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July 5, 1995

Congratulations to everyone who had anything to do with Perry's old fashioned Fourth of July program. From Sgt. Major Mike Doughty's patriotic keynote address to the last event of the evening, it was a most appropriate program, highly appreciated by all who were there to take part in the courthouse park.

The text of Mike Doughty's stirring remarks should be read or heard by all of us whenever we're filled with doubts or concerns about the future of this country. His calmly delivered speech was stirring in its review of the birth of this country and the spirit of American patriots through the ages. It was just the right tone for our Independence Day celebration.

One of the unique features Tuesday afternoon was the Backseat Drivers Contest in which dozens of couples of all ages took part. Greg Bender, the energetic emcee for the day's program, provided an electric golf cart for the contest and a course was laid out on Delaware street between the post office and the Cherokee Strip Antique Mall. A series of bright I orange cones had to be negotiated in a circular path by each team in a race against the clock. The driver was blindfolded and his/her partner stood on a platform at the rear of the cart, shouting instructions to turn left, turn right, go straight ahead, back up, or "STOP!" when the driver was about to jump the curb. Penalty points were added each time a cone was flattened or when the poor driver put the team on the sidewalk. It was a barrel of laughs for spectators and participants.

Other attractions provided entertainment for all ages -- face painting by the Stan Holdens, watermelon decorating contest, pie eating contest, moon walk, snow cones, cotton candy, chances on a specially commissioned commemorative rifle, music by the Country Nomads and several of our gifted young singers and dancers, plus hot dogs and cold drinks throughout the afternoon.

Several hundred adults and young people enjoyed this Fourth of July celebration in Perry, and all of us are indebted to the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations that worked so hard to help us celebrate our nation's 219th birthday. Giving the day still another dimension was the official end of mourning for the victims of the April 19 Federal building bombing in Oklahoma City. U.S. flags were returned to full staff in Oklahoma for the first time since that awful day.

Another batch of commemorative bricks will be added to the Hopes and Dreams Plaza in the courthouse park in time for the 1995 Cherokee Strip celebration in September. If you've been thinking about purchasing bricks to honor a family member, friend or some special event, you'll need to place an order very soon. Information can be obtained from the Perry Development Coalition office in the basement of the Foucart building. Karen Wilcox or Betty Warner will be glad to receive your order or answer questions there.

A brick with one line of copy costs $28, and a brick with two lines of copy is $36. Each line can contain a maximum of 12 spaces. Bricks ordered since the last batch was added to the plaza will be put in place very soon, so don't delay if you want yours included this year.