Saturday, August 12, 2006

Perry Parham (1940-1953)

Perry Parham was my first friend, my age to die. It was a jolt of reality. We could get killed doing things.
Perry was riding his bike in the dust hour and got ran over by a motorist who didn't see him. He was killed instantly. Blood was all over the street.

Perry was a great baseball player. We both were on Marietta Little League teams. We both went to Waterman Street School and both lived in the same section of town. We knew each other by name and have played together several times. But I can't say we were best friends, but I was still shocked.

They named the Little League field in town The Perry Parham Memorial Baseball Field. And they have the above memorial marker. Every year on the first day of the season the little Miss Little League and Mr. Little League, after they are photographed, with the little girl holding the bouquet they go to the marker and place the flowers.

A year or so after that terrible accident his parents divorced and both moved away. His older brother Clayton on his class's reunion list is listed as "Whereabouts - Unknown". The family vaporized.

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Blogger Bird said...

when i was 15, my best friend died in a car accident. weird part was that i dreamed that he was dead several times in the month prior to his accident. it bothered me enough that i told him about it...he laughed and made me promise that if he died, i'd name my first kid after him even if it was a girl. a few weeks later, he was gone. many years after, when my son was born, i kept my promise to him.

6:53 AM  
Blogger ET said...

That is strange and sad. It reminds me of some song by Ray Peterson, but can't quiet pull it out my memory banks.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

I don't know who ray peterson is...I know ray stevens...

that is not the first time i had dreams that came true. it freaks me out.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a friend who died when we were 13- his name was Walter Nelson. He was a great guy...

3:04 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

"Tell Laura I Love Her" by Ray Peterson? I had to look it up. He also wrote "Corinna, Corinna" which I actually do remember.

8:45 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Yeah! That's it.
One time he gave a concert in an old empty building in Marietta. I remember him singing both songs, and I was somewhat amazed that he actually cried in "tell Laura I Lover Her" - tears were rolling down his face. Or was it sweat?

5:06 AM  
Blogger greg said...

Found this blog doing some family tree research. Perry Parham would have been my uncle. I'm the son of his brother, Clayton. Clay also played at the ball park and ran the scoreboard as one of his first jobs as a teenager.
My grandparents (Jim and Elia) didn't divorce, and I don't think they moved away near that time either. Family was in Marietta until the 90s when my dad moved them out to NC.
It's a real honor to see that the ball players still pay tribute to Perry at season start. I saw the memorial on a trip to Georgia when I was 13 - the same age of Perry when he died. Haven't been back since.
Clayton alive and well in SC.
Thanks for posting.

11:19 AM  

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