Born in Las Vegas because there was no doctor available in Moapa Valley at the time, Melbourne Perkins grew up on his grandfather’s farm in Overton—the same farm where his mother was raised—and the farm where he raised his own family.
“My wife and I both grew up here in the valley,” he says. “Everyone’s friendly and helpful to each other in this little community.” He pauses for a moment to reflect. “It’s a pretty blessed place.”
On an average day, Melbourne makes the rounds on the farm, checking for what needs to be done. He’ll feed the cows, mend fences, and, on irrigation day, he’ll irrigate. In the summer, he gets the hay cut and baled. And, on occasion, he’ll take a trip to St. George with his wife—just to get away.
As a collector of old Case tractors and automobiles, including a 1931 Ford Model A coupe that’s been converted into a pickup truck, “Collecting is in my DNA,” he says.
“My grandad had a collection of Model Ts that wouldn’t end. Then, my dad got what he could out of St. Thomas before the lake covered them up—and most of them were turned into hot rods in the ‘50s. Collecting has been a family tradition, I guess.”
It’s also a hobby that led him to becoming a guest on the TV show, “Vegas Rat Rods,” where he cut deals with Steve Darnell and the crew at Welder Up for some of his treasured possessions, which were then refurbished into unique vehicles.
Through it all, he’s never considered living anywhere else.
“This area shaped me, I guess,” he says. “It let me be who I am, and it kept me close to my roots.”