Robert L. Peters

16 June 2013

Happy Father's Day…


10 June 2013

Evelin (well, her brain) makes the cover…




Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

At a back-yard fireside picnic last week, Ev’s oldest daughter, Jennifer Kornelsen, Ph.D.*, a neurophysiologist and cutting-edge brain researcher, surprised us with a copy of the latest issue of the Journal of Pain that had just arrived by mail, featuring her study entitled ‘Default Mode Network Functional Connectivity Altered in Failed Back Surgery Syndrome’ based on research conducted between 2009 – 2011. Lo and behold, on the journal cover are images of Evelin’s brain (captured by Jen via MRI) representing “a normal, healthy person” in comparison with images of the brain of an individual suffering from chronic pain.

Of course we were pretty chuffed for Jen… (and also doubled over with laughter at the very idea that Ev’s brain could be considered “normal” in any sense of the word). (-:

*Jen worked at Canada’s National Research Council until last month, when the entire research department associated with Magnetic Resonance Technology at the Institute for Biodiagnostics in Winnipeg was shut down by Stephen Harper, Canada’s anti-science prime minister. Thankfully Jen and her considerable scientific contributions are appreciated by others — she has just chosen one of the four(!) positions that were offered her from institutions across the country.

11 May 2013

Evelin Richter | Some dream alone.




Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

This is one of Ev’s recent ceramic sculptures…

“Others dream alone. This piece speaks to the greater power of collective visioning and the realization of communal imagination. Individual dreams come in many sizes—common dreams move well beyond measurement.”

30 April 2013

Goodbye, my friend… rest in peace.


Vancouver, Canada

A funeral was held today on Mount Pleasant for my poet-cousin/friend Sam W. Reimer. He will not be forgotten…

Samuel Wayne Reimer was born in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada on 26 May, 1949, the second son of John K. Reimer and Leona Ruth Reimer. Raised on “the Bible, hymns, porridge, borscht, home-baked bread, and prayer,” he discovered Shakespeare around the age of eight by means of a copy of Hamlet found in his grandmother’s basement. As he put it, “this confirmed my life-long passion for ‘the Word Over All,’ as the Beatles (John Lennon in particular) would do again a half dozen years later.”

In 1964 his family moved to Meade, Kansas, where Sam lived until 1968—“just long enough to be eligible for the Vietnam War and the draft”— an entitlement that caused him to “skip back home” to Winnipeg. Sundry jobs held him in Manitoba for a year or two (Winnipeg Supply & Fuel Company, & Canada Dry offices, etc.) before the happening zeitgeist of “tuning in, turning on, dropping out” swept him west to the BC coast (en route to San Francisco). In Vancouver, a ‘Jesus Rediscovered’ experience and a sojourn with Dave Milton at The House of Daniel would deeply influence his life-course.

Sam married Elizabeth St. John in 1970, a union that would bear a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Dylan. A stint of writing for Maranatha Free Press in Vancouver predated a 1976 move with kids in tow to Mission, BC, then to the mountainous country of Robson Valley, with spells of work as railway section-crew and in a plywood-veneer plant. A short-lived teaching role in creative writing followed, via Fraser Valley College’s Community Education program— two complete semesters with students aged 18–80! Then it was back to the urban setting of Vancouver, a separation in 1981, and a divorce in 1984.

Since 1987, Sam lived on his own in the Ivanhoe Apartments in Vancouver, where he penned literally thousands of poems. In 2008, a collection of 200 of his works was published in the book Gray Matter Graffitti.

Sam passed away peacefully at Vancouver General Hospital in the early hours of 26 April, 2013, with family members by his side. He is survived by his daughter Jennifer (Kaleeg) Hainsworth; son Dylan (Tonya) Reimer; granddaughters Ella, Huelwen, and Bridget Hainsworth; father John K. Reimer; brothers David (Katy) Reimer and Rod (Deborah) Reimer; sisters Lucille (Jim) Pfeifer and Arvella (Mike) Lucas. Sam was predeceased by his mother Leona Reimer.

20 April 2013

We miss you, Dad…


As far back as I can remember, this is the first April 20th that we’re not celebrating your birthday with you… R.I.P.

16 December 2012

Friends are the family you choose for yourself.

