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January 11, 2002

First of all, a correction and amplification. My friend Fredonna Wayland Dowell is now living in Eufaula to be near her brother, W.C. Wayland, who by the way once was a carrier-salesman for this newspaper. When Fredonna left Perry for Eufaula, many of her possessions were offered at an estate sale. Some of these things provided the basis for three Northwest Corner columns, including this one. My New Year’s resolutions now include the following: “Don’t jump to conclusions.” My apologies to Fredonna’s family and friends for the mixup.

On the night of February 20, 1923, Perry High School presented “A Pair of Sixes,” but a printed program for that performance does not indicate that this was a class play. Members of the cast were James Maloch, Clair Williams, Earl Passow, Frances Willett, Max Boyer, Hubert Mossman, Lee Merry, Victor Coldiron, Otto Marshall, Zelma Elswick, Gertrude Ritter and Hazel Yahn. Directing the play were Miss Ortie Hebbe, Miss Ina Heaton and Miss Anna Boyce. Jim Maloch and Max Boyer were business managers and the stage crew consisted of Willis Athearn, Odie Moore and Ted Newton. Stage electricians were Arthur Campbell and Harry Kent. Miss Irene Maloch was in charge of costumes and makeup, assisted by Miss Vera Maloch and Mrs. W.M. Maloch. Property men were Jim Maloch, Max Boyer, Arthur Clark and Odie Moore. Press agent was Jay Gaskill.

The annual Perry High School baccalaureate service on May 13, 1928, was held in the First Baptist church. It was quite different from today’s format. All of the speakers were Perry ministers. Miss Ethel Knox and Alba Mulkey played piano accompaniment for two groups that sang at the opening and closing. Now, here’s the cast of a senior class play presented in the late 1920s: Dudley Tucker, Ted McCuiston, Margaret Sowers, Maxine Brier, Dorothy Warner, Dan Brengle, LeRoy Miller, Fern Goley, Sloan Jackson and Elmer Waltermire. Music was furnished by the high school orchestra, directed by Ivan Kennedy. A note at the bottom of the printed program stated that owing to the school activities, the Dubinsky Bros. Stock Co. had postponed their engagement until Monday, May 24, when they would begin a week-long show on “the regular show grounds – east of Corner Drug Store.”

The annual concert of the Perry Civic Orchestra, under direction of Leopold Radgowsky, was presented on May 2, 1929. Professor Radgowsky had been head of the Perry High School instrumental music department only one year at the time, but he loved working with orchestras and organized one here featuring PHS students and several adults. Orchestra members were Arthur Johnston, piano; Mrs. Fred Moore, organ; Ivan Kennedy, Ed Bowles. Patsy Jane Sowers and Margaret Otto, violin; Josie Mae Douglas, cello; Andy Abbey, percussion; Lou Endres, trumpet; Bert Shaw, trombone; Bill Lynch, bass; A. Pittman and Carlyle Kerr, clarinet; and Dr. A.M. Crowder, saxophone. Traditional symphonic music made up the night’s program, concluding with Sousa’s stirring march, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The senior class of 1929 presented their annual class play, “A Lucky Break,” on May 22 in the high school auditorium. The cast was made up of Laura Maxwell, Marjorie Laird, Gertrude Marshall, Harold Victory, Lawrence Edgar, Ruby Hinson, Irene Jackson, Bud Wolleson, Steward Smith, Earnest Brown, Mabel Warner, Kenneth Coldiron, Myrtle Barnes, Eva Beryl Foster, Ina Nelson, Bill Jones, Byron Kepley and Edwhite Mooter. Names of the director and others working backstage are not shown on the printed program. Again, my thanks to Carol Steichen for allowing this advance look at some very interesting new, but old, acquisitions.