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November 21, 1997

Thank goodness Lavern Lenaburg, CMW's industrial engineer, and Bob Bornt, head of the city's electrical department, have figured out a way to turn on the Christmas lights in downtown Perry this year. Does that mean our blinking red traffic lights also will be working again? Maybe that's too much to hope for, but at least we can enjoy the wonderful holiday decorations in and around the courthouse park. That display adds just the right touch to the season in our town. But if you're walking or driving around the square at night to admire the scene, be very careful -- unless they get the traffic lights fixed.

I don't mean to harp on this subject, but after seeing three teenagers on skate boards crossing busy intersections on the square without looking at the traffic around them during a noon hour the other day, I'm more convinced that we've got a potential problem. Pedestrians, be they youngsters, senior citizens or somewhere in between, risk life and limb when crossing a street around our square, and with the holiday shopping season now upon us, it's only going to be worse. And, of course, motorists have to be especially careful when more than one vehicle arrives at a blinking light from opposite directions. Those ugly barrels with stop signs at each corner of the square don't add a thing to our holiday decorations.

Lots of things to keep in mind the next few weeks. After Thanksgiving, HolidayFest comes up on Friday, Nov. 28, when the downtown lights will be switched on, and the next night, Saturday, Nov. 29, the popular Santa Claus Express train will make a return trip to Perry between 6:35 and 7:15 p.m. on Burlington Northern-Santa Fe tracks on south Seventh street. The Perry Main Street Christmas Ball will be the night of December 6 at the armory, with music by Al Good's excellent dance band from Oklahoma City. The annual Tour of Homes and old-fashioned Christmas tea at the Cherokee Strip Museum will be on Sunday, December 7, and the Christmas Food Court sponsored by Perry Main Street will be December 13 at the courthouse.

These and numerous other features (I'm sure many are overlooked here) are all offered to brighten our holiday mood here in Perry. Better get all of them on your calendar right now.

Friend Don Stoddard had an idea while driving around town the other day. "I have noticed that at nearly every street intersection in town, we use an extra pole for the street name signs," Don says. To eliminate an unnecessary expense, he wonders why one pole could not be used for street signs as well as the "stop" or "yield" signs posted at many intersections. He says that seems to be a common practice in many other towns. Good question.

Tuesday's election results seem to have this town in a positive mood again. With funding now provided through a modest sales tax increase, the hospital improvements and street maintenance program can go forward, in accordance with the choice of a majority of the voters. Both of these projects are seriously needed to take care of the needs of local citizens. Let's keep moving forward.