"This & That" News - February 2006

If you're looking for a certain article I wrote in a past issue of "This & That" you might find it faster by doing a "search" with your browser. With Netscape just click your mouse at the top at EDIT and then FIND and type in the word or words you're looking for. If you use Internet Explorer, just click on EDIT and then FIND ON THIS PAGE to do a search.

Below is February 2, 2006 to February 24, 2006.

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02/22/06 My cableone provider has installed new anti spam software and they now are calling my newsletter spam. Their email Server will only let 30 of my newsletters go out and then stops the transmission and gives me the following error: "550 ip (72.24.129.232) blocked for 30 min, 17 spam in a row, Total 17/0 or your server sent to a spam trap address". Their tech support said the only option for me is upgrade to a Business Account with them ($100 a month) and set up a Mail Server of my own. So until I figure out what to do, my newsletter will not go out as usual.

February 23, 2006 Circulation over 5,000 Vol 10 Issue 474

This week I had a great conversation with Ralph Stewart. Ralph is 81 years young and raised at Dickson, OK, but moved to California after high school. He returned a few years ago and is now living outside Oklahoma City. During our phone conversation there were a couple of things that really caught my attention. I know some of you will remember Highway 177 that runs between Dickson and Sulphur was not always 177. Back in the 60s I remember it being Highway 18. It actually started just a couple hundred yards east of the present Highway 199 and Highway 177 intersection at Dickson. Back in the 60s when I was a teen old Highway 18 started between the Dickson elementary and high school, and went north about 1/2 mile and then intersecting with what is now 177 North.

But what really peeked my interest is when Ralph told about the old Highway 18 turned east at the Goddard Barn (south edge of the Arbuckle Mts) continuing east a mile or two and then angled back north through the mountains coming out about a 1/2 mile south of Nebo at the now highway 177. About the only thing left of Nebo, Oklahoma is the old Nebo store, which is on the verge of falling down.

Ralph told me you can see where the old Highway 18 took off to the east when you get on top of a "bald hill" just south of the Nebo store. Of course now there is a fence there on the east side of Highway 177, but you can still see where the old highway angled off to the east. I have drawn a red line how I believe the old highway 18 went east of the Goddard Barn. Since it looks like two 'roads' that go off the the north through the Arbuckle mountains, I drew a blue line to show that second 'road'. Maybe someone knows which one is the correct road north? Click Here

You will also notice in the above map where I continued drawing the red line east of Goddard Barn to come in to the back side of the Airpark. That road used to be Young Road, not sure what it is now. It ends at the Washita river on the east side of the Airpark where the bridge is out. You can see it continued on in a southwestwardly direction and coming in to Gene Autry at the north railroad track crossing. As you go across the railroad crossing at the north end of Gene Autry, the road continued straight east and did not immediately curve back to the north as it does today.

Now the other interesting piece of history from Ralph: Has anyone heard of Oil Creek Falls in eastern Carter county? He said it was east of the Goddard Barn and back north into the Arbuckle Mountains. He said the water came of the falls, then over another big rock and splashing to a deep swimming hole. Ralph said the falls was a popular place during the late 1930s. Wish someone had a pic of Oil Creek Falls.

Here's a pic of the old Eden's Restaurant that was located next door to the old Tivoli theater on Main Street when I was a teen. Click Here

This is an old church pic before statehood. I think its the old Presbyterian Church before the new one was built. Does anyone know for sure? Click Here

James Watkins brought by a coin this week he found when cleaning out his floor furnace. After doing some searches in google and ebay, I found out it as produced for the Masons. This particular coin was made in 1893 and is in great condition with lots of detail to be so old. On one side is: "Ardmore Chapter 11, R.A.M Charted August 10, 1893 Ardmore, Oklahoma". The letters R.A.M. stands for Royal Arch Masonry. The coin is one Penny. James said he would might sell it if someone makes him a good offer. If your interested give James a call at 580-220-1242. Click Here Click Here

This is not Oklahoma history, but I found the photograph interesting. Its a 1911 pic of Niagara Falls when its almost frozen over, called the Big Freeze of 1911. Boy, you talk about cold. Click Here

Several events took place that year at Niagara Falls. Bill Leach one of a couple people who went over the falls in July 1911 in a barrel survived, unlike many others who died making the attempt. Click Here

Last week all of my 1,500 emails went out ok except about 50 T&T subscribers with yahoo.com email addresses. Those bounced back to me.

Dont forget 9am Saturday Feb 25th is pick up day for the Angel Food Program for those of us who have already paid the $25. If you didnt get in on this months distribution, you can still sign up the morning of the Feb 25 and pay your $25 at that time for March's pickup. Hope to see you Saturday! Click Here

This is the menu for March 2006 (Distribution Day is Saturday March 25th). Click Here

SOME LETTERS FROM THIS WEEK'S MAILBAG

"Hi Butch, I had written you about the McMillan School Bell sometime back and you were going to try to get down & get a Picture. Don't know if you did or not, so thought I would send you one. This Bell had been stored out in the pasture behind Arville Saxon's home after it was removed from the School building several years ago. I had talked to Mr. Saxon about putting it out in front of the old school, now Community Center. He was in poor health & passed away before we got it done. His Son J.A. took over his Dad's volunteer duties in the Community, so I approached him and sent him some pictures of a Bell in front of the Chisholm Trail Museum at Waurika, & I thought that would be a good way to display it. To my great surprise, last May at the McMillan Homecoming, he & his Son had installed it. I couldn't have been more proud & I know his Dad and my Dad & Mother, Melvin & Iva (Harrell) Gardner, all started school there about 1914, would be equally proud. Butch, the is the bell that came from the McMillan School. But I know about the Tyler School Bell too. I believe a man by the name of Dall Peoples has the Tyler School Bell at his home about a mile North of the McMillan Road on Yellow Hills Road. I believe that is the correct name of the Road. Too bad it wasn't displayed in front of the old Tyler School, which is still standing. Maybe used as a Church sometime back. My older Brother had to climb up in the belfry several times to replace the rope, while we were attending school there in the late 30's & early 40's. Great memories. Thanks for letting me share this information. I do so enjoy your weekly T&T's" -Tawana (Gardner) Fleming Click Here
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"The smoke from the Arbuckle fire was coming along as far south as Whitesboro, TX and as far east and west as the horizons. Could smell it in the car. 2/16/06" -John Moore
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"Butch, I just finished reading Issue 473 and there were a number of items that triggered memories of life in Ardmore. The night in 1966 when the plane crash occurred, I was in town for the weekend and visiting Haywood Vaughan. His nephew, Fillmore was there with his girlfriend. Her father was the president of the airline and the pilot that night. The phone rang and it was someone telling her that her father had been involved in a crash at the airpark. That is the last time I ever saw her.

The photo of the group of cave explorers from 1967 included Joe Woody who had come to Ardmore High as wrestling coach and social studies teacher for the 1964/65 school year. One weekend night during his first year in Ardmore he jumped in the back seat of John Murphey's car at the Sonic with some kind of weird hat pulled down over his face. I was sitting shotgun in the front seat and turned around and reached back to see who was hidden under the hat. I saw who it was and turned back around and never said anything. I figured he was just out trying to see what his athletes did during their spare time.

I remember the original drag strip on Lake Murray Drive because it was dirt except for the starting line as I remember it. Tommy Smith's father, Eugene, worked for Grondyke Trucking in Ardmore, but on Sunday he drove the water truck at the strip that kept the dust under control. For some reason, I remember Olds as being a hot car at that time at the drags. When I was in high school, the dragstrip was north of town and it was operated by a guy named Shaw with a shop on Broadway.

