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July 16, 1999

Here's a note about a couple of entertainment events that you probably will want to jot down. First of all, Perry actress Myrna Niles Hamman, now a West Coast resident, will be appearing on an episode of ABC's afternoon soap opera, General Hospital, when it airs on channel 5 next Tuesday (July 20) at 2 p.m., our time. Myrna says, "I'm in the opening scene (about four or five small lines), one scene closer to the end (one line), and another scene even closer to the end (three small lines). I will be playing the secretary to a guy named Nicholas. My name in the episode is Madeline. It was fun to shoot." Even though, as Myrna says, she has only small lines, it is still a thrill to see our former Perry resident on a network television production. We're all proud of what she's doing.

On August 11, the TNT cable network will tell the story of Perry's first police chief (town marshal) when it highlights its evening programming with a feature-length film on the legendary Bill Tilghman. I have no advance word as to whether or not Perry will even be mentioned in the two-hour original movie, but it should be. Our first mayor, John N. Brogan appointed Bill Tilghman town marshal on October 28, 1893, barely a month after the opening of the Cherokee Outlet. Perry had more than its share of notorious outlaws at the time. A few facts about Marshal Tilghman can be found in The First Generation, and other books have tackled him as an interesting subject.

Bill Tilghman, who will be played by the character actor Sam Elliott in the TNT movie, came to this area as one of 1,000 deputy U.S. marshals appointed to help maintain order. Before coming to this territory he was teamed with another legend, Bat Masterson, to bring law and order to Dodge City, Kansas. Some 30 years later, a bullet fired by a drunken fellow officer in Cromwell, Oklahoma, dispatched Marshal Tilghman. Mr. Tilghman was an authentic, rough cut frontier peace officer. The TV movie should be worth a look. Check your schedule for details.

Speaking of TV, our local cable provider is part of the package recently acquired by AT&T in a mega-deal that has been in the headlines on all the business pages lately. The Perry office has no details, other than what the rest of us have seen in the newspaper, but there appears to be a possibility that still more changes may lie ahead before the current wave of restructuring is finished.

Interesting things are still going on in the downtown area. George Rice continues to spruce up his building on the south end of the west side of the square. Transom windows are being installed at the front of the building and residential quarters are being prepared upstairs. Antique cars will one day be on display in the building.

Just up the street from there, Allen Webb has created a fine new look for the Perry Paint & Body Shop. A distinctive shade of gray gives the front a neat and unified appearance, and a colorful new sign has been installed on the upper area of the exterior. On the north side of the square, Tony and Marilee Macias are continuing with the Kumback's exterior renovation. All these things enhance our attractive Perry square. (Now, if we could only do something about those stop sign barrels on the east side.)