Peter Weiss

PETER WEISS, TREASURER EMERITUS, HAS BEEN WITH THE ORGANIZATION, AMERICAN INDIAN SCHOLARSHIP FUND OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (AISF/SC) SINCE THE FIRST BUFFELO FEAST /POWOW IN THE 1960s. HELD AT THE HOME OF CITY COLLEGE PRESIDENT DR. FRED WYATT, PETER VOLUNTEERED TO DIG,   AND MAN THE FIRE PIT, WHERE HE GOT HIS INITIATION IN BUFFELO ROASTING. THE PIT REQUIRED A HOLE, 6′  WIDE X 12′ LONG X 6′ DEEP. A HOT JOB IN THE SUMMER.  ONCE DUG, THE PIT HAD TO BE COVED AND LINED WITH RIVER-BED ROCKS, TO RETAIN THE HEAT.  THEN CAME THE REALLY HOT TASK OF FIRING UP THE HARDWOOD AND FRUIT WOOD CORDS, TO A GLOWING OVEN.  ONCE THE COALS WERE SUFFICIENTLY HOT, THE ROASTS WERE LOWERED INTO THE PIT , PLACED EVENLY AROUND THE COALS AND THEN COVERED.  HEAVY PIPES AND CORRUGATED STEEL, WERE USED FOR THE INITIAL COVERING, THEN CAME CANVAS AND FINALLY DIRT, TO RETAIN THE HEATING PROCESS.

AFTER SEVERAL SUCCESSFUL FUNCTIONS, MOVING TO WHAT IS NOW JOHNNY CARSON PARK, ACROSS BOB HOPE ROAD FROM N.B.C. STUDIOS BURBANK. PETER TOOK ON MORE VOLUNTEER ROLLS IN THE SEASONING, WRAPPING, PLACING, COVERING AND MONITORING THE ROASTING PROCESS.  THE TASK OF GATHERING THE RIVER BED ROCK , FROM THE KERN RIVER AND CORDS OF WOOD, FROM SEVERAL DONATING ORCHARDS, FELL TO ANOTHER CREW. LATER  HE INVOLVED HIS WIFE AND TWO YOUNG SONS, IN THE HOSTING AND SERVING  PROCESS.

AS THE YEARS WENT BYE, OUR FOUNDER, WANDA “BIG CANOE” ADAMSON, MOVED AWAY TO CANADA AND GINNY TYLER, TOOK THE REINS. THE ROLL OF TREASURER, BECAME MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT TO FILL.  HAVING BEEN A BUSINESS MAJOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, THE BIG TEN UNIVERSITY WITH “CHIEF ILLINIWEK” AS IT’S THEME MODEL, PETER LENT A HAND, IN  ADMINISTERING  EXPENSES AND PROCEEDS.  WHEN GINNY RETIRED, AND SISTERS GRACE ANN  AND CLAIRE, OF BLESSED MEMORY,  BECAME OUR LEADERS, MORE OF THE FINANCIAL  AFFAIRS FELL TO  HIS ATTENTION. THE PREVIOUS TREASURER, WAS A STORE OWNER AND  VERY FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE, INVESTING  OUR FUNDS IN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BOND FUNDS.  WHEN ONE OF OUR LONG TIME BOARD MEMBERS, MILLIE BARON, OF BLESSED MEMORY, PASSED AWAY, LEAVING SOME OF HER ESTATE TO THE FUND, PETER WAS TASKED TO DEAL WITH THE COURTS, IN ORDER TO HANDLE THE FUNDS , LEFT TO AISF/SC.  RATHER THAN LEAVE ALL THE  PORTFILIO IN LOW INTEREST PROCEED FUNDS, HE NEGOTIATE WITH MERRILL LYNCH TO PLACE THE FUNDS ONLY PARTIALLY IN FEDERAL BOND FUNDS AND THE MAJOR PORTION IN CONSERVATIVE GROWTH BOND FUNDS, WHICH CREATED MORE INCOME.  DURING THE DAYS OF WILD MARKET SWINGS AND INTEREST RATE FLUCTUATIONS, HE WAS ABLE TO ACCUMULATE SUFFICIENT INCOME, TO FUND OUR SCHOLARSHIPS AND MAINTAIN A GOOD FINANCIAL BASE.

WHEN THE SISTERS RETIRED TO THEIR MOTHER RESIDENCE, A SERIES OF LEADERS TOOK OVER.  PRESENTLY, KATHRYN “KAT” HIGH IS INSPIRING THE ORGANIZATION TO CONTINUE AND THRIVE.  AFTER 17 PLUS YEARS AS TREASURER, PETER, WHO TURNED 80 AND WHO HAS EXPERIENCED VISUAL IMPAIRMENT, FINALLY RETIRED, TO REMAIN A BOARD MEMBER-AT-LARGE AND OFFER WHAT HELP HE CAN.

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