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February 20, 1998

Today I get around to some unrelated matters that have been brought to my attention.

Mary Loewen, who lives in Silver City, New Mexico, called recently to advise me that she has come across a well-preserved copy of the 1927 Perry High School yearbook, Peroma, and she thought someone from here might be interested in it. From time to time I have seen copies of that yearbook at various places around town, so I know some folks already have it. But if anyone out there needs a copy, you can contact Ms. Loewen at 1050 Pine Street, Silver City, NM 88061, telephone 505-388-3166.

The Peroma name is a contraction of Perry (Per) and Oklahoma (oma), and students at PHS produced yearbooks with that name for many years. They contained the standard group pictures and individual mug shots of the students and faculty, along with feature sections on sports and organizations. They were well done and, apparently, the students themselves wrote and edited the copy, designed the pages and just generally did the complete job, except for printing of course.

Dorothy Lampe and husband Ervin have moved into town from the Sumner community, and I just recently discovered that we are neighbors. For years, Dorothy was the Sumner correspondent for The Perry Daily Journal, back in the days when the paper had several competent ladies sending in news from all corners of Noble county. Dorothy was showing me some old newspapers she's been saving through the years, and that always interests me. There's no single theme that connects the papers and not all of them are copies of The Journal, but each one headlines a topic of general interest. Results of the general election fill the front page of the November 3, 1954, PDJ. To refresh your memory, here are some of the stories from that date.

Democrat John Beasley was elected sheriff, defeating Republican W. S. Beckham. Merl Harman, sheriff for 22 years, did not seek reelection. Tillie Loula, Republican, won the county assessor's post by defeating Democrat Martin Piel. Sherman Trussel was reelected county commissioner, defeating Lee Nicewander; Dale Kirkhart defeated A. R. Chiles for county commissioner; and Stanley Cockrell was reelected commissioner without opposition. Also, Dr. Robert S. Taylor, Republican, was reelected state representative from Noble county for a third term, winning by a large margin over Democrat Jack Pulley of Morrison. Nationally, Democrats won control of the lower house of Congress despite GOP President Eisenhower's great personal popularity. Flipping through those old papers was fun, and I thank Dorothy for sharing them with me.

Gene Howard, who runs the Around the Corner Antique Shop on Sixth street, shops garage sales frequently in search of treasures. At Newkirk recently he bought a leather-covered wooden suitcase and found some unexpected things inside. The one that really caught his attention was an Oklahoma history book, minus the cover. The unusual feature, however, is that the book is composed of sheets about 5x13 1/2. Each page has three panel pictures with illustrations (pen and ink sketches) and captions telling the history of Oklahoma from the time of the earliest recorded exploration (1629) to the wild oil development years (About 1928). Judging from the appearance, I am guessing that the material was originally published in the 1930s and was intended for serious installation in newspapers of the day. Although the illustrator's style is that of comic strip artists from that period, the panels all deal seriously with history. The pages are not numbered or dated, so it's hard to say when this was published.

Gene has been in the antique business for something like 50 years and he says he is always running across unexpected treasures. He began as a young teen-ager growing up in Massachusetts when a second-hand store operator hired him to help out after school hours. The business appealed to him and he's been at it ever since. Gene has lived in the Perry area about 15 years. Like all antique shops, his place is brim full of all kinds of things and I enjoyed flipping through the curious little Oklahoma history book with him.