Dr. Dan Grieder was a close friend to Peter and his family. Grieder was the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Austin (on 7th and LaVaca Street) from 1928 -1939, then switched careers and went into teaching. He later became the first mayor of the Village of West Lake Hills. During this time Grieder was also the director of community sing fests in Austin that that were held like most gathering programs at Barton Springs/Zilker Park. These singalongs (With Grieder always dressed in a white suit with red shirt) became weekly occurrences on a hillside at Zilker Park held every Thursday and Sunday evenings from 1934-1959 with Grieder directing the service and music, and the Mansbendel family usually in attendance.
For over 7 years Grieder and his family lived on Ave. “G” (1934-1941) in Hyde Park, across the open field from Peter’s home on Ave. “F”. Grieder’s background like Mansbendel was Swiss, and both of their families trace ancestry back to Basel, Switzerland. According to Greider “Peter and I became acquainted soon after I arrived in Austin, and immediately found that we were kindred souls, he, an accomplish artist, and I a young Presbyterian minister” “We spent much time together, and I used to visit him in his shop and watched him perform miracles in wood, and later in clay and wood, when he was doing the University presidents” Grieder also said that “He visited in our home and was devoted, not only to me, but to my wife, Berniece, as well”.
Grieder and Peter had a running joke between them, “we were so similar in appearance that people would, occasionally stop Peter on the street and compliment him on a wedding or a funeral service that they mistakenly thought he had performed the service. It also happened that people would comment on a piece of carving to me, thinking that I was Peter. At the dry cleaners, they several times handed Peter my clothes, and handed me Peter’s clothes, and we would have to exchange clothes mistakenly passed out. So often Peter would walk across the vacant field to our home on Ave ”G”, to visit and pass on our latest jokes. He was such a wonderful person!“
”Then came the trying days of his illness (1939-40); he used to walk across the field in the early morning, and we would take him to town with us. His legs hurt him a great deal and he could only talk in a whisper. Then he became bed-ridden, and the end, as you know, came rather quickly. I sat at his bedside some of that time, and when he passed away, his wife Chlo, asked me to conduct the service for Peter, in his own lovely home, with the help of Rev. Sumner of St David’s church whom assisted at the service on July 20, 1940. He was only 56 years old. This was a difficult service for me to perform, but one I was willing to perform for Peter’s sake. I still have my notes on my remarks that afternoon in July. I recall that I tried, in a small way to pay tribute to Peter’s fine talent, his wonderful spirit, his amazing genius and his greatness as a person.”“He was a real wit, and a great story teller, a fine conversationist and entertainer.” said Grieder.
Grieder also stated at the funeral “That I remember saying that I hoped that recognition would be given To Peter’s contribution to Texas, and that some place would be found, perhaps in his loveley home, where his work could be collected, and seen by the public. As I stood in the living room I spoke of Peter’s work, which could be seen, much of it, right there in his home, before our eyes” “All of it evidence of the genuiness of his spirit, and his perfection of line and form; of how his work revealed his love of truth, both in thought and form; of how ideals were those of goodness, truth and beauty, and I based my comments upon that passage of scriptures ”…establish thou the work of our hands, yet, the work of our hands establish it.” In closing Peter’s funeral, Grieder wrote “I spoke of the Madrillenians, who so loved their native Spain that they said, when one of their loved ones died, that ”he had gone from Madrid to Heaven, and in Heaven there was a little window looking down upon Madrid”. So I felt that Peter would be looking down upon us earthlings, through a window in the in the sky.”