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Title Oral History of Peter Coyote
Collection Oral History
Scope & Content In this thoughtful dialogue, Peter Coyote shares the evolving personal philosophy that underscores his roles as actor, writer, activist and Buddhist lay priest. Peter first encountered Mill Valley in 1959, when he visited Mount Tamalpais on a trip from San Francisco. The memory of the mountain stayed with him and in the early 1960s, Peter returned to the area. For the next 10 to 15 years, Peter moved fluidly back and forth between San Francisco and Marin on his motorcycle. In San Francisco, he pursued theater acting and graduate-level studies in creative writing; in Marin, he spent time on a commune near Point Reyes and took part in the newly-minted rock and roll scene of the "funky little summer town" of Mill Valley. In the mid 1980s, Peter moved his family into a historic home on Rose Avenue, near downtown Mill Valley. Peter recollects how he became a mover and shaker in the San Francisco counterculture as a member of the Diggers, a radical community-action group. This segued to his becoming chairman for the California Arts Council in the late 1970s, and eventually propelled his acting career into film. In this oral history, however, Peter touches very little on his screen acting fame or on his book, "Sleeping Where I Lay." He instead focuses heavily on his journey with Buddhism. It is Peter's precise, Buddhist-influenced mindset that resurfaces throughout the interview as he discusses topics including the changing nature of Mill Valley, the importance of local businesses, anarchism and the Occupy movement. Ever-present and engaged, Peter advocates for positive choice and reminds the listener that, "everything you do includes the entire world."
Audio and Transcript Click here to hear recording.
Click here to read the transcript.
Dates of Creation 2012-01-17

Narrator's name Coyote, Peter
Interviewer Kleiner, Joyce
Extent and Medium Transcript: 19pp
Recording: 01:21:24
Search Terms 1960s
California Arts Council
Lockwood's Pharmacy
Mill Valley changes
Occupy Wall Street (movement)
Oliveira, Jimmy
Reagan, Ronald
Richmond, Lewis
Rifkin, Danny
Rolling Thunder
San Francisco Zen Center
Snyder, Gary
Take Back Mill Valley
Object ID 2016.083.001
Object Name Recording
Copyrights Transcript and recording copyright Mill Valley Public Library, 2012. Materials are made available for research purposes only; all rights are reserved to the Mill Valley Public Library. Requests for permission to quote for publication or for any other usage must be obtained from the Library.