Note:This article has excerpts from several past articles concerning the Perry Hampton Memorial Award. It is really difficult to express the importance and meaning of this award, but this is an attempt to do so.
A Perry Hampton Memorial Award Article Written in 1982 by: Steve Hoes
Note: This article was originally written and published in 1982 and published again in 1992. Even though Steve Hoes is no longer with us, the article still conveys the feeling many of us have about Perry and hopefully will help the LCC members who did not know Perry to understand and appreciate why we chose to commemorate him.
A Few Thoughts on Perry
Basically, I dislike writing articles; seems I feel I never have anything worthwhile to say; this time I feel a little differently. In the past I have talked to other members who knew Perry, and commented how important it was to keep the memory of Perry alive, but it seems it’s never the correct forum to talk about Perry, and relive old memories and good times. Recently though, I realized many of our members did not know Perry, having joined the club after his death in 1979. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little about him, and to refresh those memories of Perry, to those of you who did know him.
Perry helped organize and found the club in 1973, after doing two tours of duty in Vietnam Nam. It was on this second re-enlistment that he was critically wounded, while helping a friend. Perry had just returned from his shift on patrol, when he found his relief too tired or hung over to take over. So, Perry volunteered to take his buddy’s night patrol. While on patrol, Perry tripped on a land-mine and lost his leg in the process. Perry also received steel shrapnel and had numerous scars from the mine. Perry was often sick during the years I knew him, although most of his friends never knew. Perry suffered quietly, not wanting sympathy or to have his friends worry about his ill health. While in the hospital, and during subsequent recuperation, Perry once again took up an old hobby of taking pictures. Perry’s favorite subject matter was children, followed by flowers, women, and anything else of beauty. Perry had a knack of catching people, and children in particular, off guard, but always to their best advantage, never embarrassing or crude.
During the three years that I knew Perry, I came to respect and love him, for what he was, and what he believed in. He was always there in time of need, and would give unselfishly of himself to any and all.
The first night I met Perry was at an after-meeting party. I walked into his house, he greeted me with a smile and a warmth as if he had known me for life. He was like that to all he met. I never heard him say an unkind word against anyone. I think Perry felt like Will Rodgers in that, “He never met a man he didn’t like,” and conversely, no one ever met Perry who didn’t like him. Perry was, and remains, the best, most gentle, caring person I have ever known. Perry loved women, putting them all on pedestals, where he said they belong. He told me once, that all women are beautiful, just some more than others. Perry tried hard to please, always putting others first, even when he was too sick to take care of himself. Perry went through hell in Nam, during a dozen or so operations, and months of therapy. He never complained; it was his duty; few people knew what exactly happened to Perry in Vietnam Nam, because he wasn’t one to brag or complain about his situation.
I didn’t intend to ramble on this long, but I seldom get a chance to talk of Perry, and the type of person he was. Hopefully, in future years, old and new members will reflect on who Perry was, and remember that the main reason for the PERRY HAMPTON MEMORIAL AWARD is to honor the memory of Perry, a charter member of LCC, who gave his all for his country, his club, and above all else, his friends. Perry truly personified the word ‘Friend.’ This is my best memory of Perry.
I am deeply honored to accept the PERRY HAMPTON MEMORIAL AWARD this year. I know of many worthy members, and I feel indeed fortunate and appreciative of this honor.
I hope each of us will learn a little of the good in Perry, and all be better persons for it. Perry believed, and passed it on.