Larry wrote both for The Diplomatic Pouch (TDP) and Diplomacy World (DW) in equal amounts, right up until his final days. Here's the final submission he sent me, a few days before taking his own life. After reading through it and alarmed by its contents, I contacted Edi Birsan, one of his best and oldest Diplomacy friends, to go check up on him. But it was already too late. I postponed publication until I felt ready for it. But here it is, complete and mostly unvarnished. Larry, I wish it didn't have to end this way, but thanks for everything.




This is not a retelling of my Diplomacy career or life story. Rather it is a collection of more or less random thoughts that have occurred to me over the past few months as I have disposed of my personal Diplomacy Archives in preparation for a new chapter in my life. For more than you’d ever want to know about my life I suggest you look at the early issues of Xeno, DW, TDP, et al. For the “kiss and tell” stories and revelation of secrets yet unknown, you’ll have to wait until Robert Cato finishes his biography of the last of the first Peerys.

The challenge for me here is reduce to a few pages what I’ve learned and not learned over the past fifty-five-plus years. I can’t help but remember that when I sold the family home in 2002 the Diplomacy “stuff” I had filled the garage, my office, and another room --- all in all it was some 700 feet of shelving space. The down-sizing began shortly thereafter when I sent a hundred boxes of the Diplomacy Archives off on a journey that eventually ended when Doug Kent posted them on the internet for future generations of Dippers to use and enjoy. Now, all I have left fills two bookcases (peeriblah in all its manifestations), two display cases (games, 17 of Diplomacy, and 30+ others, a few plaques and awards, and thousands of photos --- mostly of times, places and people I’ve already forgotten), and ten boxes of soft goods (t-shirts, hats, flags, Esmeralda and her court, and the rest). In few days that will be gone as well, reduced to a dwindling collection of memories…

Down-sizing is something we all need to prepare for, both the physical and mental, but also the emotional challenge which is so much harder to deal with. Fortunately, I’ve found, it gets easier once you get into it. Two months ago I agonized over parting with a single back issue of XENO, or a supply center chart from a game played in the 60s. Now I find myself gleefully giving (or not) away hundreds of t-shirts, books, and other Dip stuff. The idea that in a few days hundreds of homeless men in my community will be walking around in t-shirts dating back to the first DipCons, World DipCons and Peericons and wearing baseball caps extolling the virtues of Australian beer, Argentine football, or the wild life of the DMZ in North Korea gives me far greater pleasure than I ever expected. In the last two months I’ve given away thousands, many thousands of dollars, worth of “stuff” that no one in the hobby seemed interested in. For some reason I’m glad it worked out that way.


XENOGOGIC began as a HS newspaper column in the spring of 1964 (just a couple of months before John Boardman started publishing GRAUSTARK), a vehicle to express my thoughts on the topic of the day, its premise was that controversy was something to be embraced --- not avoided. Its style was a combination of florid hyperbole and verbal zingers to drive home a point.

In 1964 the name was unique. Today it has been adapted as far away as Japan by scholars seeking to, I’m sure, enlighten their readers about the glories of ancient Greece and peeriblah. I was shocked and amused to see it appear in the vastness of Google and Wiki. Who would have thought?

These are the phases XENO went through over the years.

  • A Diplomacy ‘zine 1966
  • A PMW ‘zine, early 70s
  • Then it gave way to the organizational years, the DW years, and the travel years
  • A dip&DIP commentary on world affairs, its diplomats, the hobby, and Diplomacy players
  • Mostly recently, a vehicle for reviewing books, etc. mostly pertaining to dip&DIP related subjects and anything else that might pique the curiosity or ire of the writer


Some of my most important, if not best, writing was published outside XENO in other dip&DIP publications or even as monographs for various “think tanks” and such.