As for the story about the town of Ringling, I can tell you that John Ringling built the railroad line that ran from Ardmore. The rail line was built to carry cargo to and from the new oil field at Healdton. It was later sold to the Santa Fe R.R. And, no, that was way before my time. My father told me about the early railroad a long time ago." -Monroe Cameron m_o_cameron@yahoo.com
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"The picture of the Hugo Buffaloes reminds me of the buffalos we saw a short distance from the Fort Sill, Oklahoma reservation where I was born, and lived for about seven years (until 1937). My father was a soldier and cavalryman stationed at Fort Sill during the 30's. During our daylight trips to and from Lawton, Oklahoma for various reasons we observed a large herd of American buffalos (bisons). This herd might have been part of the increased buffalo population in the United States that, as you know, were almost annihilated in the United States during the 1800's." -Elmer G. West
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I suspect some of those articles on the race trace north of Ardmore were written by me; I was one of the founders of the drag strip! Police Chief Hubert Bartlett asked me to help publicize it, in an effort to get the drag races off of Broadway and onto "safer" ground at the Lake Murray air strip. I put "safer" in quotes because it has its own dangers.

The track was laid out as an oval, with a quarter-mile straightaway on the east side, then a curve to the northbound straight. We would run the quarter, then brake and follow the curve around to get back to the starting area.

But one Sunday afternoon, I was lined up to start a race and the club president (whose name is lost to me in the mists of memory) was the flagman. Suddenly he yanked the passenger-side door of my '54 Chevy open, jumped in, and yelled "Go!" He had seen a cloud of dust at the end of the strip.

I switched on the (illegal but authorized by Sheriff Enoch Watterson, who made me his official photographer to justify them) lights and siren of my car and we took off. The ambulance, alerted by my siren, fell in behind me. We got there to find that one of the previous racers, who ran a Model T coupe with its original mechanical brakes, had lost his braking ability at the curve and ran straight on, going off a small cliff into a dry creek bed and landing upside down. He was out of the car when we arrived, and said he was fine -- then a few minutes later collapsed and passed out. Turned out he had separated a shoulder blade! He recovered and raced again, but not in the T. Actually he was very lucky. When he had built the T originally, he used ordinary window glass rather than safety glass, and it went everywhere when he crashed -- yet he didn't have a single cut.

I really enjoyed the races although I never managed to win a trophy. It was enough, though, to prove that the little OHV 6-cylinder Chevy, power-timed and fitted with a Corvette dual-exhaust manifold, could hold its own with the Ford V8 rigs, thanks to my use of undersize tires (5.00x15s) on the rear wheels. In fact, the first time I came out of the gate on a test run (not on a race day, but before our first meeting) the car had so much torque that I made an involuntary 90-degree turn, off the track and into the spectator area. I had to let out the clutch real softly to keep that from happening in races!

