This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication
Vol 16 Issue 809 Circulation 5,000 July 26, 2012
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I received a surprise phone call yesterday evening and on the other end was a lady named Jeannie Marston who drove 12 hours from Massachusetts to see her brother's name that was inscribed on the memorial marker for the 1966 American Flyers airplane crash at the Ardmore Air Park. Jeannie's brother (Ralph David Johnson of Yonkers, New York) died 2 weeks later after the crash and his name was not on the granite memorial when it was first installed. During my research of names, since I didn't know her brother died later, he was not on the list submitted to Wilson Monuments here in Lone Grove. When I received a phone call several years later from Jeannie about the omission, I contacted Billy Wilson and he sandblasted the name on the marker at the airpark. Doug Williams has an amazing story to tell how he just decided on a whim to drive out the the memorial today, and Doug hadn't been there but a few minutes and the couple from Massachusetts drove up. Here his Doug's story in his own words.
Do you believe in Karma, being at an exact place, at an exact time and something incredible happens? I am convinced Karma is real!
July 26, 2012, was one of those days for me. I took a morning motorcycle ride before the temperature became too hot. I decided to make my way to my hometown of Gene Autry, but on the way there, I had second thoughts because the temp was already pushing 100. However, I felt compelled to go anyway. After driving around the sleepy, little town, I made my way to the air base to check on the American Flyers’ Memorial which Butch Bridges and I had been instrumental in having erected.
As I was viewing the area, I saw items which were in disarray and called Butch about repairs. He asked if I was at the Memorial and I affirmed that I was. He began to tell me about a woman who drove down from Massachusetts to see the memorial because her brother’s name would be inscribed on it and also wanted to see where he had crashed more than forty-six years ago.
As we were talking on the phone, a car drove up to the memorial. A woman and man got out of the car and I asked them if they were from Massachusetts and she asked me if I was Butch Bridges. I told her my name was Doug Williams and she said that she knew my name, too.
Her name was Jeannie Marston. After we introduced ourselves and started talking about the memorial, she began to tell me about her brother, Ralph David Johnson from Yonkers, New York. Her brother survived the crash but succumbed to his burns and injuries two weeks later at Brooks’ Army Burn Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, as he had burns over seventy percent of his body.
She asked if I could sit and talk to her further. As we talked in the shade of a big oak tree, she seemed to have a calm come over her. The myriad of questions she had for four decades were answered by a native son who had not only lived close by, but had been on the scene of the disaster and had done much research on the plane crash. Jeannie was relieved and said that although her poor mother had passed away, she felt that she would be happy to know all her questions had been answered as well.
She wanted to give me a hug and we parted ways friends forever, bonded by a single disaster which happened so many years ago. -Doug Williams
This is the excerpt about Jean in my newsletter back in 2007 that started the ball rolling:
This coming Monday is Memorial Day, and the Monday before I received a phone call from Jean Marston in Massachusetts, a sister of a soldier who died in the 1966 plane crash NE of Ardmore. She had just found the Remembrance Memorial website and was happy to learn of the memorial site in honor of those 83 people who died in '66 when their plane crashed in the Arbuckle Mountains. But her brother, Ralph David Johnson was not listed on the memorial marker. He died 17 days after the crash in San Antonio, Texas from his burns. His name was not listed on the granite marker because those names came from newspapers and they only listed those who died the day of the crash. We need to get Ralph David Johnson's name sandblasted on the memorial at the Airpark soon.
Here is a picture Doug took of the Marstons today at the memorial site. You can see her brother's name on the marker between the two.
Roy Miller in OKC sent in a piece of Sulphur, Oklahoma history this week. A photograph taken in 1971 of all the Sulphur post office personnel. I see Bill Uhles in the picture, easy to spot him, he's a head taller then everyone else in the photo. I will never forget Bill Uhles of Sulphur, he contributed many time to the T&T newsletters through the years, and every time we stopped by see him, he'd always give us something to take home. He was one in a million. Gone but not forgotten, Bill Uhles.
From This and That newsletter archives of July 25, 1998:
On the second floor of the Annex building next door to the courthouse, the Commissioners recently installed a filing system to be used by the county officials. It's about 15 sections, on rollers, moved by a crank on the end of each row. This type of system allows for a tremendous about of document storage, within a very small amount of space.
"Just a note to mention the passing of one of my all time heroes. Roy Rogers. When the family sent out his obituary to the national press, I thought it was a real disservice and probably a true reflection of the national news media bias, that they chose to omit probably the most prominent part of the obituary, the fact that Roy was a sold out and full time Christian."
