This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication
Vol 16 Issue 802 Circulation 5,000 June 7, 2012
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday of this week google.com paid tribute to the drive-in theaters in this country and the man, Richard Hallingshead Jr., who established the first drive-in theater back in 1933 in New Jersey.
There is been a lot of memories shared in past T&Ts about Ardmore's drive-ins, and I remember: 77 North Drive In, the Starlite Drive-In and probably the most recognized of Ardmore's drive-in theaters, the Skyview on Highway 199 East (back in those days it was Highway 70). This week I received a surprise email from Texas with a story about the Skyview Theater and its owners:
"Hello. My name is Randi Guess Herring, and I am a friend of the late Mr. James Gaskins, former owner and "The Boss" of the Skyview Theater in Oklahoma. I met Mr. Gaskins when I was about 19 and he was in his upper 70's, well after his time as "The Boss". I befriended him in the Hasley Cemetery in West Monroe, LA, where he would visit Rose's grave nearly daily...and where he is now, next to her. When I saw him first, I felt so much for this old, bent gentleman with hat and cane, standing at the foot of his wife's grave. After seeing him there several times, grieving, I wanted to help him. Even just looking at him, I could tell he was in a lot of pain without her. I introduced myself and asked him if we could have coffee or walk and talk. That meeting blossomed into a friendship that lasted several years, through my marriage and the birth of my first child, before Mr. Gaskins passed away. Rose's sisters were very suspicious of me and my motives in the beginning; I was unaware that Mr. Gaskins was quite well-to-do and I suppose his sisters worried I might be a young gold digger out to cash in. I love them for watching out for him; he could have easily been a target for anyone who wanted to soak him...especially anyone with flaming red hair. The man was such a sucker for red hair! Rose did that to him.
We had many coffees, Popsicles on his sun porch, Christmas with my family, and more. We enjoyed bluegrass music at Mr. Gaskin's home, and spent many an hour talking about him and his past, Rose and their past together, the drive in, and more. Once he was sick with a terrible headache and I had read that putting a banana peel on the forehead would remedy the situation. It did nothing to help his headache, but it sure did make us laugh. Throughout our relationship, there were days when he would cry for Rose. That was terribly sad to me; he loved her so much and missed her so actively...it was as if she had only just died, every day, for him. Although our time together became more and more scarce as my career picked up speed and my child grew, I never lost contact with Jimmy and loved him very, very much.
This morning, Google commemorated the drive in theater with an animated short, and seeing it made me think of Mr. Gaskins and how he would reminisce about his drive in days. So...I Googled his name and the word "drive in", and up came the information from your site. I was able to enjoy two pictures of Mr. Gaskins and the lovely Rose, in their heyday, in the 50's, and it made me feel close to him for the first time in a very long time. It made me feel so good, I had to share it with you and tell you how much I appreciate your site and the work you put into keeping a record for people like me. Mister Gaskins would LOVE to see those pictures! I may try to locate James Gaskins, Jr., to show him the pictures as well.
Thanks so much. I hope this email address is still viable! I want so much to share with you how positively you affected my day! Again, many thanks." -Randi Guess Herring, Jasper, TX
I really appreciate Randi sending in the above piece of Ardmore history. She also submitted a couple of 1999 photos she took of Jimmy Gaskins.
I have a couple of old photos submitted years ago of the Gaskins. This first one is of Rose Gaskin inside the ticket booth at the entrance of the Skyview.
And this next pic is both James and Rose at the ticket booth.
Here is an interesting 1953 aerial view of Skyview. The Skyview was on the south side of the highway, and this view is looking from SW to NE. When I look at the surrounding area, things sure have changed since 1953.
Below are a couple of emails I received years ago pertaining to the Skyview:
"The guy with his back to me is Jimmie Gaskins at the fountain Coke machine while Don Nutt looked on from the other side. I don't remember the young lady's name. I believe she was the wife of an Airman stationed at Ardmore AFB." -Bill Bow
"Butch, Have read about the ownership of the Skyview Drive In at Ardmore. Jimmy and Rose Gaskins was part owners but the other owners were my aunt and uncle Kathleen and Elvin Anderson of Norman. The Anderson's also owned theaters in Pauls Valley and Norman." -John Cathey
The owner of the old Ardmore's Skyview Theater, Jimmy Gaskins, died February 1, 2003. He and his wife Rose operated the Skyview from 1950 to 1978.
