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September 5, 1996

I've seen some likely candidates around town for the "Ugliest Pickup Contest" which the Perry Main Street organization is sponsoring as part of the Cherokee Strip celebration this year. The problem is, I'm not sure if some of the owners would appreciate the honor of being nominated. On the other hand, the owners of some of our more scraggly pickups are pretty proud of their vehicles and would be flattered to be considered.

Some of the potential entries look like they have been driven hard all day and put away wet. They do their jobs in the oil patch or traversing the south 40 to look for a stray calf. You get pretty roughed up doing that. Some owners hang an assortment of stuff from the tailgate to the hood ornament and everywhere in between, including the rear view mirrors, and the uglier the better. Some haven't been hosed down since they were driven off the lot. But that's part of the fun of being a pickup man.

Someone asked if this contest is for the ugliest pickup or the ugliest owner of a pickup. They may be on to something there, but the name of the event does not include the word "owner," just pickup, so I guess the sponsors knew what they were doing.

Nominations can be turned in to the Perry Main Street office in the Foucart building, southeast corner of the square, until 5 p.m. on September 9. You'll need to include a photo of the vehicle, its year and model, confirmation that it bears a current state inspection sticker -- and signed consent of the owner.

Votes will cost a penny each, and the proceeds will be used by the Main Street organization to improve building fronts on the square. How's that for a nice twist of irony -- ugly pickups contributing to beautification of the city. Votes may be cast in the commercial exhibits area at the fairgrounds.

The entries have to be drivable, which may eliminate some worthy candidates. Some of our uglier pickups are on blocks and can't be driven any more, but they won't be eligible. To qualify as the grand prize winner, the ugly pickups must be good enough to be driven in the parade on Saturday morning, September 14. They have to circle the parade route on their own, not towed or pushed.

All pickups entered in the contest will be displayed from 2 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 12, at the county fair. Besides the honor of being chosen as Noble county's ugliest pickup, the winning entry will receive a trophy and will carry this message on a signboard for the parade: "Ugliest Pickup at the Noble County Free Fair, Sponsored by Perry Main Street."

If you have a suitable vehicle, don't delay! Turn in your entry form before 5 p.m. on September 9 and see how your ugly pickup measures up. This should be at least as much fun as the annual whiskers contest but maybe not as gratifying as the pie eating contest.