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May 16, 1997

Longtime friend Stewart Beasley continues to recuperate at his home here after a prolonged illness. Stewart will be leaving June 1 for an assisted living center in Edmond, where his son, Stewart Jr. (Skipper), is a clinical psychologist. If that arrangement doesn't work out, he'll be going to Las Vegas where his daughter, Mary Lou, has lived since 1989. Mary Lou is here with her dad now and she says visitors are welcome to drop by, but please call ahead to make sure it's a good day for company. I know we all wish Stewart well in his battle to recover from this episode of poor health.

Final decorating touches are still being made at the classy new club house and pro shop at the Perry Golf & Country Club. Two large community dinners and a formal open house have enabled most of us to see this fine new facility, even though it was not totally completed at the time. Now curtains are being installed on those broad expanses of windows and a few other embellishments will be added to complete the decor. That will wind up the major phase of upgrading the club, but future plans include an improved parking area and new storage buildings for golf carts. Those things are on the "wish list," but no definite starting dates have been set, according to Willard Andrews, club president. Congratulations to club members and officers for what they've been able to accomplish thus far.

Not all flowers and shrubs were mortally damaged by the unexpected late spell of cold weather this spring. I notice ever so many dandelions are busily multiplying pretty much as usual in spite of man's best efforts to control them chemically, even abetted by nature's own knockout blows that proved to be merely near-misses.

The starlings are out in force, also, and they are bigger than ever. Bolder, too. A mere handclap used to send them skyward if they were unwelcome on your lawn, but that hardly fazes them now. They still appear at least slightly nervous when sudden loud noises interrupt their grazing, but they don't always take wing at the first disturbance as they once did. What's next? Well, the first webworms have yet to become evident, but rest assured they'll be along in due time and then we'll know that the Oklahoma summer is really here.

Paul Shimanek and his wife, Denise, recently found two picture postcards from Perry, circa 1908, in a flea market collection at Wichita, where they live. Both cards had splendid early views of "Central Park" in Perry, but no accompanying information, and Paul wrote us to learn more about them. Happy to oblige. The courthouse park here originally was called "Central Park," and that's the view shown on those cards. Both photos were made early in this century when the elm trees planted by Mr. Will Little were just starting to mature. The old post office, first courthouse and the entire skyline of the north side of the square are clearly seen in one of the cards, and the other shows what appears to be the east lawn of the courthouse park.

One card was addressed to Mr. Carl Covey in "Wagoner, Indian Territory," even though it was postmarked here on October 9, 1908, one year after statehood. It was sent from here by Mr. Covey's sister, Bertie Corry. The other card was mailed from Perry on April 14,1909, to Mrs. H. T. Shanafelt in Oklahoma City. The sender's name is illegible, but it appears to have been from a daughter of Mrs. Shanafelt. The Shimaneks are originally from Perry and have lived in Wichita since 1972. Paul is with the Kansas Ditch Witch dealership there.