This week they’re packing up the office, and with the help of 11-year-old grandson Josh Perkins and 9-year-old granddaughter Josey Perkins the task will be completed before the end of the month. Though it was a feat Larry Perkins claimed was going to happen over the last several years, no one thought it would really happen – the State Farm agent did it, though, retiring last week after 38 years.
Larry was born in Pitkin, Louisiana, a small community in the southwest area of the state and near the Army base at Fort Polk. His parents were Boyce and Josephine Perkins.
While in high school he received a basketball scholarship and attended Louisiana College. Afterward, Larry spent 10 years coaching and teaching high school students and another four years teaching at a junior college in Louisiana.
“I actually started the athletic department at LSUA in Alexandria,” said Larry. “I started with basketball and baseball. One of our biggest supporters was a man by the name of Howard Norris, a State Farm agent. He said if I ever get tired of coaching ‘Come see me,’ and I did. He lined me up with a manager immediately and here I am,” decades later.
“Actually, I believe the Lord led me to Texas. My manager, Harold Norris, asked me if I would be interested in moving to Texas, and I asked him why I would want to do that. My sister lived in Longview at the time and she kept asking me to move, too. So, I met with the Texas manager and they offered me a better job. I was wearing blue jeans, boots and my belt with my name on it for the interview and that might have had a lot to do with it.
We moved here in 1981, to a rent house my sister owned and we had never laid eyes upon,” continued Larry. “We pulled up with all of our belongings in cattle trailers.”
The ‘we’ included his wife, Judy, whom he had met while in college, and both daughters, Penni and Jana.
“You have to understand, my whole life before had taken place within a 20-mile radius of where I was born. I met and married my wife after three-and-a-half years of dating and our children were all born within that radius,” said Larry. “It was a big deal to move to a place of not even knowing the location of the schools for my kids.”
“‘Like a Good Neighbor’ is State Farm’s motto and Judy and I tried to be hard to be good to everyone we met.”
Larry’s retirement party was held last Friday with more than 200 friends, clients and State Farm representatives showing up to wish them well. Among them were State Farm Manager Damon Grisham, who first signed Larry up, cousin Charlene Babcock and her husband, Rod.
“I couldn’t believe my cousin drove three-and-a-half hours from Picayune, Louisiana, to my retirement party and then drove back home on the same day,” said Larry.
“We were so blessed,” said Judy. “Over two hundred people came to Larry’s retirement party last Friday.
Says Larry, “We plan on staying just as active in the community and church. We do have a motor home and we do like to travel. Now, we will be using that a little more often. “
A STRANGE box arrived on the counter of the KNH office this last week. It went unnoticed for quite awhile until chirping noises were heard above the business of keyboards and phones.
It was discovered the note on the box was made out to Kilgore Rescue Chief Edgar Rachal, and he was promptly called to come pick up the package. Inside was a little chick intended to replace Edgar’s chicken, Agnes, who died in last week’s storm. We all took photos of Edgar with the bird and he was excited to take it home to his wife.
Unfortunately, the chicken that the anonymous giver had named “Stormy” died that night. Needless to say, Edgar was put in the position of trying to locate the anonymous giver to inform him/her of the incident.
Poor Edgar is not having luck with chickens this month. We recommend waiting – until he has a chance to replace his chicken shed and fencing – before gifting him with anymore birds.
ON the 82nd Anniversary of the London School Explosion Monday, among the visitors to London Museum were four students, two parents and a teacher from Santa Fe. Head Docent John Davidson personally led the visitors on a tour of the museum. Before leaving, the Santa Fe group gave the museum a framed proclamation of London Remembrance day from Santa Fe Mayor Jason Tambor.
May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at 903-984-2593.