our countless hours together, discussing the wide-ranging topics we both loved, philosophy, religion, history, politics, art, music, FOOD (!) and everything else we covered, will remain a true treasure to me. The world will be a palpably impoverished place for his absence, but I take great pleasure in having known him well. I will honor him by dedicating myself to fulfilling his good advice, as he honored me with his great friendship.