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December 19, 1994

Mrs. Luis Clay, the former Penny Foster of Perry, has been teaching Spanish in Illinois and St. Louis-area high schools for several years. Her husband also teaches Spanish at Eastern Illinois university in Charleston, but is on sabbatical leave this year. His wife was chosen to replace him during that time and she is enjoying the change very much. For one thing, she previously taught classes each day in three different Charleston high schools and that required a great deal of commuting time -- lunches gulped down while driving from one location to another, and such things as that. Hectic it was.

One of her students at the university is blind. That is a difficult disability to overcome, but determination - and good teachers - can pull it off. Penny has spent many hours in providing special tutoring to this young learner. That has included advance work on lessons to prepare them for processing in Braille, a service furnished by the university. Penny's efforts have been acknowledged in a letter from an upper level administrator at the school, taking note of her exceptional work in assisting this special student in a foreign language study.

Penny and Luis for several years have spent their summers teaching at the University of Madrid. Luis is writing a book now while on sabbatical but also is doing some work on their boat, a project that both of them enjoy. Penny is the daughter of Mrs. Lucy Foster. The Clays will be in Perry to spend the Christmas holiday with her.

Jim and Sondra Garvey, two former teachers at Perry high school, have had a great deal of success since they left the classroom in favor of the woodworking business a few years ago. Their Wood 'N Stuff shop, adjacent to their home at 415 First street, is a fascinating place to visit. They recently were the subjects of a profile, headlined "Wood Good for Garveys," in the Stillwater newspaper.

The Garveys currently are showing and selling their work in the Multigraphis Christmas Gallery and recently were in the St. Andrews Arts and Crafts sale at Stillwater. They also are regulars in Stillwater's Seventh Street Art Gallery. Along with Oklahoma-shaped cutting boards, key chains and wooden cooking utensils, they have created several other distinctive pieces. Among them are Sondra's specially designed rocking chairs, plus rocking horses, cradles and various pieces of furniture.

At the recent Arts Festival Oklahoma and on the campus of Oklahoma City Community College, they received an award for fine workmanship and artistry. They have reduced their participation in art shows for lack of inventory, Garvey says. Darrin Maine, the young Perry artist whose wall murals and other work were described in this column the other day, feels he owes a lot of his success to the early nurturing and training provided by Garvey as his high school art instructor.

Gasoline prices in Perry are lower than in many nearby towns, which is not always the case. Some stations here are posting prices of 95.9 cents per gallon for regular unleaded. The only lower price I've seen has been in Oklahoma City, where you can find the same grade of fuel at 89.9 cents per gallon at a select few cash-only locations. Most of the OKC stations are higher than at our local pumps, however./p>

It is good to see our city police cars patrolling along Fir avenue in the vicinity of the high school and mid-high. I've noticed a few drivers being stopped for exceeding the speed limit on that street. Hopefully, such sights will help slow all of us down as we proceed through school zones. Speed limits and blinking warning lights are there all right, but apparently they aren't enough by themselves to do the job. Traffic fines and warnings will surely help./p>

More addenda on the agenda: Let it be duly noted that the name is Edward D. Jones, not Edward T. Jones. (See first paragraph of 12-12-94 NW Corner for details.)