UP CLOSE

Up Close: Sandy Resident Tackles Neighborhood Clean Up Despite Debilitating Diagnosis

Aug 28, 2019, 5:00 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2023, 11:47 am

SANDY, Utah – Residents of a Sandy neighborhood have noticed the extra shine in their gutters and streets, and it’s all thanks to one Utah man who was forced into early retirement after being diagnosed with a debilitating disease.

The year was 1997 and Jim Peery, then 44 years old, noticed he kept tripping and he couldn’t walk like he normally could. At that time he was a successful businessman working as a senior programmer with a company.

His condition worsened over the years and he was later diagnosed with Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS), a rare neuromuscular disease. The disease led to his early retirement.

“My legs wouldn’t work right,” Peery said. “They were stiff. They couldn’t get that fluid motion.”

But the last thing he wanted to do was sit around.

Just like clockwork six days a week, Peery, now 66 years old, gears up for another day of yard work.

The familiar scene plays out at a home in Sandy, except this has nothing to do with his yard.

No, the yard work he’s concerned about takes him all the way down Sandridge Drive at a speed of 4 mph, riding on his trusty scooter. He passes a barking dog along Newcastle Drive and to the busy intersection of Highland Drive, near 8800 South and 2000 East.

66-year-old Sandy resident Jim Peery drives down his neighborhood road.

This is where he crosses the street and finally arrives at his destination for the day. In front of him is a city strip of grass and trees, where he rakes and rakes, putting all the fallen leaves into a nice pile.

After the raking is complete, he breaks out the broom and shovel. Each pile is scooped up and after the piles are cleared, it’s time to bring out the blower. All this equipment is kept in a handy bucket on wheels he carries with him everywhere he goes.

But why? Why does a man who is retired and has a debilitating disease which doesn’t allow him to walk around, even bother with a strip of property that’s already well cared for by the city?

His simple reason – because he cares.

“I try to fill in the five percent that they don’t do, try to make things look really nice,” Peery said. “It’s something that I can do and I kind of found a niche in doing it and it looks great when it’s done.”

Peery’s neighbors have noticed his hard work and efforts.

“We have the cutest neighbor,” said Jenny Olsen. “No neighborhood in all of Sandy looks as good as ours with these clean cutters and clean streets.”

“You leave in the morning, leaves everywhere, and you come home in the afternoon and it’s completely clean,” said neighbor Allie Terry.

But Peery isn’t looking for praise. He’s just happy to stay busy and bring a little bit more beauty to the area and to his life.

“It’s a win-win because I get outside and I get some exercise and things look nice for the community,” he said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Up Close

(Becky Hansen, Smile Creations Portrait Studio, St. George, Utah)...

Angie Denison

Up Close with Shawn Bradley

Last year, NBA legend Shawn Bradley was hit by a car while riding his bicycle in St. George. The accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. In an exclusive visit, KSL returns to the crash site with Shawn and his wife.

2 years ago

(KSL TV)...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: Girls Wrestling Booming In Utah

Once a real shocker in high school sports, girls wrestling has becoming one of the most popular growing sports in the country. That’s why the season may be over but practice continues for many girls.

4 years ago

Albee Bostrom and Sissy McDade turned their love of thrift store shopping into a business: Thrift H...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: Young Entrepreneurs Turn Thrift Store Shopping Into Full-Time Business

A simple hobby of thrift store shopping has turned into a full-time business for a couple of young entrepreneurs in Utah County. They’ve now opened up their very own unique thrift store with a flash to the past. We are talking about the 1980s and 1990s era.

4 years ago

Courtney Kimball and her sister Kym Frey help women living in the slums of San Pedro Sula, Honduras...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: ‘One Common Thread’ Organization Helping Women In Poverty

Two Utah sisters - one now living in one of the most dangerous cities in the world - are helping to bring women out of poverty by teaching them a skill that’s giving them new hope.

4 years ago

A BYU project called the "Rheumatic Relief" project is helping to heal children's hearts and save h...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: BYU Project Tests Samoan Children For Heart Conditions

A BYU project tests Samoan children for heart conditions, helping to heal damaged hearts and save hundreds of lives.

4 years ago

...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: West Jordan Girl Sings Her Way Into National Spotlight

An eight-year-old girl from West Jordan has won an incredible award. She became the Grand Champion Vocalist of the year in the 25th annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, Texas.

4 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Up Close: Sandy Resident Tackles Neighborhood Clean Up Despite Debilitating Diagnosis