Since I was only in Ardmore (as the city reporter for the Ardmoreite) from the fall of 1954 through November 1955, that would have to have been in the summer of 1955. -Jim Kyle http://www.jimkyle.com
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"Butch was down I35 and noticed lots of construction right on the banks of the Red River by the nearby Casino/Chickasaws. It looked an awful lot like the Browns Springs area will be encroached or developed before long. Have you been by there recently?"
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"This interactive Internet Radio is easy to use and incredibly cool, exposing you to the great music you always knew was out there but could never find. Just enter an artist you love, and Pandora will create a station for you. Then the site will become your personal DJ, playing you great music that has a similar style to your initial preference." http://www.pandora.com/
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"Restore history is an A+. There is so many history lessons that has been change to where "our" history and today's don't jive. Like the plant Pluto is now said it is not, now why don't these "new" kids leave things as they where just for us that know what was and what is? Money! That's why our history changes. Why, when I visited Ardmore the first time I remember asking my folks about them concrete blocks. Daddy said, "They put them up so mom wouldn't hit someone's house or the corner." Then of course the argument would be on. LOL Just like them brick streets, lol, that was my mother's wash board. Mr. Bridges, I thank you for giving us the history reminder and all the stories almost forgotten, your one youngin' that is ok. You keep on writin' and I with others will keep on readin', even without the "three R's" that "ain't" taught very good today. But that is for another history lesson." -Vera
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"Butch, I for one have a hat badge just like the one in the picture. It was my hat badge when I joined the Oklahoma City Police Dept in 1968. They replaced them and our uniform badges in the late 80's with the gold ones the officers still wear today." -Sgt. Dennis Lippe, OCPD (Ret)
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"Hi Butch, The great photo of the old R.R. engine at Hugo really got my attention. I was fortunate to be the first Maint. Chief at the brand new Calif. Railroad Museum which opened in April, 1981 ( we also had Sutter's Fort and several other historic museums). I took the liberty of forwarding the Hugo photo to Steve Drew, Chief Curator of C.S R.M.. Prior to the grand opening, we (the state) acquired a couple dozen various engines and rail cars, most of which were totally restored in our own restoration shop. Some were in as bad shape as the engine in Hugo, but if you have been to the C.S.R.M., you would find it hard to believe, as they are works of art and considered as Calif. jewels. I can take no credit for the fine restoration, but was lucky to work with the people who did the actual work. They were (are) true artists. On a different note, I've been meaning to ask you and your readers about the buffalo that used to be at Platte Nat'l Park when I was a kid living in Sulphur. There were about twenty head pastured just south of town. Are they still there, or if not, what ever happened to them?" -Bob Elliston
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"Good morning Butch, Read with interest your article about the circus in Hugo. The big one is Carson and Barnes. The only 5 ring circus still under the big top. I worked for them as a contract agent after the oil boom busted. I traveled extensively securing sponsors to bring the circus to their town for a fund raiser. For the most part, they did 2 performances daily(mid afternoon, and night), then pack up and on to the next town, usually about 100 miles apart. The elephants not only performed, the helped put up the big top. It was like a traveling city. They had their own cook and dining area, medical personnel, mechanics to repair any breakdowns from electric generators, or vehicle problems, and anything else needed to keep the show on the road. As for the showman's area at the Hugo cemetery, I was told since I had worked for the circus, I was eligible to be buried there if I wished. I treat it as an honor although I have other plans. Thanks Butch, keep up the good work." -Jerry Landrum
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"Scheryl and I were eating Catfish tonight and I picked up this pickle out of a plate full of pickles. May I can sell it on ebay. You never know when someone wants a Jack-O-Lantern made out of a pickle. Ha Ha" -Doug Williams Click Here
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"I have many memories of that old Cadillac Ambulance. Took many trip to OKC in it, many by myself with a patient, but that was the norm back then. Made alot calls in those old Dodges with you and Joe. Oh the memories......" -Crutcher
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"Hi, Butch! The plural spelling of buffalo sent me to the dictionary to see what they had to say about it, hence, the following: "Buffalo - noun - plural: - buffaloes, buffalos, or (collectively) buffalo. Kind of interesting, huh! Thanks again for the time and effort you put into your TnT." -Penny
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"I thought this info might be beneficial to your T and T readers. Just enter your zipcode and the next screen will show gas prices in that area including the cheapest." For Gas Prices Click Here
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"Butch, You have been mentioning Ponder's Super Dog's several times lately. I went to a Sonic here in Lufkin, TX and ordered a "Super Dog". The order taker didn't know what I meant. For several minutes I didn't realize what I had said and got miffed at the girl for not understanding me. Finally I changed my order to a "Corn Dog"." -Bill Spearman
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"Does anyone have photos of Devils's Den north of Tishomingo: I truly enjoyed picnics there hen our children were small. We had many good times exploring." Click Here
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"Butch we found this 4 Star Chili at Wal-Mart and it is great. Not as greasy as Fraser's chili. I even put a can of Rotel tomatoes in it and make it better. But it is great without them also. It is 3.32 a package. Cook a package of Mexican cornbread and you have a treat with the cornbread and chili." -Doug Williams Click Here
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"Hi Butch, first I want to say how much I enjoy your newsletters and your subscribers' comments as well as questions. Having lived in Guthrie and OK City areas from 1938 through 1961 and much of my family & ancestry were involved with the OK Land Runs in Canadian & Logan Counties, I am continually challenged to "discover more". Several of my family members later relocated to the Ardmore area in early 1900's--with that in mind I am hoping some of your readers might be able to help. My Great Aunt Maggie Northcott Nobbs was deeply involved for many years with the Salvation Army program there in Ardmore. In the 1930 Census she is listed as a Salvation Army Ensign, and is "owner" of a rooming house at 102 1st Ave., S.W. Her only child died in 1923, leaving 2 young children who lived with her there. In 1945, Maggie's records show her death at "The Confederate House" and at that time she was a Salvation Army Captain. ANY information would be appreciated, and of course pictures would be wonderful. I've been told there was a photo taken of her, her 2 grandchildren, and several others together in front of or near the Salvation Army location which was used in a newspaper article. Thus far I've not been able to locate it. Maggie's buried in Rose Hill Cemetery @ 12th & B---Lot 95 #9 in the NE corner and her daughter Annabelle Nobbs Sawyer is said to be buried next to Maggie. I don't often get back to OK or have the opportunity to further round out the facts and documentation which I have found and listed--does anyone know more OR have any photos or articles? Thanks in advance for any assistance." -Benjean in AZ bndwrogers@peoplepc.com
------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Butch, You all were discussing the Breakfast Club once I think. I found this booklet my mom had kept. She always listed to this all the time." -Minnie Lou Whittington Click Here Click Here Click Here
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"Last weeks issue caught my eye when I looked at the picture Dwayne Stevens took of the trucks on I-35 during fire time- ever notice how "patriotic" the picture was- there was a red, white, and blue truck in it! He does a beautiful job with pictures always! Also saw a name which brought back many memories of days at ONG- when I was there at same time as Shack Pittman. I can name a dozen or so that were there at same time and am still in touch with one- Voncille Longino (Now Shipley) who has done some great writing about the southwest! We were able to get two of her books and will have to follow up to see whether there are any more "in progress". What a great blessing it is to have the weekly updates and appreciate your good work in providing them!" -Bob Farrington
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"Memorial Hospital's open house, Sunday, May 29, draws 5,000 visitors to tour the 1.5 million dollar modern facility. It officially opened May 30, 1955, the first patient being Mrs. Marvin Waller, Route 2, Wilson, Oklahoma, a maternity case. The Waller's six pound daughter, Berneta Ann, was born at 6:10am. The second patient, Mrs. Kenneth Vaughn, gave birth to a girl May 31, at 2:40AM. Expecting a boy, a name was not readily available for his sister. All Hardy Hospital patients were transferred to the new Memorial Hospital. Hardy Hospital doors closed forever. May 30, 1955" -Memory Jogger, 1953-59, http://www.brightok.net/~gsimmons/mem53-59.htm
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"My name is Stephen M. Gower, the reason I'm writing you is to find out if anyone's knowledge of Oklahoma history might be able to help me answer some questions in regards to my family tree. A lot of Gower's were born in the Stringtown area which is just a little below Coalgate in coal County. As a matter of fact, okie was born in stringtown in 1920, my father, mack, was born there in 1925. Funny, even though it was and is a small town, they never knew each other in childhood. Anyway, if you believe you might be able to help me, i would greatly appreciate it. thank you." -Stephen M. Gower traingeek1951@surewest.net
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"Butch, I recently found this page about a southern Oklahoma guy who helped Chuck Yeager break the sound barrier and was a great influence in modern aviation. He was flight engineer for the X1 rocket plane project with Yeager and Bob Hoover. He had an interesting life. The article stated that he was born in Garvin, Oklahoma (west of Idabel). I think I read an article in the Sulphur paper some years ago that said he graduated from Sulphur High School. but I might be dreaming. I also knew a guy back in the early 40's in Sulphur named Eddie Ridley. I would like to know if any of the T&T readers would have any more local info on Jack Ridley and if he is related to Eddie Ridley." -Roy Miller, Okc. riprap@sbcglobal.net Click Here
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"I have wondered about the street signs that sit on the corner. The one on Bailey is one that my father Tony Higginbotham has always wanted to refurbish, but have yet to do it. We all know how that goes. It is on the list, but who knows when it will happen. My Grandfather lived there, and that was my summer lodging every year as a Dallas kid(city slicker as one cousin would always call me). Next to the house is a rock wall, and let me tell you, that was one place that was always fun to play. That and he would always find me an old skate while out junk'n and make me a scooter. This was in the mid 80's and very early 90's. If any of you are wondering, his name was Cecil Higginbotham, and was a great person." -Cecil Higginbotham TX Click Here
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But did anyone ever stop to think what exactly is in brick chili to solidify it that way?? ;-)
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Texoma coffee roasters - Good to the last bean: COLBERT, Okla. It started with Tony and JoAnn Winningham just wanting a better cup of coffee. The couple met when Tony, who was from the state of Washington, was in the army and JoAnn in native Oklahoma, and when he got out of the service, they moved to Colbert where Tony taught math and computer courses at the high school. He retired in 1999, then took up teaching again at Murray State College in Tishomingo. During their time in the military, the Winninghams found there was more to the coffee experience than the usual fare on the grocery store shelves. We had been to a lot of places and tasted good coffee, coffee that wasnt bitter, that had a good coffee flavor. Unable to find what he wanted locally, Winningham started doing some research and then begin to buy beans off the Internet, and prepare them himself.
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"Butch, regarding the man who made tamales and pushed a cart on Ardmore's main street years ago, the Mexican guy lived on 7th and G NE, right behind the Calvary Baptist Church. I guess his name was Pete because everyone called him "Mexican Pete". If you can locate CJ Fuller or Andrew Loftis they can probably fill you in on Pete. I think he was their grandfather. Also Donald J. Fuller was his grandson. Don't know if any of those guys are still around there or not. Take care and keep up the good work."
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Pamy's Place in Baring, MO and her song "I'll Walk You Home" (must have the free program RealPlayer 3.0 to hear).
Click Here
Click Here

See everyone next week!

Butch Bridges
Nashobish Ikana
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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February 16, 2006 Circulation over 5,000 Vol 10 Issue 473

Mark Coe wrote in this week asking if anyone knew if any of those old concrete street markers were still around Ardmore. You know, they were triangular in shape, and never wear out. Anyway, there are two that I know of. One is at C street and Moore SE and the other at Bailey and 9th SE. Does anyone know of any more scattered around town? Click Here Click Here

I must tell a story about me and those concrete street markers: Back in 1976 we had just received 2 new Dodge van type ambulances and moved into our new office on Grand Avenue. For one thing, we still had a very looooooong Cadillac ambulance and it would barely fit in the bay's stall and even then came within a few inches of the back wall. So every now and then someone would back too far in, and hit that north wall. Now let me make one thing perfectly clear, I never backed into that north wall. lol. Anyway, our Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service manager, Bill Lewis, was at work at Charlie's garage on his day's off, called the ambulance office and asked me to check with the City to see if they had any left over concrete street signs we could use in the bays as 'stops' behind the back wheels of our ambulances. So I made the call, and sure enough, they had several sitting out at the old city garage at C Street SE and 3rd, and all we had to do was go pick them up. No problem, I'm 25 years old, strong as an ox and that assignment would no hill for a climber. WRONG. My shift partner, Joe Pack, and I got in our 1967 Chevrolet station wagon ambulance and went to get four of those concrete street signs. After all, they are only about 5 wide inches on each side and about 4 feet long. Hey, I thought this was going to be easy.