"....seems everything in Oklahoma is seaking shelter. got to tell you a story. My son's wife went to the bathroom last night just before going to bed, only to find it was already occupied, by a 5 ft bull snake. it was coiled up IN the toilet!!!! OH MY what a shock that was!!!! guess he got in the sewer to escape the heat and found his way inside."
"On my front room wall is a copy of a painting. It is an Indian brave and his lady riding bare back on their horse in the forest. The wording above them reads, "The beauty in our hearts transforms the world around us". We can make changes in our world, our country, our state, our city, but first the change must start within each of us."
"Butch, Thank You so much for the pic of the 1975 ceramic plate of the 6 Memorial Hospital employees. I remember all of those dear people so well. My dad started working at the hospital when the hospital was only 6 months old. I grew up in the stairwells and halls, these people were our family. My dad worked there until he died in 1972."
Q. In 1889 after the opening Oklahoma City was actually made up of two towns. Why? And what was the name of the second city?
A. South Oklahoma City, because the Congressional Act controlling the opening limited "towns" to 320 acres. Guthrie was actually 4 townsites.
Q. Who were the original members of the Dawes Commission?
A. (answer in next week's T&T)
Gas prices today in the Ardmore area......
Check gas prices by town or zip code anywhere in U.S.
Some mail from this week's MAILBAG.....
"Butch, you talk about watermelons. Back in 1938 we lived just west of the Baum store where my dad had several acres of watermelons. They weighed an average of about 60 pounds each. He took five of them to the Baum store to sell for five cents each. After about a week the store owner told dad he may as well take the watermelons home as he couldn't sell them. Dad asked him why he should take them home as he had a whole field full of them. We would just eat the heart out of them and the rest went to the hogs and chickens. Sure wish we had a field full of them here in California. We can't get anything here except the small personal ones weighing about five pounds for three or four dollars and they aren't very sweet. I really enjoy your newsletter. Keep up the good work." -Orie Edwards
Newscast on Oklahoma's drive-in theaters.
"The Vendome Plunge at Sulphur was south of the well and extended west. I've included an attachment of an aerial photo of the Vendome. It is a very old picture; not sure of it's age but the structure and the area north of the pool looked very different when I was growing up. You can see the well near the center of the picture; to the left of the row of 4 cars. I'm not sure what the dark area is north of the well. It doesn't look like grass. I'll see if I can find out.
To the east of the Vendome is the parking lot for Flower Park in Platt National Park. That parking lot was/is owned by the park service. I'm told that Flower Park was given that name b/c the people of the town planted flowers there, I guess when Platt National was first established. The town used to be where the National Park is. The current Sulphur occupies the town's third location; moved each time by acquisition of land by the NPS.
I've also sent two very old photos of the well. Sorry that they are small. The attachment entitled "mystery swimming pool" is definitely The Vendome, the shallow end next to the building that housed the changing rooms and a restaurant. The top floor was a big room for dances." -Mary Lou
"Butch, thanks for including the obits and article links for O.L. Gilstrap. He was my mom's cousin (Virginia Gilstrap Farrington). They had seen the obit in the Ardmoreite but not the other newspaper and hadn't seen the article. He was actually known to them as Hobo. Not sure where he got that name but it was nice to see this information in about a relative." -Marilyn Roder
“Butch-Your “growing-up” neighborhood businessman, John Small, joined many Ardmore businesses by sponsoring a 1943 ad in the Daily Ardmoreite, welcoming soldiers of the US Army Air Forces to Ardmore. The event was the first “open house” at the Ardmore Army Air Base, April 6, 1943, National Army Day. An estimated 8,000 area residents used this first opportunity to visit the base. The base commander, Lt. Colonel Boyd R. Ertwine, was popular with Ardmoreites after letting them get a glimpse of the new base.” gsimmons
Will Rogers School - Ardmore, Oklahoma
WHAT: Former Students/Staff Reunion
WHEN: Saturday, September 1, 2012, 1:00 pm. until 4:00 pm.
