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March 21, 1997

Thanks to several readers, I now have additional information about Sgt. W. R. Sargent, who had his picture taken with the Burns & Allen comedy team during World War II. As you know, the photo turned up in an old file at The Journal office and we wanted to pass it along to a family member. Wayne Speer was first to call. He says Sgt. Sargent was the son of Ross and Dorothy Sargent who lived one and three-quarter miles north of Bill's Corner. The Speers lived just down the road. I also learned that Frances Anderson, my next door neighbor, was in the Burkhalter family who also lived near the Sargents. Frances and Wayne remember Sgt. Sargent very well. Sadly, he is now deceased.

Dorothy Sargent was in the Lee family from the Morrison area. The Sargents also had a daughter, Chloris, who married Ewalt Piel, brother of Martin Piel, northeast of Perry. Chloris passed away within the last six months, but her daughter, Mrs. Juhree G. Bisel, lives in Okeene. Chloris and her daughter both were nurses at an Enid hospital. We're sending the photo to Juhree, Sgt. Sargent's niece. Thanks to our readers for providing this information so promptly.

The other day I mentioned an inquiry by Margaret Norman Froebel of Houston concerning the Mayhew Hatchery, Stanislav Grocery and the Galaway Grocery, three former Perry businesses. Margaret, who grew up here as the daughter of Ernie and Gertrude Norman, is a collector of sewing thimbles and now has several thousand of them. One aluminum thimble advertises "Mayhew Hatchery Perry." She is seeking more information about that business and she also would like to have plastic thimbles from the Stanislav and Galaway stores, if there are any.

Emma Lou Hasenfratz helped reinforce my personal recollection of the Mayhew Hatchery. It was operated here in the 1930s by Robert Mayhew and his sister, Mrs. Ruth Sharp, who lived at 1016 Holly street. Both are now deceased. The Galaway grocery (officially known as the Royal Food Market) originally was at the southwest corner of the square in the building now occupied by Thorn Originals Floral and Gift Shop, and it was operated by the late H. C. Galaway. Later Mr. Galaway had a store at the corner of Sixth and Fir. The Stanislav Grocery was on the east side of the square at 308 Sixth street. The owner/operator was Louis Stanislav, who died just a short time ago. I have passed that information along to Margaret, but she still would like to have plastic thimbles advertising either of those two former Perry grocery stores.

Margaret remembers Ruth Sharp very well. Margaret was a leader in the local chapter of Theta Rho Girls Club. "I picked up (Mrs. Sharp) at her home many times," Margaret writes. "Ruth did not drive a car, but was an adult willing to accompany a group of teenagers on out-of-town trips. I could drive, and mother could spare the car during the school vacations, but when we made these trips to functions of Theta Rho Girls Club, we had to have an adult in the car. I often wonder at (Ruth's) bravery and fortitude."

The Theta Rho Girls Club was affiliated with the Odd Fellow and Rebekah Lodges and was similar to the Order of Rainbow for Girls, which was sponsored by the Masonic Lodge and the Order of Eastern Star. Margaret was a leader in the state Theta Rho organization and declined a nomination to become state president because the post would have interfered with some personal plans. Theta Rho and Rainbow were worthy organizations which helped many Perry young ladies in their growing-up process. The Perry Theta Rho chapter was among the top clubs in the state.

Margaret's interesting letter also contained recollections of when she worked as a clerk and bookkeeper in the Kraemer Shoe Store on the east side of the square. She started at the store while still in high school in September 1951 and remained with it until it was closed in 1956. Margaret was glad to get the job because, she says, "it was one of only two in town paying a girl 50 cents per hour for part-time work. Peggy Hinkle had the other, typing for Charles Malzahn (at Charlie's Machine Shop)."

"I worked all my free hours during school," she remembers, "and 12 hours on Saturdays until someone told Mr. Edson (the store owner) that I was covered by the child labor laws. After that I had to take four hours for lunch. How I wished he'd let me take those four hours at the end of the day so I could be free before 9 p.m. for a Saturday night date! If anyone was still shopping when we closed, all the clerks had to stay until the last customer left (at no extra pay, of course.) Margaret thought very highly of both Ott Edson and his wife, Marguerite, and says they taught her a great deal.

So, if anyone has knowledge of plastic thimbles from Galaway's Grocery or Stanislav's Grocery, let me know and I'll pass it on to our friend, Margaret, in Houston.