Boy, we could only put two of those markers on the tail gate of that station wagon without making the back end hit bottom. And just trying to lift those to the back of the tailgate, well, all I can say is we both nearly busted a gut doing it. Man, it seemed those things weighed a ton. But we got it done. I think Bill Lewis had that planned all along, to be off the day we picked them up. lol. Here's a couple of pics of our old ambulances when we were parked at the old Seventh Day Adventists Hospital. One was taken at the side of the old office building, the other when we were temporarily housed in a trailer house on the east side of that hospital. Click Here Click Here

Ok, now look at the poor lonely street marker again. Can't you just hear the one on Bailey SE crying out for a facelift? Here's the plan of attack I propose: armed with a couple of wire brushes, two cans of white fast-dry spray paint, a couple of us could hit it on two fronts at the same time.... one from the east side and another from the south side, and using my stencils could have it repainted in 5 minutes and looking like brand new.... and stenciled with black letters just like it was years ago. Anybody game? Let me know and we'll decide on a date and time. I think this piece of Ardmore history needs restored. Click Here

I talked about the Hugo circus last week and put some pics up for everyone to see. Now to show some of the other things I found in Hugo, Oklahoma. This is a pic I took of this old train on display at the Hugo depot. Click Here Click Here

When I saw this bronze buffalo in front of the Hugo high school, I had to stop and take a pic. He sure is beautiful. The plaque underneath says "buffaloes" which looks like a strange way to spell it. But I guess they ought to know. Click Here Click Here Click Here

After that cold snap last weekend, I stopped in and bought a brick of chili at Harrison's Grocery at P street NE and 3rd here in Ardmore. Was pretty tasty. There is not many places around this area that makes 'brick' or 'block' chili anymore. They are a dying breed of chili makers. Click Here

Can't remember if I posted this or not, but when I was at the McMillan cemetery between Ardmore and Madill a couple weeks ago, I took a pic of the entrance. I know some readers have kinfolks buried there, and they live many states away and seldom if ever get to visit. Click Here

Speaking of McMillan, Oklahoma when I was leaving to go back to Highway 70, there on the east side of McMillan Road just a few 100 feet north of the cemetery was a bell. I think it was in front of a church or soon to be church. And when I looked closer, there was some old steps in front of the church. I wonder if these were the steps to an old church or school? Anyway, here is some pics of that great big bell mounted on railroad ties..... a real school bell. Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here

Grover Wells sent in an interesting photo he took this last week. Its a plaque put up for the Rock Creek Reservoir NW of Ardmore at Caddo Creek. At that time the lake was known as Rock Creek Reservoir, but today we know it as Lake Scott King. Click Here

I received a special request and phone call this week. He was one of the very few survivors of that 196 plane crash NE of Ardmore in the Arbuckle mountains. Here is his own words:

"I was a survivor of the 1966 plane crash. I was badly burned. but I managed to hike out down the hill to a road. I was picked by a couple, who took me to their house and called for help. I was taken to the Ardmore Hospital. I did not know about the Airpark Memorial till just recently. I am planning to visit the area this spring and I would like to get as much info as I can and about the couple who rescued me." Daniel McNutt
danielmcnutt@peoplepc.com
9244 W. Lilac Rd
Escondido Ca 92026
760-419-7373

A friend gave me a badge this week that was found somewhere in downtown Ardmore. But the badge is not a Ardmore Police badge. This is the kinda of badge that is worn on a uniform hat instead of on a uniform shirt. Maybe someone recognizes where this badge may have come from? Click Here Click Here

Last week all my 1,500 emails went out ok except a lot of T&T subscribers with yahoo.com email addresses bounced back to me.

SOME LETTERS FROM THIS WEEK'S MAILBAG

"Hi Butch, Just got T&T and realized I had not received it for a couple of months. Glad I'm getting it again. I used to live in Durant and George's Drive In was one of my favorite places. The burgers are indeed the best". -Nelda True, St. Louis, MO
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"I just wanted to make a correction regarding the chili story at Pittman's grocery in NE Ardmore. The store was located on 4th Ave. NE, on the NW corner of "M" street, not L as mentioned in a previous posting. Wayne Pittman's Dad did work in the store some, but it was his wife Mabel who ran the store. Mable also made the chili, and she had different women who helped her run the store. Shack Pittman would work in the store some after working for ONG, Co in the late PM's and on Saturday's also. His brother Ernest also helped Mable in the store at various times. I remember Pauline Burris, and Mrs. Bea Scribner working with Mabel, and now remember Mary McNeely Walters also did for awhile. Yes, the city bus also came down from 8th Ave NE on M to 3rd NE where it turned back west towards town. Later, the bus just stayed on 7th Ave NE all the way from "F" to "M". For many years when the bus reached "L" NE, it turned and crossed the Frisco RR, and went down 8th Ave. NE that one block until it reached "M" where it turned south. Many black people and students from Douglass got on and off the bus at the 8th and M bus stop. Trips down memory lane can be very fond indeed."
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"Butch, your readers might enjoy this old 1967 picture of Mack McGilliard. The people in the picture left to right are: Charles Smith, Glenn Smith, Ollie Testerman, Joe Woody, V.S. Watson, Mack McGilliard, and Jerry Coe. Joyce Franks took the picture. Mack spotted the cave entrance while shooting aerial photo's for the Ardmoreite. V.S. Watson and Ollie Testerman located the cave entrance near the head waters of Eight Mile Creek in the Arbuckle Mountains. Eight of us took off to christen the cave in an old WW11 Army Ambulance belonging to Glenn Smith. Mack broke a bottle of Spring Water over the cave entrance to christen it "McGilliard Cave". An article and pictures appeared in the Ardmoreite Sunday, October 15, 1967." -Charles Smith Click Here
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"Butch it looks like from the pictures that Sulphur was once a beautiful place. I grew up in Love county and we went to Sulphur a lot on picnics etc but I never had an inkling of all this. What ever happened to it? I read where the Indians were going to rebuild that nice old hotel in the likeness of before. Maybe some of it will return? I found the history of Rickenbacker interesting. I used to live on a street in Midwest City named for him. It was north of Tinker." -Nellie Fox Combe
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"Hi Butch, The article on Hugo sure caught my interest. I have been to Hugo many times, attending the Hugo Bluegrass Festival While you were on Circus Road, you will cross Bill Grant Road. About one mile north on Bill Grant Road is Salt Creek Park where the Hugo Bluegrass Festival was held, Starting Wednesday of the first week in August. The Rustic stage is set up in a Hickory Nut tree Grove, and at the west end of the stage is a big golden bell, at least 24 inches across. Bill Grant, The owner, told me it came from the Flint Hill school, about seven miles west southwest of Hugo. I sent you some pictures, but can't find them in my files, or would send them again." -Jim Brown, Odessa TX Click Here
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Butch we are trying to find information on the old Ardmore race track, that the slow pokes car club ran back in the 50s. It was located at the Ardmore downtown airport. I have found some news articles from old newspapers, but none of the remaining club members have any photos or much information about the old drag strip. We are putting together a 52 year reunion of the Ardmore Raceway and Slow pokes car club. any history you may have or any help getting the word out to others would be appreciated." -Rob Ragland rragland@brightok.net
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"Butch, This circus entry in T&T reminded me of the days when I worked for the Carter County Title Company and was digging around in court house records for land title information. Back then I learned that at one time, John Ringling North, who once owned the Ringling brothers circus, had large land holdings in Carter county. I frequently ran across that name when researching land titles in Carter county. I'm sure one of those people down in the county clerk's office could tell you a little more about that as I'm sure they still come across the name as often today. I did a little internet searching as I wrote this email. It appears that North was a nephew of the Ringling bros who began that circus. I believe that the Jefferson county town of Ringling was named for North's uncle, John Ringling." -David Cathey
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"The cemetery at Hugo is a very interesting place, while you were there did you by chance notice that Freckles Brown, Todd Whatley and Lane Frost all World Champion Rodeo Cowboys are buried there. They have beautiful tombstones. It is a interesting place to visit." -Bessie Manning
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Butch-- Having recently been elected to the CPASA (Citizen's for the Protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Acquifer) Board, I am becoming more aware of the crisis we are facing in South Central Oklahoma in order to preserve the beauty and heritage of our area. As readers of T&T, I know you have a love for southern Oklahoma. I encourage each of you to check our website to become aware of the impending danger to the water and streams in our area. When you go to the website go to "Home"" and then click "Watch video online--" The Arbuckle/Simpson Acquifer, a Treasure Threatened" -- it's an eye opener. We need your support!! Thanks -Helen Thompson Click Here
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While you were visiting the Hugo cemetery recently Butch, did you happen to also see the Choctaw County Library and the bronze artwork entitled, "The Adventure of Books"? Those sculptures were created by Jim Franklin who just happens to be the father of my daughter-in-law Juli. Jim's sculpture studio is about a block south of my shop and his work is very good. Jim has been an artist for many years, and was creating much of his work in the basement of his home while he worked as a designer of Ditch Witch Equipment for the factory located here in Perry, Oklahoma. Then when he retired from Ditch Witch, he decided he needed a larger place for his studio and purchased a building on the south side of our courthouse square. Much of his work now consists of bas-relief sculptures plus some statues done on special order." -Roy Kendrick, Perry Click Here Click Here
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"Oh my goodness!!! Geo's burgers!!! These people up north have no idea how to make a good hamburger!!! I can still remember sitting in the back seat of our 1964 Ford (Which I still have) with my sister and our parents, munching on a burger and drinking a strawberry malt. I can't remember the last malt I had. They have milk shakes up here, but not malts. -Candis in NY
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"Just a note FYI. George's Drive In started life as Pete's Drive In. I don't know the particulars but as a teenager I had a lot of good burgers there when it was Pete's. As best I remember, it became George's some time in the late 50's or early 60's. I don't know who Pete was or is. I still know some of Georges extended family. His sister was married to a man named Massey. John Massey of the First United Band is one of her sons. Unfortunately, Mrs. Massey passed away a couple of years ago. She was well into her 80's. John Cox, Durant. PS. Your "This and That" was forwarded to me from a friend. I found it very interesting. It sounds like you enjoy what you are doing."
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"Butch: I grew up at Grant, located 5 miles south of Hugo. The thing I remember most vividly about the circus people was a guy nicknamed Elephant John. He lived with the elephants and took care of them, and smelled of it. When Big John would come into the Erie Theatre, his body odor was so overpowering that people would leap from their seats and move as far away from him as possible. He could clear the balcony out by simply coming in and being seated. I don't think the man ever took a bath. He was truly dedicated to his job but man was he rank. About 1955 or so, a circus fan from far away addressed an envelope to "Circus Town USA" with nothing else. The U.S.P.O. delivered it to one of the circus managers in Hugo. They thought that was a big deal and it made quite a splash."
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"While Terri and I were visiting her Mom at Mehan (near Stillwater) I ran over to Cushing to see the tank farms that Terri's Mom was telling me about. I've attached some shots of Cushing's unique "Pipeline Crossroads" sign (one at each end of town) and of some of the Oilfield Tank Farms just outside of town. Quite interesting to see this many of the large tanks. I visited with the folks in the offices to get permission to photograph the farms. Very nice folks. As with any large facility such as this they are concerned with the homeland security issues nowdays and I can certainly understand that. In years past there were at least this many of these large tanks in the Wilson-Ringling-Healdton area. There are still a few around but not like in the old days." -Dwane Stevens Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here
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"Kind of sad that she only lived for six months after arriving at the sanctuary, but it sounds like she had a very very long life. I can't find any details, but I did find the following". -Julie