Many of the drive-in theaters of years ago have fell by the wayside. But here is one drive-in theater at Tulsa that didn't fade into the sunset after a fire in 2010. Its reopening June 15th.
From This and That newsletter archives of June 5, 1999:
A blacksmith shop in Randlett, Oklahoma
In western Oklahoma is Washita County. In the northeast part of that county not far from Cordell, is Corn, Oklahoma.
This is an old photo of a train wreck in the Arbuckle Mountains north of Ardmore December 13, 1910. A beautiful picture of the past.
"Butch, when we moved out here on Springdale Road in 1953 many people called Springdale Road "Fairground Road" & Harvey Road was called "Breezy Point Road" by everybody. Then years later the City Officials of Ardmore, in their wisdom decided to annex all of Carter County that was not already incorporated but they had to do some fancy maneuvering and managed to annex the Springdale area also. The protest from the citizens of this area caused them to de-annex the area after the first try. Later they were successful in their effort and did in fact annex the area. So among other things they caused further confusion by renaming the roads. Now we have West & East Springdale Loop which is not really geographically a part of the Springdale area. Then they knew a fellow named Harvey that owned some property about 2 or 3 miles south on Breezy Point Road and decided that Breezy Point Road would be renamed "Harvey Road". Next we have "Mary Niblack Road" which is 1 mile west of the real Mary Niblack Road - of course the Mary Niblack Road today was once known as the Berwin Road or Gene Autry Road - south."
"At Shattuck in northwest Oklahoma I believe, there is a windmill museum and park. Here is the description from page 121 of Oklahoma: America in Its Native State; 1999 Oklahoma Travel Guide, published by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. WINDMILL MUSEUM & PARK - Outdoor display of restored and rare mills; recreated pioneer homestead - FREE - US 283 - (580) 938-2818. I believe they have a windmill festival in Shattuck once a year."
Q. Where in Oklahoma was Fort Nichols located?
A. Ft. Nichols (also known as Camp Nichols) was in Cimarron County of the Oklahoma panhandle.
Q. Which Spanish conquistador traveled through the Oklahoma panhandle in the 16th-century while searching for the mythical “Seven Cities of Gold?”
A. (answer in next week's T&T)
Gas prices today in the Ardmore area......
Some mail from this week's MAILBAG.....
"Butch, I'm trying to remember when Hank Williams Jr. and Bo Diddley played the Civic Auditorium in Ardmore. I think it was 1962 but honestly, I just can't remember. Hank was traveling with his mother and opened the show because Diddley was the headliner. ROAD RUNNER was the Bo Diddley hit we were familiar with. It seems like Hank was dressed in outfits like his father used to wear. It was the first of many shows that I saw Diddley perform although I didn't see him again until about 1973 in Albuquerque. After I moved to Houston, I would get to see him almost every year when he toured. The reason for the question is that I no longer remember who I saw the show with. I've asked everyone who I can think of and have come up with a zero. Maybe a Reader will remember?" -Monroe Cameron
"Butch-- Enjoyed the information about the "Mann's House". I live next door and moved here when Perlie Sayre was still living in the house. Noel and Glenda purchased the house and did major renovation and yet kept the integrity of the house in tack. Since they lived next door for 40 plus years, it became known to us as the " Mann's House". They were instrumental in getting it on the register as one of the many historic homes in Ardmore.
The story is told that the house was moved from the northeast past of town on logs with horses pulling the house. (there are even pictures of the move) It seems that they would roll it along and then more the back log to the front and proceed the activity until it arrived at it's present location. Quite a feat!!
Presently, it is owned by Mike and Pam O'Rourke. They also have a love for the house. Though there was extensive smoke and water damage they plan to refurbish it and after it is cleaned up return to the house and continue to enjoy it. The house has a hold on it's owners -- once they have lived there they don't want to give it up. It has a real mystique of bygone days. Very charming!!! Thank goodness it was saved." -Helen Thompson
"Southern Riders contacts are Jason Swindall 580-220-7379 or Sly Haywood 580-277-7236. Also representing the 580 area is South Side Pony Express Team... Johnny Avery 580-490-2572 or myself 580-504-8186." -Tina
"Butch, please advise your readers that the recipe posted online is not only not Priddy's Parmesan Dressing, it's not even close. I have the original book of all products and most are handwritten. If anyone wants to enjoy a jar with the original Parmesan Dressing or any of the spreads, we have them right here at 315 Sam Noble Parkway in beautiful Ardmore, Oklahoma." -Jerry Pattillo
"Mr. Bridges, I want to thank you and all the contributors to your newsletter for bringing back so many memories of my childhood.
