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September 30, 2003

Midnight musings sometimes are the best, but not always. Here's a small sample of the disconnected thoughts that parade through a sleepless night. How do you rate them?

Dr John Chaffin, a native Perryan, is one of the most respected cardiovascular surgeons in this great state. He currently is appearing in a brief but meaningful TV plug for the Oklahoma City hospital where he serves. Somehow it's a temptation to call him "Johnny," but I guess he's earned the right to shed that familiar name. His late Mom, Betty, and Dad, Everett, certainly would be justifiably proud of him today. So are the, rest of us who watched him grow up

Our Perry Maroons may be having trouble winning football games this season, but we may be leading the league in great singers. Brett Payne did a superb job of setting the stage for the PHS homecoming game the other night at Daniels Field. He's distinguished himself on other occasions. Also, the PHS band continues to dazzle us with their precision marching and playing. Mr. Jim Parham is the director this year after the retirement of Sandy Hentges.

We Perry Presbyterians may have a hard time finding a replacement the equal of the Rev. Tim Boggess, who preached his final sermon here on Sunday morning before leaving for a new ministry in Georgia. Tim has fit into this community wonderfully well in his six and a half years among us, and his Sunday sermons have been finely crafted. Although he is still a young man, I think he must be the senior pastor in point of service among Perry churches today. We'll miss him for many reasons, but we wish him well. He was saluted by church members and friends at a church dinner after services last Sunday morning. It's also been a joy to have his wife, Heather, and their very young daughter, Claire, dwelling among us. His Mom, Rachel Boggess, a resident of Edmond, has been here faithfully almost every Sunday. She is a highly regarded member of our choir and a member of this church.

Driving south on State Highway 86 the other day, we were surprised, yet somehow pleased, to see a pile of rubble where once stood the "Chateau Ghetto." It has been looking a bit down at the heels for some time, and I don't know why it has been leveled now, but I think we're going to miss that old landmark. For one thing, it made us aware that the juncture with SH 51 was just ahead. On football Saturdays, especially, it was important to know that.

Someone has furnished me with what appears to be a Xerox copy of an envelope bearing the cancellation date of December 18, 1908. It was addressed simply to "Geo. Wetlerfeld, Wichita, Kansas," and it bore the legal (for then) two-cent postage stamp. The left end of the envelope had the type imprint of "Chas. Christoph," along with an etching of the two-story building at the south end of the west side of the square. That's where Mr. Christoph operated his furniture and undertaking business. In later years the businesses were named "Christoph & Newton Furniture" and the "Newton Funeral Home" (now, the Brown-Dugger Funeral Home). George Rice, who now owns the building, is still in the process of converting it into a display space for his collection of classic and antique cars, with living space on the upper floor. You may have seen George driving a new acquisition, a bright red fire truck, in the Cherokee Strip Celebration parade earlier this month. I'm not sure where this interesting envelope came from, but I thank whoever brought or sent it to me.