"Anna May, a 57-year-old Asian elephant, passed away at Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary on December 21, 2004" Click Here Click Here
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Wirt, Oklahoma Tornado By Donald Smith
I am not sure of the year, but was about 1935. It was a bright & clear day. There was no thought of bad weather. We, my brother Edson and Gene Hawkins our neighbor boy had been out side playing. When a dark cloud appeared southwest of our house. I was about five years old. I do not remember who saw the funnel drop down out of the cloud but the next thing I remember, was being rushed inside the house. Normally we would have dashed to the storm cellar, but it was bearing down on us and to late to do so. The doors and windows were quickly closed. The winds hit us almost as soon as we close the house. Dirt & dust was flying so thick you could hardly see out of the windows. I remember my brother Clyde taking me and placed me next to an inside bedroom wall and telling me lay down next to it and stay there no matter what happened. Gene got so excited he went berserk and Clyde had to slap him around to calm him down. The tornado pulled shingles off the roof of the house. Pulled the porch roof off the front and back of our so called wash house, a former two room office building. The tornado swung to the west and hit the Ferguson home and pulled the entire roof off of it. Mr. Ferguson was a western buff and was reading a novel. They told him, come to the storm cellar, and he replied I will be right there. The next thing he knew was the roof was gone. It veered across the Wirt, Healdton road northeasterly and hit the Holder home on the Shell Oil Co. lease taking the roof of it. When it reached the top of the hill the tornado jumped off the ground and did not set down again. This all happen through the eyes of a five year old boy, refreshed by stores by his brother Clyde Smith 69 years ago.
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"Butch, I went to Southeastern in Durant from 1962-65. Geo's Drive Inn did have the greatest hamburgers. Second best to the ones at the Hamburger Inn in Ardmore, where I grew up. Going on dates, we'd go to the show, our date would take us home, and then go to Geo's for a hamburger. Guys back then couldn't afford to take us to the show and feed us too. When my daughter attended Southeastern, every time we went to visit her, we'd go by Geo's and get a hamburger. They were just like I remembered!" -Diana in Childress, Tx
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"Overbrook School south of Ardmore closed in 1960. I am trying to contact people that have gone to school there Is there anyway that you can help by putting something on your website. We want to have an Overbrook School reunion sometime in the summer. we have not set a definite date yet. Anyone that has gone to school there can contact me at lkerr2102@sbcglobal.net or mail me at Linda Kerr, 603 E Main, Marietta, Ok. 73448 or can call me at 580-812-1208 or my sister Joyce Allgood at 580-223-2175, or mail 717 4th SE, Ardmore, Ok. 73401. Will appreciate all the help that you can give. Or if you have any information the Overbrook School. thanks." -Linda Kerr
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Cotton wagons on Main Street of Roff, Oklahoma. Click Here
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The Ardmore Computer Discussion Circle will meet on Tuesday February 21 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Ardmore Public Library, 320 E st. NW, Ardmore, Ok. We will hopefully have a laptop connected to the Internet so that more information will be available to answer questions. Also I am going to try to bring an old system with which I can demonstrate the workings of a hard drive. As always, there is no membership fee or charge of any kind so please attend and bring your questions or answers and let's help each other! -William Stanton
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"Ten of thirty buffalo transferred to Lake Murray Park from Medford, Oklahoma roamed to another part of the park and had to be "rounded up" and brought back to their assigned pastures. Carl Votaw, park superintendent, hired Joe Forbes and three of his ranch cowboys to drive them home. November 10, 1943 Fast Forward Note: According to recent communication with Floyd Forbes, son of Joe Forbes and one of the cowboys who rounded up the buffalo, they continued to roam! They were put in pastures surrounded with fences but would swim out into Lake Murray in the Elephant Rock area and return to shore in another area beyond the fences. The problem continued and the animals were sold, gathered and shipped to a new owner. One animal that could not be gathered with the herd, later supplied buffalo steaks courtesy of Forbes Meat Market, Ardmore, owned by Joe Forbes' brother." From "Memory Joggers 1942-46." Click Here
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Sulphur, Oklahoma Belleview Artesian Well and Plunge. Click Here
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"Hi Butch, As a kid living in Sulphur in the late thirties (we left Okla. in 1940), I vividly remember both the Vendome and Bellevue swimmin' pools. At the Vendome, I recall the big swing that must have been thirty feet high. People would swing out over the pool and slide out and go plunging into the water. I went swimming at the Bellevue about 1948 while back for a vacation, and the two things I remember most was a big spinning top in the pool, and the icy cold prep-pool to use whenever the water in the big pool got too cold; just jump in that small icy pool for a second and the big pool felt very warm when you got back in. Today's Sulphurites would really love either place, and it's too bad they're gone. Progress isn't always good, but inevitable, I guess." -Bob Elliston
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"There was another large grass fire in the Arbuckles today, Thursday 02-16-06. I-35 and Hwy 77 were both closed for a time because of the thick smoke covering the highways. The aircraft from the Air Park near Gene Autry were battling the flames again along with lots of ground units. First photo shows traffic backed up on the north bound lane of I-35 leading into the Arbuckle Mts. Second photo shows clouds of smoke crossing Hwy 77 on top of Arbuckles." -Dwane Stevens Click Here Click Here
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When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint on the clouds of doubt,
And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things go wrong that you mustn't quit.
-Unknown

