There is little doubt in the minds of the descendants of Delfino Perry as to why the 81-year-old venture known as Perry & Sons is the largest melon growing and brokerage firm on the West Coast.
It all comes down to family, God, and country,
Art Perry underscored the “family” component in Thursday night as George Perry and Sons was being honored at the regular monthly meeting of the Manteca Museum.
A large crowd of Mantecans filled the room to hear the family’s story as told by son Art Perry who now runs the business for his father and mother who are in their 80s and 90s.
Perry said his grandfather Delfino came to this country in the early years of the 20th century to keep his family together, to better his life and to keep their faith strong in God.
“We need God and family,” Perry said. “If we don’t have that faith, it doesn’t make sense.”
He pointed out that the night at the Museum was first and foremost honoring his parents George and Violet Perry responsible for guiding the family business and his children who have been so respected in the Manteca farming community.
Perry said his biggest fear in today’s world is the moral breakdown that is occurring in America noting that his grandfather instilled those important values in his dad George who instilled them in his children who are running the business today.
His key group of growers in 1985 was made up of John Azevedo, Albert Fonseca, Dave Celli and the Perrys when a health scare infected the crops in Bakersfield and caused all the watermelons to be disked under in the fields. It was the Fourth of July weekend – a big sales day for melons — when they were taken out of the markets as well.
Perry said he has always prayed in the shower for divine help when in troubling situations and the farmers needed help having to pay their staffs and workers without any income that month. He said he vowed he would not get out of the shower until his prayers were answered.
He said he got no answer that told him he should wait out the losses and see what was coming naturally. That was the answer, he soon learned – do nothing.
He said he found the secret of praying and trusting with the other growers becoming a consolidated sales team united to make a difference after he got his answer.
The answer to his prayers came two months later on the Labor Day weekend when all the major markets flooded him with unexpected orders – Vons, Safeway, Luckys, Ralphs and Albertsons and others. It cleaned out the fields in Manteca, he said, as his prayers brought a turn around.
“I learned the secret of praying and trusting,” he said.
Perry said from then on the growers realized how they needed to work together and they continue to play cards together just about every night to keep the line of comunication open.
George Perry and Sons have moved their offices to their shipping yard on the southbound Highway 99 Frontage Road from where they were located in downtown Manteca at their truck scales for years.
The Perrys truly have a family business with many of the sons and daughters working there and go to lunch together most days of the week. It is a family that plays together, works together and prays together for the common good.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.