This and That Newsletter

Vol 21  Issue 1,072     Circulation 5,000      August 10, 2017

Ardmore, Oklahoma

My permanent email address:



Back in 2005 I obtained three rare photos of horseshoe bend in the Arbuckle Mountains near Turner Falls. These photos show a mountain with no cedar trees like are all over the mountain side today. The cedar trees are the scourge of Oklahoma and its is a shame they have taken over the state, growing like a bad weed. I guess there is nothing that can be done now.

Highway 77 Through the Arbuckles in the 1920's, a convict labor crew was brought to the Arbuckles to build a highway across the mountains. The camp that the convicts lived in was similar to any army bivouac camp. Located near Turner Falls, this camp served the needs of the convict work crew building the highway through some of the roughest country in Oklahoma. Below are some rare photos of the labor camp. It took 2 years to build the 6 mile stretch of road.

Horseshoe Bend

Cornwell-Chowning Lumber Company 1922. Caddo and 3rd Street NE.

Lone Grove baseball team - 1935.

Round House Cafe in Marietta, Oklahoma.

Ardmore City Park circa 1915. Probably located SE of 3rd and P Street NE.

July 1933
Mary Joe Harris, 8, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Harris narrowly escaped fatal injury when she was attacked by an army of hogs at the ranch home of their uncle, Henry Pittman, Marietta. She and her brothers and sisters were viewing a liter of pigs and a sow became enraged when Mary Jo attempted to pick up one of the baby pigs. The other children escaped, but she was bruised and cut when about 30 hogs joined in the attack.

July 1957
Bob Bell was peddling vegetables and fruits off a one-half ton pickup five years ago. Today, he owns the largest produce house in southern Oklahoma, the City Produce Company. Mr. Bell bought out Means Produce, and R. L. Williams, and names his company City Produce. It is located at 202 East Main, Ardmore. It is the only produce company in the state that hauls products directly from the field. He delivers all kinds of fruit and vegetables and has over 150 items in the frozen foods line.

July 1989
Rudy's Drive Inn on North Meridian Lane will re-open August 7, according to new operators, David and Terry Gardner. The drive-in restaurant was established by Kent and Brenda Rudisill in January 1986, and closed April 1989. At that time, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Mullen took over the business and operated it for about three months. The Gardners have three sons, David, 15; Dustin, 11; and Derek, 9.

Some pavers I sandblasted the past few days.

Heath Meyers, OHP Trooper, killed in the line of duty when struck by a vehicle.

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 Tin Woodsman?
A. Boise City, Oklahoma. Tin man from the Wizard of Oz is in front of the Cimarron Heritage Center.

Q. Where in the world is the only oil well on Main Street?
A. Answer in next week's newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of August 11, 2005

Last Saturday morning I made my first visit to the Carl Stevens private Museum northwest of Ardmore on Kings Road. Dwane Stevens was a gracious host for the few that made a show, and we sure had a great time looking at the pieces of history in the museum. In fact, we had so much to talk about, (if you weren't there, we probably talked about you... lol) we didn't leave until after high noon. I snapped some pics of the items housed in the museum. The first picture is Dwane Stevens standing beside the now famous bright red stagecoach!

Ardmoreite Steven Harris sent me a really neat photograph of Ardmore's history of years ago. The old First National Bank building at North Washington and West Main. It was taken before the big fire of 1895.

A relative of lawman Bud Ballew sent me a pic of his badge this week. Ballew was a deputy sheriff under sheriff Buck Garrett back around 1915 when Carter county was one big booming oilfield, and roughnecks were as rough as the come.


"My favorite order at Hamburger Inn was always called back to Chock as "2 coneys crying in a basket on wheels." Translation for the younger folks, that's 2 coneys with onions and french fries to go. Can't remember what was called out for the pecan pie, too busy enjoying it." -Ken Jensen

Well, I can't claim to have been a witness to the invention of the term "Educated Hamburger," but back in high school at AHS, I had the money to eat at the Hamburger Inn maybe once a week -- and always looked forward to it. My standard order? "Educated Cheeseburger basket and a glass of buttermilk, please." Inevitably, others sitting around the bar there would look at me like they might like to "move a seat or two further away from me." Got my love of buttermilk from my Dad and my grandfather, I guess -- and when you want buttermilk, nothin' else will do.

The Browns ran a top-notch establishment. The ladies who waited on us were always the same -- friendly, patient and unflappable. Chock was at the grill. And Mrs. Brown's chocolate pies! Sort of a chocolate chiffon with chopped pecans on top. I often wonder if anybody else knows how to make that pie! 30 years removed from those days, I've dreamed a time or two about sitting at my regular place down on the north end of the bar where it and the seats "turn west." I never went in there but what I remembered the FIRST time -- when I was a little kid and Dad and I stopped in there on what must have been a Saturday afternoon -- probably on the way home from Stolfa's.

