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Old 03-28-03, 06:42 PM   #1
Jim
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Exclamation Perri the Hobo - RIP

Just heard the news that Perri the Hobo passed away. Anyone know anything about it? I have no further info.

Here are some links on the web about who he was...

Here's a photo of him from two weeks ago in Harvard Square (From Blue's Unclescam.org site):
http://www.unclescam.org/meanperri.html

Long Bio:
http://www.eccentricneworleans.com/perri_the_hobo.htm

Here's a gem of an article with some classic Perri quotes:
http://www.stickchick.net/clown.html

Perri and the ACLU:
http://www.freedomforum.org/template...cumentID=14171

[ 03-28-2003: Message edited by: Jim ]</p>
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Old 03-30-03, 10:52 AM   #2
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To know him was to love him.
and once again I will share perri's words of wisdom.
"Save half! You can spend the other half on crack! Just save half!"
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Old 03-30-03, 07:07 PM   #3
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Jim -- thanks for starting this thread. Perri was loved, hated and/or tolerated by many in the Gulf South and the Northeast. I was among those who loved him -- I learned much about street performing from watching and talking with him.
Rick Delaup of www.eccentricneworleans.com wrote a sensitive but no-punches-pulled obituary of Perri (who was also extensively profiled on the website) and I have dropped him a note hoping he'll give you permission to post it on P.Net.
So long, Perri, you brought a lot of joy to a lot of people and, as Brendon T.P.G. suggests, some damned good advice! [img]frown.gif[/img]
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Old 03-31-03, 02:15 AM   #4
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Thanks to Rick Delaup for this submission:

R.I.P. "PERRI THE HOBO" 1951 - 2003

French Quarter Clown Found Dead in Boston Apartment

Perri Rlickman, the Jackson Square clown known as "Perri the Hobo," was found dead in his Boston area basement apartment on March 22, 2003. The cause of death is not being disclosed at this time.

In the early 1980s, Perri the Hobo joined the odd family of street performers and characters of the French Quarter, which has included Ruthie the Duck Lady, Pops, Chicken Man, David and Roselyn, Tuba Fats, and many others. Claiming a spot in Jackson Square, the notorious clown made his living by blowing balloons in different shapes and sizes, and performing magic tricks for tourists. Many residents of the Quarter found him endearing, while some were annoyed by his incessantly loud whistling and brash behavior. With his trademark rubber chicken on his waist, Perri put a smile on the face of many children, but could also act a bit risque with adults. The gruff clown, who was known to imbibe while on the job, complained of police harassment, often went wrong with the law, and spent years at Angola prison in the late 1990s on drug charges.

Perry Rlickman was born in Bluefield, West Virginia in 1951. Itching to get out of the small coal-mining town, he joined the Marine Corps and served in the Vietnam War as a guard. He did four years in the Marines, and attended Wayne State University in Michigan on the G.I. Bill to become a machinist/engineer. In the 1970s, he married and had two sons. The family settled in Houston, Texas.

In 1979, on vacation in New Orleans, Perri discovered his true calling when he tried his hand at clowning on Jackson Square. He decided to give up the regular grind of a 9-5 job, and live a more carefree life. Perri told EccentricNewOrleans.com in 2000, "Society tells us we get one job, we work for the same company for 40 years, and get a gold watch and a pension - that's it." He divorced his wife in 1980 and moved to New Orleans to begin a new life. "My youngest son gave me a name one day. He said, 'Dad, you're a rebel without a clue.' It's a non-conformist type lifestyle. I don't have to punch in no clock. I don't have to be at work at no certain time."

One of the highlights of his career was meeting Red Skelton in 1984 during the World's Fair. Perri considers him the master. "I stole one of his lines. A lot of times I tell people 'God Bless You' after they put money in my hat."

In the early 1990s, Perri developed a drug habit that spun out of control. He was arrested in Jackson Square for dealing marijuana out of his clown box to pay for a $200 a day coke habit. At the time of the arrest, police confiscated 17 pounds of marijuana from his clown box. Perri attributed his downfall to being "too high and mighty. I was showboatin'. Let too many people know my business." He was sentenced to five years for possession with intent to distribute. He spent over seven years in prison, including time at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. While incarcerated, Perri, who was raised Jewish, found Jesus and converted to Catholicism.

