Stories about Peter
If you have a story that you would like to share, please send it to us.
Dad and I went camping and fishing together a lot when I was little, either with the Boy Scouts or just the two of us. One of Dad's favorite spots to fish was near Roscoe, along the Beaverkill and the Willowemoc rivers. Ever since then, I always thought of him as I passed Roscoe on my way to and from Ithaca and so it was as I drove down last Friday to see him in the hospital after his stroke. From the highway, the Beaverkill looked all frozen and shiny, running quick in dark patches between the ice, and I thought of our trips there over the years. Of hooking trout in the quiet eddies that pool behind boulders, just where he had taught me to try. I considered stopping to touch the water once more but decided at the last moment to drive on through. Ten minutes out of Roscoe, Beth called to say Dad had passed ten minutes before.
Always Made Friends
Peter knew everyone in Hollywood and some people you wouldn't expect knew Peter. One beautiful day, after working together at STS, Peter and I drove up Sunset Blvd looking for a good place to have dinner. We decide on Scandia, one of those places where Hollywood royalty dined. This was where the stars went to have cocktails and crab salad. The hostess takes us to a table. The waitress in her costume and creamy Coty Red lipstick walks up, looks at Peter and says Hello like she knows him. She takes our drinks order, looking over at us as she walks away. She comes back with two drinks on a tray, leans over and says to Peter, "Haven't seen you in a while." Peter laughs... "How long have you worked at this restaurant!" Our waitress remembered Peter from a time long ago, when he used to eat at Sandia while he was working in Hollywood. He made quite an impression and always made friends along the way.
Walking the Aisle Together
When I think about my father-in-law, Peter, the most memorable occasion for me is surely the time of my wedding to Marc at Saint John the Divine cathedral in New York City. My parents were not able to come from Japan to attend the ceremony so Peter kindly lent me his arm to walk down the aisle. At that time my English was much worse than it is now and I could hardly understand a word. Certainly there was very little that Peter and I could have spoken to each other and yet he accepted me unconditionally as if I were his own daughter, took my hand, and led me down the aisle. I am forever grateful for that.
counting past one hundred
父逝きて chichi ikite
百とせかぞえ momotose kazoe
巡る想い meguru omoi
Since I was born at the end of 1930, and my uncle spent many of his pre-WWII years in Hollywood, my earliest definite recollections seem to be of his return from Japan after the war. As a 'tween I found his experiences heroic: for example I recall his telling the story of burning his hand by placing it on of a Japanese shell fragment which hit the tank on top of which he had been riding (for a better vantage point for his camera! ). I also recall he brought home a decommissioned Japanese antipersonnel bomblet which was among those in a box he'd found in one of the few buildings still standing. As a teen-ager I was fully enamored with warplanes, and I still have somewhere the Japanese plane-spotter's manual he gave me. Perhaps even more significantly, probably in 1946 Pete gave me the "Eisenhower jacket" he had and I wore it pretty much daily throughout my junior and senior high school years.
Peter, my mentor
I started working at Showtime in 1978 as Supervisor of Broadcast Quality Control. Peter was my counterpart at HBO during this time. We became acquainted, as we often had to share program copies and information; this was in the days before multi-pay. We developed a professional friendship that lasted for many years and I often sought Peter's advice. Probably the best compliment I received during that time was from a major distributor who told me that every time I called with complaints or criticisms about the quality of a show copy received he knew that Peter would be calling twenty minutes later with the same comments and vice-versa. God rest you, Peter and thank you for your friendship.
Loved to Share his Knowledge
In 1978 I found myself plopped into a job (no one else wanted to do it) at Warner Bros.-NY to handle all of the non-sales contractual requirements for the Pay-TV (and eventually network) sales department. One of those duties was dealing with "the guy from HBO", Peter Keane, who I was warned (by the guys at the Studio) was a giant pain in the ass. They told me he could find a hairline scratch in one frame of video like no one else and was constantly rejecting our air tapes. Not knowing anything about film or videotape, I was at a distinct disadvantage. The first time he called, I remember staring at the phone in horror, not wanting to answer it. But I did, and I heard this very distinctive voice say "Hello, Margaret, this is Peter Keane from HBO". ARGHHHHHHHHHHH! Well, he called with lots of problems. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I figured I'd better learn fast if I was going to be able to do this job. As I listened to his complaints, I realized that this fellow would be better off a friend than an enemy and someone I could learn from. He must have sensed this because I spent many hours on the phone (and eventually in person at the HBO Studio) learning from Peter. We were, after all, both after the same thing: to make Warner Bros. movies look danged good on HBO. Rather than a pain, I found Peter to be such a kind man, a gentleman (not many of those around), and one who loved to share his knowledge and experiences, and we became very good friends. Every time thereafter when I picked up the phone and heard "...Margaret...." I'd say "Hello Peter!" and he'd always say "How did you know it was me?" Other than his friendship and everything he taught me, I think the thing I will be most thankful for is when he introduced me to his beloved Bethy at dinner, shortly after they were married. She was a delight, and a shock (we didn't know Peter had a girlfriend!!!!), and she has come to be one of my most cherished friends. Thank you, Peter, for this, and all the great memories. I am missing you....
Shortly after my husband died, my son Clint and I made a trip to New York City to visit family and friends. We spent a few days with the Keane’s in their Fifth Avenue home. Clint was just 13 years old and adjusting to our loss. Peter and Bethie took us to a restaurant, The Marigold, for lunch. Peter spent most of the time totally capturing Clint with true movie and history stories that only Peter could tell. At this point, Peter became one of Clint's heroes. Later that evening, Clint was looking out the bay window in the dining room. He saw a young woman, dressed up, high heels and a fur coat, standing under a street light across the street. He called this to Peter's attention - wondering why the young woman was out on the street alone. Peter joined Clint at the window and explained; the young lady was probably a "lady of the night" waiting for "her car". Now, Clint was really interested, as the terms didn't mean anything to him. Peter defined the terms to him in a way that a 13 year old could understand and not be shocked. As if anyone could really shock a 13 year old boy. Clint never forgot his time with Peter.