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August 2, 2002

Roy Kendrick, our friend down at the Cherokee Strip Antique Mall, passes along these thoughts, under the general heading of “Things I Have Learned About Texas:”

Armadillos sleep in the middle of the road. Roadrunners don’t say “beep beep.”

There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in Texas. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All types live in Texas, plus a couple no one’s ever seen before.

Possums will eat anything. Armadillos love to dig holes under tomato plants. Raccoons will test your crop of melons and let you know when they are ripe.

If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites. Nothing will kill a mesquite tree.

There are valid reasons some people put concertina wire around their house.

A tractor is NOT an all-terrain vehicle. They DO get stuck.

Texas has five seasons: Spring, February 16 to April 15; Summer, April 16 to July 15 (temperature 90 to 98 degrees); Super Summer, July 16 to September 10 (temperature 100 to 115 degrees); Fall, October 2 to December 1; Winter, December to February 15 (maybe).

If you like these, we’ll have some more Texas facts from time to time.

The Oklahoma City daily newspaper has named former Perryan Ed Kelley to the prestigious post of editor of the paper’s editorial page. Ed sort of began his career in journalism when he covered Perry high school sports for this newspaper a few years back. He’s the son of Calvin and Marion Kelley, and they can be forgiven if they’re a little bit proud. He has earned many major honors since joining the Oklahoman in 1975. He was the newspaper’s Washington bureau chief until 1990 when he returned to Oklahoma City to become managing editor. In 1996 he was named Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation for overseeing the newspaper’s coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing. Since 1999 he has been the paper’s editorial director. In his new position he succeeds Patrick B. McGuigan who resigned to pursue other business and professional opportunities. As you can see, Ed is well regarded by the Oklahoman and his peers in this business. Congratulation to Ed from all of us who knew him during the growing-up years in Perry.

“The Wizard of Oz” presented last month by Stagecoach Community Theatre was a solid success from every standpoint. I have not talked to one person who was not totally enchanted with the cast, both the adults and children. It truly was a major undertaking for Stagecoach but as usual our town’s little theatre group came through with flying colors, and a lot of young people got their first taste of singing, dancing and reciting lines of dialogue on a stage. Funny thing, though. Just the other day I heard someone on TV explaining that the name “Oz” was inspired by the label on a file drawer that contained papers from the letter “O” to “Z.” Now I have an e-mail commentary that says “The Wizard” is a political allegory and “Oz” refers to the principal measurement of gold. According to this account, the play was largely about the Populist movement to get the U.S. off the gold standard and onto silver. You can take your choice between those two ideas.