Wildcat Lounge Lizzards

Madison's Perrys bleed UK blue
despite living in land of IU fans

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

MADISON, Ind. (March 2004) – Sports fans of all kinds are welcome at Bruce and Lynda Perry’s 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 don’t share their enthusiasm for the Big Blue. In fact, they don’t even watch ball games at the lounge. It is instead a place to entertain their many friends.

Bruce, Lynda Perry

Photo by Ruth Wright

Bruce and Lynda Perry in their lounge.

Still, stepping inside the lounge, it’s 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, it’s all about UK. From Bruce Perry’s 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 Perry’s fixation with UK is their devotion to entertaining friends. Even when the Wildcat Lounge was just a 10x12 party room in the couple’s home, all were welcome to join in the fun – from Euchre tournaments to dancing. Back then the couple’s guests often spilled over into other rooms of the house. Dancing by the washing machine was not uncommon, they said.

Bruce, Lynda Perry

Photo by Ruth Wright

Bruce 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 shop.
Transforming the building, which was formerly used to store paint, into a party palace wasn’t 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.
You’d 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 Perry’s hospitality, which could include on any given weekend karaoke, cards and dancing – even those who aren’t particularly enamored with UK.
“I’m 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 Perry’s 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 Perry’s friend Ralph Rogers, a Bardstown, Ky., resident who always stops by when he’s in town. The sign is a reference to singer Toby Keith’s song.
Now that they’re both retired, Bruce from Cummins and Lynda from the Jefferson Proving Ground, the Perry’s have plenty of time to spend with friends and family, which includes five children and nine grandchildren. “We’ve 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.
“I’m an IU fan, and he likes to tease me a lot,” said lounge regular Majorie Ralston of Madison.

Back to March 2004 Articles.



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