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October 24, 2000

Next time you're in the downtown area on a Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., drop by the Perry High School Alumni Association building on the south side of the square. Volunteers staff the office each week during that time period, and they welcome visitors. Trophy cases and various kinds of memorabilia are on display, along with PHS Maroon sweat shirts and other apparel, plus a growing collection of yearbooks from the local high school, junior high and elementary school.

You don't have to be a product of the local school system to appreciate the Alumni Association's office. Anyone would enjoy the building. It's a pleasant, comfortable place to relax and recall the past. We're all indebted to Mayor Leroy Rolling because he owns the building and made possible this restoration of an historic part of the square. Thanks to his dedication and loyalty to the Perry High School Alumni Association, we now have a great facility for the assembly of former students of the local school system. When I was there last week, the volunteer staffers were Joan Miller and Marjorie Horn. Oh yes. They also welcome the donation of interesting bits of school history, like yearbooks.

In addition to the Alumni Association office, we now have the wonderful Heritage Center just off the southeast corner of the square to attract visitors to the downtown area. The Heritage Center, made possible by Ed and Mary Malzahn, has a wonderful theater, conference room and Ditch Witch museum. The Center was dedicated as a highlight of the Cherokee Strip celebration in September. It will undoubtedly be in great demand for various functions as time goes on. Sherry Adams at the Charles Machine Works, Inc., is the one to contact for information on using the Center.

More good things are happening in our town. We welcome the Literary Center now being operated by Miriam Lambert in the building formerly occupied by Dan Hasenfratz Trackside Refrigeration. Miriam's grand opening the other day attracted an interested group of well-wishers. The real winners will be the young people (and adults) who will benefit from what Miriam can teach them.

Further north on Seventh street, the newly reopened Learning Center at Christ Lutheran church is bustling again. Things have been rather quiet in this location for quite a while, and it is great to see so many children on that corner once more. It was a badly needed service for this community.

Good luck and best wishes to Rick Vick of the newly opened Checkered Flag Auto Detail and Express Wash at Fifth and Delaware. The corner occupied by Rick's new business is neat and clean now because of the partial removal of the rickety old frame structure that once occupied that spot. Like so many historic buildings around town, it had been neglected too long.

Residential structures are being built in several locations, including a duplex on Fifteenth street and single dwelling places elsewhere, and a lot more are in various stages of preliminary planning. Things are humming in Perry.