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February 13, 1996

Midweek musings while wondering if O.J. still has some credibility to be lost....

Throughout all of that recent sub-zero weather, I found some consolation in believing that many pesky insects would not survive and that the spring harvest would benefit, as would our lawns and gardens. Wishful thinking. An OSU entomologist now says those little creatures have their own unique insulation systems which render then virtually impervious to winter woes. Fleas and ticks will be among the hardy survivors. Well, at least the moisture and the nitrogen from the melting snow will be helpful. You have to look for the silver lining.

My radio is usually tuned to an area AM station which plays nothing but big band music, and I thoroughly enjoy it. The station is on from sunup to sundown and most of its programming is provided by long-playing tapes. Far as I can tell, they only have two disk jockeys and there are long periods during the day when no live hosts are on the air. They set some kind of record (pardon the pun) the other day by playing Glenn Miller's "Tuxedo Junction" five consecutive times before someone at the station noticed the repetition. It's my kind of music and I'm not complaining, but perhaps that was a little excessive.

Elroy Goe is a familiar figure in Perry. He shares his musical gifts freely with churches, civic organizations and any group or individual that needs him. Elroy makes his home at Green Valley Retirement Center, but he walks all over this town in fair weather and foul. He helps numerous agencies, like the Chamber of Commerce, and businesses with deliveries or other errands, and you're likely to see his smiling face anywhere. He's a pianist and a singer with a unique talent.

Elroy recently began his sixth decade but he shows no sign of slowing down. Eldon Kienholz, a longtime friend of the Goe family, tells me he remembers when Elroy was 2 1/2 years old and his mother set him on a railing at the front of the Lucien Methodist church so he could sing to the congregation. He was playing piano selections by the time he was 3. We're indebted to Elroy for all he does to bring joy to the people in this area.

Mrs. Ray Ewy of Ponca City, the former Marie Soulek of Perry, has her own special memories of Ethel Ryerson's nursing home, or maternity center, which used to be located on the second floor of the building now occupied by Three Sands Oil Co. and attorney Bob Kasper. In 1947 Marie was at Mrs. Ryerson's place for the birth of her daughter, Pat, now Mrs. Ken Novy of Guthrie. Marie especially remembers the steep stairs from the maternity center to the ground floor. "(I was) carried down those stairs feet first, on a stretcher, with Jack Newton the front man," Marie recalls. "Don't remember who was the anchor, but he kept us from going helter-skelter down too fast." It was a memorable trip, Marie says. She's also the mother of Jim Soulek, the Perry lumberman.