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May 22, 2001

Catching up on a few odds and ends…. Lots of activity on Perry’s “Main Street,” also known as the downtown square. On the west side, workmen are getting the old Panda Wok Restaurant ready for a new eatery, to be opened soon. Considerable work also is going on around the old Seventh Day Adventist church on Seventh street. The First Baptist church, whose property is just across the street, is purchasing the building. I understand the Baptists are converting the building to make it into a youth center. In the process, the interior and exterior, including the grounds, are being cleaned and improved where necessary. I’m told the local Adventists are uniting with the congregation in Stillwater. Up the street north a few blocks, the Christ Lutheran education building is being enlarged to provide for a much bigger kitchen. This will enable them to expand their day care center and other programs that involve the building.

Looking forward to the U.S. Open golf tournament in Tulsa next month. That is indeed a major event, and it will bring some favorable publicity to Perry. A prestigious golf magazine that is distributed nationally sent a reporter and photographer to our community earlier this year to do a story about the nine-hole grass green course at the Perry Golf & Country Club, and you’ll probably find it in the next edition. The writer promised several local folks at the Chamber of Commerce and elsewhere that his publication would make sure a number of copies are placed in local grocery stores, convenience stores and wherever else magazines are sold.

I don’t know how much more of the Timothy McVeigh story we can stand, but perhaps when his fate is finally sealed the TV newscasters will no longer be showing that tape of Mr. McVeigh being led from the Noble county courthouse escorted by a cadre of law officers. At least now, after six years of repetitive use, they rarely identify the location where that footage was shot originally. We don’t need to be reminded.

You may have noticed an article in the Daily Oklahoman the other morning about King Kirchner’s retirement as chairman and chief executive officer of the Unit Corp., based in Tulsa. King, who grew up here as the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Kirchner, will step down from the company’s helm at the end of June. Kirchner co-founded the company in 1963. According to the newspaper article, the company consisted of three drilling rigs in Oklahoma when Unit Corp. was founded. Today, Unit is a New York Stock Exchange listed company that explores for oil and natural gas, and also contracts to drill wells. Unit’s fleet consists of 52 rigs and the company owns an interest in 2,950 oil and gas wells. The Tulsa World identified King as a “World Leader” in an interesting Business page feature a few years ago. Another Perry boy who made good.