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June 24, 2003

Thanks to a friend who knows how much I enjoy reading copies of the Perry Daily Journal from years ago, here's another little trip down memory lane. This goes back to a warm summer Saturday, July 7, 1934, and here are some of the topics included in the newspaper's coverage that day. It was only a four-page edition with barely enough advertising to pay the bills. But, in 1934, all of us were feeling overextended, financially, and managing editor Sam Schwieger still managed to find plenty of local stories to fill the news hole that day.

One of the principal stories on page one dealt with a rather bizarre error in a recent local election. Adding to the oddity is the fact that nowhere in the rather long story is the name of the office involved in the election. Reading between the lines, you get the feeling that the race was the primary election to choose candidates for county-level offices in the fall. But that is not stated in any part of the story. Seems that the name of a Republican candidate (for district one, county commissioner?) had been mistakenly listed on the Democratic party ballot. The GOP candidate was Claude E. Johnston. In the election, he received eleven Democratic votes. Hugh Osborne and William J. Hill went into the Democratic runoff since neither received a majority of votes cast. Mr. Johnston, a registered Republican, did not receive enough votes to change the outcome of the race by candidates of either party, so the state attorney general rendered his opinion that Mr. Johnston was not entitled to a new election. The only other Republican who filed for the unnamed office was George Sanders. He was officially declared the winner. Are you confused? Imagine how Mr. Johnston must have felt.

On another topic, that day's front page contained a story about a local man, Arthur Campbell, preparing for a long journey to Singapore to spend at least one year as the representative of the Good-All Electric Manufacturing Company of Ogallala, Nebraska . Mr. Campbell, who was a city employee during the time we owned and operated our own power-generating plant, was to assist with the installation and servicing of a wide district surrounding Singapore, specializing in "movie talking equipment." His territory was to include parts of India, Malay, Bermuda, Shanghai and Hong Kong, China, Somoa, the Philippine Islands and other countries. (Not sure why the West Indies islands of Bermuda are included in that list.) Some of us who remember Mr. Campbell can certainly believe that he was well qualified and chosen for this job. In later years, Art became a professional photographer and he was very good in that area, also.

The entire back page was devoted to collection of advertisers, including Walt Bittman's Art Cleaners, Laird's Drug Store on the east side of the square, Oscar Johnson's Betty Ann Bakery where an electronics store is now located, the Wade & Render Service Station operated by Sid Wade and Bailey Render at Seventh and Birch streets where the YMCA-CMW parking lot is now located, the Lacy Motor Company operated by C.D. (Slim) Lacy, Gay Marcy's Furniture Exchange on the south side of the square, the Tucker Auto Supply at 411 Sixth street, operated by Charlie Tucker, the Motor Inn Garage one half block north of the post office, and the Donaldson & Yahn Lumber Company at 511-517 Delaware, featuring the new Gibson refrigerators. There were more stories and more ads to help bring back the 1930s, but we'll save those for another time.