He has lived out both traditional and divergent lifestyles. Armed with degrees from Princeton (BSE), University of New Mexico (MSE), and Stanford (MBA), Peter Schroeder achieved the pinnacles of success with careers in nuclear weapons testing and international business. Interspersed with his professional endeavors, he had stints of hopping freight trains across America, hitchhiking around Europe, slacking as a surfer dude in Hawaii, receiving not one but two presidential critical skills deferments from the Viet Nam draft, living in ashrams in India and Oregon, attaining the highest rank in the country in the Boy Scouts up to that time, and battling a fatal form of bone marrow cancer.
A Seattle resident for nearly 40 years, Schroeder weaves together the contradictions of his life in The Rock Shall Dance (Richter Publishing, 2021). More than just a memoir, the book provides inside looks at crucial and often controversial events of the late 20th century: 1960s anti-war protests on the Stanford University campus, 1970s shadowy business dealings in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and 1980s spiritual quests with Rajneesh/Osho, the guru beloved by some and reviled by others.
Schroeder’s exploits include:
· Detonating underground nuclear weapons from the control room at the Nevada Test Site
· Getting skiing tips from Ernie Blake, founder of Taos Ski Valley
· Being accosted at gunpoint by the Yugoslavian navy while sailing near the Adriatic seaside home of then-president Josef Tito
“I have sought to experience as much variety in life as possible,” writes Schroeder. “To an onlooker, such an unusual life seems illogical, disjointed, and chaotic. But to me, every step has been logical, connected, and true to ongoing personal forces.”
Schroeder began writing his memoir in 1980, when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. Doctors said he had 24 months to live. He was 39 years old and had four children aged 9, 6, and twin sons aged six months. “I was going to die before my kids grew up. I wanted them to know about my life but held it back, because many activities I pursued were dangerous, and I didn’t want my children to risk trying these same crazy things themselves.”
Schroeder first came to Seattle in the summer of 1962, working as a busboy at the Seattle World’s Fair. He fell in love with the Northwest’s outdoor lifestyle centered on lakes, ocean, and mountains, returning to live in Seattle with his family in 1982.
“Because we are on this earth so briefly, we should use our abilities to explore as much as possible in every dimension. This is what I have done,” says Schroeder.
A NOWA member more than 25 years, Schroeder has served several times on the NOWA board (twice voted Outstanding Board Member), been a speaker at numerous conferences, helped set up the Endowment Fund, and is a grateful recipient of the Enos Bradner Award.
The Rock Shall Dance (2021) is published by Richter Publishing. The book is available on Amazon.
CONTACT for review copies or further information:
Risa Wyatt / 415.828.7839 / email@example.com