When Jose “Jay” Perez moved here from Southern California, he didn’t expect to meet so many friendly — and honest — people. But after being here for only about six months, he is ready to make Cache Valley his permanent home, thanks in no small part to the people.
“I want to stay,” he told The Herald Journal recently. “If that’s how most people are around this area, then this is a place I want to live.”
Perez was referencing several experiences he’s had with people since moving here — one experience, notably, where he unexpectedly was returned $1,000 from a business transaction.
He went to purchase a skid steer, compact heavy machinery with lift arms, from Danny Hansen, of Smithfield. When the sale was completed — with a handshake, no less — Perez went back to his duties and waited for the time he could pick up the item. Instead, it was delivered — something he didn’t expect. But he also was informed that he had paid too much for the equipment. A thousand dollars too much.
Perez got the extra money back, something he believes might never have happened in California.
“There are exceptions. But that degree of honesty, I think, only happens in Cache Valley or the state of Utah,” he said. “I think it shows the character of the valley and the residents of this state. To me it has meant a lot.”
Perez is an entrepreneur and has started several businesses. He also works as a handyman and said one elderly couple he works with regularly treats him like a friend.
“These people are the nicest people I have ever met,” he said. “They feed me every day.”
He also said he was given $300 by a mechanic to help him with vehicle repairs. And the list of niceties he has experienced from residents, he says, continues. If he gets stuck in the snow, for instance, there is always someone to help push him out. If the hood of his car is up at a gas station, he doesn’t have to ask for a jumpstart; someone will come to him asking if they can help.
It all makes him want to pay it forward.
“Now what do I do the next time I see someone with a hood up? I approach them,” he said, noting being around good people helps others to “learn to be nice, to be good.”
If you have a “Good News” story to share with The Herald Journal, contact Managing Editor Andrew Weeks at 435-514-1813 or email@example.com.
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