Perri spent his summers traveling and performing in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Cambridge, and around the Boston area. "The only bad part about New Orleans is it's an oven in the summer. Most performers try to leave in the summertime because of the heat. The older you get, the earlier you want to leave." But Perri wasn't always appreciated outside of New Orleans. In 2001, Provincetown officials tried to ban Perri from performing on the streets after numerous complaints from citizens to the police for purportedly making inappropriate comments to women, spouting homophobic slurs, and frequently appearing drunk. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, Perri spouted his First Amendment Right and was able to secure a new permit.

Perri the Hobo left New Orleans nearly a year ago, and lived his last several months in Boston. Raffi, the owner of Leo's Place, a Boston diner frequented by Perri said, "He was a bit off the wall, but I got along with him." When Perri decided to stay in Boston this past winter, Raffi made sure he was fed during the time of year street performers usually don't make much money. Looking back, Raffi said, "We had some good laughs. I don't know how the fuck he found me, but he found me." On March 22, Raffi recalls thinking something was not right, "I couldn't hear that fuckin' whistle that went right through my brainwaves." Perri's friends and fellow street performers wondered why he hadn't shown up for work. It was soon afterwards that Perri's body was found.

Robert, another friend from Leo's Place e-mailed Eccentric New Orleans, "In my last conversation with Perri, he said the time he liked best was the Jazz Festival. He said he was seriously thinking of going down to New Orleans for that. He stayed up here for the winter even though it was cold because he was getting good service at the V.A. for his needs. He really didn't like the cold at all."

Another street performer, Uncle Scam, wrote, "I saw Perri on the 21st. He was whistlin' up a storm and blowin' the finest swans 'n bears of his career. What a hand kisser and passer of the blarney· I'm a puppet busker and do a bit of singin'. We dueted the 'Marine Hymn' and 'Dixie.' He owed me 40 bucks."

In Perri Rlickman's high school yearbook, he was voted "class clown" and "most likely to succeed." In 2000, when asked what his definition of success was, Perri told Eccentric New Orleans, "I ain't in that mine diggin' no coal!"

New Orleans loses yet another great French Quarter character, a truly unique individual who had the spirit and lifestyle that New Orleans embraces. Although Perri is gone from Jackson Square, you can still find his name near the corner of St. Peter and Chartres that he etched in a patch of wet cement from years ago. A permanent reminder of a street clown who enjoyed life, and enjoyed the vices that may have ultimately been the cause of his demise. Perri the Hobo will be missed.

-- Rick Delaup
mailto:rickdelaup@earthlink.netrickdelaup@earthlink.net</a>
http://www.eccentricneworleans.com

[ 03-31-2003: Message edited by: Jim ]</p>
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Old 03-31-03, 06:08 AM   #5
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[quote]Originally posted by Jim:
<strong>Just heard the news that Perri the Hobo passed away. Anyone know anything about it? I have no further info.

Here are some links on the web about who he was...

Here's a photo of him from two weeks ago in Harvard Square (From Blue's Unclescam.org site):
http://www.unclescam.org/meanperri.html

Long Bio:
http://www.eccentricneworleans.com/perri_the_hobo.htm

Here's a gem of an article with some classic Perri quotes:
http://www.stickchick.net/clown.html

Perri and the ACLU:
http://www.freedomforum.org/template...cumentID=14171

[ 03-28-2003: Message edited by: Jim ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes I am in charge of the funeral and having the body brought back to New Orleans. I am working with Perri's son and the whole thing is costing a pretty penny. I dont know this guy who wrote this artical about half correct. The famely is not to pleased with the artical written without even checking around Jackson Square to find out anything. I am rasing money for expences but dont have an account with a bank yet. I am going to the bank Monday to set up the whole thing. My web is www.checkerdoodle.com If you have any questions and want to know fact not fiction email me or call the number on my web. I learned how to preform from Perri and owe him the respect of a funeral. You can contact me anytime to talk about the arangements. He will have a Jazz funeral in the Square and his remains are being discused with his son as to what to do with him. My name is Checkers.
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Old 03-31-03, 11:30 AM   #6
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Jesus…

Perri was a friend of mine. When I first came out on the street and didn’t know my ass from a hole in the ground Perri was one of the guys who helped me out.

