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November 21, 1995

When you hear that second helping of pie or cake calling your name, just remember this: "stressed" spelled backward is "desserts." Your tummy will appreciate it.

A friend contributes the following tongue in cheek words of wisdom for this week. Here are his eight things to be thankful for, as summarized by comedy writer Gene Perrett:

1. Automatic dishwashers. They make it possible to get out of the kitchen before the family comes in for their after-dinner snacks.
2. Husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house. They usually make them big enough to call in professionals.
3. The bathtub - the one place where the family allows Mom some time to herself.
4. Children who put away their things and clean up after themselves. They're such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents.
5. That we can still have a good heart-to-heart talk with our youngsters. They need a good laugh now and then.
6. Gardening. It's a relief to deal with dirt outside the house for a change.
7. Teenagers. They give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
8. Smoke alarms. They let you know when the turkey's done.

Here's more from the same contributor, who certainly deserves a tip of the fedora for all this.

So, you want the day off? Let's take a moment to look at what you are asking for.
1. There are 365 days available for work.
2. There are 52 weeks per year, of which you already have two days off each weekend, leaving 261 days available for work.
3. Since you spend 16 hours each day away from work, that accounts for 170 days. There are 91 left available for work.
4. You spend 30 minutes each day on breaks; that accounts for 23 days a year, leaving 68 days available for work.
5. You spend one hour a day at lunch; that accounts for another 46 days per year, leaving 22 days available for work.
6. You spend two days per year on sick leave, which means 20 days are left for work.
7. You take nine holidays per year, leaving 11 days available for work.
8. You take ten days of vacation each year, leaving one day available for work.
No way are you going to take THAT day off. Forget it!

Another friend, Marcia Moore of Severy, Kan., writes with word of two exciting acquisitions to her collection of souvenir china. She started this particular hobby only one year ago and has been looking all that time for something from Perry because she has a special affinity for this city. Now she has secured two Perry plates to add to her collection, but getting possession of them wasn't easy. Both are hand-painted. One shows the Noble county courthouse and the other bears an image of Perry Carnegie Library.

"The reason that I couldn't find anything anywhere is probably because the Perry pieces are already in collections of dealers," Marcia says. "They are such pretty pieces and the entire front of the plates are painted. Most of the old souvenir china plates had white borders and gold trim." The plate of the library is 4" in diameter. She bartered for it with a dealer in Chatham, Mass. The plate of the courthouse is 8" in diameter. The owner, a dealer in Spirit Lake, Idaho, would only trade it for three other plates in excellent condition from anywhere.

I checked with our city librarian, Karen Bigbee, and learned that she also has one of the 4" library plates. She inherited it from her late aunt, Miss Carrie Schwartz, but Karen has no additional information about the piece.

The Perry plates were made in Germany by the Jonroth Studios for the Barton Book Co. in Perry, but the year of origin is unknown. Marcia is curious about Barton's and wonders when it was in business here. I cannot pinpoint the year, but here is what I remember. A book store was located on the west side of the square in the early to mid-1930s. It was called "Malloch's Book Store," and my understanding is that it had been previously owned by a Barton family and was called Barton's Book Store. They handled popular literature, some magazines and newspapers, and also were the designated store for the purchase of school books. Perhaps another reader can shed more light on Barton's Book Store.

Marcia also sent me photos of the two Perry plates, and they are truly works of art. The artist added a 1920-ish car at the curb in front of the library. Trees around the courthouse also appear to be very young, not the stately sentinels we see there now. If you can supply any information about Barton's Book Store or these plates, let me know and I'll pass it along.