John Perry Heads Out to Sea

John Sharpening Knives WPB Quilt Show 03-08-2013Brother-in-law John Perry was down to sharpen scissors and knives at a quilt show ramrodded by Friend Jan. We kept him busy installing vinyl siding on the house and doing other odd jobs that we save up through the year.

It turned out to be less traumatic than 2010.

Last year he had to scurry home because a tornado that went through Puxico, Mo., hit some of his wife’s family’s homes.

Deserved fishing trip

John Perry fishing trip 03-15-2013_263After doing all that work, he deserved to take some time off to stalk the wily fish. He and Son Wyatt had a blast in 2009 when they went off on a seafaring jaunt.

On a 2002 trip, Son Drew made such an impression on his fishing boat captain that the man sent him a copy of  The Old Man and the Sea.

He had hooked a dolphin that was at least 60-80 pounds, one of the largest the captain had seen that year. He fought the fish from 6 p.m. until well after 8:30 when it made a run under the boat and was able to cut the line on the motors.

Captain Neal Rawls of The Riggins Too wrote, “Though the fish got away, I hope when you think back on that fight you see it as the success I do… I’ll always remember how your family all fought that fish together. You held the rod and fought the fish while your father pointed out the direction it was running and your mother held the spotlight….

“You are a lucky man to have a family that sticks together and without hesitation faces up to challenges together. As time goes on, if you ever feel life has thrown you a curve ball, remember that fish, and that with your parents’ help, you can tackle anything.

Looking for a boat

We put out the word that we were looking for somebody who wanted to take a boat out. Son Matt hooked up with one of Son Adam’s buddies we always dubbed “My Friend Jon” because that’s the way Adam always referred to him. Jon Pauley’s brother-in-law Matt Douglass (I THINK there is a double S at the end) was available to head out Friday morning.

“Morning” to a fisherperson means middle of the night to me, so I was content to let Wife Lila take him down to Boynton for his adventure. The alarms went off at 5:15. John and Matt were at the boat at 6:10, and out the Boynton Inlet by 7ish.

Started getting hits within 10 minutes

John Perry fishing trip 03-15-2013_265They caught the first fish within about 10 minutes of clearing the breakers, John said, “and for the next three hours we hammered them hard.” They were so busy hauling in fish (and letting a few of the Big Ones get away) that they barely had time to take a tiny nibble at the sandwiches and my Cajun trail mix road food they took with them.

New Jersey in three days

John Perry Fishing 03-15-2003_4336We expected John to call for pickup by 11ish, but that deadline came and went. Then noon, then 1 o’clock.

I warned John’s Wife Dee that the lack or arrival could be caused by several things.

  • They were catching so many fish they didn’t want to stop.
  • They weren’t catching any fish and didn’t want to admit it.
  • Their engines had failed and they were on a Gulf Stream expressway to New Jersey, where they should wash up in about three days. “If they didn’t catch anything, there’s a good chance only one of them will make it to New Jersey: cannibalism usually starts off the coast of North Carolina,” I posited.

A good day for John and Matt

John Perry - Matt Douglass 03-15-2013_4335The answer was behind Door Number One. They hauled them in until “it was like someone threw a switch and they quit biting.”

The duo scored seven dolphin (not the Flipper variety) and 3 wahoo. At least that many got away, John said.

The men cleaned their catch and the boat, then brought home the fish filets in coolers. Neighbor Jacqie fired up the grill and worked food magic. It was a good day for all but the fish.

Need anything sharpened?

John Perry business card comboJohn and his sharpening equipment will be down here in West Palm Beach until March 19 if you need anything touched up. If you’re in Missouri, he’ll be back in your neck of the woods after that.

 

 

 

Wyatt Perry Headed to Marines

I went over to John and Dee Perry’s house Saturday afternoon for a going-away party for their son, Wyatt. He’s leaving town Sunday morning to be shaped into a Marine. It’s been a dream of his for several years. John is Wife Lila’s brother.

