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March 29, 2006

Talking to Mr. Bill Rotter, director of the "Great Big Perry Band," the other night, I learned that he is planning another concert of "big band" music on May 18. As you might expect, there will be no pre-concert ticket sales, but voluntary contributions will supplement funds already allocated to assist the Perry band program. Mr. Rotter, who formerly served as the PHS band director and administrator of those funds, knows all too well how badly such supplements are needed, and he is willing to accept that in lieu of salaries for the musicians who now make up the band for the rest of us to enjoy. Thanks, Bill, and to the musicians who provide us with these occasional concerts. A lot of other towns would love to have this feature in their community. When the next performance is officially announced, be sure to mark it on your calendar and be there with your guests.

In rummaging through some old cardboard boxes of family lore while working on stories about businesses that once drew crowds of folks to our courthouse square, I found some that were interesting for special reasons. For instance, the south side of the square and the north side are more than a block long. They were laid out that way. The south side, which is part of Cedar, has harbored retailers and city administrative offices. At some point, the old South Side Pharmacy became the anchor of the west half of the south side, and the single block was divided by Gene Taylor Street. That short stretch was named for a one-time Perry Daily Journal reporter who faithfully covered city council meetings for decades, until he retired. Originally, that street was named John Brogan Street in honor of Perry's first mayor.

Will any of this ever change? Stay tuned. This is still Perry, you know.