Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Arlen Peters

Today I’m devoting my post to someone you don’t know.  Well, most of you don’t know.  He has been a guest on my podcast a few times.  

Arlen Peters.

For years Arlen was an entertainment reporter, primarily for CBS, but also made many of those “making of” mini-documentaries that were used to publicize studio movies.  You may not know him, but Meryl Streep did, as did Gene Hackman and many other notables who considered him a friend.

Proud to say I was his friend too.

Arlen died suddenly last week.  

I’m still not over it.  

It’s never easy when  someone close to you dies.  But when it’s sudden, he’s your age, and a nicer person you’ll never find — it truly is devastating.  People throw that word around a lot, but in this case it really applies.

After being in lockdown for 60 weeks, one of the very first lunch appointments I made was with Arlen.  We sat outside at Mel’s on Sunset maybe three weeks ago.  How can he be gone?  

Arlen was a lovely guy.  Always cheerful, always looking ahead with enthusiasm.  For someone who hobnobbed with “the stars,” he was incredibly down-to-earth.  There was no pretense.  No sense of entitlement.  I think that’s why so many stars liked him and trusted him.  In a town of phonies, someone genuine really stands out.  And that was Arlen Peters.  

Like I said, he guested on my podcast.  Several times.  I’m so glad, especially now, I was able to interview him and document his life.  I also wanted to do an episode of someone interviewing me.  And I turned to Arlen because he was such a master at that.  

At Mel’s the waitress asked if we wanted dessert.  Arlen was considering whether to get cherry pie.  I told him, “Get it!  What the hell?”  He did and loved it.  If there’s a takeaway it’s this:  Order the pie.  You never know.

RIP Arlen Peters.  I will miss you terribly.  There was not enough time, not enough laughs, not enough pie.


AlaskaRay said...

So sorry to hear it.

Steve Mc said...

Ken, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I enjoyed the episodes you featured him on.

Wm. Adams said...

My condolences. The cherry pie story reminds me of the interview Warren Zevon did on the Late Show with David Letterman following Zevon's diagnosis with terminal pleural mesothelioma. Letterman asked Zevon if there was anything he understood now, facing his own mortality, that he didn't before. Zevon replied, "Just, how much you're supposed to enjoy every sandwich."

Mmryan314 said...

This is a lovely tribute to a good friend Ken and Arien sounds like a real good guy. My husband died suddenly and it is really difficult for those close to him. I will say this, he died a very loved and happy man like your friend. He also died on a day where he had been golfing in the morning and we were standing in front of an airport in Wisconsin waiting to travel to California. Aneurysms don't play games. It is not easy on the people they leave behind but it's certainly is easier for them.
I really like your entry today because it gave me time to reflect on that day- and smile, and remember him.

Jim Sevin said...

Sad news. He helped me get my start as an editor, and he was always kind and funny. He bought my first lunch at Nickodel’s. May his memory be a blessing.
Jim Sevin

slgc said...

I am so sorry for your loss Ken.


Pete Grossman said...

Thank you for this tribute to your friend, Arlen. You captured and communicated his beingness in the perfect amount of words - something I've been struggling with in a tribute to a friend who recently died. The draft is done, now I gotta go all Levine on it and cut it in half. I wish he had eaten the pie much earlier in his life. May your friend's memory be a blessing to all who knew him.

Roy DeRousse said...

Very sorry to hear this, Ken. I really enjoyed him on your podcasts.

N. Zakharenko said...

Maybe Ken you could arrange a few particulars on his IMDB page to assist in his future remembrance.

They are not aware of his passing.

If he also wrote for The Bobby Goldsboro Show, then they have him split into 2 different people.

MKNycutt said...

Sorry for your loss, Ken.

Steve in Toronto said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Last October one of my dearest friends, a mere 62, died unexpectedly.

2 days before he died I thought to myself, I should give Todd a call to see how he's doing. I didn't, and now he's gone, and I'm still devastated.

Cherish the folks you love - and let them know it.

Pie for everyone!


Kevin In Choconut Center said...

Ken, please accept my condolences on the loss of your friend. Life, for so many of us, is much too short. I've lost friends and relatives who meant a lot to me (my mom has lost three of her four sisters). It's never easy accepting that someone is gone, is it?

Michael said...

I'm so sorry. Ken, you do lovely eulogies. I hope you might take some comfort from what Harry Reasoner said when Ernie Kovacs died:

Somebody dies in an unprepared hurry and you are touched with a dozen quick and recent memories: the sweetness of last evening, the uselessness of a mean word or an undone promise. It could be you, with all those untidy memories of recent days never to be straightened out. There’s a shiver in the sunlight, touching the warmth of life that you’ve been reminded you hold only for a moment.

estiv said...

So sorry for your loss, Ken. It was clear from your conversations with him that you had a mutual regard for each other and a mutual affection. These losses are hard. May you, and all who knew him, find some comfort in your memories.

SummitCityScribe said...

As the end of his life drew near, the great Warren Zevon offered this bit of wisdom: enjoy every sandwich. To which we can now add: order the pie. R.I.P. Arlen Peters.

Brian said...

Ken, sorry to hear about your friend Arlen. I did enjoy the podcast episodes he was on.

Cowboy Surfer said...

Sad news. Enjoyed your podcasts with Arlen. Sorry for your loss.

Roger Owen Green said...

So sorry.

Re; the pie: Recently, I've become fixated on the linkage between food and death. For instance, at my FIL’s funeral last month, someone told a story about how my parents-in-law met. They were both students at what is now UAlbany. She was a food server, he made deliveries of supplies. He came into the dining area, just as she was about to eat her fried egg sandwich. Instead, she offered it to him.

The next week, they went to the movies together. They lived happily for many years. It is a sweet story, but the telling was incomplete. The kicker is that he HATED fried egg sandwiches, but he ate it anyway.

Janet said...

So sorry, Ken.

I know that words are never enough in this situation.

The best that can be said is that each of you made the other's life a little better through your friendship.

That's very special...

Breadbaker said...

"It’s never easy when someone close to you dies. But when it’s sudden, he’s your age, and a nicer person you’ll never find — it truly is devastating." How true. I was thinking this very morning of the eulogy I gave five years ago for a dear friend. The last time I saw him was at the wedding of a daughter of a mutual friend. We were seated with couples we didn't know and it seemed polite to talk to them because after all, we'd have other opportunities to talk. Only he dropped dead of a brain aneurysm before we could see him again. Carpe diem.

Ernie Malik said...

Thanks for publishing this.
I know Arlen mentioned my name to you many times...we were longtime industry colleagues.
I tried to post my FB tribute here, but it was too long.
You can visit my FB page to see my eulogy to our friend, whom we will miss terribly.
Thanks and regards,
Ernie Malik