Perry, FL is very grown-up for such a little town. It was my first stop on my journey to bicycle Florida.
I met a man with a grill of gold teeth and a red bandanna on his head while in Wal-Mart that seemed very proud of his city. Mind you, I never approached the guy, but I heard him asking my husband about the girl he was with while I was in the bathroom. Then I heard the guy say “Lisa? Ain’t she that light-skinned girl? Yea, man. I know you go with a light-skinned girl and you came to this city to see her.” I thought “This guy doesn’t know anything about me! Why is my husband even talking about me to this strange guy?” Then, when I came out of the bathroom, my husband went into the men’s room and I started to wish that he hadn’t because the guy started talking to me and asking me all these questions about why I was in Perry. He stated that he knew everybody that lives in Perry and if I did not know anyone in Perry, Fl I must be the police. I told him that I was only traveling. I did not mention my aim to bicycle Florida.
Then I asked him if he had ever traveled to which he proudly replied that he had been in Atlanta for the last thirteen years. This was a shock to me and I asked him the first thing that came to my mind which was, “If you have been in Atlanta for the past thirteen years, how could you possibly know every single person who is in Perry?” After all, in all of that time it is more than likely that new people could have moved to Perry, Fl without his knowledge (of course I am aware of the fact that I am taking this guy too seriously, but HEY! treat everyone with respect). To this question, he ran to the aid of the nearby Wal-Mart cashier, saying “Everybody in Perry knows me! Hey, don’t you know me?” The lady waved her hand and said, “I am staying out of that conversation!” The guy insisted again that if I don’t know anybody in Perry that I must be the police. To this I replied, “When you were in Atlanta and did not know anybody how would you have felt if someone had said that you were the police?”.
He stopped questioning me at that moment and an old man in one of those electric Wal-Mart shopping carts slowly scooted past us. He looked worn-down like he had been working incredibly hard his whole life. The guy with the red bandanna on his head said ” You see that guy? He’s got a real gold chain and drives a Cadillac! Watch! I am going to take all his gold and then drive that caddy!” He begged me to come to the doors and watch him rob the guy, which I sternly refused. Still haven’t heard any reports of a robbery at Wal-Mart in Perry, FL that night.
Nevertheless, my experience with that guy is not an indicator of what Perry, Fl is really like. After hiding out in the woods a couple of days while waiting for some money from my writing jobs to come through we moved into the KOA at Perry, FL and stayed there for three days. I have to say that the place is pretty nice and a great place for campers to stop and stay, especially if you are on a mission to bicycle Florida! There is a pool, laundry room, nice bathrooms with showers, a mini golf course that is brand new ( I played my first ever round of golf there and got two hole-in-ones!). The staff is very nice and helpful as well.
One of the ladies that worked there told me she was hitchhiking, got to Perry and liked it so much that she decided to stay and work the KOA. The only thing that I did not like was all the roaches in the tent sites. There were more roaches there than I ever saw while staying out in the woods. They walked all over the top of my tent like there was a buffet up there or something! I had to keep catching them and throwing them outside.
After my three-day stay there, I decided to continue on my journey to bicycle Florida.