Its Official: Heres more on Perry Lee Dunn

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 17, 2006

Picking up where I left off last week, today I will complete the saga of &8220;whatever happened to&8221; Perry Lee Dunn.

As noted last week, Dunn was drafted out of Ole Miss by the Dallas Cowboys as well as the American Football League San Diego Chargers. He signed with Dallas.

Brookhaven&8217;s Lance Alworth, who had played at Arkansas, was then early in his Hall of Fame career in San Diego. Alworth, as many will remember, wanted to go to Ole Miss but Coach Vaught did not allow his players to be married.

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Perry Lee had chosen the established NFL over the fledgling AFL and has never had regrets about his choice.

After two years in Dallas, Dunn went to the new Atlanta Falcons in the expansion draft. He spent three years with the Falcons before being traded to the Baltimore Colts.

Two seasons with Baltimore concluded Perry Lee&8217;s pro football career. Though he had endured a knee injury, his rehabilitation had gone well, and he has never experienced trouble from it.

As an aside to Perry Lee Dunn&8217;s pro football experiences, after Dunn&8217;s father passed away, Perry Lee&8217;s mother found an unopened letter to Perry Lee from former Ole Miss and New York Giant great Charlie Conerly.

Then, as now, professional football teams want to be pretty sure they can sign a player before they waste a high draft pick on that player. Dunn does not look back and wonder what might have happened had the Giants drafted him, but I can do that, and many other fans might as well.

In the late 1970s, Dunn worked with Butch Lambert Jr. in the heavy equipment business. Though he plays little golf now, he had &8220;decent&8221; game at one time.

At a Mississippi Municipal Convention, I played a round of golf with Perry Lee, Butch Lambert and then-Jackson Councilman Neilson Cochran. Butch was by-far the best golfer of the group, but I do remember that Perry Lee could &8220;hit it a mile.&8221;

Perry Lee continues to hunt and fish, which have been lifetime hobbies. His son, who is 34, continues in that tradition though he was never involved in athletics. Dunn has two daughters and a 4-year-old granddaughter.

Dunn&8217;s mother continues to live in Natchez, as does his brother Robert and Robert&8217;s wife, Lydia. Robert Dunn remains an active tennis player, participating in a regular group which includes former Mayor Tony Byrne.

It was a real pleasure talking to Perry Lee Dunn. Though I only knew him casually (I am much older, of course), he was very interested in the story I was doing. He had read &8220;It&8217;s Official&8221; while visiting family in Natchez.

I have continued to attempt to reach James Berry to add him to the &8220;Whatever happened to?&8221; series but haven&8217;t even been able to get through to his voice mail. I&8217;ll keep trying.

And that&8217;s official.

Al Graning is a former SEC official and former Natchez resident. Reach him at