By Bryan Kincade
Remembering a Good Man
Ok so, I kinda got it together today. Every time I even thought about sharing this story yesterday, I just broke down thinking about it.
A few years back, I took my daughter, age 8, to her hunter education classes. We attended at the old armory with several other kids and parents. My daughter was excited to get the class done and leave with the benefits it provided. Makenzie(I hope I spelled that right), my friend Micah’s oldest daughter, was there taking the class with her grandad, Perry Middleton.
Now, I had known Perry for a very long time. I had done business with him on several occasions, and remember him as I was growing up. My mother worked with him, for years at Safeway, and I just remember him always being an outstanding guy, all around, and that’s where I’m going with this story.
Ok so, we are all taking the class, I don’t know, I think it was spread out over a week total. Perry sat by his granddaughter the same as the parents sat by their children. Always smiling, being patient, explaining to her what was going on with the class. He stuck with it the whole way through, and that’s tough to do for most of us (especially me).
Anyways, all the kids got their hunter safety card and we went our separate ways. Now, like I mentioned before, I had known Perry for a long time, so nothing I have previously stated surprised me in the least when it came to how he treated his granddaughter.
A few days after the class had ended, it was time to buy my daughter her very first gun, along with her first small game license.
Of course she wanted the mossy oak pink cricket out at walmart.
Not one of my favorites, but hey, it was her choice so it is what it is. Walmart had the cricket for I think it was $109.
We checked it out, that’s what she wanted, she was sure of it, she was excited, but something told me to wait. Although it was tough telling her that, that is exactly what we did.
So, now it’s time to get the small game license. I have always gone to PT’s to buy my hunting license, and that’s what I wanted to start Jayden doing with her first one as well. So, we went to see Perry.
Of course, we walk into the store and Perry greets us with a smile and a warm welcome. I told him what we needed, “Youth, small game, please, sir!”
Perry smiled and started poking at his little machine, finally a couple minutes later he handed my daughter her license, looked at me and said, “No charge.”
Now the point of the matter here wasn’t the $1.75 that Perry just saved me, the point was what he then said, “I’m gunna pay for this for you, because you came to my shop to get it, and you worked hard to get it.”
Jayden’s eyes lit up.
First time she had ever seen Perry before, and he’s treating her with nothing but kindness!! She looked at me and said, “Is that okay, dad?”
I looked at Perry, and he smiled back, I said, “Sure, babe, that’s okay.”
What happened next was my daughter spotted the same cricket in Perry’s store, (so now it makes sense why I didn’t get it from walmart). I asked Perry if we could see that gun? He handed it to my daughter, and she said, “Dad, I want this one, not the one from Walmart.”
Exact same gun, identical, not a bit of difference. Perry and I both laughed. I asked Perry to ring it up.
That’s just the kind of guy Perry was. Selflessness was in his daily routine! When we heard of Perry’s passing yesterday, I mentioned it to my daughter. She still remembered that day, when that kind man, who at the moment was a stranger, bought her that license out of the kindness of his heart. She remembered how polite and generous he was, and that’s something her, nor I, will ever forget!
You will never be forgotten old friend, you have made an impression on so many hearts and lives, no matter where you are, you’re spirit will always be here in Prowers county.
Bryan Kincade is an avid hunter, sportsman, who lives in Prowers County and will be sharing stories of local interest.