John Perram: A Ventura Citizen’s Journey

Ross Willaims had a great interview with John Perram.

by Ross Wiilliams

Ventura has been home to the dynamic and multifaceted John Perram for the past three years. A man whose life weaves through the realms of sports, family legacies, and the restaurant industry. John’s story is one of passion, resilience, and an unyielding commitment to his pursuits.

School Years

John’s early years were marked by an active engagement in sports, particularly baseball and tennis. As a shortstop for Santa Monica College’s baseball team, his skills on the diamond caught the attention of even professional scouts, leading him to try out for the Oakland A’s. Although unsuccessful, it showed the depth of his dedication and the extent of his talent. Undeterred by the outcome, John’s resilience became a defining trait.

For John, tennis is a family tradition and was ingrained in his DNA. With both parents sharing a love for the sport and a family history adorned with notable achievements. The Wall of Fame at Libbey Park in Ojai proudly displays the names of four of John’s family members, cementing their legacy in the oldest tennis tournament in US history, “The Ojai” Tennis Tournament.

Restaurant Life

Transitioning from the world of sports, John ventured into the realm of culinary delights, becoming a restaurateur. In the 80’s and 90’s the Pelican’s Retreat and Nightclub in Calabasas became synonymous with delicious seafood cuisine, especially renowned for its red snapper adorned with a delectable lemon butter sauce. Over time, the establishment evolved into a vibrant nightclub, attracting both locals and celebrities. However, the shift brought challenges as they navigated finding their identity, experimenting with various foods, and accommodating a changing clientele.

The 94 Earthquake

John and the Pelican’s Retreat stood resilient during the 1994 earthquake. Remarkably, the establishment remained unscathed, with only a lone TV succumbing to the tremors. Ready to open that very night, he wanted to open to help the community in a time of crisis. Recognizing the importance of providing a gathering place for solace and support. The Pelican’s Retreat became a beacon of resilience, offering a comforting refuge for the community to come together and heal in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Retirement and Leisure Activities

John has transitioned into a well-deserved retirement, embracing a life filled with leisure, community engagement, and the joys of travel alongside his best friend and wife, Royce.

Volunteering at Olivas Adobe

A defining aspect of John and Royce’s retired life is their commitment to giving back. Volunteering at Olivas Adobe has become a shared passion for the couple. Royce serves as a docent, sharing the rich history of the site, while John dedicates his time to maintaining the beautiful rose bushes that adorn the grounds. Their joint efforts contribute to preserving Ventura’s cultural heritage and creating a welcoming environment for visitors.

Travel Adventures in Retirement

Venturing into this new chapter of life, John and Royce embarked on a memorable trip down to Key West a year ago. This adventure marked the beginning of their commitment to making travel a priority in the coming years. With a Travel Sprinter RV as their trusty companion, the couple plans to explore new destinations and create lasting memories along the way.

As John transitions into retirement, Ventura remains the backdrop to this chapter, a place where John finds joy, community, and the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure in his well-deserved retirement. His journey continues to be a source of inspiration as he embodies the spirit of embracing life’s diverse experiences. Gazing off into the harbor where sailboats gently rocked against blue gray sky, John expressed a profound sense of gratitude for the life he has built in Ventura. “I feel very blessed and proud to have ended up here! Ventura! I love it!”

Editor’s note: I have played tennis with John but he is too good for me.

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