  • The Measurement of Power in the Congressional Committee System of the 1960s (late 60s)
  • The TFX: Boeing and the bribing of the of Congress (late 60s)
  • From East, Alone, Toward Europe: The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia (1969)
  • SINEX, DOOMSDAY, POLARIS (PMW studies of the Sino-Russian conflicts of the 1960s, the first 37 minutes of WWIII, and the mental issues of crewmen on USN SLBM subs
  • DW started, 1974
  • Veritas Vincit (“Truth Prevails”), The Great and Little Feuds that nearly destroyed the Diplomacy hobby
  • S&TPD, 1975 - 1977, 800 pages of Diplomacy and peeriblah
  • Briggs Initiative, Prop. 6, 1978, The Pink Triangle, The Diplomacy hobby responds to the Gay War dividing the country. It yawned and went back to stealing dots
  • DW #40 1986 – 59: Five years of survival, growth, decay and rejuvenation (thanx to David Hood)
  • TDP started 1995: Finally DW had some competition!
  • Later as hobby advocate, promoter, writer, and Old Fart extraordinaire (Think of a combination of Ben Franklin and Earnest Hemingway.)

The irony of stormy times in the 60s in Vietnam under presidents Johnson/Nixon and equally stormy times in the teens with seemingly countless and endless wars, domestic and foreign, baffled me. Now that man in the White House bewilders me almost as much as the people who still support him in spite of his actions. And all I wanted in my last years was a black, female president.


Past Actions: founding Xeno, From East Alone Toward Europe, DW, TDP, hosting 3 DipCons, attending first DixieCon, first WDC, first EDC, publishing Veritas Vincit, The Pink Triangle, etc.

The combo of words and actions

I’ve always believed that action is the preferred over inaction. The fear of taking the wrong action and the resultant “do nothing” attitude has been the downfall of far greater countries and empires than this one.


I have pages and pages of material about Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage (French for Years of Pilgrimage) but I’ll spare you reading it if you’ll take a few moments to listen to some of this monumental work (Liszt’s work ranks with the Beethoven symphonies, Mozart concertos, etc.).

I’ll include the wiki background and then directly to some of the best recordings (there are many).

Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage

Années de pèlerinage (French for Years of Pilgrimage) (S.160, S.161, S.163) is a set of three suites for solo piano by Franz Liszt. Much of it derives from his earlier work, Album d'un voyageur, his first major published piano cycle, which was composed between 1835 and 1838 and published in 1842. Années de pèlerinage is widely considered as the masterwork and summation of Liszt's musical style. The third volume is notable as an example of his later style. Composed well after the first two volumes, it displays less virtuosity and more harmonic experimentation.

The title Années de pèlerinage refers to Goethe's famous novel of self-realization, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, and especially its sequel Wilhelm Meister's Journeyman Years (whose original title Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre meant Years of Wandering or Years of Pilgrimage, the latter being used for its first French translation). Liszt clearly places the work in line with the Romantic literature of his time, prefacing most pieces with a literary passage from writers such as Schiller, Byron or Senancour, and, in an introduction to the entire work, writing:

Having recently travelled to many new countries, through different settings and places consecrated by history and poetry; having felt that the phenomena of nature and their attendant sights did not pass before my eyes as pointless images but stirred deep emotions in my soul, and that between us a vague but immediate relationship had established itself, an undefined but real rapport, an inexplicable but undeniable communication, I have tried to portray in music a few of my strongest sensations and most lively impressions.

There are several fine recordings of Liszt’s masterpiece: I recommend those of Aldo Ciccolini (the complete work, over three hours, on multiple discs on ebay). Basically, the work consists of three large sections devoted to his travels in Switzerland, Italy, and then some pieces he wrote much later of a more philosophical-metaphysical nature. Jeno Jandon, the Hungarian pianist and professor of music at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, has recorded most of the Liszt solo piano music. And finally, Lazar Berman, the great Russian pianist, has recorded and released the entire work; a performance that got rave reviews in 1977 and even more raves in 2017 when DG remastered it.

In addition to the Liszt Years of Pilgrimage let me put in a plug for two of Gorecki’s symphonies. Most of you who read this probably know and may have a recording of his 2nd Symphony of Sorrows. His 3rd Symphony, composed in 1976 for the 500th anniversary of the birth of Copernicus, is a totally different piece.


The Holy Minimalists (Tavener, Gorecki, Part) vs. The Unholy Maximalists (Von Metzke, Walker, Peery) is a concept you won’t read in Diplomacy World or The Gramophone, I assure you 🙂


The Last Hurrah for Bernie Sanders, Storming the barricades for one last time for Maxine Waters, or whatever scenario you can come up with --- the final purpose of XENO is to do just what it did in the beginning: address the issues of the day and don’t be afraid of being controversial in doing so. (Question: Of the tens of millions of people who have seen or heard Les Misérables on the stage, screen or heard it I wonder what percentage of them thought and/or still think it was about the French Revolution?)

