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August 29, 2003

Thanks to a couple of newspaper clippings furnished by friends, I have some things of interest to share with you. First, there's an obituary in a Colorado Springs newspaper concerning the death last month of Peggy Pratt Wheeler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Pratt. She passed away recently at the age of 89. Perhaps the name doesn't ring a bell at first, but Iím sure that many of you remember her dad quite well. He was on the faculty at Perry high school for many years before his retirement in the 1960s. Among other things, he had been a sponsor of The Perryscope, the PHS school newspaper that was printed periodically as part of The Perry Daily Journal. The paper was edited, written and designed by students at the high school, but Mr.Pratt furnished adult guidance and encouragement. Perhaps that is why Peggy became interested in journalism as a career. She earned a degree at Oklahoma State University in 1924. Among other things, she was a reporter for the PDJ at one time. One of the highlights of that period was a feature story that followed her interview with a man who claimed to be Jesse James. The newspaper obituary shows none of Peggy's brothers or sisters as survivors. She was the eldest of the children. Her parents preceded her in death. The Pratts were interesting people and they made an impression on all who were fortunate enough to know them. This clipping came from Perry's new first lady, Jean Emde.

Another bit of information comes from a recent edition of the Stillwater newspaper, signed by Mike Cronin, who is not further identified except to state that he is a Stillwater resident. The headline reads: "OSU headed to The Big Easy." Mr. Cronin goes on to explain that he has figured out that the Cowboys are going undefeated this season, and that they will win the Big 12 championship, then the Sugar Bowl game at New Orleans (that's The Big Easy, of course) and will wind up winning the collegiate national championship. Oh yes, the Sugar Bowl opponent for that title will be Miami University, coached by the former OSU assistant, Larry Coker (no relation to our onetime school superintendent, John Coker).

Mr.Cronin makes the piece even more interesting by predicting the outcome and the score of each game during the season. The OU game? He sees the Cowboys winning that one for the third straight year by posting a score of 21-17. Can you guess who showed me this clipping? None other than Mr. OSU, Glenn Yahn, and my thanks to him.

Some of you have been interested in the recent series of columns dealing with the early days of the Perry telephone system. Yes, there is more to come, but there will continue to be a few interruptions in the series as other topics come along. Keep watching, and thanks for asking.