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May 4, 2004

Praise of Main Street accomplishments is richly deserved

Our little town has proved once again that a lot of unique talents and dedication have been apportioned to the citizens who make up this part of the grand state of Oklahoma. The awards won by some of Perry's hard-working citizens at the Oklahoma Main Street program last week in Oklahoma City are richly deserved. Certainly, a case could be made for several others who have given their time and effort to improve our community, but we wouldn't want to hog the whole show

Perry was well represented at the annual Main Street banquet, and virtually every one of them merits some kind of reward for what they have done to bring critical acclaim not only to themselves, but to this entire area. Vickie Spaulding is richly deserving of the "Main Street program manager of the year" award; likewise, Karen Wilcox, this year's "Main Street Hero," has shared her leadership and organizational skills with Main Street since we became part of that program; Marsha Williams, a superb volunteer leader and worker, was named the 2004 Oklahoma Main Street Board Member of the Year; and all the others who have worked in this program should receive a warm pat on the back for their part in the ongoing effort to modernize Perry and emphasize its historic value, and still make it attractive to others. Mayor Etsell Emde and his wife are included in that number. They have toiled long and hard in that effort since long before he was elected to the city's top office. That kind of support, my friends, is invaluable in efforts such as this. It cannot be bought and sold but it derives from a sense of pride and willingness to get things done. We are blessed to have such dedicated people in our midst. Perry's Main Street Design Committee, headed by Marsha, was named the outstanding group in that field for their part in getting Perry listed on the National Register and for "keeping their fingers on the pulse of the Perry square." It was a banner night for Perry.

Laura and I don't know where to start with this part. We are so thankful to our family and friends for making us acutely aware of the love and good wishes freely expressed at our Golden Wedding Anniversary last week. We love each other dearly, and we thank all of you for joining in that glad celebration. Thanks to each and every one of you.