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February 23, 1995

It's time for a few miscellaneous notes with no particular theme to bind them together.

The former Stillwater Savings & Loan building at Seventh and Elm is now officially known as Bank IV Perry, and they have added an attractive new sign on the west lawn to indicate that. It says simply, "Bank IV," but it has the right colors for this town - maroon and white. Very appropriate, with the home of the Perry high school Maroons just up the street a block or so. Bonneta Hansing continues as our local manager of this firm.

Another new business sign now appears above the awning at Ace's High on the east side of the square, in their recently occupied building. Again, the sign simply says "Ace's" but it is quite a handsome piece. The entire front of the building has just been repainted in soft earth tones. Looks nice. And out on the west end of Fir avenue, a large new "Day's Inn" sign has just been hoisted at that motel, which formerly was an I-35 Inn.

A recent item on the Women's Page of this newspaper reported that members of the Perry Progress club have just tallied the number of hours they devoted to volunteer service last year and came up with a total of more than 1,500. Considering that this group, one of our city's three federated women's clubs, now has 12 members on the roll, that's a pretty impressive figure. One of the 12 is physically unable to render that kind of service, so the 1,500-plus hours were racked up by 11 ladies. That's an average of more than 136 hours for each one.

Among the most active Progress club members in the area of volunteer service has to be Thelma Bittman, a tiny but dynamic great-grandmother. She spends two mornings each week working with other volunteers who shampoo and set hair for residents of the Green Valley and Perry Nursing Homes. Thelma arrives early and leaves late on those "hair days," and she is known as one of the hardest working members of the crew. The ladies they serve greatly appreciate those weekly visits by the volunteers, as you might imagine.

Wonder if the Rotarians or Lions could come close to averaging 136 hours per member, or even a total of 1,500 hours per year in their community service projects?

Nellie Perkins of Yukon is currently serving as chairman of the executive board of the AT&T Telephone Pioneers, composed of employees with several years of service. Nellie is the daughter of Aley Ashbrook, who lives southeast of Perry. The immediate project being carried out under Nellie's supervision is the installation of bathroom facilities at Camp Dakani, located in the Oklahoma City area but widely used by Camp Fire girls and boys from throughout the state. Our Perry youngsters are among those who use the camp. Other notable projects carried out by the Pioneers include a $45,000 park built by the group in Yukon. The organization is non-profit and seeks things to do in the community served by its members. Nellie has been with AT&T for 25 years and she has been in the Pioneers for ten years. Her job is in the former Western Electric manufacturing plant at Oklahoma City.

In a recent piece about the Laird family and the east side drug store operated by Carl and Paul Laird, I neglected to mention one of their sisters. In addition to LeOla Donley, Kathryn McQuiston and Marjorie Bowles, there also was Helen Laird, who married Charlie Boone. She was the mother of Rose Ann Jackson and Betty Taber. Helen, Kathryn, LeOla, Marjorie, Paul and Carl were sons and daughters of Mr. and Mrs. S. E. Laird, Noble county pioneers. Mrs. Boone was the first of the sisters to die when she passed away in 1946 at the age of 48. All are now gone.

Myrna Hamman, the former Myrna Niles of Perry, was scheduled to appear last month in a USA TV network movie, "As Good as Dead," but her many Perry friends were disappointed when it was not shown. I understand the network has now shifted the date to May 10, with the expectation of a larger audience that month. Crystal Bernard, the feisty blond waitress in NBC's hit sitcom "Wings," stars in the movie. Myna plays the part of Mrs. Connors and has dialogue in a hospital scene with Ms. Bernard. Watch your daily listings in May for the film. Myrna will still be in it.

Which reminds me. Myrna was one of the original members of our Stagecoach Community Theatre back in 1975, and she played the title role in a memorable production of "Mame" the following year. She is perky, petite, sweet and wonderfully talented both as an actress and as a singer, and since moving to the West Coast a few years ago she has managed to land parts in several TV network productions. I am told that she may return to Oklahoma for a class reunion this summer and that means there is a possibility she will be visiting in Perry. Her many friends here hope so.

And by the way, have you purchased your 1995 membership in Stagecoach yet? There's still time to do so. Send it to Box 82, Perry. Memberships start at $10 and range upward from there. Our little theatre has done some great things, but it urgently needs your financial support. Thanks in advance for your help, and thanks also to those who have already done their part.