Date of death: 07-04-2009
This is a page for family and friends of Peter to gather, share their memories, and celebrate the life of our close friend Peter. Please ...
This is a page for family and friends of Peter to gather, share their memories, and celebrate the life of our close friend Peter. Please feel free to celebrate Peter's life by sharing your memories and photos.
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Peter was my eskimo.
I was living in San Diego, running afterschool programs for the city and coaching youth sports. I can't really put into words how he affected my life. He knew - as I discovered that we all have that radar once we begin to get real - that I was struggling with life. He knew me through his step-son and we had many a great conversation together on the ball fields of San Carlos. In 1997, Peter, gently, asked me one day if I wanted to go to a meeting. I said, "What meeting?", he responded, "AA" and I said "Why? I'm not an alcoholic..." Lol. Truth be known, while I was quite offended at the time, he planted the seed. Years later, 2006, broken and in absolute misery, I dragged myself to AA here in Los Angeles. After about 30 days, while scrolling through my phone I saw his number and called him. He picked up and after a quick greeting I said to him, "Peter, I'm an alcoholic." He said, "Yeah, I've been saving you a seat." We laughed, as we always had. I would call him occasionally to vent at the insanity I would see in the rooms and he gave me an admonition that I share to this day, "Ed, the rooms of AA are not filled with a lot of mental health, be wary and keep yours ears open."
We lost touch again, I put some years together - six to be exact - but running my own program after the first year. Finally I relapsed, wasn't too bad, but I discovered that I was a true alcoholic, so back into the program I dived, commitments, sponsor, steps and life is gradually getting better. In June of this year I tried calling his number and it was disconnected. I immediately knew that he had passed - he and I talked about his struggles with his health over the years and he was keenly aware of his mortality - and sat back stunned as I knew that I would never be able to tell him how truly grateful that I was to him, for saving me a seat.
Peter was curmudgeonly, irascible, and carried an immense heart. He listened to me on the phone or on the field and was unabashed about sharing his opinion on just about anything. I heard his pitch - delivered solo to me - and to this day the vision of him walking out of a hotel bathroom, asking where the party was, still just makes me laugh.
I keep him alive up here in Santa Monica, by sharing what he gave me to my brothers and sisters in the rooms. At 26th and Broadway, at Bravo Men's Stag, my home groups. By keeping his example of empathy and hard nosed - old school - AA. Ever reaching a hand out to the newcomer, listening and enforcing the creed that "There is a solution."
Peter, I miss you. While we never got to go to a meeting together, not that you didn't try, I learned so much about life and the program from you. I wish we could have shared one more laugh. But the promise I made to myself was that I would honor your life and your service by using you as a benchmark for what an AA should be always.
To his AA family down in San Diego I want you to know that there is one alcoholic in the rooms up here that remembers and cherishes Peter. That he will not be forgotten and that his legacy is far wider than anyone could possibly imagine. Please look me up if you travel up here. 424.645.7820 - Eddie Cha, see you on the road to happy destiny.
8 years tomorrow. I miss you terribly. Always in my heart.
I never had the chance to meet you Peter but I know you must have been a great man. The time you gave to the man I love changed his life and therefore has deeply touched mine. You are thought of often in our home, as we create new memories, my love often reflects on the ones he shared with you... that kind of bond can never be broken. You got through to him in a way no one else can, and sometimes I think, what if that never happened... Your life lives in the future of all the men you worked with, I suppose that is worth writing about. You are cherished and missed.
Peter was a friend of mine at Hiram Scott College,in Nebraska 1969-70.
Even when he was upset, he was funny!
We had lots of fun together.
God bless him.
Peter was a friend of mine at Hiram Scott College,in Nebraska 1969-70.
Even when he was upset, he was funny!
We had lots of fun together.
God bless him.
I went to La Mesa Mens AA 20 years ago and he would get the meeting roaring with laughter.
I got sober in San Diego in 1988 and met Peter when my then sponser Rita D. was dating him. I fell head over heels for one of his sponsees Richard F. and boy they didn't like that! we were too newly sober. I grew to love him over the years for being .... well - Peter. I have the best memories of my life attending meetings in La Jolla with all the group that we used to run around with just doing sober things. I really miss Peter, Ron and the other members that have passed. They really did make a difference in my sober life and life in general. Joy I hope you are well.
