A Rotterdam boy @ the California Senate

In order to thank everybody for the overwhelming number of congrats and funny lines, the ‘Luim’ this time in English. Use Google translate for other languages! Some of the events in my life were already so awesome for a boy who grew up in the ‘mean’ streets of Rotterdam, that I was very pleased with my (business/personal) life thus far. Thursday morning added a new page when the Senate rewarded me with a resolution for all my work in California, even adding the fact that I worked for the US Army in Rotterdam, 1966-1970, as an operator/programmer (IBM 407 Accounting Machine!).

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Senator Berryhill, responsible for California-European Trade, gave a nice speech and kind of summed up my life since 1966. Surrounded by red plush and ditto carpet I was under the impression, according to protocol, that I wasn’t supposed to say anything. But the Senator invited me anyway! My mind raced to utter the right words and in a split second I thought of the moment I raised the Dutch flag at San Francisco’s City Hall, three weeks ago. I did some research then, and found out that the Netherlands was the first nation to salute the American flag in the year 1776. So, that’s what I said and I added that nobody then could foresee that their Rotterdam son Peter 238 years later would receive this resolution. However, in the meantime I have seen three Senators, hence, the guy that directly pushed for this resolution was his aide, Ray Miller, working the Capitol for over 30 years. Reluctantly he posed with me because, as he said, aides are supposed to serve, not to shine!

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Yes, Ray has seen fire and rain, that’s for sure! His full title: Senior Consultant – Senate Select Committee on California-European Trade. Of course, the biggest force backing me is my wife Astrid, and I was very happy she joined me, together with son Bo-Peter.

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No way you can accomplish something like this when you have a household in disarray! Also, some important people backing me and joining me were:

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On my left Deputy Consul General Ard van der Vorst and on my right Consul General Hugo von Meijenfeldt. Pictures by Bo-Peter. It is kind of weird, after the ceremony we had a cup of coffee and a pastry and then, back to the consulate and business as usual. But the congrats came streaming in, heartfelt, funny and emotional. Most definitely I will come with a collage because it’s worth sharing. I’ll make it short since it’ll be a busy weekend, also knowing I have four more weeks to go, making sure I leave my ship behind as it should at the quay, the flag proudly waiving in the wind with the Laanen crest and the tag line “The Brand”. More about that later. In the meantime, if you’d like, you can find (in English) more about the Thursday ceremony, including a clip at:

http://sanfrancisco.the-netherlands.org/news/2014/05/peter-laanen-receives-lifetime-achievement-resolution.html

Just click; Okay! Have a fabulous weekend and thanks again all you well wishers, you moved me!

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