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September 20, 2002

In the beginning, the combination last week of five major events into one gigantic celebration sounded like a good idea, and danged if it didnít turn out just that way. We canít control the weather, but everything else happened just about the way it was planned. Everyone appeared to be having a great time at the Cherokee Strip celebration, Perry High Schoolís Centennial, the Charles Machine Works, Inc. Centennial, the Noble county free fair and the registration tea at the Cherokee Strip Museum.. It was a memorable week.

Donít assume for a minute that all of it just ďhappened.Ē Hundreds of local folks Ė and many from other places Ė labored long and hard to be sure that it came off like clockwork. Youíve read the names of those who were responsible for various aspects of this undertaking, but there were many others who put in hours of hard labor to bring it all together. Thanks to all of them, including those who served in anonymity.

Laura and I tried to take in everything, but we couldnít possibly have done all of them. My personal favorite was the All-School Revue. I hope it was preserved on video tape. We missed the Perry Maroonsí stirring victory over Cushing in the football game Friday night because we assumed it would be called off on account of the rain and lightning. Congratulations to the PHS gridmen Ė and to the faithful fans who persevered and were rewarded with a great victory.

Miscellaneous thoughts: A caller pointed out something that had also occurred to me Ė the number of people who failed to stand when the U.S. flag came by at the head of the parade. Maybe itís because of the diminishing number of Boy Scouts in this era, but it seems that some of us donít know (or donít bother) to remove our hats and place the right hand over the heart when Old Glory passes by. The Scouts used to instill a patriotic fervor in their program, something that lasted a lifetime. The military also does that, but not many young men are exposed to that kind of training nowadays. Too bad.

Another parade comment by some folks near us indicated that candy should not be tossed by politicians and others in the parade to youngsters lining the streets. Kiddos that age canít vote, for one thing, and they are risking life and limb by running onto the street to pick up another piece of bubble gum or candy. Letís outlaw the practice before someone gets hurt. Thatís enough preaching for today. Letís just say that it was another wonderful celebration and the thousands who came to Perry to be entertained were not short changed in any way.

Hereís a frequent suggestion heard at the schoolís Centennial events. ďThis was so much fun Ė why canít we have an all-school reunion every five years or so?Ē Right now you would probably hear a negative response from those people who put on this yearís big party, but maybe they would reconsider the possibility in a few months. Itís worth thinking about.