I work my day job in Harvard Square as well and saw Perri just about every day. All winter he was working at Au Bob Pain and we would update each other with the grapevine stories we heard about who was where and what was going on.

We had a variation of an old clown bit we’d do together sometimes when I was working my day job that used to crack people up. I’d walk through the Square in my ‘straight job clothes’ and Perri would walk behind me imitating me. I’d stop and scratch my head and so would he you all know the bit. The punch line was at some point I’d turn around wearing a clown nose and start whistling at him. He would drop his hat and whistle back like we were having an argument. At some point I’d throw my hands up, yank out my wallet, drop a buck in his hat, and put my arms out. He’s pick up his hat, grin that toothless grin, and give me a hug.

I’d look at the people watching and say, “What am I suppose to do? He’s my big brother.”

I bumped into Perri one day last summer when I had my four-year-old son with me. Perri was sweet, kind, gentle, and made my kid think I was a hero. For the next two weeks every time I picked him up at day care he would make a point of telling anyone who would listen, “That’s my dad, He has a friend who is a clown and can whistle with no teeth!” to him it was like I was a personal friend of the president.

Perri wasn’t a perfect guy to be sure. He could cross the line when he was in his cups and do or say some wacky stuff. I really don’t give a shit. He was always good to me and he made me look 10 feet tall to the person who counts most to me in my life.

As far as I’m concerned Perri had a good heart and was a great clown. I think that would be good enough for him.

I’m sitting here with tears running down my face because I know I’m going to miss that whistling little prick, and all the two foot rubber cock jokes he would make me endure over at John Harvard’s after he had a couple of Gibsons in him.

I love ya’ Perri, god speed, and fat hats.

Best,

Dan-
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Old 03-31-03, 12:10 PM   #7
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[quote]Originally posted by Danny Hustle:
<strong>Jesus…

Perri was a friend of mine. When I first came out on the street and didn’t know my ass from a hole in the ground Perri was one of the guys who helped me out.

I work my day job in Harvard Square as well and saw Perri just about every day. All winter he was working at Au Bob Pain and we would update each other with the grapevine stories we heard about who was where and what was going on.

We had a variation of an old clown bit we’d do together sometimes when I was working my day job that used to crack people up. I’d walk through the Square in my ‘straight job clothes’ and Perri would walk behind me imitating me. I’d stop and scratch my head and so would he you all know the bit. The punch line was at some point I’d turn around wearing a clown nose and start whistling at him. He would drop his hat and whistle back like we were having an argument. At some point I’d throw my hands up, yank out my wallet, drop a buck in his hat, and put my arms out. He’s pick up his hat, grin that toothless grin, and give me a hug.

I’d look at the people watching and say, “What am I suppose to do? He’s my big brother.”

I bumped into Perri one day last summer when I had my four-year-old son with me. Perri was sweet, kind, gentle, and made my kid think I was a hero. For the next two weeks every time I picked him up at day care he would make a point of telling anyone who would listen, “That’s my dad, He has a friend who is a clown and can whistle with no teeth!” to him it was like I was a personal friend of the president.

Perri wasn’t a perfect guy to be sure. He could cross the line when he was in his cups and do or say some wacky stuff. I really don’t give a shit. He was always good to me and he made me look 10 feet tall to the person who counts most to me in my life.

As far as I’m concerned Perri had a good heart and was a great clown. I think that would be good enough for him.

I’m sitting here with tears running down my face because I know I’m going to miss that whistling little prick, and all the two foot rubber cock jokes he would make me endure over at John Harvard’s after he had a couple of Gibsons in him.

I love ya’ Perri, god speed, and fat hats.

