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Novemeber 15, 2002

Minor mental meanderings at week's end while looking forward, hopefully, to an early spring, even before the first real fall and winter weather blankets Oklahoma...

Veterans Day has come and gone, but it brings up a persistent question that I've never seen answered. So many of these traditional holidays have an "s" tacked onto the name of the event that is being honored. Does that mean it's a plural possessive, or a singular possessive? In either case, doesn't the apostrophe (') either precede or follow the "s"? When the "s" is preceded by an apostrophe ('s) that would indicate the singular possessive case. So, if you see "Veteran's Day" used, does that mean it's a day belonging to just one (singular) veteran? How about Mother's Day and Father's Day, to cite just two more examples. If they are written with an apostrophe (') followed by an "s," what is that telling us? My Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary lists only a "Mother's Day," not a "Mothers' Day," and calls the second Sunday in May a day for the honoring of mothers. That implies all mothers. Not "some" mothers, but ALL of them. That seems to me to make the "s apostrophe" a logical choice (Mothers'). Because that would make it a plural possessive, wouldn't it? My New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, as well as the Associated Press style book, both admonish us to write "Mother's Day" or Father's Day" and give no alternative possibilities. Both are regarded as authoritative. That should settle the matter, but I'll bet we continue to see "Fathers' Day, Mothers' Day and Veterans' Day" for some time to come, despite the best efforts of curious readers who worry about such things. I know I won't sleep well until a resolution is reached. Maybe we should circulate a petition.

Having disposed of that matter, more or less, let us move on to other weighty issues, or just some observations.

Isn't the newly surfaced portion of 14th street in front of Perry Memorial Hospital nice to behold, and to drive on? The job apparently isn't finished but what they've done so far is just great. The new surface begins at the intersection with Fir AVENUE and extends south to Cedar Street. Maybe when this job is complete we can look forward to seeing some new street signs that correctly call Fir an AVENUE and not merely a street.

Breakfast With Main Street the other morning in the Horizon Room of the Exchange Bank was an enlightening and exciting time. The Hospitality Guide, the new brochures produced by the Perry Main Street organization, was introduced and distributed to the group. These little booklets contain a wealth of information in an attractive format, all of it designed to help Perry businesses and their employees answer questions that might be asked by visitors. We still hear questions like "Where is the Heritage Center, and what is its purpose?", and not everyone in Perry can answer that. The brochures will help all of us provide intelligent answers to visitors' questions. Main Street has an office in the Foucart Building and the brochures are available there.

Makes me think - Main Street puts out one of the neatest newsletters in town. If you're a member, you should be receiving it.