Q: “Meet the Peetes” and your work with your nonprofit Hollyrod are inspirational in that both let people with autism know that they are not alone.
A: That’s it. It’s such a simple concept but when you find out that you’re not alone in a certain predicament, it makes you feel so much better. I remember the day when my dad, who had Parkinson’s disease and he’s been gone 15 years now – when he found out that Muhammad Ali had it. And you know how amazing he was with it, how he embraced it and he was lighting the torch at the Atlanta Olympics, I remember him calling me going, “Are you kidding me? The greatest of all time has what I have and …” (And it was) the late ’80s and early ’90s when we didn’t have a lot of information on Parkinson’s. So yeah, he just didn’t feel as alone and that’s a very powerful message.
Q: Your mom is moving out. How has that been?
A: Yeah, she’s living in the backyard in the guest house and she’s been here for a couple of years. She’s a very sassy, independent, vivacious 81-year-old and she really feels like she doesn’t want to walk around on eggshells anymore and have to be the mother-in-law in the backyard. She’s moving to Palm Springs to pursue her next chapter in life. And my mom is one of those special people, as 81-year-olds can be, very unfiltered, feels like she’s got no more you-know-whats left to give and she just is looking for some freedom. … So she’s moving to Palm Springs. She’s open to dating, which is interesting. And she’s learning how to play golf. That’s where she thinks she’s going to find her husband (laughs).