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November 27, 1995

Florazell Coker provides us with another tidbit about Monte Jones, the west side druggist who passed away the other day. Florazell was employed at Monte's store and she knew him as a true friend, long after their working relationship was over. She remembers that one of his proudest claims was that he had the very first fully air-conditioned retail business on the square. That probably would have been in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Maybe one of you remembers exactly when that happened, and who had the second store with air-conditioning.

Two callers have provided more information about Malloch's Book Store and Barton's Book Store, two separate but related firms that operated here some 60 or 70 years ago. You'll recall that Marcia Moore of Severy, Kan., wrote that she recently acquired two painted china plates bearing images of the Noble county courthouse and Perry Carnegie library, with the name of Barton's Book Store imprinted on the back. Marcia was seeking information about the store.

Florence Foster remembers both of them from her childhood. Her recollection is that Malloch's succeeded Barton's and that both of them were on the west side of the square, although the exact location is not clear. Florence adds that she also has a miniature china pitcher and saucer with the courthouse painted on the front side and the name of Barton's store on the back.

Betty Nolte found some documentation in the form of an old Perry telephone directory at the Cherokee Strip Museum on West Fir. It shows that in 1910-11, Barton's Book Store was on the north side of the square, at 617 Delaware street. That is now the home of our Cowboy Travel Service. Malloch's Book Store was on the west side of the square, at 323 Seventh street, in the years between 1925 and 1930, according to other old phone directories Betty consulted. That address is now the home of Perry Floral & Gifts Plus.

I believe Barton's eventually moved to the west side from the north side and that Malloch's bought the business around 1925. My memory doesn't go back that far, but I do remember Malloch's on the west side in the early 1930s. Can anyone else add to this information?

If you have not yet purchased tickets for the Food Court at the courthouse this Friday night, you'd better get busy. Don't eat supper that evening because eight local food suppliers are going to offer you what amounts to a gourmet meal with several courses, and all of it is going to be delicious. That part will be on the first floor of the courthouse. Top that off with a trip to "chocolate heaven" on the second and third floors where a dozen or more varieties of tasty desserts will be available. Through it all you'll be hearing traditional Christmas music sung by our great Goldtones group, plus Jera Dunn and possibly some others.

Attendance will be limited to a total of 200, and there will be three identical 30-minute segments. The first one starts at 6:45 p.m., followed by the others in approximately half-hour intervals. Tickets sell for $7.50. They are available at the Chamber of Commerce, Bank IV, Exchange Bank & Trust, First Bank & Trust and Foster's Corner Drug. The Food Court is sponsored by the newly formed Perry Main Street organization.

On that same evening, the annual Christmas parade will wind around the square starting at 6:30 p.m., our downtown Christmas light decorations will be turned on and several local merchants will be unveiling their offerings for the season. On the following Saturday, Dec. 2, youngsters will parade around the square with their pets, and then on Sunday, Dec. 3, the annual Christmas homes tour will be held, climaxed by an informal reception at the Cherokee Strip Museum. Plan to take in all of these attractions. That will be a dandy way to help kick off the Christmas season, and you really should take it all in.