The Unofficial Autobiography of me and probably more than you want to know…
Name: Mike Peery Born: Yes Born Again: Yes
High School : White Oak High School – Graduated 1976
College: Texas A&M University – Graduated 1980 Degree: B.S.E.E.
Parents: Bob & Mildred Peery
Bob Peery was White Oak High School Industrial Art Teacher, High School Counselor (1949-1978)
Mildred Peery was White Oak 3rd Grade Teacher (1962-1986)
After graduation from Texas A&M in the summer of 1980, I worked at Recognition Equipment in Irving, Texas. I met my future bride Nina Nichols at Montfort Oaks Apartments in North Dallas that summer. She was truly the girl next door as our apartment doors faced each other. Nina graduated from Tyler Lee High School in 1976 and Baylor University in 1980. She was a CPA working at Texas Instruments. After a very flat first date, eventually my dazzling Oakie charm won her over and we were engaged in Spring of 1981 and exchanged wedding vows on January 9th, 1982.
In the fall of 1982, we decided to move to White Oak before starting a family. I landed an Electrical Engineering job at Steelman Industries in Kilgore and Nina was hired by the CPA firm McReynolds, Beason, & Co. in Longview. We intended to temporarily live in my parents home at 417 South White Oak Road as they had just moved to live on Lake Devernia. (Now 27 years later we are still temporarily living at 417 S. White Oak Road.)
After a couple of years, our family began to take form with the arrival of Jim Michael Peery in November 1985. Nina quit her Accounting job and began her own CPA Tax Practice out of our home. Three years later, Amber Michelle Peery came to join us and we thought we had the complete package, a boy and a girl. For 12 years we watched Jim and Amber grow up, thinking our parenting days were numbered. But then out of the blue and at the start of a new Millennium, an unexpected addition to family was born and we gave him the name of Joseph Michael Peery.
Before Joe arrived, Nina had decided she wanted to quit her accounting practice and go into teaching. She was working as a teachers aide in the Middle School Computer Lab when little Joe entered the picture and put her teaching career on hold.
In 2002, I changed jobs and went to work for Petrofac Engineering in Tyler. The job was short lived as I worked there for only one year and was layed off shortly before the business closed its doors.
A mid-life crisis of unemployment soon started me on my path to continuing a family heritage that I never thought in a million years that I would be involved in. My great great grandfather was Fielding Henry Peery who was a photographer during the Civil War. He moved from Virgina to Athens, Texas after the war and set up a photography studio there. My father became interested in photography in the 1960’s, and was in charge of the school photography until he retired in 1978 and went into full-time photography until 1983. He walked many miles up and down the sidelines taking Roughneck Sports Photos, the same as I am doing now. My dad built dark rooms (to develop black and white pictures) in each of the three houses that I lived in while growing up in White Oak, including the house I am in right now. It is still functioning as my dark room of sorts, as I develop all of my digital photos on three computers in that room now.
Because of my background in Engineering I was involved with computers extensively and purchased one of the first IBM Personal computers ever made to play with. I began with DOS 1.0, so I was there at the start. No hard drive, just two 5.25″ floppy drives, a keyboard, 64k of ram, an Intel 8088 processor, and a monochrome monitor called the “green screen”. Through the years I learned to use various computer programs and have gone through many many computer upgrades. Also, early on I was into video, buying an RCA VHS video camera in 1981 and videoing weddings in Dallas. In those early years, I wrote computer programs to use the green screen as fancy title maker for my video productions. I had to shoot the titles right off the screen. Very cheesy and not very smooth, but amazing at the time.
To be continued…..