See everyone next week!

Butch Bridges
Nashobish Ikana
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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February 9, 2006 Circulation over 5,000 Vol 10 Issue 472

I was over at Hugo, Oklahoma the other day to see the "circus cemetery". Its a section of Hugo's Mt Olivet Cemetery reserved for the circus people and their families. It's called The Showman's Rest. I think back to when I was a kid and loved to see the circus performers along with their animals putting on their shows when in Ardmore. I remember the 3-ring circus coming to Ardmore in the 60s, but I cant remember if I ever saw the 5 ring circus or not. I know the 3 ring was almost too much to keep track of with so much going on at once. One time in particular sticks in my mind concerning the circus coming to Ardmore. I was just out of high school here and working for Pace Electric Motor Repair at 24 4th NE (SW corner of A NE and 4th. I was working there for Walter S. Bailey repairing electric motors when the circus was in town. It was about 3pm on a Tuesday and the circus boss came in with a burned out electric hoist they used (along with the elephant's help) to put up the big tent. He said we got to have this fixed in order to get the big tent up before showtime the next day. Walter Bailey told him it was quitting time, but if he could talk me into working after hours, that I could. So I agreed and worked to 11pm repairing that big electric hoist and the circus boss gave me a $100 bill just for myself. All this took place about 1968 or 1969.

That circus boss asked me just before leaving Pace Electric if I was going to the circus, I said yes. He told me to find him when I get there and he'd see I got something nice from one of the tents. When I arrived Friday evening a circus employee pointed me toward the boss, and true to his word, he took me to a tent and said I could pick anything I wanted to take home. It was one of those games where you had play and win, to get a prize. I picked the biggest stuffed bear they had, and away I went. lol

Oh and the beautiful animals and the performers, real performers, not like the TV actors of today where the dangerous stuff is put on by stunt men and trick cameras. As I walked around in that special section of the Hugo cemetery, and would see the beautiful monuments and some even had their animals etched on the granite too. There was one with Anna May the elephant etched. She traveled the world with the circus for many years, and undoubtedly had been in Ardmore a number of times. A few years ago Anna May was retired after 57 years and put in an animal sanctuary in Arkansas. I wonder if she is still alive. Her trainers were Buckles and Barbara Woodcock. In the picture below, that is their daughter atop Anna May. Click Here

I liked the poem written by John Herriott for Turtle Benson on his circus life. Click Here

Elephants mark off the special section of Olivet Cemetery. Click Here

I never did see a sign pointing the way to Mt Olivet Cemetery as you go through Hugo on Highway 70, but you turn south at Taco Mayo and go over the railroad tracks and on south a few blocks to the cemetery on the east side. It sure is a beautiful drive down through the cemetery when you leave the front gate..... with the green shrubs on each side. Click Here

The circus spends the winter at Hugo each year along what the locals call "Circus Road" but its real name is Kirk Road. Its located on the north edge of Hugo. The circus will be loading up and heading out next month. Here is what the President of Kelly Miller Circus sent me: "We open on the 25th of March in Calera, Oklahoma and come back to play Hugo this year on April 1st. I would like to let people know that we have a website and we would love to have folks visit, and if they would like to bring the circus to their town they can email bigtop@kmcircus.com or go to the website where they will find contact information." -David Rawls, Pres. Kelly Miller Circus Click Here Click Here

I have a lot more to share with plenty of pics and info, but will have to stick it in my T&T over the next week or two because of space constraints. Also I want to hopefully tell about a grave at Mt Olivet Cemetery in Hugo that's way off at the far SE corner, away from all the rest of cemetery. The locals said some kind of bad person was buried there (died before statehood), so bad they wouldnt let him be buried near the rest of the graves. Whether this is true or not, I dont know, but I'll try to find out more in the days ahead. One thing for sure, its a lonely isolated grave in the far SE part of Mt Olivet cemetery probably 75 or 100 yards from the main part of the burials grounds. Click Here

I made a Folder on my website to store just the photos I took at Hugo and the circus cemetery. So browse to your hearts content! Hugo Circus Photos

More info on the elephant Anna May. Click Here

Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary near Greenbrier, Arkansas (about 75 miles north of Little Rock). Riddle's also teaches a course on elephant management to interested persons. Click Here

Anna May in 1923 when she was a youngstr. Click Here

A lot more reading on the circus cemetery at Hugo. Click Here

A correction is needed for last week's T&T. It's a sad state of affairs when I have a good man passed on and six feet under before his time. lol. One person did catch my mistake last week and sent me an email. Nath Key is alive and well and kicking. I just hope his life insurance company has not already mailed his family a check because of my mistake. lol. As you will read in my Mailbag below, there's a lot of people going to miss Key Superior Feed and Seed on Caddo. Terry told me they would have an old fashioned auction soon, and the auction date will be published in the newspaper for anyone interested in attending.

After my request for some bricks last week, several wrote in with help. Bill Uhles at Sulphur had some bricks from his old high school that was tore down around 1960 in his yard, and offered them to me. So I now have 133 nice clean red bricks for sandblasting inscriptions on, they should last me for a while. Click Here

50 miles east of Ardmore is the college town of Durant, Oklahoma and Geo's Drive-In. When it comes to hamburgers, I have to put this eatery near the top of the best I've ate. It's still ran the old fashioned way by owner Paul Lovan, and has been since George Bryant first opened the business in 1947. There are lots of car hops keeping a watchful eye on everyone parked out front and on the side. They are continually running back and forth waiting on the customers hand and foot. They even bring a salt shaker to you on the tray. Below is a pic of that great tasting $2.39 cent hamburger!. If your near Durant this is one hamburger I highly recommend! You'll find this hamburger just 3 or 4 blocks north of downtown Durant (Highway 70) on the main drive to Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here

1963, Live Bait, Ardmore, Oklahoma

Cottingham Bait Store 906 Lake Murray Drive
Davis Bait Shop 935 Lake Murray Drive
Art Modesto Bait Shop 966 Lake Murray Drive
Norman's Bait Shop 1005 Lake Murray Drive
Tipps Grocery 720 Lake Murray Drive
Whitehurst Bros Fish Bait 320 Lake Murray Drive

Last week all my 1,500 emails went out ok except a lot of T&T subscribers with yahoo.com email addresses bounced back to me. Since my last email of T&T my IP address was changed due to hardware upgrading by cablone.net so I dont know what will happen with this week's send-out. Guess we'll find out when I hit that Send button.

