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July 13, 1996

The Kumback Cafe, a favorite place for many Perry diners and coffee drinkers since Eddie Parker first opened the front door there on the north side of the square 70 years ago, is undergoing an extensive remodeling project. All the windows are papered over so curious passersby can't peek in to watch the work in progress. Tony and Marilee Macias, the present owners, want to keep you guessing as to how the old standby will look when this project is finished. Will the exterior be changed, too? Will there be a new counter, booths and tables? A new ambience? Different menus? We'll just have to wait and see, even if the suspense becomes unbearable.

Another PHS graduate has joined the ranks of the working press, and his first job puts him almost in our backyard. Steve Doughty, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Doughty, has just been named sports editor of the Guthrie Daily Leader, down the road a piece on I-35. Steve received a degree from the University of Oklahoma in broadcast journalism this year, but decided to switch to the print medium for his first job. He was a dandy athlete and a good student during his years as a Perry Maroon, and we wish him well in this new endeavor.

The blight destroying elm trees in this country apparently has afflicted another of the stately old elms in the courthouse park. One near the driveway entrance on the north side of the square is slowly dying and probably will have to be removed. It looks old enough to have been one of those planted in the early days by Will T. Little, the gentleman who in 1896 put out 8,600 seedlings in our courthouse park. Many of those later were moved to parks and school yards, and only a few of the original seedlings now remain in the courthouse park.

Speaking of trees, our problem with webworms is common throughout the state, according to a piece in the Daily Oklahoman the other day. The tiny little creatures are spinning their deadly webs in many varieties of trees and some of our leafy friends may not survive. Webs need to be cut out and burned or destroyed by spraying. Pecan trees are favored by webworms, but they're really not all that particular. Fruit trees, hackberries, mimosas, and almost every variety is being infested. The problem is worse this year because of the intense heat and lack of rain that have plagued us this summer. Don't let them spoil your shade trees, pecans and other ornamentals. Fight back!

Community theatres in Oklahoma, like Stagecoach in Perry, are involved in providing live, wholesome, good entertainment for the audiences they serve. Some of them turn out excellent stage productions, and it's always nice to hear that such efforts are being rewarded. Muskogee Little Theatre recently returned in triumph from the 28th annual Drama Festival in Dundalk, Ireland, where they performed at the invitation of the mayor of Dundalk and the Festival committee.

Competing with theatres from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Israel and Russia, the Muskogee group presented "Strange Snow," with which they previously had won performance and acting awards in regional and national competitions. Two of the three cast members received best actor and best actress awards in Ireland. The next Oklahoma state festival competition will be March 13-16, 1997, in Stillwater. You really should consider attending some of the plays to be presented there by Oklahoma's top-flight community theatres. Ticket information is available from OCTA's Oklahoma City office, telephone 405-236-0788.

Incidentally, former Perryan Bob Herod, now of Tulsa, was president of the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association when Muskogee won the state festival title. Bob and Dena Herod's younger son, Jim, his wife and two children, recently moved to Perry from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and Jim is now a design engineer with the Charles Machine Works, Inc., where his father previously was head of industrial engineering.