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February 28, 1997

Work has just started on remodeling the former Ragsdale Hardware Store at 415 7th street to convert it into two 25-foot front business locations, and the south half soon will be occupied by Marilyn Hamann's Cherokee Hair Company. Her shop is now in the Executive Suites building on the north side of the square at 621 Delaware. Marilyn and her husband, Dwight, recently purchased one half interest in the former Ragsdale store location from the owner, Jerry Carpenter, of Stillwater. Mr. Carpenter plans to offer the north half for tenancy after remodeling is completed in a few weeks.

Another change in the downtown business district is scheduled before long. Carol Steichen soon will be moving her Antiques on the Square Mall from the historic Wolleson-Nicewander building on the north side to a building on the south side of the square which most recently has been occupied by Bob Voigt's Shoe Hut. Carol has purchased the building from Mr. Voigt. Dave Woods, owner of the Wolleson-Nicewander building, is hoping to negotiate a sale of that two-story structure.

Several interesting building projects are nearing completion in the community, judging by the exterior views, leaving me anxious to see the interiors when workmen have applied the final decorating touches. Some that come readily to mind are the classy new club house at the Perry Golf & Country Club, the new building added to the First Presbyterian church property at 8th and Elm, and the spacious new Subsite plant and offices on the grounds of the Charles Machine Works, Inc. complex on West Fir.

Improvements continue to be made at the Charles Wise Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealership on Cedar street. Exterior painting, a new General Motors sign and other changes are very visible, and more is still to come. In due time you'll also be seeing large vintage logos of the vehicles offered by this dealership in faithful reproductions on the front of the business. The logo designs were sketched by Larry Anderson, a Ditch Witch graphics specialist who assists the Main Street program. They will be painted on the Wise building by local artist Darren Maine. Charles is undertaking this work in cooperation with Perry Main Street, which assisted in the design phase.

Down the street from there, in the historic Christoph building on the west side of the square, George Rice is, continuing to prepare for his antique and classic car display. A new drive-in doorway has been installed on the south exterior wall and several handsome old cars now can be seen through the front windows. This promises to be an interesting addition to our town.

Likewise, the new Subway Sandwich & Salad shop in the Sunmart Station, at the Fir intersection on I-35, will give local diners yet another choice of menus to ponder. Considerable driveway work also has been underway for some time at the Sunmart Station.

It's good to hear that Kenda Williams is preparing to re-open the child care facility formerly operated for 17 years by Betty Tetik at 5th and Noble. Betty will be a teacher assistant at the center, which has been closed for two years. Working mothers and single-parent families will be happy to have this business back in operation. That new addition and others help make up for the loss of Fat Tuesday's Restaurant on the west side of the square and the Shoe Hut on the south side. Vacancies are scarce around the square right now, despite those two losses.

Help wanted ads are plentiful in The Journal these days. This may not mean literal full employment, but there should be no complaints that anyone cannot find a job here.

Jay Branson's new sub-division on the south side of town will provide some relief for the housing shortage here, as will the fine new homes dotting the landscape on the north side, at the Fairway addition adjacent to the Country Club. Yes, good homes are in demand in Perry.