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September 28, 1999

Joan Miller sends me an item copied from an old newspaper showing market price quotations for Cherokee produce and grain as they originally appeared on April 8, 1947. Wheat was $2.45 per bushel, which is interesting because that is more than wheat brings today, 52 years later. "Pity the farmers," Joan says, and I add a hearty amen. Little wonder so many of our family farms are disappearing.

The Daily Oklahoman now carries a feature about events that happened in this state 50 years ago, 75 years ago and 100 years ago, as reflected by the newspaper's files, similar to The Journal's old Mirrors of Yesterday column. A recent edition contained this note from the "100 Years Ago" paragraph: "An outlaw-turned-preacher 'fell from grace' and was killed in a barroom brawl in Perry." That's all there was, with no names or other details. I've tried to track this down by searching local newspaper files, but so far I have been unable to find more details. Anyone out there know about this?

Here's another query: In conversation with Bob Elliott of Oklahoma City, a former Perryan who returned for the recent Cherokee Strip celebration, we started remembering some of the people that both of us knew so well. Eventually the H.C. Donahue family came up, but neither of us knew the present whereabouts of Carlin and Sally Donahue, son and daughter of the late Bob and Eileen Donahue. Bob was the son of H.C. and Mabel Donahue, both now deceased. Bob and Eileen moved to Denver some 40 years ago and their children at that time were quite young. Can you provide any more information?

Bob and Betty Edgar gave me a page from the newspaper published by the Catholic church attended by their daughter, Jacquetta, and her husband, David Johnson, in Midwest City. It's tabloid-size and very professional looking. This particular page contains photographs and an interesting article about the bronze doors gracing the front of our own St. Rose of Lima Catholic church. The text and photos, by Cara Koenig, relate that "the five doors of the church...each depict a scene or symbol. Cast in bronze, they are as much about art as they are about function. And they are unique to this small parish in central Oklahoma."

The writer goes on to explain that the main flank of double doors, facing the east, are covered by two fish with the Greek letters, IXOYC, the abbreviation for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. Under the fish are anchors, the symbol of, the church, and under the fishes and anchors, fittingly, are the names and symbols of the 12 apostles. Each of these great doors weighs 500 pounds, and all were made in Italy. A gift from an anonymous donor, the doors' designer was Father Ward Pankratz, former parish priest here.

The two bronze beauties, the central doors, are the work of the late George Queen, who was a member of St. Rose of Lima. George's wife, Ruth, who has been ill lately, still lives in Perry. George left dedications at the bottom of both doors, one to his mother and one to Ruth's mother. Each door stands more than 8 feet tall and they are split in three pieces. The doors weigh approximately 1,000 pounds each. The piece is an interesting article about one of Perry's most beautiful churches. It would be worth your time to have a close-up look at those doors if you haven't already done so.