Today was a sort of bookend day. December 29, 1993, I was itching to head back to West Palm Beach from Cape. It’s a long drive, particularly over a holiday, and I needed to get back to work. Dee, unfortunately for my schedule, was in labor with who was going to become Wyatt. Lila kept saying, “Let’s wait a little longer, let’s wait a little longer.” We stuck around long enough to welcome him into the world.

I was here to see him off to start a new life.

A family tradition of service

Left to right: Laurie Perry Everett, Drew Perry, Wyatt Perry, John F. Perry, Rocky Everett.

John Perry was Navy and served in Vietnam. Drew just finished up his enlistment in the Marines.

Laurie Perry Everett, joined the Army, where the diminutive blonde became a Military Police officer. She was stationed in Kitzingen, Germany, but she either visited or was deployed in France, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Romania, Israel, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland, among others.

One of her jobs was processing new troops, explaining the local customs and making them aware of what they needed to know. One soldier, Rocky Everett, commented to his buddy, “I’m going to date that girl one day.”

Rocky and Laurie were married in Cape on a cold October night in 2003. They have one son, Fletcher, AKA Flea. She’s the owner of the highly-regarded Annie Laurie’s Antiques on Broadway. (Follow the link to see her as an MP.)

Marines rebuilt Drew

I saw someone at the party who looked familiar, so I went over and said, “I’m Ken.” The good-lucking guy who took my hand said, “I know. I’m Drew.”

You could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather. Gone was the skinny, goofy kid I saw head off to the Marines a few years back. In his place was a solid, self-assured, mature man who seems to have his head screwed on straight.

I wonder if there will be a similar transformation with Wyatt, pictured at this link fishing in Florida with his dad on Father’s Day 2009. John and Dee are the ones who are going to have the toughest transition. It’s going to be awfully quiet with Wyatt gone.

Photo gallery of the going-away party

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. Thanks to the extended Perry family for its service. You’ve done more than your share.

Puxico’s Leap Year Day Tornado

I checked the weather before I turned in around 2 a.m. Wednesday and saw a fast-moving narrow band of ugly weather headed toward Cape. When I got up, news reports indicated that Cape had dodged the bullet, but some other local communities, including Puxico, hadn’t. That was significant because Wife Lila’s brother, John Perry, had come down to do some odd job repairs for us. His Wife Dee’s parents and brother live on farms near Puxico.

Tree came through roof

She called him to say that her brother Don’s house was destroyed and he was feared dead.

He was later dug out of debris in his basement. He was pretty badly battered, but didn’t go to the hospital. Her parents, D.L. and Fern Douglas, who live nearby, had a tree come through their roof, several outbuildings destroyed and a tractor blown into a pond. A neighbor in a mobile home was killed.

Dee’s Facebook updates

Here are some of Dee’s Facebook posts to friends and family Wednesday evening. John and Dee’s son Wyatt was kind enough to share these photos.

WOW, what a day!

9:21 p.m. – WOW, what a day!……The storms in Puxico flattened my brother’s house. My parents’ farm and home look like a war zone. Everyone is fine, shook up, but fine. My heart just breaks for everyone…..I spent the afternoon doing what I could do for my parents with Wyatt. I just cried when I saw my brother’s house. I am so thankful that everyone is alive.

We thought my brother was dead

9:46 p.m.My brother was thought to be dead. That was told to my Mother, so we were touch and go for awhile, I thought it was going to put her under, but she is one strong woman. My brother is pretty banged up, but I got to kiss him and hug him and that is all that matters!

10:41 p.m. – [Referring to wire service photo of her dad looking at his barn] He is so pitiful, all he has ever worked for was on that farm, but I still have him and Mom and the rest of my family, so for that I am thankful!

Pine trees snapped off

11:08 p.m.As Mother puts it – and I saw it – it’s like a war zone, but I can tell you, that it was really awesome to be able to hug and kiss and talk to each and every one of my family. It almost took my knees out from under me…….it was so hard to have to stay at work today.

John’s on his way home

John’s Missouri family needs him more than his Florida family does right now, so we’re putting him on a plane Friday morning to help his in-laws dig out. Wife Lila says the folks at Southwest Airlines were great in letting him change his return flight with no additional charge.