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In our conversations, I found out that Peter has several interests or hobbies that rise above other of his many interests.
One is his love of golf; another is his interest or involvement in government and politics and a third is his interest in geography and travel.
I don’t think I can put one over the other.
Golf: Peter started caddying at Birmingham Country Club when he was 13 years old. He was able to attend the closing round of a professional golf tournament (the PGA) that the club hosted. As a caddy, he was able to play the course on Mondays. This started a lifelong interest in the sport.
Many years later he joined the club as a member and is now a life member. Several of the more prominent courses he has had the privilege to have played in this country are Shoal Creek (Alabama, Merion (Pennsylvania), Torrey Pines (California), and Oakland Hills (Michigan). He has also had the privilege to play several courses in England and Scotland. Those will be mentioned in my next subject- Travel.
Peter became interested in travel at a young age. When he was nine years of age, his grandfather took him on a trip to Washington D.C. They flew on a twin-engine prop plane with two stops in Cleveland and Pittsburg before landing in D.C. My how things have changed.
If you ask Peter about travel, his eyes light up. His first international travel was the summer of his 26th year. Peter and his good friend, Charlie (both out of school and both working jobs that were not going to be permanent), decided to resign from their jobs and left for ten weeks in Europe. Landing in Luxemburg, their first stop was at Charlies’s brother's house in Kaiserslautern Germany. After picking up a car, off they went. They drove to Austria followed by Hungary and then Yugoslavia (both still Communist), then on to Greece and Italy. Going north in Italy, they stopped at Castle Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer home. It happened to be a Sunday and Pope Paul 6th came out onto a balcony and gave them a blessing. From there they drove to Monte Carlo. A quick trip to the casino, they put five francs on the crap table, crapped out and left.
They continued their trip onto France, Switzerland, and then Holland, then back through West Germany into East Germany on to Berlin. Berlin was then a city divided into four sections: US, England, France and Russia. Going through Checkpoint Charlie, they went from West to East Berlin which was controlled by the Russians. West Berlin was clean, half rebuilt and sunny. East Berlin was cloudy, gray and with minimal repair from the war’s damage. Back in West Germany, they stopped in Belgium then north to Bremerhaven where Charlie shipped his car home. Abus ride took them back to Denmark followed by a ferry ride to Sweden and Stockholm. I know it’s a lot but just a little more. They took a flight from Stockholm to London where Charlie and Peter said goodbye to one another. Peter continued to Scotland to see his father’s birthplace, Fraserburgh. Coming back down from Fraserburgh to London, Peter stopped at St. Andrews and played 18 holes of golf at a cost of 15 pounds! He then took a train trip from London to Paris, to Luxemburg and then back to Detroit. Buy Peter a pint some time and he will fill you in on some of the interesting details!
The third leg of this stool is government/politics. As a young man, Peter started following elections and issues, both local and national. As his interests grew, he decided to run for office himself. He was living in Royal Oak at the time and decided to run for city commission. In his first attempt for office, there were 12 people running for three seats and Peter came in second in that race and earned a seat on the commission. Peter served six years as a commissioner, as mayor pro tem and then as mayor of Royal Oak.
These stories, hopefully, will give you a glimpse into the life of Peter Webster.