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April 12, 2006

Probably by now you have had a chance to consider the meaning and ramifications of Katie Couric's jump from the NBC daily AM powerhouse, "Today," to the CBS bottom dweller, "The Evening News," on weekday evenings. Here's my view: It's all about money, or more of it. Katie will be knocking down $15 million per year for her services as the pivot person in her new career. Is she worth it? Time will tell. It did not hurt Barbara Walters, and some of the others. Good luck to all of them, including Katie.

The recent series of columns about businesses that used to be located around the Perry square were memorable, to me at least. Also, it unearthed some memories warehoused by several people for different reasons. Betty Andrews remembers the old Diamond Ice Plant, where the NAPA store now stands, and I want to share her thoughts with you. I'm winding up this column, temporarily at least, for physical reasons, but I want all of you to know how much pleasure it has given me. Thanks for listening and reading. Here is what Betty had to say.

"When Fred Beers mentioned in his article March 22 about the Perry ice plants it brought back a lot of good memories. There were two: The Perry Ice Company and the Diamond Ice Company. A man named Mr. Potts owned the Perry Ice Company and a Mr. Clarence Page from Purcell owned the Diamond Ice Company. My dad was hired as the first and only manager of the Diamond Ice Company. He also kept all the books.

"The back of the ice plant was used to rent out storage to people who brought in frozen meat to cure, and rent the locker rooms. The ice was made right there in the building. There were large square metal cages under the floor that were filled with water and then frozen into ice, pulled out and cut into blocks. Cases of soda pop were put on the ice dock, ready to sell to customers. Dad always gave me my choice. Dad always looked business-like in his dark gray Diamond Ice uniform. Such good memories.

Thanks to Betty, and to all of you, including my understanding sweetheart/wife, Laura. Goodbye for now.