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December 8, 1998

Photograph in front of confectionery on the east side of the square
From the Early Days in Perry comes this photo of a confectionery on the east side of the square. The children in the foreground belonged to Alonzo Franklin Combs, operator of the business, who is visible behind the plate glass on the left.

Bernita Franklin Klenk of Oklahoma City, a friend of Jim and Linda Franklin, has provided a charming photograph of early-day Perry that I have not previously seen. It shows the front exterior view of a confectionery operated by her grandfather, Alonzo Franklin Combs, in Oklahoma's pre-statehood era on the east side of the square. In the foreground are two knickers-clad boys, about 10 and 12 years old, each holding the hand of a little girl, their sister, about three years old. The boy on the left is Bernita's father, Philip Bryan Combs; the little girl is his sister, Blanch Combs; and the other lad is Arthur Bailey Combs, a brother of the other two. All three were barefoot on that summer day.

They are shown standing near the front edge of a concrete sidewalk with the neat little confectionery in the background and a telephone pole anchored beside them in the concrete. Off to one side is a sandwich board sign containing no visible message. Behind them in the store's front window is Ms. Klenk's grandfather, Alonzo Franklin Combs (not related to Jim and Linda Franklin). He is wearing a white apron, long-sleeve dress shirt, suspenders and a dark bow tie. A fold-up canvas awning across the front of the store reads "confectionery," and one of the windows has "ice cream parlor" in block letters plainly in evidence. A window on the opposite side advertises "cigars and tobacco." A window display in front of Mr. Combs appears to be a triangular-shaped stack of apples or some other fruit. Two screen doors behind the youngsters provided an entry into the store.

My 1904 Perry City Directory lists Mr. Combs and his wife, Loretta, as operators of the confectionery, which then was located at 302 Sixth street. That would place it near the south end of the east side of the square. The Combs' home address at that time was 1002 F street, now known to us as Fir avenue.

Ms. Klenk and Jim are friends through their love of sculpting. She thought the photo might be of interest to folks here in Perry, and she welcomes any additional information that a reader might have about the people shown or the store itself. If you can add anything further, contact Jim or Linda and they will pass it on to Ms. Klenk.