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July 31, 1998

The other day I finally found our rain gauge, right where I left it last fall (in a safe place to be sure it didn't freeze and burst during the frigid winter weather). Now it's back in its proper mounting on the fence, and so far, including that last little shower, it has measured a quarter inch of mud.

One of our favorite OSU boosters loaned me, his copy of the July 6 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine, the one containing that excellent article about Coach Bob Simmons of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. It is a touching, moving tribute to this man, his family and their faith. Find a copy and read it, even if you're not a football fan. It's not about football, basically, but there's a great story to be told about Coach Simmons, and you'll feel good just for having read it. Thanks to Otto Zilch for sharing the magazine with me.

Work seems to be finished on the rebuilding of Wakefield Drive, which goes down the north side of our property. It has been a long, hot, dusty summer for those of us who live on this side of town, but we now have a beautiful, smooth street for all to contemplate and admire, and we appreciate it. Hopefully, there will be many more restorations like this throughout the community. I still think it would be nice if these rebuilt streets could be center-striped perhaps with a reflective paint for the benefit of night travelers.

I must say commendations are in order for city street crews and Evans Associates folks for engaging in this kind of work during the recent almost unbearable 100-plus degree heat. Watching the job progress while we sat in air-conditioned comfort in our homes was an interesting summer diversion, but one step outside the front door was enough to convince anyone that mankind was never intended to engage in such strenuous physical activity as the application of hot asphalt to the streets of Perry in July and August.

I don't know the priority list for rebuilding or repairing other streets, but I will nominate the wretched little stretch of Park Lane Drive between Wakefield and South Brookwood as a likely candidate for early attention. Yes, that's where we live, and I realize the competition for attention is intense -- everyone thinks his or her street should be next -- but Park Lane will match its pot holes against anyone's.

Stillwater has ambitious and laudable plans for establishing a $3 million high-tech industrial park on a 160-acre parcel of land owned by Oklahoma State University at the corner of Sangre Road and State Highway 51, with an option on an additional 17 acres owned by the Meridian Technology Center. Help will come in the form of a $1.5 million grant sought from the Oklahoma Economic Development Association to fund infrastructure development of the area. Promoting the project is a partnership consisting of the Stillwater Industrial Foundation, the city of Stillwater, Meridian Technology Center and OSU. The first tenant already has been identified as a Stillwater employer who plans to add 50 jobs to its existing workforce. This project will be of interest to all of us in north-central Oklahoma. We'll be hearing more about it as time goes on.

In the meantime, preliminary work continues on the site of a new shopping center at the north Guthrie exit on I-35. Supposedly a motel franchise has taken a lease on part of the land and tenants, like Dillard's Department Store, are being sought for a large number of shops.