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April 1, 2003

Saw a story in this newspaper the other day about a project called "Legacies". It was sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and it is intended to encourage small towns (under 30,000 population) to create a legacy for future generations. Pawnee, our somewhat smaller neighbor to the east, was held up as a good example of what can be done. The town has put a major focus on Chester Gould, the creator of the comic strip cop, Dick Tracy. The story said: "A local (Pawnee) citizen, Darrel Gambill, realized that a native son, Chester Gould, was someone the city should feature... Honoring his legacy is an appropriate way for Pawnee to participate in this program."

Let me see. Who could Perry choose to salute if we got into this program? Hmm. Oh yeah. The name of Buster Keaton comes to mind. Is anyone interested in this? Several workshops are scheduled around Oklahoma in the near future to assist towns intending to enter. If you are so inclined, contact Patricia Klein at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, 405-815-3587. One of these days, we are going to realize that Mr. Keaton's connection to Perry is worth bragging about. Seems like there's a golden opportunity for Perry to capitalize on something (legitimately) that would encourage vacationers and tourists from 1-35 to check out the things of interest in Perry.

We have to be careful in pronouncing unfamiliar names and places, if they are foreign to our native tongue. For instance... it's easy for a youngster of this generation to hear "food court" when some adult mispronounces "Foucart". You probably saw that example in a commercially printed document the other day. A food court is a concentration of eating places in a shopping mall. Foucart was the name of the Belgian architect who designed the Victorian building where the Chamber of Commerce, Perry Main Street and other local entities are located on the east side of the square.

It wasn't a local death, but a lot of folks in this neck of the woods were sorry to read about the passing of the big band director Al Good in Oklahoma City the other day. Al seemed like a real Okie, although he came here as a young musician after World War II. He once was a staff artist with WKY radio and TV, and he was a regular part of the National Finals Rodeo when the attraction was still an Oklahoma City affair. He had a "big band" that was scheduled to play for a dance in Stillwater the week he died. At his funeral in Oklahoma City, his band played for a half hour before the service began. It was a non-traditional service, just as he requested. You may also remember that he played for one of the numerous Christmas Balls that communities like Perry once sponsored in places like our armory. We'll miss Al Good's sly grin and his beautiful music. He was well named.