This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication

Vol 20 Issue 1037      Circulation 5,000       December 8, 2016

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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Today the sunny side of the Arbuckle Mountains is colder than a well digger's foot. On average temps are predicted hang around 17 degrees tonight. That is way too cold to my liking. We been eating homemade hot soup in a Crockpot the past two days to warm the body.

Speaking of food, I thought I'd tell the story about one of my favorite foods to eat, the first hamburger in Ardmore as told by Sally Gray (1923-2010) in her 2006 book of Ardmore history:

Maybe not the most important event, historically speaking, but one of the culinary interest had been the introduction of the hamburger to Ardmore in 1904. Bob Biggs (1868-1926) had brought his family south from Yukon, Oklahoma looking for a job and hoping to establish a home here. Soon after his arrival, he struck up a conversation with a traveler who told him of a new food sensation he had encountered in his journeys. Intrigued with the concept, Biggs and the man sit down and designed a push cart with a gasoline heated grill, shelves and a serving counter. But after Gathering up all the cash he could lay his hands on the would be entrepreneur was still short by $12. Finally finding a local merchant who was willing to take a chance, the equipment was bought. The push cart could usually located at the corner of Main and Mill streets. The first hamburgers sold for a nickel and were an instant success. So much so, in fact, that 4 years later Bob Biggs was proprietor of a new restaurant at the same location, the Horseshoe Restaurant, so named for the shape of the counter. -Sally Gray, Territory Town, The Ardmore Story published 2006

With Christmas just around the corner, we debated to put up a tree again or not. Finally decided to do something different, very different. I took my grandfather, Stanley Carmon's 1923 tripod he used surveying land, and converted it into a Christmas tree. I still have his tripod and German made 1923 surveying transit by Keuffel & Esser of New York.

A 100 year old old piece of Ardmore history collapsed this week. The old Kress' store on Main street, more recent years (since 1940) the J.C. Yeatts Furniture and Appliance store. For the story CLICK HERE

November 1932
George Akers of Woodford died at his home unexpectedly on Saturday. He was the oldest the three Akers boys who came to Woodford more than 40 years ago. Brother Holmes Akers was the first sheriff of Carter County, Fayette Akers was elected to the Constitutional Convention, and Joe still operates a farm. Burial was in the family burying ground near Woodford. Grandsons Howard, Vatrese, Archie, G.B., and Harold Akers, and Ralph Ross were pallbearers.

November 1956
Chickasaw Telephone Company of Lone Grove has been approved by the Rual Electrification Administration for a Federal Loan of $388,000 to improve and extend telephone service in Carter County. For the first time, 804 rural subscribers will have telephone service. The company also proposes to acquire the Hardy Telephone Company at Gene Autry. Chickasaw currently serves 495 subscribers through a magneto central office in Lone Grove.

For several years about this time I receive a box sent by a long time Reader of my newsletters, and ex-Ardmoreite now living in Wyoming whose family here goes back before statehood. The box of grapefruit is grown in south Texas. I lived for a month during August in south Texas as a teen, and hated every minute, temp was 115 degrees. But I do love the grapefruit grown in the Rio Grande Valley and it's delicious this year, but you have to have a grapefruit knife to eat grapefruit. I imagine most people today (I'm speaking mostly of the younger generation) do not know what a grapefruit knife even looks like. I got mine! In fact, I have two, and don't know what I'd do without them when it comes to eating grapefruit. I'm sending a thank you to my snowed-in friends in Wyoming, stay warm. As I've said through the years, Friends make life worth living.

You can find current gas prices for a particular Oklahoma town by entering the name or zip code in the GasBuddy search box.

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to women pilots?
A.  Ninety-Nines Women Pilots association in Oklahoma City.

Q.  Who was Oklahoma's first Territorial Governor?
A.  (answer in next week's T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of December 7, 2002

In December 1999 I visited a Choctaw Indian lady just east of Davis, Oklahoma who has the original bell from the old Presbyterian church of Davis in her front yard. How she came upon the bell, was the church and property belonged to her and when the church closed down many years ago, she moved the bell to her house north of Camp Classen. I stopped by there last week and she still has that big bell in her yard.... pretty as ever!
There are a couple of wall clocks at the Carter County courthouse with Strasmicks Jewelers printed across the face of the clocks. One clock is in the basement and the other at the Court Clerks Office on the second floor.

Last week I was traveling up old Highway 77 and when I passed through Wayne, Oklahoma (between Pauls Valley and Purcell in McLain county) I saw a church with a belfry. It was the Methodist church in Wayne, so I stopped and asked the man doing some painting about the bell. He said the only person who probably would know is Mrs. Arnold who has been a member of that church over 60 years as was her mother. I gave Mrs. Arnold a call and she said the bell is over 90 years old. The bell has been in the church since the beginning. She didn't have any other info on the bell, or a photo. But she said a man is going to paint the belfry in a week or two and she'll have him take some photos, and get any wording or inscriptions on the bell written down. Oh, and while I was talking to the painter at the church, he pulled on the bell rope, boy did it sound nice! The rope went up through a hole in the ceiling in the hallway. But there was no opening to the bell itself. So maybe soon they'll get a photo taken of it inside the belfry.

When I traveled through Pauls Valley, I looked around for any bells, and I think they are pretty much bell-less in PV town. I did find one big beautiful bell though, next to the Jack Grimmett Field House at Wackler Stadium in the north part of town. Boy, now those sports fans know how to celebrate touchdowns..... by ringing that bell!!