Current Actions

October 2015: A few casual words to my doctor led to me spending 13 days in what today is called a “behavioral” hospital. Not a pleasant experience in some ways, but it was a chance to see and experience what millions of Americans go through every year as they try to cope with a variety of problems that the regular medical system can’t. Since then I have continued, mostly in my FB posts, to rant and rave about That Man. Words, mine and others, have not helped. It is time for action.

I have no more time to waste on him.

What to do? For an answer to that question I went back to my experiences of 1968 in Czechoslovakia. Ironically it wasn’t the name of Benes, Masaryk, Alexander Dubcek. Ludwig Svoboda or Vaclav Havel that came to mind --- it was that of Jan Palach. I wondered if I had the courage to follow in the footsteps of Palach? At his age he had everything to lose and was willing to do that for his cause. At my age I have little to lose and my cause is a minor one. But still…

Trump and My Action

The world will little note nor long remember my action, but at least I know I tried. I’m sure what I do will have little effect on him, his cabal or his “true believers”, but perhaps it will prick the conscience of those who have sat and watched and remained silent as this nation has gone…


Here, unedited, are some of the many emails I’ve written in the past few weeks about this situation. Mario may edit or delete them in the interests of brevity but I included them to show how my train of thought was running at this time.



Cc: Larry Peery

Subject: On Trump, the Homeless to Be in Southern California, and how life ends at 70

Date: Feb 26, 2019 12:12 PM

I am a 71 y.o. third-generation San Diegan who has a slightly different story
to tell…
1) After 2 years of Trump's antics I've had it, but I plan to do more than 
just whine and snivel about it.
2) After 2 months of dealing with moving out of my home of 13 years and
discovering there's no place for me to go I've had it, but I plan to do more
than just whine and snivel about it.
3) After 71 years of a generally good life I've discovered a big lesson: I
don't want to live any more in a country that would pick a leader like Trump,
but I plan to do more than just whine and snivel about it.
Have you heard of Jan Palach?  If not look him up on Wiki.  Keep in mind that
I wrote my college thesis on the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
It's fresh in my memory and on my mind today.
The only problem is this is a story that will break in two days so if you're 
interested you should email me or call me at 760-966-1045 quickly.

Lawrence Peery
Oceanside, CA

P.S. It was my doctor who suggested I contact your show after my attempts to
reach out to various local news sources failed.  I guess they don't want to
upset the apple cart.


To: Larry Peery


Date: Feb 16, 2019 5:36 PM

For years I was taught that you can't take it with you.
Well, they were wrong.
I learned that from an old (1958) movie called The Vikings that starred Kirk
Douglas and Tony Curtis.  The Vikings did have a way of taking their life's
treasures with them and, although I was only nine at the time, that was a
lesson I never forgot.  It has come in handy recently…


To: Larry Peery


Date: Feb 15, 2019 11:32 AM

When I started this project some three weeks ago I had the following
Diplomacy-related materials: LIST
Now, after those three weeks, XXX hours, dumpsters, recyle containers, etc.
it is down to…
And as I work on my last XENO column I find I am going back to my literary
roots: ballpoint pen and legal pad…
When you’re young most truisms seem unimportant but when you get older you begin
to realize just how important they are.  A good example is…
"I had a good life. I don't want to hang around for the denouement."


noun: denouement; plural noun: denouements; noun: dénouement; plural noun: dénouements

  1. the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.
    "the film's denouement was unsatisfying and ambiguous"
    synonyms: finale, final scene, final act, last act, epilogue, coda, end, ending, finish, close, culmination, climax, conclusion, resolution, solution, clarification, unravelling, wind-up
    antonyms: beginning
  2. the climax of a chain of events, usually when something is decided or made clear.
    "I waited by the eighteenth green to see the denouement"
    synonyms: outcome, upshot, consequence, result, end result, end, ending, termination, culmination, climax, pay-off, issue, success
    antonyms: origin


To: Larry Peery


Date: Feb 11, 2019 10:56 AM


The work of gathering “things” which become possessions vs. the joy of giving
them away and regaining one’s freedom.