Though we never saw anything eye to eye, my uncle Peter was one of the few members of my family that had managed to escape to find his own way, good or bad it was his own way, and it was something that stood out in our family for sure. The family always spoke kindly of him, even as my grandparents would talk of him, while never understanding why he wanted his life to be his own, and not the life that my grandparents wanted for him.
Peter was the one person in the family who taught me (in the little time I ever got to spend with him) to look past the surface of people and see what’s inside for good or bad, it was worth understanding people deeper then the Mask that everyone showed the rest of the world.
I guess growing up in our family it was a rare talent, and one I have held on to my whole life.
I will never forget the first time he took me to the ocean, or when he dragged me along while he was working., or when he and pop pop fought over who was a better tennis player year after year.
It was a bit of a shock today to hear that he had passed, but these things happen like it or not.
To call uncle peter a "grumpy curmudgeon" makes me laugh as that’s what pop pop was my whole life and it would seem the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree =) makes me laugh as I find myself acting the same way my dad acted before he died.
Oh how I will miss him, the last of the true Fleischmann men has passed, and only I am left to carry the DNA torch....... Maybe it’s because I am the only one left that looks like a Fleischmann?? Not sure if that’s a blessing or not, but for now I will just hope that it is. =)
Wow, I was thinking about Peter a bit ago, and thought I would like to read his obit. so I googled and found this site. Very nice. Here are a couple of memories: (in 1994) Seeing Peter and Ron W. as ' cake ladies' for an entire year at Saturday night. "Each week you wondered, what on earth would they do next?" The meeting roared every week. Their example spoke so loud. Impeccably dressed, these two, once 'tough guys" , up there hamming it loving the life they had found. Giving people hope to ease up a bit.
Peter was like an older brother or cousin to me in that we didn't speak often: protective, thoughtful, opinionated about how I lived and who I lived with. Always a confidant and friend. Growing up around him has made me into a better person.
The weekend after his memorial, I had a dream that my time is coming. In the dream, 1 week. How do know- what to say and so “good bye” for everyone and everything is no longer. Your reality goes way beyond that. Sittng overwhelmed by the love of life and how precious it is and how much you have and how much you love. There are no tasks to complete to satify that. Sitting, trying to understand the procedure, a large Victorian room octagonal shapped. I am sitting, listening to the procedure of how it will work when I died. I am still on this side and have have no idea what to say to people, to my daughter how to say good buy. I was so upset, with a profound sense of mortality.
In the dream, I was so afraid and begin to talk to the women looking at me, who by the way, are mostly my single, sober moms acquaintances. People I know but don’t know-not the point of indentification I wanted.
I believe that was when I saw Peter Fleichman out of the corner of my eye! One alki-to another. To the left of me, between the picnic table and I , he looked like he did in his younger years 40-ish, healthier, happy. Before he spoke to me, he asked a blank spot on the picnic bench if it was okay to talk to me. I knew that since I could not see that person, I was not dead, but I could see Peter who was. Without hesitation, he answered my thoughts to explain that since he was New he could still be seen by people who were coming soon.? Have the gift/ability to see the time of in-between….i can't recall.
He showed me the bottle of wine on the table, ¼ full (I say that for all those sober-folk who are reading this- they would want to know)
He put a big red bow on my right side of my chest and told me I am a gift, I am the present. Sobriety is a gift, in the present. Even in heaven, such a good brother was he. for he knew that in-spite of my great successes, deep down, i still carried the residue of I never thought that I was worth anything to anyone. At that moment of his smile, I knew that I have the great purpose within, again. I believe that all my life I have strived for this.
And once again, Peter was showing me that I am Gods gift. I am the present, it is inside me, no relationship or things, will fufill that materially or otherwise.
Turning my life over this time was different, profoundly different. And after I that, my life has talked to the course of giving rather than ‘living”. In order to fulfill needs of living, one has to take something from somewhere to do that. How will it change now that I live in the course of giving? First of all, I know profoundly, that I have everything in myself to give, there is nothing or no one to take from, only to give too.
