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August 2, 1995

Our recent showers have given Perry's gardens and lawns a real boost. We don't always have so much green grass and blooming plants at the start of August. It's nice to drive around town and admire all the flowers, the nicely trimmed shrubbery, and the leafy trees casting gentle shade. So many streets have beautifully manicured lawns. And, of course, our farmer friends almost always appreciate showers, long as they don't interfere with planting or harvesting.

Some of the most attractive sights are not necessarily in the residential areas. I think special commendations should go to the Perry Carnegie Library, courthouse park, the post office, First Bank & Trust Co., Exchange Bank & Trust Co. and Bank IV. Their flowers are colorful and in abundance, their shrubbery looks like it's been sculptured, and all their plantings are well tended. I'm sure there are other notable examples, but those caught my eye the other day.

Many homes have lovely green lawns that obviously have been cared for in all the right ways. I recommend you spend a few evenings driving down some unfamiliar Perry streets and become acquainted with the summer beauty of our town. Beats the TV reruns.

New impetus was given to the local Main Street program a few days ago when a public forum was held to listen to the ideas of our citizens. Each one present was given an opportunity to list the things he or she saw in our community's assets and liabilities, plus a shopping list of things that we need to be doing here.

Some interesting thoughts emerged. One jotted down "CAVE men" as a major liability here. Asked what that means, he explained that CAVE is an acronym for "Citizens Against Virtually Everything." Too many naysayers, he said. Too many with knee-jerk negative reactions to any new idea for change. You hear it often: "We've never done it that way before." Or, "That just won't work here." Those dour sentiments have nipped a lot of innovative ideas in the bud, but the feeling now is that all of us are receptive to trying any worthwhile project that will help breathe new life into the community.

Stagecoach Community Theatre is often listed as one of our assets and it was so described by many at that meeting, but one has to wonder how much they really mean that. The attendance at the SCT's recent great production of "Nunsense" was most disappointing. If we really consider our community theatre to be worthwhile, how come a lot more people aren't availing themselves of what it has to offer? Why aren't there about 200-300 more members? You have to wonder. It takes a sizable amount of money to put on a play, starting with royalty fees just for the privilege of renting manuscripts. Stagecoach has been providing us with quality family entertainment since 1975, but it is strapped, financially, and sure could use your help as a member and a participant in its program. Keep that in mind when you read about their next production.

Next year's Olympic torch route will pass through Oklahoma on its way from Los Angeles to Atlanta, where the games will be held in July, but it looks like Perryans will have to travel out to Bill's Corner to see it. Although the torch relay will visit 3,000 towns both large and small, it apparently will miss us. The flame will arrive in Ponca City from Wichita on May 18 and will go on through Yale, where Jim Thorpe was born, before stopping for the night in Stillwater. Next day, it will be on the way to Oklahoma City and Norman en route to Fort Worth. The exact route from Ponca City to Yale and Stillwater has not been announced, but it does appear that we're being bypassed. You're right, they can't visit each and every town, but missing it despite being so close to it does hurt.