SOME LETTERS FROM THIS WEEK'S MAILBAG

"Butch, some of your readers might enjoy this picture of Lincoln School's 9th grade class of 1908." -Charles Smith Click Here
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"Your reader's stories of great tasting brick chili reminds me of another brick chili provider in 1951-1957. Wayne Pittman's dad at the Pittman Grocery in the 1100 block of 4th Street N. E. made some of the greatest chili. The store was on the NW corner at M Street. The city bus route came southbound down L Street all the way to 3rd N. E. then turned back west toward town, remember? Back to the chili, Wayne's dad would serve up fresh chili in white cardboard containers that looked like todays Chinese "to go" boxes. He packaged and sold the rest in bricks from the meat cooler. Heat it up, get a fresh box of saltine crackers and a cold glass of Colvert's milk, sprinkle in a little white or sweet purple onion and you had a gourmet dinner. I loved that store, my 20" bicycle would just glide right up to the edge of Pittman's front porch, lean the handle bars over against it, step off my bike and walk right into the store. His Mom was always there to greet the customers. I would often buy a chocolate soldier, a Mason's Root Beer or a Grapette soda. From the candy selection I would get the little tiny wax coke bottles full of colored water or a fake pack of white sugar stick cigarettes that were red on one end to simulate the glow of a real cigarette. A lot of times Wayne would be out back playing basketball with some of the older neighborhood kids, usually those from Douglas High School that lived on 6th Street and beyond to the North. Wayne was the only kid I knew back then that had his own goal with a net. At my house, 1123 5th Street N. E., we had an old bushel basket nailed to the side of the smokehouse. How can a brick of chili cause such a flood of old memories?" -Dennis Medrick, AHS Class of 1963
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"Don't necessarily wish to serve as spokesman for anyone but do consider myself a chilihead. I have always liked the old brick chili and am sure that's just what Crits Cafe used in preparing their Red Top Stew in Ardmores days of yore. That being said, I have long been enamoured of my own homemade Chili. I use the Wick Fowler 2 Alarm Chili Kit (I cut the pepper in half 'cause I like One Alarm better). It takes about an hour and a half to prepare and the end result is brick chili custom made to my own particular taste. It is consistently good if you follow the directions on the package. You can duplicate brick chili, grease and all, with regular ground beef or make it healthier with the lower fat ground beef. Any that's left over from a previous meal works well as Chilibuns or on Coney Islands (Chilidogs). If you can't find good brick chili or just don't like what's available locally I suggest the 'Do it Yourself" method." -Harold Burton, Ardmore, OK
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"So sad to hear about Key Feed & Seed closing. Just another sign that we're getting older. ;-) It also brings back nice memories of my late father, as daddy always bought any seeds, plantings or feed that he needed from Mr. Key. I even remember as small children, my brother and I getting to pick out a many a Easter chicks and even Easter ducks on one occasion at Key's. Thanks, again, Butch, for bringing up warm memories of a happier, simpler time in my life. God bless you." -Kathi G. from Arkansas
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"Hi Butch: Your story on Key Feed Store caught my interest. My parents, Bunk and Thelma Thompson, did business with Rufus Gable when I was a child. Nath Key's parents, Oscar and Oma, were long-time friends of my parents also. Oma Key worked in the store, too, as did Mrs. Gable, their daughter Joyce, and Nath's wife, Jackie. Nath was an honest man and a true friend to my family. Am I remembering correctly that Gable's store started out across the street north of the present store, facing Broadway?" -Nell Thompson Hull, Plano, Texas
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"I remember being a little girl in the 1960's. My grandmother, Irene West, would take me to Key Grocery where she would visit with Bob Key, while shopping. Bob would give me money off the cash register to buy myself a pop. I'll never forget the pop machine. It was a chest type machine where you would thread your glass bottle pop, holding it by the neck, through maze-like rows until you got to the end and were able to pull your pop out. On a hot summer day, there was nothing better. We would take our groceries home, which always included a watermelon. Bob and his wife were kind people that touched the life of a little girl. I'll cherish those memories." -Tamyra, Lone Grove
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"Butch, Just wanted to say If It weren't for my dad, Avery Herman Smith, from Custer County, as a supervisor there wouldn't be a Tucker Tower, or he wouldn't met my mom, Britta Faye Holley of Tater Hill." -Kirk Holley Smith Click Here
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"Hi Butch. I finally found that Fort Arbuckle marker located slightly west of the indian meridian intersection with hwy 53. Guess that farm on the corner there is actually built over the old fort. This marker says the indian meridian is a mile south which would put it out in a pasture somewhere south of 53. This is all about 4 or 5 miles west of I-35 I think." -Jon Click Here Click Here
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Hi Butch, I haven't ben in to Key feed for a month or so. Had no idea that Terry was about to close the store. Really sad to hear this. Terry and Joanie have ben friends of mine for some time. I am attaching a picture of Deano who worked for Terry and Nath. If you remember Deano died in the Key store with a heart attack a few years back." -Ken Click Here
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"I've lived in Sulphur most of my life (30 years old now), and I've heard people talk about the Vendome swimming pool, skating rink and dance hall, but I haven't been able to find many pictures of it. Thought you might know where I could find some. Thanks." -Shane Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here
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"Hi Butch, I don't know if you are interested in this but it is old and sort of started in Oklahoma. Somewhere way back there this is in my TREE. lol I can't imagine someone doing this horrible thing near Warsaw, Missouri." -Hazel, Madill Click Here Click Here
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"Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared." -Eddie Rickenbacker http://www.acepilots.com/wwi/us_rickenbacker.html

See everyone next week!

Butch Bridges
Nashobish Ikana
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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February 2, 2006 Circulation over 5,000 Vol 10 Issue 471

On friday January 20, 2006 at 5pm a long time Ardmore business closed it doors on Caddo. Key Feed and Seed decided after two generations of the Key family running the business, it was time to close the doors. I alway hate to see home owned stores like Keys close. When Stolfa Hardware closed in October 2004 I knew I would sure miss the convenience of just running by there and picking up a bolt or two, not have to buy a package of 12 or whatever like the big stores make you buy. Just for history's sake, Key Feed and Seed was originally Gable's Feed and Seed back when R.W. "Rufus" Gable started that business in the early to mid-fifties there on Caddo. Nath Key, Terry's father, worked for Rufus and bought the business about 1959. Rufus was one of those avid fishermen, and if someone came by the store and said they were biting, it didnt matter to Rufus if there were 4 customers in there, out the door he'd go to fish leaving Nath there to run the store. So in around 1959 Nath bought the business from Rufus and ran the business until retirement. His son Terry continue to run the store. Anyway, I know a man does what he has to do, but Key Feed and Seed will be missed by many. You could not find a better man than Terry Key to do business with. All that was required was a handshake, and his word was his bond. Click Here

I took this pic of the front of the store a couple of years ago. Click Here

This is the old cash register that Terry still used up until closing day. Click Here

This is a over view of the front part of Key Feed and Seed. Click Here

And this is a view of what I would call the back section of the store. Click Here

And of course, lets not forget those pecan cracking machines! Click Here

As most of you know I've been working on a project to get the badly broken grave markers in the Veterans section of Rose Hill replaced. After some initial testing and work, things are really starting to fall into place to get this job done. Of course it would never have been attempted by me if not for those of you who made donations to help pay for the markers. Thanks to a lot of you we have $1,600 now, that should get nearly all of the broken markers replaced. I just finished a marker just this evening, but first I want you to see the marker as it is right now at in the Veterans Section of Rose Hill. As you can see its broken in half and held up with bailing wire and rebar. Click Here

And this the marker I just finished this evening. I didnt even take the time to washed it off yet, because I wanted to get it in this week's T&T. It turned at very nice. Its 24 inches tall by 10 inches wide and 2 inches thick (same size as old one). It weighed 40 lbs on my bathroom scales, so its very dense and heavy. I'll get better at the sandblasting as I do a few more. Me and Doug Williams have about 60 or so left to do, but we'll get them all finished by Veterans Day this November. Click Here