I noticed in your latest newsletter that someone was inquiring about the Central Park and the cemetery that was once located downtown on Main Street in Ardmore. I spent so many hours in the 1960's and 70's in that park and one year even attended the annual Ardmore birthday chasing greased pigs, but I never new there was ever a cemetery located in that area. The research that Mr. Bill Hamm provided in February 2001 stated that most of the buried individuals were moved to the present day Rose Hill Cemetery. However, there were a few that were left there due to no grave markers. Suggestion: I have been many times down at Old Town San Diego, California. They too had an old cemetery that dated back to 1500 - 1600's and the town grew around it. Evidently, the buried individuals were forgotten until the last few decades. A decision was made to x-ray or scan the ground area, including the modern day streets in the immediate area to locate the burial locations. Markers were laid down and a map/history placard was framed and available for people to read.
I was raised in Ardmore and graduated from Plainview High School, 1972. Mr. Clint Buck was still giving haircuts under the old oak tree on the east side of the original sandstone Plainview High School building." -Submitted by CWO2 Thomas Gaines, U.S. Navy (Retired), Lemoore, California
"Hi Butch, I saw that beautiful picture of the home that was hit by lightning during the storm. Being a historian and photographer, I would say this is a wonderful piece of history for Ardmore! I guess that is why I try to document on film (digital) that “Moment In Time” that I talk about so often. Do you or any of your Readers have any other addresses of these kind of homes that I might photograph while I am in Ardmore next weekend for the wife’s family reunion?" -Cecil Elliott email@example.com
Marketplace on Broadway - Ardmore
Join us for our 5th Anniversary Celebration with LIVE MUSIC!
The Blue Water Drifters Country and Red Dirt Band
Saturday, June 9, 2012 7:30 am-noon, Music starts at 9am
We have a great covered facility - This is happening rain or shine!
106 East Broadway, Historic Downtown Ardmore
Bakers' Acres Produce, Tishomingo
Joe & Karen Baker, Ardmore
Bill Dolman, Ardmore
Janice Hall, Wilson
Melvett's Farm Fresh Vegetables, Hennepin
Lloyd's Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, Ratliff
McKendrick Farms, Caney
Motes Produce, Madill
K-Reed Farm, Ardmore
R & R Produce, Overbrook
Danielle Wells, Dickson
Willoughby Orchard, Stratford
Amy Wisian, Woodford
Winchester Farms, Marietta
Woodruff Farms, Mannsville
"I usually read T&T on my iPad with Facebook, but I find it frustrating. I click on the FB link and the T&T page opens (this is all good), and when I select a T&T link (to view a photograph, for instance) I get the photograph (again, this is good). Here is where the problems start. When I attempt to return to T&T by hitting the FB "Back Button," FB takes me back to the FB news feed and I have to start all over again with the FB T&T link. The FB link is not faster the second time around, as one might hope. Very frustrating to a reader who wants his T&T fix. Any suggestions? Am I doing something wrong? Your input and T&T are both greatly appreciated." -Doyle
"Hi Butch- Hope this finds everyone doing Ok. Don't know if you know my youngest son, but he is running for Sheriff. He is only 34 and I have been told if he wins he would be the youngest Sheriff ever elected in Oklahoma. Do you know if this is true. Let me know. Thanks & keep the good news coming." -Ken
A. From 2004 newsletter:
The past few weeks I have been researching a nearly 50 year old controversy and mystery about who was the youngest sheriff to take office in Carter County. Through the years it has been assumed by many people of this county that Enoch Watterson held that distinction. But as my research found, that honor belongs to another man, namely Gerald Cobb. Enoch and Gerald both ran for office and won their respective races when they were both only 26 years old, Enoch in 1952 and Gerald in 1958. But Enoch turned 27 on December 12th, making him 27 when he took office in January 1953. Gerald would not be 27 until the following July 21st the year he took office.
"Prominent Citizen Of Ardmore Dies after brief illness.
