When I get angry, I hear my father’s voice in my mind.
My friend now in his 80’s living in a senior community shared.
How would you describe your father? I asked
. He was an alcoholic, when he got angry, he really got angry and affected me. He was an executive in Asia for standard oil and traveled much. I was born in Japan.
Really, how was that experience for you growing up in Japan as a Caucasian American?
I was born in Yokohama and lived there until age 10. We had three servants, a male cook, and his wife served meals. We also had a nanny. Every three or four years, we went to New York for a few months.
How was growing up with Japanese children and exposure to the host culture?
I went to a British ran international school in Yokohama through third grade. For 4th grade, I took the train with my two older sisters to Tokyo. I had classmates from all over the world.
Wow, you had an opportunity to develop a world view as a young child. What a blessing. You were a citizen of the world. What do you remember from your childhood?
When I was in 8th grade, perhaps 12 years old, I had a powerful experience, a sudden realization, a gift of knowing about my life, like an inner voice saying make the best of your life.
Would you comment on the “voice?”
It was like an enormous power, like God.
Did you have any other experiences?
Yes, when I was 13-14 years old, I was working as a life guard, fell and injured my head, was resting in bed to heal. One morning I experienced the same force, like an angel with white garment. I saw the last bit of him. It was like putting your finger in an electric socket, feeling the electricity.I still remember and feel it after all these years. When I was in high school, I was walking in Santa Monica walking to a building and I heard” you won’t be in this situation again, do your best.” I got a scholarship to UCLA, I couldn’t believe it.
On another occasion, I was dating a girl, one night when I was going to my room at UCLA, I parked my car in the same place, suddenly I knew inside I was done with that relationship. She called me three times and asked me to go over, I said it was the end and felt I was set free.
You seem to have had a strong intuition since childhood.
Yes, I sense and see people’s inside. In sales, you have to communicate with the inner person. My friends called me the thirty second psychoanalyst.
How did this gift of intuition help you in your life?
I developed a habit to write down my ideas when I woke up in the morning. I has an idea about bringing people of different culture together. I developed a project. We published a book called The World Rebuild, raised funds to develop training centers. We made 14,000 copies, got volunteers and shipped them all over the world. We included a post card for feedback and ideas. We got hundreds of letters and cards coming back.
Wow, you have created powerful global projects at young age.
Yes, I was a warrior inside. One of the major challenges now is that I feel so young inside, maybe thirty years old and wish to do many things. When I can’t, I get frustrated and angry. My body is aching, feel fragile have to use the walker. I get tired of my pain. Yesterday, I got so angry, it wasn’t like me. I got my anger from my father and projected to my son. Thankfully, my wife and son were much wiser and stopped me.
How did you meet your wife?
I met her at a youth conference. She represented Wesley College and I represented UCLA. We were walking with a group of friends and she looked at me in McKenaw Island, Michigan.
Was it love at first sight?
No, few years later when I was doing the international project, she came to help and we worked together. She was helping her brother in Sao Palo, Brazil making a film, when I called to ask her to marry me. She said the night before she had a clear thought; if Peter asks you to marry him, it will be great. She said and came two weeks later. Every day, I took her a rose.
Peter’s eyes were filled with affection as he was back in time with his beloved. What was her name and how long were you together?
Her name was Sterry, we were together from 1966 and she passed away in February of 2017. She was the diplomat in the family. She had Alzheimer’s and was in the hospital for over 10 years. In the last three years, she couldn’t recognize me however, I went to see her three times per week until the end.
It reminds me of the movie the Notebook. Have you seen it?
Yes, I have.
I believe you shared that you guys had a son.
Yes, our son was diagnosed with ALS and after five years, he wanted to leave, had lost control of his muscles. He passed away four years ago, left three sons. The oldest is now 17 and has been accepted to every university he applied for with scholarship. The fifteen year old is tutoring his classmates in five subjects and make $20/hour.
You seem to be very proud of your grandchildren. I recall you wanted to write about your life story for them.
I’d like to share with them about my career in the air force.
What did you do in the air force?
I was a military police in charge of 400 men. It was 1955. Managing so many men was challenging. I learned to give the orders and let the sergeants carry them.
That was wise on your part. Was there any bulling going on? In this time and era, youngsters face bullying behaviors frequently. How did you manage aggressive behavior in the military and in your life?
When I was growing up, I kept my mouth shut and ran away. In the military, I learned to stand up and face whatever came up.
What matters the most to you in your life now?
I want to know what am I doing here? My wife and son are gone. I am interested in Michael Newton’s books about life after life. He has studied thousands of case histories with scientific methods. I know when I go Home I will be greeted by my loved ones with much love and warmth.
What would be some of the highlights you like to write or share with others?
I flew across Pacific ocean five times before age five.I drove Dr. Martin Luther King after his famous speech, I have a dream. I met President Eisenhower and you know flying over Amazon changes one’s perspective. I was invited by Elizabeth Taylor and her mother for dinner in her home.
What is the story about Liz Taylor?
I was the class president at UCLA. I organized a prom dance. Paramount studios gave us a sound stage. We had a “Great Lover” contest. Betty Sullivan, Ed Sullivan’s daughter was there. Paramount created a movie called “Great Lover” and wanted Elizabeth Taylor to have “exposure.”
How was she in person?
She was not my type.
He had a meaningful smile on his face.
What would be the essence of your life to share with the younger generation?
PATIENCE! To be patient with each other and CLAIM it! It isn’t given. Everybody is screaming for attention. The bottom line is that ” I am responsible for all my choice.”
Thank you for sharing your story. I know this is only a small part of your life adventure. for me, your story affirms how childhood experiences impact how we shape and they don’t go away with age. It is a choice to release the negative impacts.
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPY BELATED BIRTHDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
The photo on the wall is to honor him as a veteran.