I visit sometimes when I can -- although I usually eat my MOM's cooking when I'm in Ardmore (and, brother that's hard to beat!). Still, I had breakfast at the Hamburger Inn on a Saturday morning not so long ago and it was great. Glad to see things haven't changed all that much -- and yet it's different, too. Different folks behind the counter and different me, I guess.

I can't imagine North Washington without the Hamburger Inn and the fragrant smell of those onions cooking! Don't you figure there's probably a Hamburger Inn in Heaven?" -Tom Elmore
"Put my two cents in. I remember the educated hamburger back in the early 1940s. We got ours at Priddy's on what is now Commerce. Didn't compare to the good old hamburger with mustard." -Jessica
Highway 77 Through the Arbuckle Mountains in the 1920's, a convict labor crew was brought to the Arbuckles to build a highway across the mountains. The camp that the convicts lived in was similar to any army bivouac camp. Located near Turner Falls, this camp served the needs of the convict work crew building the highway through some of the roughest country in Oklahoma. Below are some rare photos of the labor camp. It took 2 years to build the 6 mile stretch of road.
"Butch: wanted to thank the man who must be the sunrise champion of Wilson, ok., who confirmed the ole Indian tale I heard some 45 years ago. I didn't watch many sunrises after leaving the sheriff's office but have been curious for that length of time. don't know whether it is applicable for Oklahoma weather only or in general. but, again thanks for renewing my belief that those old tales have a lot of truth in them.. regards to all back there." -Gerald Cobb, former Carter County Sheriff

"Hi Butch, a week or so ago, someone commented on my sunrise photo in Wilson. He stated that an old Indian friend of his said "that if a cloud passed between the sunrise and the earth that it would rain that day." Well it did rain that day. I took pictures of this morning's sunrise and are attaching them. As you can see, a cloud passes between the sun and the earth. And again it came a good shower around noon. Must be something to this old tale." -Ken Updike

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

"Butch, I have ordered the same DNA kit as you from Mine is not in yet. We will see what they come up with. I have had another at Family tree DNA. Some interesting results but still unable to get anything for sure . I have a chart where the majority of the 67 markers are to a common ancestor in The Neck of Virginia 1680-1740 and a James Bridges (son of Richard) Oglethorpe co, Ga. 1745/56 ? 1820 and a James M. Bridges in Carroll County, Ga. Maybe the same." -Jim
Tough as depression times were, we were better off than a lot of people. My father had been Filling Station Manager for the Okla City area for Wirt Franklin Oil Co. but lost his job 1931 as the company failed. I was in the second grade in 1931 when we moved back to Ardmore, in with my grandparents where I was born and the same address I live today. They had gas for cooking, electricity, water and sewage. Pretty well off, had some property, owned his insurance agency, had a Model T Ford, but lived much the same as they had since the 1890s but for the utilities.

Wash day was a big thing. My grandmother would build a fire under her big black iron pot in the back yard and heat water. She and my mother washed clothes by hand on a 'wash board'. Washboards had an area a foot or so square mounted in a wood frame with legs to stand in the water in the wash tub. With soap and warm water they rubbed the dirty collars and such against the corrugated surface of the wash board to get clean. Then rinsed and wrung out the water by twisting each by hand, then hung on the clothes line. There was such a thing as a wringer with two rollers that was cranked by hand but we didn't have one. Every fall my grandmother fired up the old wash pot and made lye soap - which she did till she passed in 1950.

A washing machine relieved the labor about 1933. Got a water heater also. Our new washer was the latest and greatest with the wringer 'safety release'. The rollers were powered and could be a source of injury. By hitting a bar on top the rollers separated and stopped. The common saying of getting a 'finger in the wringer' was no joke, worse if some other body part got caught.

The water heater was bare galvanized iron about a foot in diameter and five feet tall. You lit the burner below and set the flame for the water being used. With no safety devices heaters could explode if one got hot enough to make steam. Water heaters did explode - but not ours. Water usually was heated for several baths. You would put about inch and a half water in the old bathtub (standing on legs), do your bath and drain it for the next. Small children were bathed more than one at a time. We heard of grownups bathing together but didn't know anybody who would do such a bizarre thing. Probably half the houses in Ardmore didn't have a bathtub then. I recall that our house and the house next door had the bathroom added to the basic house, probably when Ardmore installed sewage, before my time.

Electric refrigerator came about 1933. Before that the ice man came each day in his horse wagon. An ice card in the window had numbers on it if, say 25 pounds, was up he put 25 in our ice box on the back porch. Horse wagon delivery also used for milk and other frequent stops. I recall person delivery, Tamale man from his pushcart sold hot tamales wrapped in corn shucks. We all ate wild game then, rabbit, squirrel, etc. These were rabbit tamales. The story went around that he was accused of using horse meat. Questioned, he admitted part horse. How much?? 50-50 - one rabbit, one horse. Such was life in back in memory lane.

