Enjoy the Journey spans, with brevity but great candor and sensitivity, the life thus far of Perry McKinney, who traded early that of a successful entrepreneur for that of a hobo in the traditional sense of the word. His story begins in the then-military town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Looked after to the extent that he was able by their divorced father, Perry, identical twin Conrad, and two si...
Paperback: 76 pages
Publisher: BookBaby (August 18, 2016)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
Amazon Rank: 2878779
Format: PDF ePub fb2 djvu ebook
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with their alcoholic mother, the boys shining shoes in Portsmouth’s 20 or so bars to earn money for necessities until all the children were removed to foster homes. More or less a “loner” from youth, Perry nevertheless describes, matter-of-factly, but with genuine appreciation and fondness, a handful of associates and friends as well as immediate and extended family, and a pair of boats that afforded dramatically different experiences. A run for class president taught Perry all he wanted to know about politics, the library how much is to be learned from books, and observation of animals much of what he came to understand about life. Perry imparts the flavor of the Portsmouth in which he grew up, of its local “institutions,” and of a short-lived business career, begun while still in high school, that amassed considerable holdings worth substantial sums before he chucked it all to “hit the road” in earnest. Those travels took him far afield, deep into the south and far into the north. Perry learned early to plan his itineraries around cities in order to avoid trouble, and a natural affability served him well when riding in the cars of strangers. How to dress effectively for the cold, to build a fire in a boxcar, and forage for food and drink in field and convenience store were among the survival skills cultivated by Perry, whose lifelong love of animals impelled him to share with them whatever largesse he came by. Two skunks, in particular, became fast friends for the duration of a return to Portsmouth during which Perry made his home under a bridge. Although Perry wasn’t bothered by, indeed, found peace and joy in, the frequent aloneness he experienced, over time the comfort afforded by vodka took a toll on his health. He ultimately ended up in hospital, and eventually, with the support of his brother, with whom he reconnected periodically throughout his years “on the road,” in rehab. The new millennium found Perry back in mainstream life, surprised and baffled by cell phones and cars with computers that honked when locked. He accepted into his life a bare minimum of all this “progress”―he declined a laptop and blackberry, but accepted a simple phone with which he could keep in touch with family and a handful of friends; he acquired a turn-of-the-century automobile that he only later discovered incorporated a rudimentary computer (that has been the only thing to malfunction in the vehicle). Perry painted houses in his youth, began to paint in watercolors and oils during his travels. Today, comfortably resettled in the community of his birth, Perry continues to express himself through this talent, and a newfound penchant for writing. He also continues to befriend animals, a pair of seagulls among frequent visitors to the small building from which he administers a municipal boat launch. This modest structure is also significant in having reunited Perry briefly with one of his dearest of human friends, who passed away during the writing of this book, and in being the focus of what has become an enduring tradition at Christmastime―as the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard across the river from Perry’s “shack” replaces each year with red and green many of the white lights in the enormous stiff-leg derrick that towers over the facility, so Perry drapes along the roof and onto a small pine tree from his late friend’s tree farm a string of vintage-style lights of the large bulb variety.