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By Peter M. Lamendola
Posted: 10/27/2022
Tags: bios



Peter Lamendola, a.k.a. Peter El, became a Village member the way many members do – gradually.  While he has lived in Pasadena for 30 years, he had never heard of the Village until he saw a photo of Executive Director Katie Brandon on the front page of the Pasadena Weekly. He knew Katie from her work at the Pasadena Museum of History, where he is a long-time volunteer. He enjoyed reading the article and catching up on what Katie was doing. 


Then, in May of this year, Peter attended the Senior Resource Fair at Jackie Robinson Center. He stopped by the Pasadena Village booth and talked to a few Village members there.  The members invited him to the next “Meet Me at the Village” gathering. Peter took them up on their offer. At that gathering, long-time Village member Peter LeSourd invited Peter El to join his hiking group. Peter El did so and describe the experience thus: “People were so nice. And I love to hike. I felt so lucky to meet these people.”


When Peter El finally joined the Village, Membership Committee member Lora Pride-Harrington called to welcome him. Later that week he attended the Men’s Time breakfast at the Brookside Clubhouse. The influx of new friends from the Village into his life surprised him and gave him a lift.


Peter came to Pasadena when he was 40 years old, armed with his US Green card. Peter believes in America: “America is the beacon of the world. In almost all countries in the world there are lines of people trying to get into America.”


After settling in Pasadena, Peter sought out various jobs, eventually ending up with Bank of America. This job placed him in the call center on Marengo Street, a building with absolutely no windows in it! Peter recalls the building with a rueful laugh. After his stint with B of A, he moved to downtown Los Angeles, where he worked in the foreign currency department, converting the currency into dollars.  


Peter has been active in volunteer work. He first became associated with the Pasadena Museum of History in 2001. “I’ve always loved history, so when I saw a flyer about an exhibit at the Museum, I decided to attend.” He loved the Beaux Artes style of the Feynes mansion, home to the Museum. He began volunteering as a gallery host for the rotating exhibitions. With additional training he became a docent and now leads tours of the mansion and grounds. His knowledge of Pasadena runs deep, and his enthusiasm for the history of our city is infectious.


His love of theater led Peter to the Sierra Madre Playhouse, where he ushers and distributes flyers. He says, “I get to see the play for free – and I make friends.”


In addition to his busy volunteer schedule, Peter also has a part-time job. He distributes the weekly Sierra Madre newspaper, the Mountain View news, to stores, businesses, and a few homes. “I enjoy riding around and getting to know the neighborhoods. And I make a little money.”


In his free time Peter savors being outdoors, especially hiking in the local mountains. He loves to read, focusing on history and science. As the years have passed, Peter hasn’t given up his love of learning and engagement with friends.  He looks forward to the future, as he joins in Pasadena Village activities while continuing his life “Beyond the Village”.

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