The Don Peters Memorial Gym

That would be our home gym. My husband’s father was one of the early bodybuilders in the 1960′s. So much of my husbands early memories are about being around all those guys like Vince Gironda, Dave Draper, Sergio Oliva, Franco Columbo. and even Arnold.

Besides being an athlete and top bodybuilder, Don Peters was quite an artisan and made beautiful furniture out of wood and leather. He’d find amazing pieces of old wooden doors or beams, anything. He had vision, that’s for sure. He was also a great designer and from the drawings I’ve seen, might have had a knack for architecture as well.

Luckily for us, he designed and had built an entire set of professional gym equipment. It really was the inspiration for us to finish our garage and turn it into The Don Peters Memorial Gym.

I brought the elliptical machines into the relationship. And we plan to add some Pilates equipment eventually. My husband makes sure to leave room for that. It’s going to be my reward for getting in better shape.

I’m looking forward to adding weight training to my weekly routine. I used to love those machines at the gym that were like the Nautilus types, but I’ve been reading more and more about how they really aren’t nearly as effective as using weights and your own body weight. I understand that, but I still won’t be adding squats and lunges until I get a bit stronger and lose some pounds. I don’t want an injury and at 45, I know I need more core strength to do that.

I wish, more than I can say, that my father-in-law was still with us. He’d be so proud of his son and his beautiful granddaughter, who both seem to have the award winning Don Peters legs. I watch my daughter sometimes and feel certain that it’s his genes that have given her such strength and solidness. She also loves being in the gym, even at 3!

So, here’s to Don Peters, Happy Birthday and thank you for all you brought into this world. You are loved and missed.

15 Comments on The Don Peters Memorial Gym

  1. Nora
    August 13, 2010 at 10:07 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow! What a great body your FIL had back in the day! The golden era of bodybuilding! Lots of hard work but I bet it was a fun career as well. It is interesting to see what a person can do. Gives me inspiration. And what a beautiful gym and great tribute! How great it is to have that equipment! Enjoy!

    Nora

    Reply
  2. Joseph
    January 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm (3 years ago)

    Afternoon, and Happy New Year.

    I just happened to come across this page by chance, and glad I did.

    I do remember reading of Don, and seeing photos of him training in his home gym, in the old Muscle Magazines.

    I always admired the bodybuilders of his era. I believe those days were the best for bodybuilding.

    I’m 55 years old, and a former competitor here on the East Coast.

    I just wanted to say I thought he looked great, and am glad a family member has a posting of him for all to see.

    Joseph

    Reply
  3. Starkie Sowers
    March 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm (3 years ago)

    Woked out at Vinces in the late 70′s early 80′s. Vince was a personal friend of mine. Always liked the great physique of Don Peters never met him though. Vince spoke highly of him. Great website. Starkie

    Reply
  4. Steve
    June 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm (3 years ago)

    I worked out at Don Peter’s gym on Sherman Way in Reseda in the early 1980s. I remember Don and he was always very nice. My best to you and your family.

    Reply
  5. barry thompson
    July 20, 2011 at 11:30 pm (3 years ago)

    I knew Don at Garland High school in Texas. Very memorable guy. He was the lifeguard at the CC pool and was a great diver. Very quiet, friendly and well liked by everyone.

    Reply
  6. Brenda Berglund
    February 19, 2012 at 8:54 am (2 years ago)

    Hello! I use to compete with Don in couples body building in the 80′s. We did several photo shoots, gym openings, etc. I’m thrilled to see he has a granddaughter, he would of been so proud. How is Dee doing? I would love to talk to her!

    Reply
    • DAVID SCOTT
      November 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm (1 year ago)

      I KNEW DON FOR YEARS AND WORKED OUT WITH HIM AND MANY OF THE OTHER GREATS.

      DON, UNLIKE MANY, GOT ALONG VERY WELL WITH VINCE..WHO WAS MY TAX CLIENT (I AM A CPA)…THAT WAS ABOUT 1968-1972.

      I MISS THOSE DAYS AND DON. HE WAS HIGHLY RESPECTED….TRUELY A CLASS GUY.
      KEEP THOSE PICTURES HANDY….IT IS ALWAYS WONDERFUL TO LOOK AT THE PICTURES AND REMEMBER DON AND THAT MAGIC ERA. BEST WISHES TO ALL.

      DAVID SCOTT

      ////////////

      Reply
      • teresa
        March 20, 2014 at 7:08 am (4 weeks ago)

        Thank you so much for your kind words, David. I remember Vince, and am still in touch with his niece. I can’t believe it’s been so long. Thank you again. Steve (Don’s son)

        Reply
  7. Tony Wayne Maroney
    October 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm (2 years ago)

    I was a classmate of Donald Gene Peters.
    Our class graduated on May 28. 1956. By
    request from me (and lots of others) Don
    would draw cartoons on our new book covers each year. We put them on inside out to leave a clean surface for him to draw on.Those covers were great, & I wish
    I still had an example. Don was certainly
    a disciplined body builder, the top in our class. The rest of us tried, the only
    ones of Don’s league were Jerry Patterson, and Claudie Earls that I remember. We knew that Don was going to
    California as soon as he could. We heard
    the he was working as an animator for Disney. I saw him on TV once in a skit
    on the Carol Burnet Show. About all that
    comes to me was Carol running toward Don, and leaping high into his arms. He
    handled her very easily and gently while she mugged for the skit. Don came to our
    30th Class Reunion in 1986….still looking fantastic, and was enjoyed by all us us. I just turned 75 about two weeks ago. I’ll tell my Buds (six of us
    old GHS Classmates still get together
    often & reminisce). Don’s name comes up fondly & frequently. Best regards to his
    family. Tony Maroney

    Reply
    • teresa
      March 20, 2014 at 7:10 am (4 weeks ago)

      Hi Tony, I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to this. I have lots of my father’s drawings dna doodles but don’t know if I heard the story about him drawing cartoons on everyone’s book covers. What a cool anecdote! Thank you so much. Steve (Don’s son)

      Reply
  8. Josh Maniss
    January 17, 2013 at 9:52 am (1 year ago)

    Don was my father’s cousin. When I was a small child, I remeber visting Don for the first time at his home in Studio City, I believe. I live in Porterville Ca. Shortly thereafter, he sent me some autographed photos and magazines. I recently visited his grave in Gainsville Tx. Rip Don Peters.

    Reply
  9. Charlee King
    December 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm (4 months ago)

    Don was my best friend and I miss him so much.
    Especially around the holidays when Don and Dee
    and I would attend so many festive parties. He was
    an amazing friend, body builder and artist. Thank you
    for this amazing tribute to Don.

    Reply
    • teresa
      March 20, 2014 at 7:03 am (4 weeks ago)

      Charlee, I tried writing you back at this address and it bounced back. Good to hear from you.

      Reply
  10. joel rosenberg
    March 14, 2014 at 1:29 pm (1 month ago)

    i knew him at vinces gym in studio city. very nice man, down to earth. i was a bodybuilder then. i am now 74.

    Reply

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