(sounds cheesy… but true)

5 December 2012

An Advent weekend in the Dreiländereck…

The occasion presented itself to take Evelin to my old haunts this past weekend — we spent a day each in the Black Forest (Germany), Basel (Switzerland), and Strasbourg (Alsace, France). Ev’s admittedly a bigger fan than I of Christmas celebrations; I’d been feeling a bit of Heimatschmerz (homesickness) of late — this quick romantic sortie to the Weinländer of my youth fit the bill for both of us, providing reminiscent sights, sounds, smells, and tastes (replete of course with raclette, Heisse Maroni, cheese crêpes, local Gebäck and gateau, chocolates, marzipan delicacies, and Glühwein galore).

Our 77 remedial hours  in “the old country” included some speedy Autobahn travel back and forth across Southern Germany, ambling through outdoor Christmas markets in Basel and Strasbourg, a museum visit in each of the three adjacent countries, and some time with my kid brother Phil, his lovely wife Tammy, and their two boys (who live in the quaint old village of Holzen in the Kanderntal).

Below are a few pics from the weekend outing. You can view more on my Facebook page here.

Basel, Switzerland, is a humanist city on Rhine located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet. Its famous Christmas market was our destination on Saturday (Ev and I were accompanied by my brother Phil and his wife Tammy); the market now includes the area around Basel’s 1000-year-old Münster (cathedral) as well as the traditional Barfüsserplatz, where we also visited the Historisches Museum (which houses the Upper Rhine’s most comprehensive cultural history collection).

Holzen (bei Kandern) is the quaint old village in the Black Forest where my brother Phil and his family live. We stayed with them for two nights, during which the seasons changed dramatically. We felt fortunate to be able to take in the exhibition “Pop Art Design” and view the showrooms at the Vitra Design Museum in nearby Weil am Rhein (designed by Frank Gehry, the museum is somewhat of a ‘Mecca’ for the worldwide design and architectural community; creations of Charles and Ray Eames such as their famous ‘Lounge Chair’ feature prominently).

Straßburg (aka Strasbourg) is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France, and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Dating back over 3500 years, the city has held Christmas markets since 1570. Strasbourg’s famous cathedral, the world’s highest still-standing structure built entirely in the Middle Ages, was visible from our charming attic room at the Hotel Gutenberg (Strasbourg was also where Johannes Gutenberg created the first European moveable type printing press in the 1400s).


30 October 2012

My Dad… and poetry.

Winnipeg, Canada

We buried my Dad yesterday. Thanks to the hundreds of friends and family members who came to his farewell ceremony—a celebration of a 92-year life well lived. Thanks also to the many who have written me with kind words of condolence and shared memories.

Among the simple things that gave Dad pleasure throughout his long life was poetry. During the time of fellowship following the lunch yesterday I shared one of his favorites—a piece that expresses well his egalitarian Weltanschauung, and a piece that he would delight in reciting from memory—in that deep and spirited voice that anyone who knew Dad is sure to miss.


House by the Side of the Road

THERE are hermit souls that live withdrawn

In the place of their self-content;

There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,

In a fellow-less firmament;

There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths

Where highways never ran —

But let me live by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

Where the race of men go by —

The men who are good and the men who are bad,

As good and as bad as I.

I would not sit in the scorner’s seat

Nor hurl the cynic’s ban —

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road

By the side of the highway of life,

The men who press with the ardor of hope,

The men who are faint with the strife,

But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,

Both parts of an infinite plan —

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,

And mountains of wearisome height;

That the road passes on through the long afternoon

And stretches away to the night.

And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice

And weep with the strangers that moan,

Nor live in my house by the side of the road

Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road,

Where the race of men go by —

They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,

Wise, foolish — so am I.

Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat,

Or hurl the cynic’s ban?

Let me live in my house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

— Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

25 October 2012

John Jacob Peters 1920-2012

Winnipeg, Manitoba

The send-off Celebration (aka funeral) for my Dad will be at the McIvor Mennonite Brethren Church in North Kildonan, 200 McIvor Avenue (just off Henderson Highway) on Monday, 29 October 2012.

Viewing as of 10:00 am.

Service at 11:00 am.

Lunch/reception at 12:00 noon.

Burial (in Steinbach) following…

21 October 2012

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

John Jacob Peters, 1920-2012

Early today, my Dad passed on into the next realm… he sees more clearly now than ever before in his 92 years—and he’s no longer tied down by time and place and gravity. Heartfelt thanks to the many friends around the world who have invested in prayers, provided emotional support, and expressed condolences…

(Psalm 121:1, the Bible)

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