Short Stories & Essays

Love to hear about some of your short stories that found their way into print and into your books.

Featured Stories 

I was often asked about the how I identified and chose the subject matter or topics in my news articles. This is a brief essay as to how those stories would find me and some of the inspiration behind the essays.

May your conversations be most profound-P. David Perry

Just sat down one day and thought about the choices I made and where I might have ended up…and what might have been. I finally realized that God gave me many opportunities and I should be thankful for the choices I made and what I have become.

Looking back Going forward- P. David Perry

Some things just are not taught in school and only found in the lessons of life that one has lived. It is a story of personal discovery and also an important element in my Novel. THE UNION

Untaught Lessons

In a free and healthy society such as ours, follies which lean towards vice will incur resistance. They will encounter at every stage enormous checks from the inherent goodness and sanity of human nature. But follies sustained by lofty ideas will go far.

Identifying intolerant Idealism- P. David Perry

Untaught Lessons - Peter David Perry 

It seems that when we face a challenge…The most important thing we try to understand and need to know are those things which cannot be taught. My father only had three years of formal education. It began at the early age of five after his father died in a Pennsylvania coal mine. He may not have been educated but he certainly had wisdom. He did not travel to shores afar, but he was worldly. He never had a plan but knew where we wanted to go. He may never have thought about his purpose, but he knew who he was and what he wanted to become. I have often thought about how one goes about acquiring wisdom. Then I think of my Father. He faced many adversities in his 96 years on this earth. He faced them head on and through those experiences he acquired wisdom. Not certain how it works for others, but I do know that my dad persevered even when the odds were against him. He did not win all the battles but through strength of both body and strong will, he faced challenges head on and won the important battles. He understood that he needed to be responsible for… the wellbeing of his family. He was kind and gentle but he never backed down from a fight and always had a purpose. When he lost his job he discovered ways to create income. He won because he believed in himself and believed he could succeed. There were occasions that he became wiser when he did not win, and he shared those lessons with his children.

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Looking Back…Going Forward - Peter David Perry

Like most people, I occasionally examine the present situation in my life’s journey and think about my past accomplishments. I also think about my future dreams and aspirations. I realize that my present situation and standing in life with respect to who I am and where I am and what I have become is the result of many small decisions and a few bigger decisions made during my journey. We all know that we cannot change the past, but nevertheless we as human beings often will wonder about the what ifs, and the possibilities of the different outcomes if we had only made other choices or chosen a different path. But that is not the way life works. Here we are today and we cannot change even the decisions we made yesterday, let alone those choices we made in the distant past.

I am a car collector and I often think about the cars that I owned and should not have sold and the cars that I could have purchased but did not. I sold my Ferrari because I was moving to Florida and didn’t have the space in my garage…only to realize years later that the same car today had increased in value by almost tenfold. 

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Identifying Intolerant Idealism

The presidential election for 2020 has occurred and there are now more questions than answers. We now are seeing the myriad of differences in ideology and messaging from each of the politicians as they become more open in sharing their true ideology. Each candidate for political office advocates a platform of ideas, an ideology representing their view of American culture and their future vision for humankind. Their platform represents a view of their ideology and sociopolitical program for the future. They have made numerous public appearances, kissed babies, shook many hands, debated, attacked their opponents and made speeches about their vision for the future. We have been bombarded by countless campaign promises; some making good sense while others falling far and wide from the important issues we face. In some cases, many of the promises will be broken or forgotten along with the flow of many deceptions and follies. Many of the ideas put forth lack little or no merit at all while others will have little or no chance for attainment. Politicians will threaten and bribe for your vote and government agencies will continue to be lobbied while the community at large becomes more obfuscated, distracted and divided.

