When I drove past 611 South Sprigg a few months ago, I thought the Rose Bed Inn Bed and Breakfast was looking a little ragged, nothing like when Wife Lila and I watched Laurie and Rocky Everett get married there on a cold October day in 2003.
Several folks tipped me off that the place was doomed, but I didn’t get there until September 13, when it was all over but the shouting.
Sarah Yenesel did a nice recap of the history of the 110-year-old building in the Sept. 16, 2020, Southeast Missourian. I love it when someone else does that heavy lifting so I don’t have to.
The Rose Bed in 2003
The B&B was attractive in 2003. The grounds were well-kept, and the interior was nicely furnished, a perfect venue for a wedding.
The Inn during happier times
Here’s a gallery of photos from the night Laurie and Rocky got married. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use the arrows on the right and left side to move through the images.
For the record, I’m sure Wife Lila took most of these photos. I shot presidents, a Pope and the Queen of England, but I never had enough nerve to tackle weddings.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
I literally kicked over a box of photos in the closet this afternoon. Spilling out of it were these two photos of Wife Lila’s brother, John F. Perry. In the first photo, he’s heading off to Boy Scout camp.
Headed for Vietnam
Only a few years later, in 1970, still looking young, he was in his Navy uniform getting ready to ship out for Vietnam.
A family tradition of service
This photo was taken almost exactly 42 years later at a going-away party for his son, Wyatt, who was headed to Marine boot camp.
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.
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.