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September 16, 1997

Herewith a few odds and ends to clear away some of the thoughts scratched hastily on a collage of Post-it notes adorning my desk....

Every town should have a Glenn Yahn to enjoy. I recently had the good luck to work with our own Glenn on a project related to the Cherokee Strip celebration and it helped me realize once more how rapier sharp is his wit, as is his wisdom. A few years ago, he was the people's choice to emcee any happening in the community because he could be counted on to bring an element of good humor to such gatherings with his spontaneous, casual remarks. He no longer allows himself to be tied down by such chores, and our community is a loser because his sly sense of humor remains intact. His patient and very gracious wife, Eleanor, a Pawnee girl, has been the perfect match for Glenn's verbal thrusts and parries through more than 60 years of wedded bliss. They met while both were students at (where else?) Oklahoma A.&M. College, and it's very obvious that they still have a great deal of respect for each other. Can you imagine the number of laughs they have shared during that span? We're fortunate to have both of them in our town.

A friend called the other day to remind me that we don't say enough good things about the crews who pick up and haul away trash from the Perry homes and businesses. That's a good point. Those men (and occasional women) work hard, long hours to keep our property uncluttered. They make their rounds not only during the searing heat of summer and the icy cold days of an Oklahoma winter, but also on days which are declared holidays for most working types, and I think that includes Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the others. Folks in other towns can hardly believe that. Incidentally, the friend who called asked to remain anonymous, but she said she occasionally bakes brownies for the trash crews who come to her house, and they are most appreciative. Consider that suggestion, if you're looking for a way to show how much you value the quality of service that they provide.

Now that Warenne Kennedy Harris has been properly, if belatedly, recognized for writing the words and music to "Dear Old Perry High," the official PHS school song, we have some additional information about the "Maroon" nickname we claim. I have commented before that Blackwell and Perry are the only schools in Oklahoma with that name, but one of the major Mississippi universities also uses it. The only other Maroon school I knew about was the University of Chicago, and that was years ago when the school used to field a powerful football team. Now I hear another outfit from the past also adopted that name. It was Jim Thorpe's Toledo Maroons, who played an exhibition game with Grover Jacobson's Oklahoma All-Stars in the Western League Park, Oklahoma City, apparently as part of the inauguration ceremonies for governor-elect Jack Walton in 1922. An article containing that information appeared in the Spring 1997 issue of Oklahoma Chronicles, the official quarterly of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Dr. and Mrs. Charles Martin called my attention to it.

That makes me think. Dr. Martin and Marjorie are Perryans by choice, not by birth, but between them they probably know more about the lore, traditions and history of this area than most of us who were born here. They involve themselves in an unusually broad spectrum of activities that keeps them in touch with current topics and objectives for the future, not just the past. Their four children were reared here and graduated from Perry high school a few years ago, but the passage of time has not diminished Marjorie and Charles' interest in the local schools or things in general. Here are two more people that enrich our life in Perry, and we thank them for all they do.