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December 19, 2000

The chaotic and historic year 2000 is drawing to an end, thank goodness. That means different things to different folks, and to me it's time to dust off some morsels that have been saved for a time. You're invited to come along on this merry waltz through a mixed collection of various items and thoughts.

I had a nice visit the other day with Eddie Diebold, a former Perryan who now makes his home in Ponca City. In 1992, Eddie was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force after completing 41 years and ten months in military service. He achieved the grade of master sergeant, one of the highest non-commissioned ranks. Time has been kind to him. He still looks lean and trim. He's the son of the late John and Pauline Diebold, and his Dad was one of our town's best house painters. Many of you still remember the family, I'm sure. I've enjoyed thumbing through a magazine that Eddie brought me, "The 100 Greatest Military Photographs," published by Military Times magazine. The cover features Joe Rosenthal's memorable photo of the flag raising by U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima in World War II. Eddie reminisced about the American Legion baseball team of 1947-48 and some of the Perry residents he remembers from that period. Some who had special meaning to him were Paul Kehres, Joe Dolezal and Bob Donahue, all now deceased.

Don Stoddard, who comes from the same era as Eddie, enjoys music and poetry. Don lives in the Villa Apartments on Fifth street. He likes to call himself Perry's Cow Creek Poet, and many of his verses deal with cowboy legends. Don has been working on lyrics for a collection of songs that deal with Perry's early history. One set that I've seen tells the legend of Marshal Bill Tilghman and another is the ballad of Cattle Annie and Little Britches. These and others may be included in a CD album Don is working on with his brother, Allan, who is in the recording business in Shawnee. Allan goes by the professional name of Alan Lee. A previous album is titled "Oklahoma Country: Outlaws of the Cherokee Strip." Cherokee Heart Publishing Co. released it last year, and it showcases songs by Allan and Don. The recordings were made at Backroad Recording Studios in Shawnee. Don says, regarding the next effort, "If Allan and I can come up with tunes for them, I will be on my way to having a CD recording made of my historical songs. Keep your fingers crossed."

More along this line shortly.