In Celebration of the Life of Victor Pero
One hundred years ago on Nov. 11th 1918 two outstanding events took place on this earth. The first was the end of World War 1, an ending to be celebrated, and the birth in to this world of Victor Pero, my Dad, an event I still celebrate to this day. Pop left this earth on Jan. 18th 1989, his work and humanity still live on 30 years later in those lives he touched. Born first generation American citizen to Mary and Frank Pero both Italian immigrants to America, Vic as well as all of his siblings, were instilled with the pride it is to be an American while paying respect to your heritage. Vic took this respect to heart and worked to build a life to be proud of. Growing up #8 in a family of 13 surviving children meant that everybody pitched in to keep a roof over your head and bread on the table. Growing up in Castle Gate UT, coal country, saw Vic find himself as most males in those times working the mines in some form or fashion. The Great Depression would hit the country hard, but in the Pero clan 15 sets of hands worked every day and the family pulled through. World War 2 hit the American shores and Vic heard the call, as did ALL of his brothers. At one point in time Mary Pero even got a write up in the paper because all 4 of her boys were serving in the war, and all came home to her. Vic saw service as an airplane mechanic in the U. S. Army Air Corp and was stationed in the India/Burma theater. Pop HATED to fly, can’t remember but maybe 3 times in my life he ever did, he told me why one time. Seems that during his time working the “Hump” as it was called in the India/Burma theater, the Air Corp would fly Pop in the military version of the old DC3 aircraft over the Himilayan mountains. The old DC3 while to this day a brilliant aircraft, was NOT pressurized, nor heated, or even 4 engined. They would leave the wheels DOWN so that they could “bounce” over the mountain passes because the air was so thin that the engines barely made enough power to fly. Pop told me the snow would blow into the cargo area were he was when the wheels plowed through it. So for Pop, it was the highway to go or he simply didn’t go. The highway would play a large role in his life as it turned out. Vic would see the end of the war just as he saw the end of WW1, alive, and serving in Cutbank MT at the Army Air Corp base there. He was a dashing M.P. overseeing the throng of soldiers “mustering out” of the service through that base. It would also be in that setting where he would meet the woman he would marry. Vic would have one child, a son, by this woman. My father was a man of such compassion and unbounded heart that I can scarcely remember a time he bore ill will toward anyone. Over his working carrear his list of friends just grew and grew. As I said the highway would be large in that carrear. He drove truck from the time he left the Air Corp till the day he retired. And in 38 years behind the wheel he never had a chargeable accident, actually NEVER had a chargeable accident period.
The outdoors was my Father’s life from boyhood to his last day, it was a nice day so he was outside washing his car and truck. I grew up hunting and fishing literally from babyhood. My father would strap me to his wicker fishing creel as a baby and fly fish till the cows came home. I tried to just keep up with him on the hunting trail, even as a teen, keeping up with a 2 pack a day middle aged smoker was a no win race to the mountain top. We ate what we caught and killed, he taught me to respect the game we took, and to take ONLY what we would use. Later when he was making the money to buy what we needed for food we still went fishing and hunting. Only the fish seemed to always “throw the hook” and the deer and elk were just a “little too far off” for a clean shot. But we still went, every year, thank you Dad.
My Dad could build or fix just about anything, and he shared what he knew with me. At the tender age of 9, I “helped” him build the 2 ½ car garage in our back yard, 47 years later it is still standing and being used everyday with only the doors Pop built having been replaced. He built our first camper, a 1938 Ford 5 window school bus he adorned with “all the comforts of home” but better cause it was camping with my Dad. In a drive through the old neighborhood I can still find many things that Pop helped our neighbors, now long gone by, to build and are still being used.
Few of us could ask for more out of this life than to have what we did go on after our passing for the betterment of those we did not even know. My father, Victor Pero, lives on to this day and beyond because of the good that he was and still is.
Every day I miss you Pop, even though in my heart your are as alive as if your passing never was. So Happy Birthday Dad, and many more. I Love You, your son Allen.
Life Story Info