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"May Your conversations be most profound" P. David Perry

The year was 1855 when John Bartlett published the “First Edition of Familiar Quotations.” It was a small thin volume of just 258 pages set in a single column with an index which ran a full 36-pages. His purpose was to record the obligations our language owes to the various authors for their contributions of numerous phrases and quotations which have become household words. The publication contained a collection of passages, phrases and proverbs traced to their sources in ancient and modern literature. The first nine editions were under the editorship of Bartlett, and the Ninth, published in 1891 had grown to 1158 pages. This volume contained 862 pages of text and 296 pages of index. At that time Bartlett commented that it was the close of the volume’s tentative life, a prophesy which was upset in 1914 with the publication of the tenth edition. I am fortunate to have a copy of the red-leather bound “Centennial Edition” the 14th edition which was published in 1955, a gift to my deceased father-in-law which was handed down to me upon his passing. This edition had grown substantially to 1613 pages.

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The Union - Book report

The Union A novel by……P. David Perry Archway # 816702 Book outline and story line (Version 4) “The Union”, is a crime story of honor, values and personal discovery for Chris Vincent, who owns a small computer software company specializing in union software. He is in the middle of a computer software implementation for one of the biggest trade unions in New York City. It opens with Chris travelling on the train along the Hudson River to New York City and reliving the past few months as he questions how he allowed himself to become involved in the unholy relationships within organized labor. He thinks back about the labor organizers who he had met along the way as he examines the promises that they made. As he weighs the trust established, he begins to understand what it may cost him. New York City Unions have the money and the power, but Chris must decide if he is willing to compromise his family values learned long ago. His new software has uncovered the Union’s secret schemes and their illicit methods to syphon millions of dollars from their trust funds. He has also learned of the many illegal conspiracies that have been established between the union, the politicians, and the Mafia. Chris has had past dealings with labor unions and many of those involved in the building trades were of Italian descent. His family was among the wave of Italian immigrants who came off the boat from the old country with nothing more than a promise for a better life for their children. Even though his family name had been Americanized by his father from Vincenti to Vincent, there was little doubt about his Italian heritage. Hell, he was a piasani…he was one of them and this meant that he could join their special fraternity of kinship with the union labor leaders. Travelling to New York, he thought about the many hours of hard work, the business trips, the late hours and the sacrifices he made to establish a successful software business. He gave much more to his employees and clients than they would ever return. He now wondered if it was all worth it. Chris was drawn into their schemes because he let his guard down as he established trust. He glanced out the window as the train barreled towards the city carrying him to an unknown fate. Chris ponders the meaning of trust…but struggles to find its true value. Just over three hundred and fifty miles south of Albany, it was early evening, as the sun began to set, when the twin-engine Gulfstream 14 passenger plane broke through the low overcast sky blanketing Washington, D.C. It then sharply banked left over the Potomac River for its final approach to the runway. Marco Richards, an FBI computer analyst peered through a tiny window over the left wing, He could see the Capital dome glinting in the splinters of sunlight which had escaped through the pillows of white low-hanging clouds. Washington was basking in early spring glory. He could just make out the landscape with varying shades of green and flashes of blue and grey from the sky reflected from the winding Potomac. On his left, during the final approach to the Joint Based Andrews runway stood the Washington monument. Its’ height at 555 feet now was well above the plane’s altitude. It was Washington in full color splendor with smears of mixed colors, crimson, yellows, orange and bright greens. The plane took one last turn to the left and in an instant, dropped the last 300 feet smoothly to the ground. He would be part of a special team to investigate the corruption in the New York City unions led by Colonel C.R. Macey, the Special Agent in Charge who would stop at nothing to find the crime. Marco Richards was an FBI analyst, and this was his first, and most important field assignment to hack into the union’s computer systems and find the evidence of the union’s suspected criminal activities and to trace the money to organized crime. Power and greed had permeated the law enforcement agencies and the FBI now had an elite team that would attempt to break into the secrets under the covers of the IBM computer. There was just too much money, and it was there for the grabbing if you had access. The FBI would stop at nothing to find a crime or create a crime, even if it meant breaking the law and violating