Best,

Dan-</strong><hr></blockquote>
Hellow everyone,
Here are the facts of what is going on with Perri. I am having his remains sent to New Orleans for the Jazz Funeral. I dont have any dates yet but will keep you posted as they happen. I am acting for his son and have been put in charge of the whole thing. I welcom any and all comments on what is to be said at the funeral. I know many have a story to tell. I've known him since 1988 and learned how to work the streets from him.
We here in New Orleans are saddened by his loss and will miss Perri with all our hearts. I can still hear him whistel down the street, now it's all quiet and I am sad. I owe my carrer to Perri and will do him the respect he deserves. As rumors spread you can allways contact me to find out what is going on. I have talked it over with his son and we are not going to get an account at a bank. If you can spare anything for the expences contact me and I will let you know how to send it. None the less I will pick up what ever cost are not met.
Perri was one of the most complex people I've ever known. I loved him dearly. I share in the loss with you all. God bless and thank you.
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Old 03-31-03, 12:39 PM   #8
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[quote]Originally posted by Checkers:
<strong>

Yes I am in charge of the funeral and having the body brought back to New Orleans. I am working with Perri's son and the whole thing is costing a pretty penny. I dont know this guy who wrote this artical about half correct. The famely is not to pleased with the artical written without even checking around Jackson Square to find out anything.</strong><hr></blockquote>


Checkers,

If there is anything incorrect or unfactual in the article, please let me know and I will add a note that says so. Right now it is the only thing on the web with any information about who Perri was. I looked all over the web and didn't find anything else. If there is an alternative bio or official obituary, please submit it to me or you may post it here.

Jim
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Old 04-03-03, 12:24 PM   #9
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Does anyone know what Perri died of?
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Old 04-07-03, 11:19 PM   #10
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Just got this info from Checkers regarding Perri's wake and funeral:

[quote]Hay Jim I just got back from the Azalea fest in Wilmington Nc. We are having a jazz funeral on April 16'th at 3:00pm in New Orleans. Also in Boston the 16'th they will have a celebrate Perri the Hobo's life wake at the same time. I have been in touch with Perri's girlfriend in Boston to get the 2 event's off at the same time. If you could Post the time's and cities I'm shure that people would like to know.

In New Orleans the funeral will be led by Tuba Fat's Band who works the square next to Perri's pitch. We havent got the route wet but that will start at the St. Louis Cathedral out side and go from there. The Parade will end up at Cafe Pontabla where Perri worked all these years. I am writing a ferwell show where I will do a lot of Perri's skits to remember him.


In Boston they will have the Wake at Leo's Place and will have to get back with you on those details.


If anyone has questions I can be reached at (504) 410-8071. Any donations to help with the funeral can be sent to
Richard Peche' "Checkers"
P.O.Box 71171
New Orleans La 70172


Thanks for the help
Checkers
<hr></blockquote>
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Old 04-18-03, 08:10 AM   #11
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Post Peri the Hobo obit

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=347664

Here's a good look at the life and work of David Perry Hickman, a clown in Boston who died last month.
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Old 04-19-03, 02:00 PM   #12
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Hey, Checkers --
Thanks for organizing the jass funeral parade for Peri -- although I understand nothing he (or we, for that matter) ever did is devoid of drama it was an appropriate way to express our feeling of loss and of love for one of our own. Hope the celebration in Boston went well.
I've told people that Peri loved my hurdy gurdy. The drunker he would get the harder he would try to get me to loan it to him! Needless to say, the drunker he would get the less apt was I to loan it to him. It was a privilege to play hurdy gurdy for Peri one last time!
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Old 03-20-06, 02:36 AM   #13
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Default perry died with a

needle in his arm.
i saw him at six said, half in the sheets,"i'm goin to leo's nhave some grits n then i'm goin home. nice day tomorow" . didn't show up. saturday get in early no perri. no whistle no hold me haat. so sunday his old lady tells raffi at leo's that perri was dead n came to see me. she'd been nervous cause he'd not called and that was very odd. he was regular. meds and pain kept him sharp all day n beer killed the pain. n he'd promised rocky he'd wait til he got out of jail. n rocky showed up three days later. so she went to his place n the land lady was already waitin for the cops, havin found the body at the foot of the bed, in clown still .leo didn't make him take it off to eat and he coulld play a little longer, stave off the pain. some stomache ailment the vets hospital couldn't cure.
so the land lady found him with spike still in arm killin the pain and the girl friend took it out as the law showed upp. didn't want to soil the clowns name. i tell the story cause perry was a friend and an honest clown. never put out a subpar performance. the audience never felt his pain.
i've lost many of my friends this way.
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