MADISON, Ind. (March 2004) Sports fans of all kinds are welcome
at Bruce and Lynda Perrys University of Kentucky Wildcat
Lounge. Even fans of Indiana University.
Although the couple has proudly decorated with a UK theme their private
party place on Main Street in Madison, they never discriminate against
those who dont share their enthusiasm for the Big Blue. In fact,
they dont even watch ball games at the lounge. It is instead
a place to entertain their many friends.
by Ruth Wright
and Lynda Perry in their lounge.
Still, stepping inside the lounge, its a little hard to avoid
being overwhelmed by the display of Wildcat pride. From floor to ceiling,
Bruce, 59, and Lynda, 56, have everything but the kitchen sink decorated
a la UK. Adorning the walls are UK prints and pictures Rick
Pitino and Tubby Smith smile from several that are nicely matted and
framed. And abundant are all kinds of Wildcat memorabilia bar
stools, autographed basketballs, wall clocks, lights, lamps, mugs
and even a square of the hardwood floor removed from Rupp Arena when
it was remodeled just to name a few.
Yes, when it comes to decor, its all about UK. From Bruce Perrys
amazing collection of coin banks to a robotic Santa appropriately
dressed in blue and white, the lounge virtually screams Go Cats!
Just as extraordinary as the Perrys fixation with UK is their
devotion to entertaining friends. Even when the Wildcat Lounge was
just a 10x12 party room in the couples home, all were welcome
to join in the fun from Euchre tournaments to dancing.
Back then the couples guests often spilled over into other rooms
of the house. Dancing by the washing machine was not uncommon, they
by Ruth Wright
and Lynda Perry
have room to entertain.
After about a decade of squeezing as much fun as they could into
a small space, six years ago the couple decided to move the lounge
from their home to the building next to Perry and Dunbar Drug Store
on Main Street. Bruce Perry had purchased the building from his father,
Bob Perry, and had used it for a couple of years as a woodworking
Transforming the building, which was formerly used to store paint,
into a party palace wasnt an easy job. I hauled out 25
truck loads of wood just from the shelving, said Bruce Perry.
The building also housed an old coal bin, which had to be dismantled
before it could be removed, and a cast iron furnace which required
a wrecker to take out.
I wish I would have taken before and after pictures. It was
nasty, said Lynda Perry.
Youd never know it to see the lounge now. White walls, blue
trim and a blue floor lend the room a cheerful quality. And a bar,
tables and chairs, a dance floor, a disco ball and lights, as well
as a fog machine all add to the club-like atmosphere.
People come from as far away as Indianapolis to enjoy the Perrys
hospitality, which could include on any given weekend karaoke, cards
and dancing even those who arent particularly enamored
Im not really a UK fan like Bruce is, but we have a good
time down there, said Madison resident Pauline Amick, a friend
of the Perrys and a regular at the lounge.
Evidence of the good times is a wall sign that reads I Love
This Bar, a gift from the Perrys friend Ralph Rogers,
a Bardstown, Ky., resident who always stops by when hes in town.
The sign is a reference to singer Toby Keiths song.
Now that theyre both retired, Bruce from Cummins and Lynda from
the Jefferson Proving Ground, the Perrys have plenty of time
to spend with friends and family, which includes five children and
nine grandchildren. Weve had some awful good times here,
Bruce Perry said.
But why UK instead of IU? Both lifetime residents of Madison, the
Perrys have a hard time explaining their devotion to the Wildcats.
But devoted they definitely are, and where their Hoosier friends are
concerned, We get lot of flack, but we can handle it,
Bruce Perry said.
Im an IU fan, and he likes to tease me a lot, said
lounge regular Majorie Ralston of Madison.