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February 18, 2006

Marshall Davis was one of the cadre of new faces hired by John Terry and G.M. (Doc) Deen when they took over operation of the Perry movie theater franchise in the early 1940's. I became the movie critic of the PDJ at that time and so naturally I was called upon to review the theatre listing at the Roxy and the Annex Theaters, both located on the east side of the Perry square. In time, the Roxy was closed and the new Perry Theater opened a block north of there, and the Annex followed suit by closing when the Chief Drive-In was opened north of town. It was a much different world in many ways. Now, all of them are gone.

In the earlier account, I wrote a little bit about the east side in general. There also were several grocery stores there, but not much was written about them. Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Winger had a store as did Louis Stanislay. A procession of others came and went as the landscape changed. You probably remember some that are not listed here. We are taking a short break this week to discuss some other aspects of that time.

Back to Marshall Davis: He was born in 1925, which makes him a year younger than I am. He served in the Navy during World War II, then returned to Perry to earn his PHS diploma and to marry Glenna McGill, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl McGill. She has just been returned home from an Albuquerque, NM hospital, where she was treated for a serious illness. Marshall says she is doing OK. He also called to identify one of the city councilmen in that 8x10 photo that ran in this newspaper a few weeks ago. The councilman was Chester Swart, and he was largely responsible for bringing the Davis family to Perry. Marshall's dad, Danny Davis, had looked for work here, without success, but Mr. Swart told him to pack the wife, kids and household belongings in a car at Hutchinson, KS, where they then resided, and Mr. Davis then could have a job at Mr. Swart's produce house here. So the Davis family came to Perry, and Marshall still considers it his hometown.

And that is how at least part of early day Perry was settled, friend.