For years I used to use this expression without much thinking about it…

'Going to hell in a handbasket' - the meaning and origin of this phrase

What's the origin of the phrase 'Going to hell in a handbasket'? It isn't at
all obvious why 'handbasket' was chosen as the preferred vehicle to convey
people to hell. One theory on the origin of the phrase is that derives from
the use of handbaskets in the guillotining method of capital punishment.

A phrase of questionable origin and doubtful meaning.

This came to mind during one of the early sales when I was focusing on
selling some Asian antiques, some of which were many hundreds of years old
and others which probably came over in a TCU on a boat load from Shanghai.
At the sale I had a variety of Asians and non-Asians pick through my stuff
and each of them claimed to be an expert or at least a knowledgeable amateur
on Asian art.  One young Japanese-American was infatuated with an apple
sewing basket that I offered as a Japanese original for USD 100. In his
analysis he berated the basket for its poor workmanship, me as a salesman,
and my price as being way too high.  Listening to him was an elderly Chinese
gentleman taking it all in.  When the youngster finally left the elderly man
smiled at me and said "The younger generation is so foolish. They can't tell
the difference between something that is perfectly made by a machine and
something that is imperfectly made by a real human," and he walked out.
Shortly afterwards a middle-aged Korean matronly lady walked in and commented
on the diversity of the collection but the lack of Korean art.  She and I
chatted a bit about Korea and how much I had enjoyed my visit there. As she
was leaving she noticed the basket, paused to look at it, and commented to
me, "Very nice work by a younger Japanese artist but he hasn't found his own
style yet.  A Korean basket would be better made and less expensive. Sort of
like a Toyota and a Hyundai, I think.  On the other hand the Chinese would
make a million copies of somebody else's original and get rich!"

In that brief story is a summary of US-Japanese-Chinese-Korean relations over
the last nearly two hundred years or so.

Sort of reminds me of dip&DIP: the spaces, the times, and the people.


To: Larry Peery


Date: Feb 11, 2019 6:59 AM


1) Part 1: For DW  (on protest and music): ends with,
"Mr. Peery? Mr. Peery!  The curtain seems to have stuck half-way down!!"
"Don't worry, Mario will know how to fix it."

2) Part 2: For TDP (on other topics): ends with,
"Mr. Peery?  Mr. Peery! The curtain seems to have stuck half-way up!!"
"Don't worry, Doug will know how to fix it."


To: Larry Peery

Subject: SAVE

Date: Feb 1, 2019 7:47 AM

As Louella Parsons said about her good friend and source J. Edgar Hoover, "If
you really want to understand Edgar you need to check out the locked shoes
wardrobe in his closet."
So it is with me. 


We spend much of our life running from the past toward a future goal. What
we often forget is that we are often running in circles instead of in a straight
line.  It took me 13 years of living on Navigator Circle to appreciate the irony
of that.


The Windmills of Your Mind - Noel Harrison - YouTube


Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain, or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that's turning running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind!
Like a tunnel that you follow to a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving in a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind!
Keys that jingle in your pocket, words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly, was it something that you said?
Lovers walking along a shore and leave their footprints in the sand
Is the sound of distant drumming just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway and the fragment of a song
Half remembered names and faces, but to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over you were suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning to the color of her hair!
Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel
As the images unwind, like the circles that you find 
In the windmills of your mind!

Songwriters: Marilyn Bergman / Michel Legrand / Alan Bergman

The Windmills of Your Mind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


noun: meandering; plural noun: meanderings

  1. an act of following a winding course.
    "oxbow lagoons left by the river's meanderings"
  2. an act of wandering in a leisurely or aimless manner.
    "in the course of his meanderings through the city"
  3. convoluted or undirected thought or language.
    "he has a penchant for obscure verbal meanderings"


The other bear in the room is known as “superannuation risk”. Apparently the Aussies have had more experience with this than the USA (based on the references to it on Google).

