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December 21, 1995

Karen Keith was a checker at Perry's Homeland store when she was diagnosed with a serious illness some months ago. Shoppers knew her as a smiling, obliging clerk. Since then, she has been through a series of medical and surgical procedures to restore her health and things generally were looking pretty good. The smiles were perhaps harder to come by, but still there nonetheless.

The day after Thanksgiving, she was admitted to a Tulsa hospital for a bone stem transplant, similar to a bone marrow transplant, as the latest step in a long, slow path to recovery. For three weeks she was in the Tulsa hospital. Her husband, Don, is a leadman welder in the Pierce-Airrow department at the Charles Machine Works, Inc., where the best known product is the Ditch Witch trencher. Each year Don's group, takes up a Christmas collection to benefit some family in this community. This year, the group voted to give the entire collection to Don to help with travel expenses and other items during this time of treatment. Karen is home now but still receives care on a regular schedule at Stillwater as part of the recovery program.

But in addition to the financial gesture, the same group of Don's workers pooled many of the accumulated leave time hours coming to them and transferred them to Don so that he would not miss substantial amounts of pay while he helps in caring for Karen.

David Bluethman, manager of the Ditch Witch company's personnel department, said that about two years ago the company adopted a policy allowing employees to transfer their leave hours to others in cases like this, and the program has been very helpful on numerous occasions. I thought this story was most appropriate for the Christmas season.

Along with the heartwarming response to the Perry community's fund-raising efforts for young Shane Kindschi, it again seems to demonstrate the compassion we have come to expect as residents of this special little city. Yes, there is something unique about Perry.

The Oklahoma Historical Society has announced that pictures shot by the Tulsa Photography Collective in Perry earlier this fall will be on display April 1-26, 1996, at the Cherokee Strip Museum in Perry. A lecture also will be scheduled during that period, but the date for that has not been set. Title of the display is "On Assignment: A Day in the Life of Perry, Oklahoma. Many local residents, business buildings and other things that interested the photographers will be included in the display. Be sure to watch for reminders when the exhibit time draws near.

The Historical Society also has announced that the local, museum's centennial celebration of the Rose Hill School has been tentatively scheduled for the month of May. Further information on this event will be forthcoming.

Many of you no doubt have noticed that our local TV cable supplier, TCI Cablevision of Stillwater, is discontinuing the 800 phone number formerly used for customer service. Effective Jan. 1, customers may call a local customer service number, 336-5559, or stop by the Perry office on the north side of the square. According to a news report on a Stillwater radio station, TCI customers in this area have been complaining about rude treatment by the company's people at the Tulsa 800 number office and the change was made to alleviate some of that. So, if you are one of those still unhappy about TCI's refusal to include the AMC channel in Perry's basic service package, or even as a premium option, you can start calling the local number after the first of the year.