SEVERAL TIMES I've had occasion to mention Perry Green, and there'll be more references to him later. Perry meant a great deal to me as I was struggling along. I'd like to pause now to tell you about him.
Perry was born in a northeastern Ohio farm home but, unlike myself, he was not inclined to accept his destiny as a farmer without question. He was a schoolboy during the early days of the big farm movements, when the Grange, the Farmers Alliance, and the Populists were so active. Those were fairly exciting times in Ohio, when the farmer's cries of protest were almost matched by his hopes for reform, and Perry spent a lot of his youth bicycling from one political rally to another. I gather, though, that the main effect of listening to all those silver-tongued orators was to convince him that a farmer's fortunes were pretty uncertain. Anyway, by 1896, when William Jennings Bryan was defeated for president and the whole agrarian movement collapsed, he'd seen and heard enough to decide that the less he had to do with farming the better.
So he went to Hiram College, and from there to Cleveland to go to work in a wholesale hardware business. He got married. He began to look and act and talk like a businessman. But six years later he quit business--temporarily, he thought, and only to help out his ailing father-in-law on a dairy farm south of Hiram village.