Peter for many years was committed to love and service.
The world seems to small now, thanks to Peter, any the others up there too, they are in our hearts, and actions; of the good thread in G_d's world.
I got sober in October of 1987, and met Peter shortly thereafter. My sponsor was Jim McN, and Jim and Peter were connected in a number of ways: they shared a sponsor, Barney Morris; they had been roommates; and Jim's stepfather, Paul S, introduced Peter to AA.
Early on in our relationship, I didn't really like Peter. He scared me, actually. He told things as he saw them, a trait that bothered me at first but one that I came to admire and respect. I went to meetings in the La Jolla and Pacific Beach areas, and ran into Peter at a lot of meetings (Tuesday night beginnier's at the Shuffleboard club, Saturday morning men's, Saturday night speaker's). I also made it to Peter's homegroup, La Mesa Men's, a couple of times. Peter started or had a hand in starting the Saturday morning men's meeting in La Jolla (at Father Bill Wilson's church), and the Saturday night Speaker Meeting at All Hallows. I got to know Peter at those meetings specifically, and at Samson's deli after the speaker meeting. I learned so much from him in those early years of my sobriety, and for that I am so grateful.
In the fall of 1989, Peter, Barney and I were on the committee for the Southern California Convention, which was in San Diego that year. I specifically remember two things from one of our trips up to the committe meetings in LA (Mike Ross was the chairman that year). I rode with Peter and Barney and Carol, Barney's wife. After the meeting, Barney and I were talking and Peter came up to us and commented about a woman that was at the meeting. After he used a particular term about her, he immediately stopped speaking, looked at Barney, and then Peter said he needed to go make amends to the woman for what he had just said to us. Then he went over to her and made amends. That made a lasting impression on me (it was 20 years ago, and I still remember it), because here was this guy, very active in AA and getting to be pretty well known, and yet he still had to work the program. I was only in my second year of sobriety and naively thought that seniority and popularity mattered in AA. On the way home, I asked about making financial amends (I owed a relatively small sum of money but didn't want to inconvenience my present lifestyle by paying it back), and Peter shared about how he had spent his first two years with very little cash, since most of his money was going for amends. That also impressed me, since I had assumed that Peter was too selfish or arrogant to do something like that. Again, he demonstrated to me how to work the program.
It was either that Thanksgiving or the Thanksgiving of 1990 that Peter invited my wife and I over for dinner. When we got to his house, there were many people getting food ready, but Peter wasn't there. He wasn't yet home from feeeding the homeless, something he apparently did every Thanksgiving. Again, here's this guy being of service, even on a holiday.
I came into AA with many preconceived notions, none of which would have helped me to stay sober. By seeing Peter in action in AA, a lot of my faulty notions were removed, notions about people and service and what we have to do, no matter who we are.
After I moved up to Northern Cal, I didn't see or hear from Peter for a number of years. I did run into him a few years back, when he was up here to speak at our Spring Fling. I got to meet Joy, and I got to reconnect with Peter. It was then, after years of sobriety and after having gotten to know many people in sobriety, that I came to really admire and respect who Peter was and what he did in AA and in his life. I'm grateful that I got to visit with him a few more times before his passing. Last October, my wife and I were down in San Diego for a work deal, and Peter came downtown and met us for dinner. I had a particular situation going on with a sponsee, a situation with which I had no experience, and so I talked about it with Peter. He was willing to share his experience and some advice, and it helped me out. It's a great last memory I have of him, one I will cherish.
In 1990 and again in 1991, I went to a retreat with Peter and others in Fallbrook. I really liked the format and readings, and eventually in 2000 started a retreat up here that is modeled after that retreat. I spoke to Peter about it a few years ago, and he told me that he and Ron Wynn (Ron and Peter were great friends; Peter put together a roast for Ron's 5-year sobriety birthday; Ron died in the early 90's) had put together the readings (all from the Big Book) and the retreat format. We just had our 10th annual men's retreat a couple weekends ago, using that format and those readings, and so Peter lives on up here in Nothern California.
Peter also lives on in my heart and soul. Thank you Peter for staying sober and working the program. I love you my friend.