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December 15, 2000

A few random thoughts on miscellaneous subjects are offered today for your consideration, or not.

If you’ve been reading the sports page lately, you may have noticed considerable coverage is being given to the achievement of race car drive Bobby Labonte. The young man is the year 2000 winner of the Winston Cup championship, the ultimate prize offered to competitors in the National Association of Stock Car Racing (NASCAR). This is perhaps the fastest-growing professional sport in the U.S., and I wanted to mention it because Bobby has a Perry connection. He is part of the NASCAR team working for Joe Gibbs, who also happens to be the former coach of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. Bobby drives a dark green stock car that is fairly awash with the official decals of the many corporations that sponsor Gibbs’ team. Look closely the next time that green car appears on TV and you will see a medium-size Ditch Witch decal on the driver’s side door. Yes, our fabulous Perry company is one of Gibbs’ backers, and Coach Gibbs himself has visited the local plant on East Fir Avenue. Back to Bobby Labonte: His older brother, Terry, also is a star driver in the NASCAR firmament.

Waymon May, the former Perry Maroon athlete who received a wrestling scholarship at the University of Oklahoma after winning the state 187-pound high school championship in 1996, elected to sit out last season at OU. This year he’s a senior and a rising Sooner star as the starter at 197 pounds. Keep an eye on his matches throughout the season. He is one tough performer. In Sunday’s Bedlam dual with Oklahoma State he was pitted against Mark Munoz, the nation’s second ranked 197-pounder. Waymon lost the match, 3-2, because of a takedown just 16 seconds from the final whistle. OSU, of course, is the rated No. 1 in the U.S. at this point.

Switching subjects now…. Remember a few years ago when our late Mayor Hollingsworth was talking to Stillwater folks about the possibility of Perry acquiring Lake McMurtry as a water source? One of the major objections raised by our Payne county friends was the fact that Perry, because of its considerably smaller size, would be unable to properly maintain and keep up the lake grounds. For starters, that was a fatuous argument, and we may never know if it had any validity.

However, in our frequent business trips to Stillwater we have noticed several glaring examples of poor public and private maintenance. Some eyesores in the Stillwater vicinity are very close to major highway routes leading to the Payne county capital. Write it off as the price of growth because Stillwater is undeniably getting bigger (too big, some say), but it still offers evidence that our neighbors over there are not exactly candidates for Better Homes and Gardens awards. Personally, I think Perry is (and was) very capable of policing the grounds as well as Stillwater. That’s my opinion. What’s yours?