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).

Nobody But Daddy Touches It

Steinhoff TV remote 09-25-2015When we bought our first Zenith TV set, the dealer offered to throw in a black ceramic panther with eyes that lit up for the top of the set. That must have been a standard promotion because I saw a score of them over the years.

Mother thought they looked tacky, so Dad traded it in for credit on an Alliance Antenna Rotor and antenna.

We kids were given strict instructions that “NOBODY but daddy touches it.”

It made satisfying noises

Turning the dial caused a motor at the top of the antenna mast to turn the big antenna to bring in the least worst signal of a distant station. It couldn’t turn all the way around or it would twist off the antenna wire, so you would run it all the way in one direction, then reverse it.

There was some kind of big relay or something hiding in the innards that caused a very satisfying CLUNK-CLUNK-CLUNK! as the rotor was turning. That’s one of the reasons we didn’t mess with it. Dad could have heard the thing all over the house.

That’s it on the left

Steinhoff home 1618 Kingsway Dr June 1970

If you look closely, you can see the antenna sticking above the roof on the left side of the house. If you click on the 1970ish photo to make it larger, you can see Brother Mark’s Sears Spyder bicycle with its fake leopard-skin banana seat in front of the porch.

I figured Laurie Evertt would tell us to toss the gizmo in the dumpster, but she put it in the Keep Pile. Turns out that ones in good condition are going for about 25 bucks on the Internet. (It’s even got the motor and a stub of antenna mast, although it hasn’t been turned on it years. Check it out at Annie Laurie’s Antiques on Broadway if your life has been empty without an Alliance Antenna Rotor.

Dad died in 1977, so I guess it’s OK for you to touch it. If you get hit by lightning, though, I guess the curse is still attached.

I’m Skating for Awhile

Skates in Kingsway atticI took advantage of a relatively cool day to venture up into the attic. Brothers Mark and David are coming to town the week of September 20 to, as Mark euphemistically puts it, “declutter the house.”

I’m going to ease off a few days to give me more time to root through and set aside stuff that I think has sentimental or historical value. It’s hard to realize, but this’ll be the last chance I’ll have to do that.

We’re not putting the house on the market until the spring unless something changes, so, except for a couple of quick trips back to Florida, I’ll be in Cape for the duration. When the house sells, it’ll probably mark the end of my Cape chapter, and maybe my Cape book.

Bring your own skate key

I’ll be posting more photos of treasures like these as we come upon them. Niece Laurie Everett of Annie Laurie’s Antique Shop is going to work with us, so you will have lots of opportunities to own some Steinhoff Originals.

You will need to find your own skate key, unfortunately. I didn’t see one in the box.

Birthdays 2 and 4

Laurie Everett on toy tractor 09-09-2014In another of an infrequent series of posts about how living in Florida in the wintertime isn’t bad, I invite you to a birthday party for Son Adam and Wife Carly’s boys this weekend. Both of them have birthdays in February – Graham is 4 and Elliot is 2 – so they have a combined party for now.

Back up to September: Wife Lila’s niece, Laurie Everett of Annie Laurie’s Antique Shop fame, had a toy tractor that had come in from an estate sale. Lila said I should pick it up for the boys and haul it 1100 miles back to West Palm Beach.

Tractor made it to Florida

Graham (4) Elliot (2) Steinhoff Birthday Party 02-07-2015We decided that Christmas had so much going on that we’d hold the tractor until Birthday Season. It was well received.

Is this a good idea?

Graham (4) Elliot (2) Steinhoff Birthday Party 02-07-2015Graham was all about the bounce house, but he wasn’t convinced that going down the slide was a good idea. I remember that feeling the first time I climbed onto the high dive at the Capaha Park Pool.

Dad comes to the rescue

Graham (4) Elliot (2) Steinhoff Birthday Party 02-07-2015Dad Adam was a little more sympathetic than the pool lifeguard who growled, “Kid, those are one-way steps. There’s only one way back, and that’s off the end of the board.”

Graham remained unconvinced. He’s going to be the conservative kid in the family. I remember him complaining at last year’s party “That music is too loud.”

I’m alive to see 5

Graham (4) Elliot (2) Steinhoff Birthday Party 02-07-2015THERE’S a kid who is limp with relief that the experience is over and there’s a chance he’ll be alive to see his fifth birthday.

Here’s trouble

Graham (4) Elliot (2) Steinhoff Birthday Party 02-07-2015Elliot is going to be the one who, like his dad, will try anything at least once. As soon as he figured out how to climb up to the top of the slide, he was beating feet to do it again and again.

A gift of love

Graham (4) Elliot (2) Steinhoff Birthday Party 02-07-2015Lila is a quilter. Not one of those machine quilters, but an real old-time hand quilter. She made a snowman quilt for Matt and Sarah’s Malcolm, and a similar one for Graham.

She presented Elliot’s to him today. When you are two, it’s probably not as cool as a tractor, but he’ll appreciate it over the years.

Graham and Elliot are expecting a brother to come along in a couple of months, so Lila better get busy.

Graham with his quilt

Graham (4) Elliot (2) Steinhoff Birthday Party 02-07-2015Graham knew right where to find his quilt in his bedroom. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)