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).

Deer Me, Nothing Changes

Deer hanging at Burr Oak Lodge 11-09-2014I knew it was deer hunting season in Ohio when I stayed at the Burr Oak Lodge last November. Still, it’s a bit unusual to see Bambi times two hanging from a beam on the way to your room.

Just like in 1968

Nelsonville at night 12-05-1968Maybe I shouldn’t have been too surprised. People in Ohio like their deer meat, I discovered, when I cruised Nelsonville late at night on December 5, 1968. This deer was hanging on a porch not too far from the main drag.

Hauling venison across state lines

Wife Lila told me to go by her Brother John’s house in Jackson to pick up some venison to carry back to Florida. She had it all figured out: He said it’ll be frozen and should make it to Ohio where you can put it in a fridge in your room. When you saddle up to head home, pack it in dry ice, she ordered.

All of that went according to plan until I started to leave Athens. There was no problem getting the dry ice at a Kroger store (minimum quantity was way more than I needed), but the cooler was too tightly packed with deer meat to get any dry ice in it. Either I was going to have to buy a bigger cooler or something was going to have to give.

“Boy, what are you doing?”

An old man in a car next to me watched my maneuverings until he couldn’t stand it any more, “Boy, just what are you doing?”

Showing uncharacteristic good sense, I didn’t say something like “Dropping my wife off along the road. This is the last of her.”

I explained that I was trying to stuff 10 pounds in a five-pound sack.

“I love venison,” he said, wistfully, “and I can’t think of the last time I had some.”

“Today is your lucky day, then,” I said as I handed him a wrapped package of Missouri deer meat. “I’d rather give it to you than throw it away to make room for the dry ice.”

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.

 

 

 

K. Robinson’s Canteen

K Robinson canteenI shared with you yesterday’s repair adventures and Brother Mark’s owies. For the record, he claims that I miscounted: his thumb and the hammer had FOUR, not three unfortunate encounters. Score: hammer 4, thumb 0.

Sunday’s challenge was to fix the upstairs and the basement toilets that had been running at random times. The ghost flusher was causing Mother’s water bill to go sky-high and probably contributed to the low water levels in the Mississippi River below Cape.

If you’re reading this to hear how the plumbing project came out, you can quit right now. Let’s just say that it took one trip to Ace Hardware, one trip to Wife Lila’s Brother John and one trip to Lowes for supplies and to use their restroom. I’m not ready to elaborate tonight.

Uneasy on the throne

One of the tasks involved me looking above the false ceiling in the basement bathroom to the floor below the upstairs bathroom. Having graced that upstairs throne many, many times in the past, I’m surprised that I didn’t start out sitting in the upstairs bathroom and end up looking up at the ceiling in the basement. But, that’s a story for another time.

I’ll document some of the artifacts we uncovered later, but I want to tell K. Robinson of Troop 8 that we found his canteen. I’m assuming that it belongs to reader Keith Robinson who was a member of Trinity Lutheran’s Troop 8 with my brothers.

Keith, you may reclaim your canteen by stopping by Mother’s house at your convenience.