Ardmore I.T. Dec 25, 1903- Col. Max Munzesheimer, aged 57 years, one of Ardmore's foremost citizens, died this morning after an illness of about a week. Heart Failure was the indirect cause of death. Few men were better known in this section than Col. Munzesheimer. He was a former resident of Ardmore, and was recognized as one of its most progressive citizens, being prominently identified with every movement to the welfare of the city. At the time of his death he was secretary of the Royal Arch Chapter Masons, and was also a prominent Elk. Deceased leaves a wife and five children. The funeral will take place in Gainesville, Texas Sunday morning." -submitted by Teresa Roberts Cunningham
"I have so enjoyed the detailed building plans of your pallet shed. I have been trying to come up with an inexpensive run in/barn for my 2 horses and 4 mules in the back pasture. I love the idea. Not sure though on the size. I'm looking more for a 12x32 I think. My mules are big Belgian drafts and my horses are 16' hands. In New York our winters are usually windy and sometimes in the 0'F area. I'm currently in California for couple months and have looked at some of the barns here and most are wide open with a means for shade. Again thank you for all the ideas. I respect your desire to go out and create what you needed. Maybe some of your Readers have an idea?" -Pat Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
"Butch this guy sells his cedar boards for $1.50 a board foot. They are rough but another guy sells his for about the same at the Sulphur Sale on Sunday mornings." -Doug Williams
"How to Prepare Fresh Corn on the Cob Without Those Pesky Corn Silks... This is the neatest trick I have seen in sometime."
Q. "Butch, I am trying to think of the name of bronze sculptors in Lone Grove. Can you help me? One of them was an older guy whose first name is Jim."
A. Feb 2003 T&T: The JSC Manufacturing in Wilson, Oklahoma was founded by the O'Dell's and has grown to be much more. They do casting in several metals in their foundry. The focus now is in Artist rendering of statues, small and big. For years their work was on the corner of Main Street and NE 1st Street. The area of old South Ward was purchased from the City of Wilson, where they are building a larger foundry there. This is a full block from Rotary Avenue to SW 1st Street and from Davis Street south to Edmond Street. The move will take time and more equipment is coming in to enlarge there abilities. Those around town have seen some of the wonder work there on NE 1st, especially the tiger they left outside for days. We all thrilled by that sight. Jim is enthusiastic on the new visions he has. More employees will be added and more possibilities for local artists to show their talents. The tiger was molded by Alan Crawford of Lone Grove. Jim Miller, of Wilson area, has done some western scenes. I am planning to visit with them and take pictures of some of their work for the newspaper. Jim also told us about Randy Hacker being a up coming artist. His has molded an Indian Man's bust for casting. As Jim said, he has a progressive business and looks forward to having more artists doing fine art work. He hopes to welcome other better businesses here, knowing it will improve our town. When the art work is done he can give attention to the artists and let us know how well things are going for these projects.
The Davis News - 100 YEARS AGO:
Dr. W.W. Reese moved his office to his residence, first door north of First National Bank. He advertized down stairs rooms and nice cool place to operate. “Remember that all instruments are sterilized after each operation. Prices reasonable and work strictly guaranteed.”
A large crowd attended the races at the track between Davis and Sulphur. A number of fine animals entered, among the number being several swift horses from Davis.
Graves of deceased Sovereigns (members of Woodmen of the World) were decorated at Green Hill Cemetery. “A large number of Choppers were in the line of march, and a crowd of spectators was present to witness the ceremonies.”
The Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Oklahoma - August 22, 1946
Progressive Farmer has a feature page in which stories are related of men who are 70 and over and who are busy and productive and making fine neighbors. Walter Lacy Mullen who was named for Dr. Walter Hardy writes a paragraph about Ardmore's beloved doctor and here is the clever way in which he arranged his paragraph.
Born and reared among the rolling hills of Montague county, Northwest Texas, after having been educated as a physician and surgeon, Dr. Walter Hardy, 75, came to Ardmore when it was in Indian Territory. He established a hospital here, from which he earned money to attend medical schools in New Orleans, Chicago, Rome, Berlin, Vienna. It is now the best equipped hospital in southern Oklahoma. His technical ability, kindness of heart, nobility of soul - going day and night, serving the poor without hope of pay, and the wealthy for modest fees - have endeared him to our people. In business he is active, in society popular, in politics he is sought, in religion he is steadfast. To know him casually is to like him, to know him well is to love him. -Walter Lacy Mullen, Carter County, Oklahoma
"There will be a rain dance Friday night, weather permitting"
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
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Ardmore High School Criterions Online
Oklahoma Bells: http://www.OklahomaHistory.net/bellpage.html
American Flyers Memorial Fund - Administration Webpage
Official American Flyers Memorial Website
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base Website
Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter county schools, past and present
Carter County Government Website
Ardmore School Criterions
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