The Indomitable Redbud Tree

A quick-moving windstorm last summer split an aging redbud tree in the back yard and laid it low. Since it stayed green until winter, and it was popular with visiting deer, I decided to wait until spring to cut it up.

Much to my surprise, even though it’s barely holding onto the stump by a thread, it bloomed out like crazy. One at the side of the house next to the porch did a great job of catching the late afternoon sun. You can click on it to make it larger.

Tulips and The Witch

Spring is my favorite time of the year. It’s a time of rebirth and promise, while the flashier Fall is fleeting and brings with it cold weather, dark days and bare trees.

I had a pleasant surprise when I walked outside the other morning. The front planter was alive with red and yellow tulips. I’d like to take credit for them, but it’s obvious from all the dead grass from last summer that I had nothing to do with their success.

The Witch in the Window is a symbol of my self-quarantine. (OK, so I put it up at Halloween a year ago and never took it down, but the thought is there.)

Radio Shack, I Miss You

Radio Shack batteries bought 02-22-2015 in WPB

I had to shoot a video the other day. My routine is to charge up all the camera batteries, clean off the memory cards, swap out the digital recorder batteries, and to make sure the remote mikes work.

When I was doing the mike check, I found that one of the button batteries was dead, so I reached into my battery stash, confident that I had at least three spares. My confidence was a bit shaken when I saw the once-familiar Radio Shack emblem.

How old ARE those?

I thought back a bit and remembered that I had stocked up on odds and ends when the West Palm Beach Radio Shack close to the house was going out of business in February of 2015.

That made the cells a bit long in the tooth, particularly since all of them looked like some innards gunk had oozed out over the years.

Nowhere like it left

Radio Shack lost its way over the years. It wasn’t sure if it was a source of cheap electronic components, a toy store or a cellphone retailer. In the end, it became none of those.

Still, I can’t think of anyplace where I can pop in for some oddball piece or part. I like places like the Best Buy in Cape for consumer goods, but you can’t get components there.

More Rat Shacks than Mickey D’s?

I read somewhere in the ’70s that there were more Radio Shack stores in the USA than McDonald’s. Even though almost all of them carried the same thing, I found myself browsing in stores wherever I traveled. It might be for tips on what radio frequencies to monitor or for wiring and connectors to make my gizmos work.

If nothing else, there was always one salesdroid who possessed a bit of the geek to nerd out with.

P.S. I ended up having to order replacement batteries from Amazon.

Wyatt Perry 1993 – 2020

Wyatt Perry at going-away party before heading off to the Marines 07-14-2012

The van was packed, and we were ready to head back south to Florida after spending the Christmas holidays with our families in Cape Girardeau. Wife Lila got the word that Sis-in-Law Dee Perry was getting ready to add to the John Perry family.

She said “Florida can wait.”

Only after William “Wyatt” Perry arrived on December 29, 1993, could the wheels start turning.

The visit every parent fears

John said that when he looked out the door and saw the coroner standing there that it was going to be bad news. Wyatt had been killed in the pre-dawn hours in a car crash. He was 26.

Wyatt’s obituary

Perry family members who have served in the armed forces

William Wyatt Perry of Cape Girardeau died Monday, March 16. He was 26. Wyatt was born in Cape Girardeau on December 29, 1993. He was raised in Jackson and graduated from Jackson High School. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps where he received an honorable discharge.

Wyatt chilling in Florida June 11, 2009

Wyatt was the baby of the family and with that came the privilege of having many nicknames. He was lovingly known as Wyatt Earp, Gah-wy, Prince Harry and Bjorn Ironsides. Though a man of many names, be was also a man of few words. He was kind, compassionate and had an amazing smile and laugh.

Wyatt with his Dad, John, 6/24/2009

He was serious and silly, and kids adored him. He was always the “cool” uncle. His joy in life was spending time with his family and riding his Harley. His leading lady was his Australian Shepherd Hot Mess Bess.

Perry family 9/5/2001

Wyatt is lovingly survived by his parents John and Dee Perry, Grandmother Fern (Maw) Douglas, brothers Drew and John David Perry and his sister Laurie (Rocky) Everett, all of Cape Girardeau. He also leaves behind his nieces and nephews Madison and Gavin Perry, Fletcher Everett, Ashlynn Perry as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. He wi1l be greatly missed by all.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents D.L.(Paw) Douglas Jr., William G. Perry and Lucille Perry.

Memorial visitation will be held Saturday, March 21 at 11 :00 AM until service time at McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.

Memorial service will follow at the funeral home at 1:00 pm.

In memory of Wyatt and in lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to VFW Post 3838. 1049 N. Kingshighway Street, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.

Remembering Wyatt

We were usually 1,100 miles away from Cape, but we still managed to snap a lot of photos of young Wyatt. Click on any photo in the gallery to make it larger, then use the arrows on the left and right side to move to other photos. By the way, there are two pages to the gallery (something I didn’t notice at first).

What Toilet Paper Shortage?

There’s been a lot of consternation in the news about toilet paper shortages caused by people stocking up in case the coronavirus virus starts spreading wildly.

I haven’t seen panic buying in the stores I frequent in the Cape Girardeau area, but that might be because we MidWesterners are better prepared than our more urban friends.

8,000 BTU per pound

After the squirrels get finished with the corn I hang on a backyard maple tree, I bring the cob inside to burn in the basement fireplace.

A study by the University of Connecticut showed that corn cobs will produce about 8,000 BTUs of energy per pound. Hard coal, in comparison, generates about 13,000 BTU per pound.

While it’s true that coal heats better than corn cobs, it is much less effective when used as toilet paper substitute.

(The old rule of thumb was to use two brown cobs followed by a white cob, the latter of which was a quality control measure.)