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June 16, 1995

It's been a while since we've experienced so many significant changes in Perry's business community. The sale of Homeland Grocery Stores to Les Homer's Apple Market is one of them, and so is the recent opening of C. R. Anthony's C. R. & Co. clothing store at Perry Plaza. Coast to Coast Hardware moved from the Plaza to the old M&W Grocery location at Eighth and Fir and promptly built a new addition that gives them almost twice as much room. About the same time, Dwaine Kennedy bought Donaldson-Yahn Lumber Co., and Glenn and Eleanor Yahn retired, followed by Gordon Cargill. 2001 Video Stores also moved to the Plaza from downtown after Coast to Coast relocated. Taco Mayo soon will move from Eighth and Fir to a brand new building near the Fir exit on I-35.

Now the Dollar General Store has returned to Perry and occupies the spacious building erected by Safeway in the 1940s on Seventh street between Delaware and Elm. Jim Miller has taken over the Old South Cafe on the south side of the square and Aces High has moved from the southside to a renovated building on the east side. The South Side Lounge has new management. Crossfield Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-GEO is now Downtown Chevrolet, etc.

Wal-Mart seems to have greatly increased its lawn and garden department out on Perry Plaza, and Pizza Hut is adding a new drive-through window at their location in the Plaza. Other improvement work also is scheduled on that building, but we're told that delivery service is not anticipated from there just now. The Days Inn Motel on I-35 is continuing to improve that property with an expanded central building and registration office. Our Braum's store has greatly increased its cabinet space for ice cream, frozen yogurt and other goodies. Etsell Emde is adding more storage units. Internal changes have been effected at Perry Monument and Perry Stone & Statuary. Perry Carnegie Library is preparing to add a microfilm/microfiche reader-printer which will be of great interested to those engaged in research of files at the library.

Meanwhile, in the manufacturing sector, E-Z Drill Co. has moved to a new location in east Perry, Ditch Witch has completed another major addition, and H & H Welders continues to grow. Jerry Zemp has moved his Shelter Insurance Agency office from a downtown location to the Convenience Corner strip at 15th and Fir. Green Valley Nursing Home is just starting a 10,000-square foot assisted living facility with 44 private rooms at 12th and Cedar. New homes are under construction in the Fairway addition adjacent to the Country Club, and plans are afoot for a manufactured homes area near Perry Stadium.

Some of these changes have been reported previously, and there surely are others of equal magnitude which don't readily come to mind. I'm sorry if some have been overlooked in this hasty survey, but isn't it interesting to note all the indications of growth, prosperity and expansion of retailers as well as service businesses in our community?

Even my Presbyterians are getting into the act, sort of. We have just called a new full-time youth minister/director of Christian education to work with Pastor Ken Waddell, and we put him right to work in Vacation Bible School. Ron Motley is the name and you'll be hearing more about him. Ron and his wife, Carole, have two young sons, ages 2 and 5 years. Ron graduated this spring from the Presbyterian Graduate School of Christian Education in Richmond, Va.

I can't think of another place where so many interesting 'things just keep on happening.