At perhaps the peak of Luke Perry’s fame in the 1990s, the actor wasn’t dreaming of an isolated home in a gated Los Angeles community, he was purchasing a property in rural Dickson County, Tennessee, a place most of his fans had never heard of, WREG News reports.
Residents of that town remember Perry as a down-to-earth neighbor who was friendly and decidedly ordinary in his day-t0-day dealings.
“He acted like we were part of his family. He would always give you a hug,” said Janet Grimes who owned a restaurant in town and said that Perry often brought his family in for breakfast. “I found him to be just a nice person. I enjoyed talking to him. He always knew you.”
The Dufty family, resident dealers of cattle in Dickson, were once paid a visit by Perry when the actor decided he wanted to buy and raise cattle himself. Murphy Dufty, a teenager at the time, shared with Perry information about the personalities and preferences of the livestock, remembering that he shook her hand and continued to hold it as she spoke.
“He asked me about my high school classes,” she said. “And, he remembered both my name and the details of our conversations each time that we would talk.”
The Dufty family said that Perry indeed ended up purchasing livestock from them and that he was casual and laid back when they delivered the animals to his property.
"He was the wildest, most fascinating and truest friend you could ever have" https://t.co/L0J5zpo3gO
— TIME (@TIME) March 7, 2019
Other town residents recalled similar interactions with Perry, saying that most everyone in town at one time or another had spotted him doing ordinary things around Dickson, including visits to Burger King during his wife’s pregnancy.
In addition to Burger King, residents reported frequent Perry sightings at other locations in Dickson, including Ace Hardware, Tractor Supply, Kroger, K-Mart and various other local spots. He also occasionally picked up the check for other residents, such as an elderly couple those meal he covered before bringing it personally to their table.
Perry maintained a small farm, including those livestock purchased from the Dufty family, with help from locals who helped look after and maintain the land while Perry was away tending to his acting career, which largely required him to be on the West Coast.
“You treated a small-town high school girl like she was important when you were at the peak of your fame,” Murphy Dufty said. “I am so glad you called Dickson County home for a bit of your too-short life.”