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January 18, 1996

Now that I have survived a few days of battling (1) a touch of the flu, (2) a heavy cold, (3) a sinus attack or (4) some mysterious allergy manifestation, you can expect a much more sympathetic ear from me when describing your own mid-winter complaints. I feel your pain more acutely now.

Yes, I had my annual Asian flu shot so this malaise was not caused by that particular virus. But of course there are so many strains floating around out there that a body can hardly escape them all. Any of them can induce aching joints, coughing, sneezing, slightly elevated body temperature - all those wonderful symptoms that quickly drag you down to the misery level.

I'm all better now, not totally healthy, but hanging tough. Hope you're doing better, too.

Those recent days with temperatures in the 60s helped us to remember what it is that we like so much about other seasons of the year. According to Mike, Gary and the rest of our merry band of TV weather guys, we'll be on a roller coaster temperature ride for a while. So what else is new in Oklahoma? Consolation comes with realizing that each bad day is just one day closer to spring! My Uncle R. C. in Oklahoma City says all the bulbs in his yard are so confused, they don't know what to do. Welcome to the club.

A note from longtime acquaintance Harley Clark, now a j resident of Hendersonville, N.C., was prompted by the story about David Thomas in "Perry Tales." Harley played basketball and football and sang in the boys quartet at Perry high school before graduating in 1940. He married Virginia Lee Magee, known as Ginny to all of us in the PHS graduating class of 1941.

You may recall that in the "Perry Tales" story about David I mentioned that he and I both were in the Army Specialized Training Program before that particular program was scrapped by the military manpower crisis that was created by the Battle of the Bulge in Europe. Harley also was in the ASTP. He writes:

"I was assigned to Providence College in August 1943. Inasmuch as we could see a couple of years of educational training, Ginny hopped on a bus and we got married in October. How well I remember the night we learned that the program was closing. I slipped out long enough to tell Ginny I was leaving the next morning and I would call her as soon as possible. This took a while because I was joining the 26th Infantry Division on maneuvers in Tennessee preparatory for becoming a part of (Gen. George) Patton's Third Army in Europe.

Patton's command was involved in some of the heaviest fighting experienced by Allied troops in the war. The colorful general, distinguished by his polished helmet, riding boots and the pearl-handled pistols holstered on his hips, was nicknamed "Old Blood and Guts" for good reason. His men were instrumental in shortening the war in Europe and in chasing Hitler's Wehrmacht back to Berlin.

Harley continues: "One plus I received from ASTP was 32 hours of credit which enabled me to go through Oklahoma A. & M. College in two and a half years after the war. Without that, I probably would not have decided to pursue a college education. It proved to be a good decision."

Very true. Harley is now retired following a successful career with IBM, the company he joined after leaving OSU just as "Big Blue" was capturing Wall Street's attention. He and Ginny are frequent visitors here with family and friends. Sybil Scholz is his sister and Lois Severe is Ginny's sister. It was good to hear from Harley.