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Appreciating Peter Kaye
Carol Mason | Serpentine Drive

Marti and Peter Kaye, April 24, 1955.
Courtesy Adam Kaye.
Click on photo to enlarge.

Del Mar’s favorite contrarian passed away Monday, June 15. Peter Kaye, 87, was never a consensus guy and stood proudly against many of Del Mar’s swirls and eddies. He called himself a contrarian, the title of his fascinating, readable, and detailed autobiography published in 2008.

That quality made him the excellent newsman that he was.

Marc Gittelsohn and I met on the street the other day. He said, “Peter was one of the most witty men in Del Mar. He could always make me laugh.” As I reread Peter’s autobiography, I experienced again his unapologetic newsman’s point of view contrasted against his support for the conservative candidates who employed him.

His amazing career in journalism and politics has been documented the past few weeks, but his character was filled with surprises. He won an Emmy for his Watergate reporting for NPR. He hobnobbed at the highest levels in his campaign jobs with Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon, but always happily returned to Del Mar, Marti and the boys, Adam, Terry, and Loren. He was loyal to old friends and in recent months many came to sit beside him on the couch and retell old times...of boyhood in Laguna Beach, of news seeking misadventures, of political one-upmanship, of concern for losing print matter in face of our digital onslaught.
In recent years his whole focus was caring for Marti, although he acted on his civic beliefs at the same time. He appeared before the DM city council to honor an old friend’s contributions to the city. He served for several years on the board of the local public library. I used to see him walking down town on his way to the library. Meeting with a writer friend in the park, a politico buddy in the parking lot or talking to a landscaper in the median, he had a giant sized curiosity and never gave up learning.

Del Mar is fully studded with stars and bright eminences and Peter Kaye shines among the brightest. We will miss him.


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