Again, thanks to those of you who have made this project possible. I'll keep posting updates on the webpage I created for the project. Click Here

1963 - Ardmore Ladies Ready to Wear Stores

CR Anthony Co 215 W Main
Baum's Ladies Ready To Wear 126 W Main
Daube's Department Store 107 E Main
Eason's Department Store 14 Broadlawn Village
Guys and Dolls 700 N Commerce
Herzmark's 124 W Main
Jarold Shops 113 W Main
Jean Lee Shop 108 W Main
Klein's Ladies To Wear 109 W Main
Mode O'Day Frock Shop 7 W Main
Norma's Ready To Wear 15 N Washington
Stin-Tex Dress Shoppe 14 E NW

I been looking around for some old old bricks in the Ardmore area, but have not found any yet. I would like to try my luck at sandblasting inscriptions on them. If you know of any available around the Ardmore area, please send me an email. Of course they need to be the sold kind, not the ones with 3 holes through them. I will gladly pay for them if they are not too expensive. Or work it out where I sandblast some saying or inscription on a brick for the extras. butchbridges@OklahomaHistory.net

Last week all my 1,500 emails went out ok except those T&T subscribers with castcom.net email addresses. Those al bounced back. Not sure what happened. Maybe this time they reach their destinations.

SOME LETTERS FROM THIS WEEK'S MAILBAG

"Everyone seems to be interested in the brick chili. You speak of Hunts Gro. and the chilli they had. Back in the late 1930's about 38 or so. They had a butcher that was famous for his chili. He was very protective of that chilli and as far as I know my Dad was about the only one who ever had that recipe other than the butcher. He made dad promise that he would not give it to anyone. Even my brother did not have it. I was a very young girl and I always got to go to the store on chili day. Dad would go to Fraziers market to buy the supplies and it would make a lot of chili. Later we moved to Denver, Colo. and I was in my teens and still went with him. He'd go to the meat market and buy Pork Loin roast, beef rump roast and suet (that is the secret of brick chili) anyone who doesn't know what suet is it is the white fat on a beef cow.It is also used to render down and make pure Lard. You know that stuff that clogs your arteries and causes heart trouble. He would have it ground there very coarse grind. It is also used to render down and make pure Lard. You know that stuff that clogs your arteries and causes heart trouble. He'd also go to the spice shops and have his spices ground fresh. Cumin and they would make his chili powder fresh ground. I had the job of peeling garlic, lots of garlic. A chili purest never ever allows tomatoes in his chili and beans go in only as you serve it. Just a bowl of chili maybe with crackers and I always wanted a squirt of catsup. I later had to give it up because it was just too rich. Dad would also use deer or antelope but I always liked the beef and pork." -Jo Evelyn Barton joeveb2003@sbcglobal.net Click Here Click Here
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"Butch, Like your list about the TV repairmen. In 1963 I was going to school at Lone Grove and the owner of Ted's TV, a Mr. Ted Pruitt lived in Lone Grove. I was in the same class as his daughter Rebecca and spent many a fun evening at their home for slumber parties and so forth. Back then you out in the country off of Meridian Road I think it is now. We would go out in the backyard and build bonfires and roast marshmallows. That was also the day of the Tubed TV's. If your TV quit working you just took the back off and looked to see what tube wasnt lit up. Then you'd go see Ted, buy the tube, put it back, and presto, TV fixed." -Shirley in TX
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"Dear Butch, I was reading issue 470 when I came to the list of TV repair people and found the listing for Bill's on Cottonwood NW. He was our repairman for many years until he ran afoul of the law for bomb making. At nights he was the projectionist at the Skyview Drive In, but repaired TVs during the day. I have forgotten all the details, but the FBI discovered he was responsible for several bombs in Ardmore about 1963."
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The Arbuckle Historical Society Museum here is in the process of collecting photos -- both interior and exterior -- of this landmark for the purpose of putting together a montage of the history of the old Artesian! Newspapers, personal remembrances, and artifacts (souvenirs) are also definitely accepted. Either originals or good xerox copies will help us in this effort. All donors will be recognized on an accompanying picture. Anyone willing to help us may contact the Museum Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between 12 noon and 5 p.m. Phone number: 580-622-5593, or email address crearsom@yahoo.com Be sure "Artesian Hotel" is listed in the Subject space, otherwise it will not be opened. Anyone wishing to mail something to the Museum, it is located at 402 W. Muskogee, Sulphur, OK 73086.
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"Butch, there are similar signs off I-35: Northbound I-35 between Mile Markers 45 & 46, Scenic Turnout, on Carter/Murray County Line Cross Section Marker displays a cross section through the Arbuckle Mountain Anticline showing geological structure along I-35. Southbound I-35 between Mile Markers 50 & 49, Scenic Turnout, Murray County Cross Section Marker displays a cross section through the Arbuckle Mountain Anticline showing the geological structure along I-35. Also, a granite marker Oklahoma where Reflection Seismograph was born. Murray County. Reflection Seismic technique of oil exploration was tested in the Arbuckle Mountains in 1921 and is responsible for the discovery of many of the world's largest oil & gas fields." Click Here
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"An interesting piece of history. The bell on this old Yale, OK school (Payne county) is the bell in the picture I sent you. The church is located about a block from where this old school was located. I go to Perkins all the time and will try to take a picture of the bell you were talking about and send you the picture." -James Brown Click Here Click Here
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"This beaver dam is located on Rock Creek north of Sulphur, Oklahoma on the Chickasaw Turnpike just east of Hwy 177. It was not there 2 months ago. Resourceful animals aren't they." -Doug Williams Click Here
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Lake Murray is an iron meteorite, IIB, of extreme terrestrial age, found in Carter County, Oklahoma USA. It was embedded in an undisturbed sandstone sediment deposited 110 million years ago. Over 1000 lbs. of oxidized iron shale was found around the remaining 600 lb. weathered mass. In February, 2000 we were requested to restore and stabilize an oxidized slice of this rare meteorite. Click Here
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"If any of your readers have any information about Gordon Cemetery in Love County, a school that was once nearby, who owned the land it is on, or any other history, stories, etc, we would love to hear from them." -Shirley Bray sbrayokc1@netzero.com
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Sarah Reveley is on a mission to restore the old New Braunfels, Texas cemetery. Click Here
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Willie Nelson's first BioDiesel fuel stop is right here in Cowtown, USA http://biowillie.com/
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First State Bank ...... Sulphur, Oklahoma. Click Here
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Great source of information on Ardmore, Oklahoma Click Here
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"Friday February 10th is last day to order Ardmore's AngelFood program." Click Here Click Here
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"Ever have a really great idea and thought it should be patented? The government's Trademark and Patent Office website ( www.uspto.gov ) will allow you to search existing patents and pending applications. The search engine has filters to allow you to search for specific keywords. They also have information about how to submit your idea. One problem I've had is that the drawings are displayed in tiff file format. There are several free tiff viewers, but none seem to work well on any of my computers. A great solution is the free web site Pat2Pdf ( www.pat2pdf.org ). You enter a patent number (or set of patents numbers), and the web site will retrieve the patent and convert it to a pdf file for you to download."
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"Hello Butch, I thought I might advertise a little here. The Keener Family will be in concert Tuesday February 21st 7:00 pm at the Cowboy Church, American Legion 201 E. Park in Tecumseh, OK. Check out our website there are some sound bytes there from our cds." -Roy Barnes, Purcell OK. http://www.KeenerBarnes.com
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Bad seed is a robbery of the worst kind: for your pocket-book not only suffers by it, but your preparations are lost and a season passes away unimproved. -George Washington

See everyone next week!

Butch Bridges
Nashobish Ikana
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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