“Skip” is Always There

Photo by Joe Torosian

Family and friends from Temple City American softball gather around Skip Pearring (center holding dog) to show support as he battles cancer.

By Tim Peterson
July 25, 2014 • 55,866 views

We hear a lot about the pitcher that threw the no hitter and the player that hit the game winning home run. The slick fielding shortstop that turned a couple of double plays and the outfielder that made a sliding catch got their share of ink as well.
Other times we hear about the coach that led the team to the championship or the team mom that brought the post game pizza. Well, at Temple City’s Live Oak Park, Skip Pearring is none of those. Who is Skip Pearring? He’s just there. He’s always there.
It started nearly 20 years ago when his granddaughter Brittany played softball in the Minors Division at Live Oak at Temple City American. Skip started attending games there and basically never left.

Brittany is 23 now and yet Skip is still there. What exactly does Skip do? Well that depends on who you talk to. At various times he has run the 50-50 fundraiser, announced games, kept score and helped prepare the field. But maybe the most important thing Skip did was lend support to the players. He was always there supporting the players.
“What did he do? Let me think,” said Linda Hardwick whose daughter Kelsey played at TCA years ago. “What didn’t he do? He was just always there. It seemed like he did whatever needed to be done. He was just always at the park helping. If you were a part of TCA softball then you knew Skip.”

Skip is known as simply that – “Skip.” A few people had to think when asked his last name. “He’s just Skip,” said a former softball mom. “At the park he was just Skip. Whenever you needed something you just asked Skip.”
“I was just so impressed and thankful the way Skip always treated my daughter Natalie. He was always good to her when she played softball there,” said Jim Saxon whose daughter is now in college. “It was funny he used to take the girls TPing (toilet papering people’s houses), and Natalie and the girls used to have a blast. He was just a great example.”
Pearring has other loves as well. He’s a big local sports fan – high school and other wise. He’s a huge Dodger fan and for years had season tickets to the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings winning two Stanley Cups in the last three years has sent in Skip into a proverbial seventh heaven.

Of course Skip having Kings season tickets was also beneficial to those that knew him. Pearring had no problem passing on those tickets to others when he was unable to go. Saxon and yours truly took in a few games at Staples courtesy of Mr. Pearring.
“Maybe the most generous, kind men I’ve ever met,” said Saxon.
Although Skip’s love of sports was well known, Live Oak Park and girls’ softball was number one in his heart.
“I think his honesty is what stands out to me,” said Mike Wintercorn, whose daughter Angel played softball at TCA. “He taught that to my daughter and she’s still that way today. I have a great “Skip” story. Whenever somebody at the park would retrieve a foul ball they would return it to Skip and he would give them a quarter. Well one day Angel found a necklace and of course she thought to return it to Skip. He announced over the loudspeaker that if anybody lost a necklace he had it in the booth. When nobody ever claimed it by the end of the game he gave it to Angel and she still has it to this day,” explained Wintercorn. “One day Angel found a five dollar bill and returned it to the teacher at school. The teacher was shocked but that is what she learned from Skip.”
Wintercorn’s story was only one of several that were told at a party for Skip on Saturday afternoon. Angel learned something from Skip. We all learned something from Skip. Honesty, dedication, kindness, gentleness, generosity, and most of all support are just some of the traits that Skip shows.

Skip had this special ability of simply ‘being there.” “I never remember him without a smile or a willingness to help. He was just always…there,” said Hardwick.
Skip is known for his love of the restaurant Taco Lita on Duarte Road and for his love of helping the girls TP houses. Saturday friends and family presented him with the “Golden Toilet Paper Award” as laughs were shared all around.
As Skip has always been there for others it’s now time to be there for him. A medical diagnosis in the last year has changed his life. Although he is receiving treatment, it’s a battle that will be tough for Skip to fight. But make no mistake, he’ll fight it. Saturday he never stopped smiling as well wishers came by to see him.
About a month ago I stopped by Live Oak Park to catch a little bit of a high school all-star softball game. And who came up to greet me? – None other than Mr. Live Oak- Skip Pearring. Although he had been through several rounds of treatment already, that wasn’t his concern. His concern was for me.

“How are you doing?” Skip said. “Really how are you doing?”
“I’m fine,” I replied. “How are you?”
“Me? I’m great. I’m always great,” Skip said.
Yes you are great Skip. And you’re always “there.” Now it’s time for us to be “there” for you.

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