WHERE: Will Rogers Auditorium
1. Light Refreshments Will Be Served
2. Recognitions and Roll Call Begins At 1:30pm.
3. Yes, Spouses Are Welcome To The Party
I would love to see all former students/staff who were in the building during my, 29 years, tenure from 1956 to 1985. Please notify your siblings, friends, etc. who attended Will Rogers but might not otherwise get this information.
email@example.com ( For response or questions )
"Hi Butch The picture I recognize is of Percy Butler’s Uniroyal Tire dealership. It was on Broadway across the street (north side) from the old post office bldg. at Broadway and Washington. Just west of there was the old Dr. Pepper bottling plant owned and operated by Gerald Mobley (and I believe his brother Ben). My brother and I both worked there during summer a few times. Our father Bill Bow was an employee there for years until he fell from a ladder and had a back injury that caused a lot of pain for many years. Next to Dr. Pepper (my memory is fading, but I think I am right) was Firestone Tire and perhaps someone else to the east. At some point in time, Dunlop Tire Company also was there somewhere. My clearest memory, though, was the night that Percy’s Uniroyal caught fire. It was a roaring inferno that could be seen for many miles. We stood across Broadway and watched the firefighters, etc. I can’t give you a date, but it had to be in the early fifties, I think. I was a youngster. Mr. Mobley was up on his roof stepping on burning embers trying to keep it from spreading to his building. So, the picture is most likely from early 50’s." -Leon Bow
Early Records of the Bennington and Mt. Pleasant Churches. $25. Order your copy from the Bryan County Genealogy Library and Archives, P. O. Box 153, Calera, OK 34730-0153. $3.50 shipping and handling for one book, Add $1 shipping for each additional copy.
From Facebook: "Butch, the building north of where Safeway used to be, actually the north part of that block had Ken Cliff lanes and north of that at one time was Wilkes Cleaners later to be Montgomery mattress, the building next door north was the Taco Place (before that Taco Boy). Later on it became a video store, a Tire store, a florist, etc." -Richard Creecy
From Facebook: "It was called Taco Boy. We went to lunch there everyday before Vo-Tec." -Rose Lack Chaney
Hey Butch - I'm Derrick Harvey, a long-time reader and local patent attorney in downtown Ardmore. I may have some feedback on Matt's question from last week. Depending on the size/volume of the body of water, it is possible that the Coriolis effect is influencing the counterclockwise swirling that he noticed.
When I worked as an associate in a small firm in Norman, OK about 10 years ago, I helped write a patent that addressed a swimming pool skimming apparatus for William Turner in Calumet, OK. He believed the device worked in part to the Coriolis effect.
For more information on Coriolis effect, here's the wiki page.
Note also that the oft-cited swirling in bathtubs / toilets has been disputed due to nominal water volume, according to the section "draining in bathtubs and toilets." Thanks for all that you do." -Derrick
"Maria (Cida) Calil is our best friend who lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She threw some sunflower seeds on the ledge just outside the fence at her residence and this was the scene the next morning." -james clark
Amazing story about the discovery of a rare 1920 film made by Native Americans about Native Americans. The film called "Daughter of Dawn" was set in Oklahoma and the cast were indigenous tribes in that region - the Kiowa and Comanche. It was screened 90 years ago this October at the College Theater in Los Angeles. Here is the news story about this rare discovery.
"Hi Butch, I live in Baton Rouge. If you come down in crawfish season (early spring), i'll treat you to a crawdad boil. I am a displaced Okie. Once when i was a child, we went to Lake Overholser in Oklahoma City & caught "crawdads" as we called them off the ripwrap using bacon on a string. Daddy decided to boil them. Mama wouldn't let him boil them in the house, so he made a campfire in the yard and boiled them. I don't think he used any seasoning like we do in Louisiana. None of us kids would try them, but daddy ate them, pronouncing then "good". -Susan
The Daily Ardmoreite
October 29, 1946
Show Must Go On to Prevail
Bad breaks and all, the show must go on!
Take this proposed world premiere of "Home in Oklahoma" on Wednesday evening. Roy Rogers, star of the picture, Dale Evans, the leading lady and Gabby Hayes, character actor, are to be on hand for personal appearances at the civic auditorium ahead of the world's fist showing of the film at the Tivoli theater.
Dale Evans, petite little actress, spained her ankle badly. She'll be on hand but will probably be on crutches.
The Hereford calf from the Likins ranch in the Davis district, who was featured in the picture and was supposed to have made an appearance at the premiere, died suddenly on Monday.
Mrs. Roy Rogers, wife of the star, is in a hospital on the west coast with a brand new baby.
All tickets have been sold except for 100 additional seats jammed in the civic auditorium for the late buyers.
Rogers to Be Back
Despite all of these things, plans are for the show to go on. Rogers who flew to his wife's bedside, has promised to be back in time for the show.
Dale Evans, crutches and all, is at the Likins ranch with Gabby Hayes.
The Flying L quartet is ready.
So everything now says that at the 7 p.m. personal appearance event at the civic auditorium will swing into action. The screening of the movie, largely filmed near Daugherty in the Arbuckles, will be at 7:45 p.m. And all ticket holders will be at the auditorium at 6 p.m. probably ready to take their seats for the big event.
