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September 28, 1996

This looks like a good day to acknowledge a few questions and comments from readers. First up is Betty Andrews with some memories of the little white frame house that once stood on the northwest corner of Ninth street and Wakefield Road, where Gene and Joan Breshears' lovely home is now located. Betty's memory was jogged by a recent note in this column that Arthur Clark, caretaker at the Country Club for many years, once lived in the old house. Betty writes:

"Max and Marie Baetz, my grandparents, bought the place in 1929 from the Perry Golf & Country Club for $1,500. If the Clarks lived there, they rented from my grandmother after my grandfather died in 1944. It was sold at auction in 1956 to Harold Scovill and others. All the land from Ernie and Myrna Stoops' (at 1005 Wakefield) to Breshears' corner was theirs. Country Club members always stopped by my grandparents' before going home and bought eggs from them. Their house was right by the tee stand and as a little girl I would go there and look for golf balls and tees. Their yard always had a lot of flowers. The property was sold at auction in 1956 when my grandmother passed away."

Ray Malget of Larry's Bestyet recently found a unique token and is looking for some information about the piece. It apparently is a souvenir coin with a value of one cent. Inscribed on one side is this: "Perry Chapter No. 15 R.A.M. Chartered August 15, 1895, Perry, Oklahoma, One Penny." The reverse side shows a set of Masonic emblems, but no other inscription. "R.A.M." stands for Royal Arch Masons, but the Perry chapter surrendered its charter several years ago and is no longer active here. Anyone remember when these souvenirs were issued?

Dr. A. M. Brown seems to be about as busy with various projects as he was before retiring from his medical practice a few years back. With his wife, Evelyn, he is a mainstay of Operation Blessing, but his interests don't stop there. One of his chief concerns is a program that assists the hard of hearing. Art sends along a copy of an Ann Landers column which ran recently. It contained a letter from M. Bernice Dinner, Ph.D., president and founder of an organization known as HEAR NOW, based in Denver.

Dr. Dinner described how HEAR NOW recycles used hearing aids provided by charitable donors. The program was mentioned in an Ann Landers column a couple of years ago, and since then 57,964 hearing aids have been donated. They were reconstructed and recycled to provide near hearing aids to low-income children and adults. Dr. Brown has supported this program for several years, even purchasing ads in The Journal asking local people to mail their hearing aids to Denver. After one of those ads appeared here, 15 aids were received from this area. More are still needed. If you can help, send the hearing aids to HEAR NOW, 9745 E. Hampden Ave., Suite 300, Denver, CO 80231-4923. There is a great demand for these devices, and thanks to Art Brown for calling that fact to our attention.

Gary McNabb has been finding some interesting things while renovating his house at 431 Elm street. Its origins date back to the pre-statehood days in Perry. Gary has come across a number of historically fascinating odds and ends left there by some of the carpenters and others involved in the original construction. One of these, found attached to a stud in an interior wall, appears to be a shipping tag from the Guthrie Planing Mill. It was addressed by hand to "T.M.R.L. Co., Perry, I.T.," with "DON'T DELAY" imprinted across one end.

Gary assumes the tag was attached to a load of lumber delivered to the construction site when the home he now occupies was being built. He also guesses that "T.M.R.L. Co." stood for the name of a local lumber yard. Statehood came in 1907, but the tag gives "Guthrie, OK." as the home of the planing mill, while the handwritten portion giving the destination shows it to be "Perry, I.T." That stands for Indian Territory, but this area was part of Oklahoma Territory (O.T.), not I.T., before statehood. All we can do is speculate from this perspective of time.

Thanks to all the above for providing some interesting thoughts to ponder on this particular day.