The Key Difference Between a Superannuation and Other Plans

While a superannuation guarantees a specific benefit once the employee qualifies, other traditional retirement vehicles may not. For example, a superannuation is not affected by individual investment choices, but retirement plans such as the 401(k) or IRA will be affected by positive and negative market fluctuations. In that sense, the exact benefit from an investment-based retirement plan may not be as predictable as those offered in a superannuation.

A person on a defined-benefit plan should not have to be concerned with the total amount remaining in the account and is at a low risk of running out of funds before death. In other investment vehicles, poor performance could lead a person to run out of available funds before death.

When your three biggest callers are: 1) Your health services provider, 2) Adbots and robocalls, and 3) “Is Douglas there?” You know it is time to disconnect your phone.


We, well, me, often overlook one of the best reasons for being part of the Diplomacy hobby and playing the game --- it helps us navigate the spaces and dots of the real world. Unfortunately, again, like me, some of us are slower learners than others. Still, I’m proud that I navigated the continents and oceans of the world in the days before GPS dictated our every move.


I’ve mentioned the trials and tribulations of dip&Dip, the unavoidable frustrations of the aging process, the challenges of dealing with incompetence on a grand scale in government, but finally I want to mention the problem of dealing with the millions of Americans who are and soon will be faced with a new way of life --- that of the new homeless. The liberals and Democrats talk about this. The ultra-rich, conservatives and Republicans ignore it, although it is a big problem that isn’t going to go away. I know because I’m one of the millions who have gone in a single generation from being an independent home owner to being on the verge of homeless. That shouldn’t have happened, but the combination of a profit-driven health care system, and a profit-driven government for the benefit of self-appointed and self-chosen few, and a corrupt housing system (Remember, I worked in the mortgage banking industry for years --- I know how incompetent and corrupt it is.) was too much for me.

I’ve lost my home of thirteen years and so have the Diplomacy Archives that I spent 55 years collecting.

I take full responsibility for this and this is where the Sinatra, Piaf and Whittaker songs from the first part play list come in. However, I reserve my right and duty to protest against the causes of this, and that I will do to the best of my ability. As for my Diplomacy Archives the hobby’s lack of response to my pleas for help were deafening in their silence. An irreplaceable (Sorry, Doug, an ephemeral online presence to me is worthless) hobby treasure is no more. That is the hobby’s responsibility, not mine.

Nor, I should mention, is this a unique situation. In past years the hobby lost the Don Miller Archives, the Fred Davis Archives, the Allan B. Calhamer Archives and so many more. Our history is gone. Our future is precarious.

Story of new homeless in LA

High rents create a new class of hidden homeless in Los Angeles

Kevin Recinos works full-time helping the homeless in Los Angeles as a Life Skills Coordinator, but when his rent increased by $200 per month, he himself became homeless. Now, he's one of the estimated 9,000 newly homeless in Los Angeles living out of their car.

2/25: Reach out to CBS San Diego, KFMB


Thought: Playing Diplomacy may not make you a winner in real life. It may not even make you a better loser, but it will help you better understand why you didn’t win more often or why you did lose so often.


Most everyone knows the story of Haydn’s Farewell Symphony and Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony; which was very much finished in spite of what some musical scholars say. There were also other unfinished “farewell” works by composers like Mozart, Puccini, Bartok and Berg. Musicians are known for their extensive and sometimes frequent “farewell tours”. Nellie Melba, the great Australian opera singer, was known for her year-long farewell tours that spanned the globe and filled her bank accounts. She always said she had to keep singing to make lots of money to pay her taxes.

My own farewell tour began in 2013 and extended into 2014. It included stops in Paris, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Washington, Seoul, Taipei and KL. It wasn’t quite the Grand Tour of Europe I had in 1988 and 1989 but it was fun. Since then I’ve had a few small events (Do two people qualify as a Dipcon?) and kept in touch with the few hobbyists left that I know. Still, ever so often one appears and relights the old flame.

work in progress

noun: work in progress; plural noun: works in progress

  1. an unfinished project that is still being added to or developed.
    "the book itself is still a work in progress"
  2. (in accounting) the total value of the materials and labor for unfinished projects.
    "the board had estimated the value of its work in progress"

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to add the finishing touches to the WWI Centennial issue of TDP but perhaps that is for the best.

28 February 2019

Oceanside, CA

Email writer thumbnail Larry Peery

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