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October 19, 1995

I haven't been making a survey, but lately several friends have told me about their pet peeves. Maybe some of them are yours, too. For instance:

Callers who don't identify themselves when you answer the phone but expect you to recognize their voice.

Motorists who take their half of the road out of the middle.

Drivers who take up two spaces by straddling the lines when they park.

Also, those who illegally use the handicap spaces.

Joggers and walkers who risk bodily harm by using the wrong side of the road (with their backside toward traffic).

Also, those who correctly jog or walk facing traffic but refuse to yield to oncoming vehicles, daring drivers to hit them.

People who double-park behind you, then leave their vehicle unattended while they're gone.

Motorists who make U-turns around the square. Pedestrians who walk against red traffic lights.

All telephone solicitors.

People who tell off-color jokes in mixed company to folks they don't know very well.

People who exceed the speed limit in school zones.

Interstate highway motorists who insist on staying in the inside (passing) lane.

Litterbugs, especially those who dump beer cans, bottles and other garbage on people's property.

Perhaps you can add your own pet peeves to this list.

Don Stoddard is one of those who appreciates the work being done by the Beautification & Cleanup Committee of the Perry Development Coalition, but he also has a pet peeve to unload. "If it wasn't for your Beautification Committee, I doubt if anything would be done to clean up the downtown area of Perry," he writes. "I drove around the old Santa Fe depot area the other morning and I was shocked to see what a ratty, rundown condition it is in. I hope your organization can persuade the railroad to cut their grass and clean up that area. I was born in Perry 65 years ago and I cannot remember that area looking so sad and forlorn. The old elevator mill is a fire hazard and sticks out like a sore thumb, but all I've heard is excuses as to why it couldn't be torn down and the area cleaned up. Keep up your good work. A lot of Perry citizens are thankful for what your organization is doing, and I am one of them."

In a totally different vein, here's a note I received from Mrs. Gertrude Gengler, now a resident of Green Valley Nursing Home.

"My parents, Henry and Jane Koelzer, and my husband's parents, Peter and Julia Faber Gengler, came to Perry in February 1898, each buying out people who had made the 1893 run. I wonder how many folks remember the Cooper Cancer Clinic? It was on the south side of the street, about a half-block west of the northwest corner of the square, probably on The Journal lot or next west of it. I had the opportunity recently to see a reference to it in a 1910 telephone directory that had been retrieved from the office of Henry S. Johnston, former governor of Oklahoma.

"On pleasant days, there would be five or six men dressed in pajamas or robes outside the clinic. Our parents told us not to walk on the south side of the street as sick people do things they would not do if they were well. So, I never did walk over there. Many pages in the 1910 directory had "COOPER CLINIC advertisements across the top. I don't know how long it was in Perry as my folks moved away in 1915. Peter Gengler, who came from Luxembourg, was a prosperous farmer. My father, Henry Koelzer, came from Germany. He liked milling and elevator work and owned and operated the Perry Mill at Sixth and Fir."

I also have seen advertising material for the early-day Cooper Cancer Clinic, but I know very little more about it. Does someone else out there have any additional information?