The Pauls Valley museum also had an authentic Indian headdress that was presented to Mr. Jack L. Grimmett in 1960 at Apache, Oklahoma. The headdress is made of eagle feathers.
Speaking of windmills, just to the north of the museum on Highway 77 at what looked like an old defunct beer joint now residence was another windmill in need of repairs too. Hope somebody preserves those relics.

Back in 1991 an employee at the Carter County Detention Center would be instrumental in making what would come to be known as the Sheriffs Hall of Fame. She spent many hours researching the Carter county sheriffs since 1907 trying to find photos of each them. At that time there was an inmate Jeff Keith who had a remarkable ability to draw freehand portraits. This employee got the sheriff's permission to let Jeff Keith draw with pencil a portrait of each sheriff since statehood. It was from those freehand drawings that the Carter County Sheriffs Hall of Fame was created. After the Hall of Fame was finished, there was a nice write-up in The Daily Ardmoreite on the tireless effort put forth by this employee of the Detention Center. Her name was Jean Deck. This week Jean Deck passed away.

"Hi Butch! Have some breaking news from Medicine Park, OK........ On Dec. 7, at 2pm there is going to be a "Two Wheel Parade" featuring Santa in his newly acquired antique sleigh and the LIGHTING of the BRIDGES at 5pm. We've never looked so good! For all of you who have visited Medicine Park sometime in your past, it would be a wonderful time to come back. There are shops to buy a unique Christmas present and entertainment happening at the same time! Also, (speaking of bricks) you can purchase your very own engraved brick (with 2 lines or 30 spaces) that will be placed in "Phase Two" sidewalks now under construction for only $25. I'm sending a picture of the brick available. This place is Happenin'! Ya'll come join us this Saturday! Joy at "The Purple Parrot Art Gallery & Such" Medicine Park, Oklahoma
"Cabooses were phased out toward the end of the 1980's and early 1990's. The BNSF was one of the first railroads to begin using the "Rear End Detector" in place of the caboose. If you look closely at the end of a train now days you will see a small electronic device usually mounted on the coupler at the end of the last car. This device measures air pressure, train operations, and communicates with several wayside (track side) devices that look for bad axles, bearings, etc, commonly referred to as "hot box" detectors. As you can imagine, this electronic device is more precise than the original human interaction used to help monitor these activities and readings. Consequently, the need for a brakeman or other personnel at the end of the train is no longer crucial and there is no longer the need for a caboose. Eliminating a non cargo carrying rail car was an economic benefit to the railroad. I enjoy your newsletters, keep up the good work."

Some mail from this week's MAILBAG.....

"Butch, I read the article about the man with the baseball cap. Yes, they did have those caps back in those days. In fact, if you look at the baseball team at Fort Reno, you will see ball caps and baseball gear of the day. I also read the article about the squirrels and pecans. The same is true hear in OKC. During the summer, the limbs on my pecan tree were so loaded down with nuts that I had to bend down when I was mowing so that I wouldn't hit my head and knock my hat off ? not anymore. I can't find a single pecan. It reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock's movie THE BIRDS. I never saw so many squirrels." -Cecil
Springer Christmas Parade ? Saturday ? December 17, 2016
Open to antique cars, bikes, ATV, floats, walkers and horse groups. Entry fee is one (1) new unwrapped toy. Participants in the parade please meet in the Springer School parking lot on the South side of the school at 12:30 PM and the parade will start at 1:00 PM. Volunteers are welcome and greatly appreciated. Come and enjoy the parade and join everyone at the Community Center for refreshments after the parade.

"Butch, this may be more true than the persimmons this year. I have a lot of squirrels and those little tree rodents started knocking off acorns from my 4 oak trees & 1 hickory tree back in August and didn't let up until last month. It's not unusual for me to see 8 or more squirrels in an afternoon scampering around my trees in the front yard or the back yard. But I don't think I've seen more than 5 this entire week. That could be partly due to our temps dropping down into the 20's Wednesday night. All I can say is that I am glad that I covered my bedroom windows with plastic this year. It might look redneck, but those two rooms are already warmer compared to the last two years. :)Hope you & Jill have a Merry Christmas and thanks for all the hard work you put into your weekly newsletter!! It sure keeps me in touch with my Southern Oklahoma roots!" -Kathi G. Fayetteville, Arkansas
"I've recently gotten interested in the Steampunk thing and decided to try my hand at making a Steampunk Lamp. I see them for sale on the internet but I just wanted to see if I could make one myself. This one is my first try. I made it using some of the multitudes of old railroad code line insulators I got when they were removing the old code lines and poles in our area several years back. Maybe the next one will be better." -Dwane
At the link below are 10 more scans of old photographs this week. -Robert Hensley

One interesting photo submitted this week is of a Dr. Bogie and his son. I found on Find-A-Grave a Dr. William Thomas Bogie (1855-1915) buried in Rosehill cemetery at Ardmore. I've passed his grave maker in the past at the cemetery, a magnificent grave stone.

Click here for........ Dr Bogie's Grave

In my Google search for bogie in Oklahoma, I found an ophthalmologist by the name of Dr. Charles Bogie in OKC. I'd bet they're kin.

"It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, "God Bless Us, Every One!" -Charles Dickens

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Bells of Oklahoma
Ardmore High School Criterions Online
Oklahoma Bells:
Bill Hamm's Cemetery Database
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 Government Website

All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
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