Our intern’s recent find gave our office the idea to scrape through old drawers in every room of the house. We also checked under rugs, lifted heavy appliances, and sent Roomba under every sofa. We came up empty. Peter’s purge had been thorough. He destroyed every photo, shredded every journal, and basically robbed the world of his persona. In 1980, it would have been hard for him to imagine his work would be celebrated. It is a tragedy.
Peter moved to the San Fernando Valley in 1962. Close friends said he wanted a swimming pool and Santa Monica was too chilly. His tiny office in Santa Monica Canyon held the bulk of his paperwork, which turned out to be nothing but utility bills, blank packing slips and random matchbooks and other ephemera. He destroyed all personal correspondence. It was only through rumors and secondary sources that we learned as much as we did.
We struck gold, however, in his Van Nuys garage. There is a mounted wall shelf with a hinged door, like a wide, short cupboard. It hung open, empty except for exhaust dust from nearby motorways. Long dismissed, it caught our eye during our mad scramble for more materials. The back of the cabinet was painted cardboard. It dislodged easily, revealing a hidden treasure.
There was a typewritten note that said, “Javi, if you are reading this, it means you do love me after all. I knew it all along.”
We are still sorting through the small cache of materials, but we can’t contain our excitement. We found the apocryphal autobiography, which we will need to publish as soon as we are able. Peter annotated everything for the mysterious Javi.
The photo below explains the move from the West Side to the Valley, and it clarifies, without doubts, the truth behind his enormous endowment. It is easy to see why he was so insistent on calling it a handicap. He was remarkably fit at 66 years old when the photo was taken. Unanswered is the question as to who took the photograph. The rest speaks for itself.
We will unveil more artifacts as the weeks and months go by. Many tie in to the upcoming releases “I Was a Slave In a Roman Laundromat” and “Seamen,” both due to be released in 2018 or early 2019.