Sanitation or lack thereof has been an issue since pre-history. It existed in a fairly primitive form until recent times. My first memories are from late '20s, we had 'modern' sewage as did much of Ardmore at the time. Back of the house across the edge of my grandmother's garden were a pair of almost weathered-away 1x12" planks. At some point she explained that they 'used to be' for going to the outhouse. Alleys behind the houses were lined with outhouses. The city had a crew that performed periodic cleaning and tossed in lime to minimize odor.

Out in the county and in less developed parts of the city the outhouse was still in common use. The more affluent rural homes had flush toilets and sewage using septic tanks, etc, fore runners of as used today.

The typical outhouse was a "two holer", capable of seating two at once. I never witnessed dual usage but maybe the reason was to have 'his and hers'. I have often heard reference to 'built like an brick outhouse' but don't recall ever seeing one built of anything other than 1 by 12s with strips covering the cracks. Typically the structure was sitting over a pit. Periodically the house could be moved a few feet away and the pit covered up. In it's most primitive functional form, last year's Sears Roebuck catalog was nailed on the inside of the door.

Mid '30s my father owned a little gas station on th edge of town. One of his renters also spent his spare time fixing radios. As a gag, he rigged up a loudspeaker under the seat of the outhouse out back. Customer's would arrive and as one of the girls entered it, he called attention to the others and would speak into his microphone "Lady, please use the other side, I'm painting down here". Rapid exit and laughter.

Kindred subject but 1944 Honolulu Navy assignment -- One item I recall with some humor. The Navy sanitary facilities were primitive but effective. In a Quonset hut, a trench or ditch was dug along one wall in which water flowed swiftly in at one end and out at the other. At the entry end were a line of lavatories where the men could wash, shave, etc., with the drainings going into the water flowing in the trench. Partitioned downstream was the toilet section. It was similar in concept to the old "two holer" outhouse type, but with maybe ten holes on which the users sat, with the flowing water taking away the product. Now and then some joker on the upstream side would make a bundle of paper, set it afire and let it flow downstream under the derrieres of the sitters. Naturally, one would then hear a lot of typical Navy exclamations such as "horrors, for goodness sake, heavens to Betsy, oh drat, well I declare, etc."

Mid '30s to keep the price of beef up, gov't would buy a herd, shoot them & bulldoze them over. My Dad got in one of the killings & brought home a huge amount of beef. My Mother & G-Mother spent a day & a half with the pressure cooker putting the meat up in Mason jars that we ate from for months -- My aunt & uncle had a farm just outside town & he plowed up a patch where we grew veggies. I remember Mother, G-Mother, aunts & couple neighbor women in their deep sun bonnets working the garden while we kids played. I still have an arrowhead that came out of the ground for me. Family, we were six, two kids & G-parents, Mom would do grocery shopping Saturdays & I recall her bemoaning the cost of SIX DOLLARS. It was the thing to do, fish at night in lake Murray with a trot-line 30-40 yards long with hook at 3 foot spacings. The usual bait was shrimp, huge shrimp that came up from the Gulf in barrels of chipped ice. I recall people saying "can you imagine some folks actually EAT these things" -Robert McCrory

Butch, when I was a kid I had a paint horse that I was going to show at the county fair. The night, before I got her all washed and cleaned up. The next morning we found she had laid in some manure in her pen. She had a big yellow/brown spot on her white hip. We tried washing it but could not get the stain out. My mother suggested using the bluing solution. Well, it got most of the stain out but left a big blue spot on her hip. How embarrassing for a teenager to show their horse with that blue spot. -Rick Woodbridge


An opening to my well-received non-fiction book, A Journey Through the Mind of A Lawyer:

"A common trait in mankind is the existence of a dark side. It ranges from a cautious dipping of the toes to a full-blown plunge to the depths. It's all a matter of degrees.

All of us have a dark side; the challenge is to hopefully control it.

Every person confronts his or her dark side at one time or the other, some sooner than others, many too late."  -James Clark

"Those Friday Night Blues" by John Conlee 1980

He's been workin' all week, he's got mental fatigue
and that old couch sure looks fine
All week he's been gone, she's been sittin' alone
slowly goin' out of her mind
As he kicks off his shoes for the six o-clock news
she's gettin' all prettied up
oh, she's wantin' to boogie, he's wantin' to lay there
she's got the Friday Night Blues

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

"Friends Make Life Worth Living"

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
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

T&T Sign Up Form

* indicates required

All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website's archives.
Feel free to forward this free newsletter. Mailouts: over 1,500.
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.