The Daily Ardmoreite
October 31, 1946
Noted Actors Are Acclaimed
Civic auditorium was jammed to the top and many stood in the back of the house unable to find seats, to welcome Roy Rogers, cowboy movie star; Dale Evans, his leading lady, and bewhiskered Gabby Hayes, character actor, on Wednesday evening. The three performers were in Ardmore on the occasion of the world premiere of "Home in Oklahoma," a western movie starring Rogers, much of which was filmed in the Arbuckle country north of Ardmore.
Rogers and Miss Evans sang songs, talked to the audience of their experiences. Hayes was given the biggest round of applause of the three when he stalked out on the stage.
The Flying L quartet from the Likins ranch opened the show with a number of songs. They, too, were in the movie.
Sam Blackburn was master of ceremonies.
After the personal appearance at the auditorium the holders of the first 977 advance tickets to the premiere packed the Tivoli theater to see initial screening of "Home in Oklahoma." At 9:45 p.m., another enormous audience was out in the street in front of the theater waiting its turn to see the picture.
From Ardmore, the three actors hastened to Ada where they appeared in person at 9:30 p.m. at a second personal appearance show. "Home in Oklahoma" was being simultaneously premiered in Ada and Ardmore.
Movie on Youtube - Part 1
Movie on Youtube - Part 2
The Oklahoma Redbook
"Friends, I'd like to remind you of two shows I have booked for this coming weekend. On Saturday, July 28, I'll be appearing at the Stagecoach Event Center in Newkirk, Oklahoma. The chuckwagon supper starts at 6:30pm followed by a full evening of cowboy music. Please call 580-362-3160 for reservations. If machine answers, leave name and number of tickets desired. The Stagecoach Event Center is located at 400 West South Ave. in Newkirk.
On Sunday, July 29, I'll be singing at the Cowboy Church, Elgin, OK. The cowboy church is located on Hwy 62, between Elgin and Apache, OK (Lawton area). My gospel music concert starts at 10am. Hope you can join us." -Les Gilliam, "The Oklahoma Balladeer"
Compiled by Melinda Taylor
The Wilson News
October 19, 1916
Wilson's first refinery will be an actuality very soon. This means that others will follow, just as surely as "The night follows the day." Enterprises of different kinds will follow the refineries, and inside of a year. Wilson's factory district will be sending volumes of smoke from many stacks.
November 10, 1916
Material for the new refinery foundation is being wagoned out this week. A spur is soon to be laid by the O.N.M.&P. Railroad out to this site.
December 15, 1916
Herewith we give the list of citizens who so generously contributed to the fund which was raised for the purpose of buying a five-acre site for our first oil refinery. Too much cannot be said in praise of the public-spirited generosity of these citizens in this instance. A list of names follows too long for this article. If you would like the list, please bring a print out of this article to the museum.
Visit us online at or at the museum. Hours: Tue., Thurs., Fri., & Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Visit our site to take a glimpse at our new publication A Tribute to Wilson's World War II Veterans.
"Has any one ever heard of a swimming hole in Millcreek called the quarry? If so do you have any pics? My friend told me it was hard to get to, off the beaten path. Real deep clear water with white sandy beach.?
Wilson's World War II Veterans
This fully indexed, 450-page, glossy laminated, hardcover book includes military biographical information on over 600 individuals from Wilson and the immediate vicinity. For some individuals this information is very extensive, while for others it was culled from newspaper articles. The over 300 pages of local WWII newspaper clippings from January 1940 to June 1964 will transport readers back in time to experience the joys, patriotic fervor and courage of these young men, women and their families. Special pre-release sales price: $35.99 (Now thru 8/17) Orders placed now will be shipped around September 1st.
Regular sales price: $39.99
To everyone who donated information for A Tribute to Wilson's World War II Veterans, I would like to say "Thank you." This book was a labor of love which has taken three years to complete. It is a book of great historical importance to Wilson and the surrounding area and a book that anyone would be proud to have in their library. If you are interested in a list of the veterans who are included in the book, check out our list of names on the website.http://www.wilsonhistoricalmuseum.org/museum_store/ww2-vets-book.html
This Thursday many places around south central Oklahoma are getting rain, and I hope it makes it here to parched Carter county.
The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
Save on long distance calls, just a couple cents a minute!
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
All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
Feel free to forward this free newsletter. Mailouts: over 1,600.
To be removed from my T&T mailings, just send me an email.
I do not sell, trade or give my mailing list to anyone for any reason.