FBI policies. Money flowed through the union trust funds like water over Niagara Falls. The accounting systems were complicated and tying all the balances together within the out-of-sequence workflows in the union offices were next to impossible. The union money managers and the labor leaders liked the system and did not want to make it easy for anyone on the outside looking in. But those on the inside were helping themselves. Money and people begin to disappear as the story unfolds. “The Union” provides an inside look at union corruption and how those who control the unions betray the trust of their members. Uncovers the secret relationships and the criminal enterprises that exists between organized labor, the construction industry, politicians, and the Mafia. Exposes the illegal acts and unsavory methods used by the FBI and the Department of Labor to snare their prey into their trap. The reader must ponder who the real criminals are and where is the real crime? The book covers some historical events that are creatively woven into the fabric of the main story line. It also provides a colorful tour of noteworthy geography and places from Albany, along the Hudson River and New York City. These historical events are neatly brought into the plot throughout the book and provide an accurate portrayal of famous people of the past that have shaped and influenced the labor movement and the story of America. These characterizations all play an important role to elevate the readers’ interest and to add factual historic content. Chris, the computer expert who is installing the software and trying to understand how he was drawn into the union’s criminal activities would need to choose either trust or betrayal. Marco the expert FBI computer analyst who must hack into the union’s computer system is torn between the law and his career. Does he follow the private directives of those who are running the investigation or does he work according to acceptable and lawful FBI policies. Each must find the courage to choose a side without losing all that they have worked for. They are on a collision course, yet each must choose between who they really are or what they may become. Do they live be their own personal honor code or do they betray the trust of those around them. Both must search for a path that allows them to save their professional careers while restoring their self-respect. There are many colorful characters who are part of the story and serve to tie the many sub-plots into a cohesive and true- to- life drama with the main story line as it moves towards a surprising conclusion. Money and people begin to disappear and although Chris and Marco may be on opposite sides, their personal values draw them closer together. The computer software holds the deep dark secrets and “The Union” reveals how hundreds of millions flow into the pockets of the politicians, those who run the unions, the contractors, and the Mafia. The suspense builds as surprising and unplanned events occur and as the paths and targets of the investigation begin to shift. The book also provides background on the development of the labor movement and its growth within the United States with interesting and storied history. Describes how organized labor had evolved and how the unions came into being and how they have accumulated power. The author is an accomplished chef and brings another entertaining dimension into the story. There are several meetings taking place at several famous restaurants in Albany and New York city, and the book provides many tasteful descriptions of the meals during these secret meeting. The reader will almost taste the delicious food and experience the uncompromised service during this exciting culinary journey. These meals represent a colorful backdrop for the secret meetings and the conspiracies that are formed. The reader will be inspired to judge the dinners for themselves as they are brought to the table, learn of the illicit schemes and drawn into these delicious meals. “The Union” provides an authoritative and inside look into the union’s computer system and how they steal millions of dollars from the construction projects and their trust funds while betraying the trust of their members. Introduces how organized labor and their many formal programs give them power which allows them to influence political outcomes, the construction industry and the growth and the role they play in the development of American cities. Perry exposes how they all work in concert to enrich themselves at the cost of the working man. Chis and Marco both search to understand the difference between right and wrong, but both realize that they are mere pawns in this deadly game of life. They must make some life changing decisions. Chris searches for a way out and decides he can trust no-one but himself. Does he flip and betray his friends and throw away all that he has worked for? Is there a way to start over? Marco must make a choice. Does he defy his superiors and throw away his career and reputation? Each examines their code of honor and must make choices as they begin to understand who they really are. These values are tested throughout the book with a colorful journey which include extortion, murder, tasteful dinners and secret meetings against the backdrop of fact-based computer processes, realistic life drama and historical events which have all served to shape organized labor. Those may be the only truths that can be trusted.   

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