This and That Newsletter

Vol 21  Issue 1,075     Circulation 5,000      August 31, 2017

Ardmore, Oklahoma

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On September 13, 1933 Pauls Valley, Oklahoma police were investigating the poison death of that city's resident, Jim Taylor, age 55. The investigation would reveal a sickening set of events that led up to the death of Taylor. Taylor and Taylor's neighbor, T. J. Halsell, age 67, by mutual agreement, traded their daughters, 11 and 15, to become the child brides of each man. Social workers of that time were shocked, hardly believing such a happening had taken place in this small Oklahoma town. Here is a pic of Halsell with his 11 year old girl bride.

August 1933
The cost of operating Zaneis School will be less than one-forth what it has been in the past. The number of teachers has been reduced, salaries have been lowered, and the cost of maintenance is at a minimum. It is heartening to find the school board and teachers think that almost any sacrifice is worth while if the schools are spared. Zaneis is contemplating have a championship football team this season.

August 1989
Carter County Commissioners approved a resolution asking that all county offices remain open until 5:00pm. Commissioners said they can't force the offices to comply but were requesting they comply. Commissioners had previously passed a rule allowing county offices to close at 4:30pm.

One of the bricks I sandblasted the other day.

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 famous horse Mr. Ed buried?
A.  Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Q. Where in Oklahoma is the Sod House Museum?
A. Answer in next week's newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of August 25, 2005

Last week we talked about the movie theater at the Ardmore Airbase back in the 1950s. A Reader sent me in a -----------------------------------------------
Dwane Stevens sent in some great pics this week he'd took of some asphalt beds near Woodford. I have heard about them in my research, and knew that this county had the best quality asphalt to be found in the nation back in early 1900s. But Dwane's photos were the first time I'd actually saw what they looked like. He's took some really high quality photos of the asphalt oozing up out of the ground, just like it was found over 100 years ago by the pioneers. Here is a reprint from The Daily Ardmoreite about my great aunt's marriage back in the 30s to the Randols of Ardmore:

The Daily Ardmoreite August 31, 1910. NEW DINING ROOM OPENS TOMORROW. The dining-room of the New Randol hotel on West Main street opens with a six o'clock dinner tomorrow evening, Sept. 1. Mrs. A.C. Bell is to have charge of the dining room. Mrs. Bell has conducted a boarding house in this city for some time. It is said of her that she feeds better than any other.
The Woodford mines are giving up one hundred tons of refined asphalt that is being shipped to New York, where it will be manufactured into paints, varnish, rubber compound, stains, insulating material, etc. Cars of the Rock Island tracks are being loaded now. This asphalt sells in New York for $8 a ton more than any other asphalt.
"Here are some shots of natural asphalt ground weeps (or seeps) I shot yesterday near Woodford, Oklahoma on land that used to belong to my Dad (now owned by friends of my family). In the hot summer sun the asphalt slowly seeps from the rock formations. It may look like crude oil in the photos but believe me it isn't. It is very sticky and stringy. It sticks to your shoes and clothes very quickly and some of it has a very strong smell. Back in the early days it was mined from this area. The easy stuff (if you could call it easy) was taken out many years ago but it still weeps out of the rock formations. Photos "2" and "3" are close ups of two different weeps. Photo "5" shows the rock formation and how it has been tilted from horizontal to vertical over the centuries. Photo "4" shows how the asphalt slowly flows over the rocks and makes a thin "skin" on the top surface." -Dwane Stevens

In last weeks T&T I reported the photo of Lee Evers working at the airbase as taken around 1945. Boy was I wrong. It was about 1955.
"Butch, Lee Evers worked in the old theater located in the North Hanger at Ardmore Air Force Base before the new one opened in March 1955. He was still in the AF at that time and had been stationed at the base since August 31, 1953, coming here with the first troops from Memphis, Tennessee. I assume that he also worked in the new one as he remained in the Air Force until January 17, 1957. He was employed a week later in the Civilian Personnel Office and worked there until the base closed March 31, 1959. The following information about the theater from the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base website gives the mind a chance to go inside and look around these many years later.

"The new base theatre opened at 6:30PM, August 4, 1955, with the first movie shown being "Soldier of Fortune" with Clark Gable and Susan Hayward. The ultra-modern theatre had a panoramic screen, air conditioning, and 345 comfortable "swing up" seats. The former theater in the north hanger seated 329. The interior wall color was light brown lower and tan upper. There were two sets of curtains on stage, the outer set was blue-green, manually operated, the inner set was yellow-orange, electrically operated, located near the screen. A modern dressing room was behind the stage. An automatic fire-fighting sprinkler system was located above the stage and behind it. Modern restrooms were just off the main lobby. A concession stand was added later. Fast Forward Note: The old theatre, which had been used for various purposes during the years following base closing, was destroyed by fire in 2004. It had become an "eye-sore" in later years, detracting from the landscape of more modern structures."

"The WWII base had a large, self-supporting theater with the most-modern projection equipment. They received the latest movie releases about 30-days prior to their release to civilian theaters. It had a 1PM matinee every day and two shows at night, 8:15PM and 10:15PM. Admittance was 15-cents. The double features showing Saturday, November 20, 1943, were "Find the Blackmailer" with Jerome Cowan and Faye Emerson and "Mr. Muggs Steps Out" staring the Eastside Kids."
Donald Gwynne of Arlington sent in 3 great photograph postcards of the 1915 explosion here in Ardmore. His mother, Mary Katherine Sullivan, grew up in Ardmore at 306 G N.E. in the early 1900's and the postcards are from his father, Donald G. Gwynne, Sr., collection.

"Butch, I sent you an email about oatmeal glassware and it just occurred to me when I was rereading the newsletter that the glassware came in Crystal Wedding oats not Quaker."
"Here is a picture of the railroad bridge north of Gene Autry just after it washed out in 1957. Part of the bridge can be seen in the water."

"Butch, saw the lyrics to City of New Orleans in your last letter. It was not written by Arlo Guthrie, it was written by Steve Goodman.

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

"The Mercy Train is tentatively planned to be moved Friday, September 8th. The route for the

"Hi Butch, I REALLY liked that picture of Henryetta, Oklahoma. Being a photographer, that image spoke volumes to me. I studied it and could see a story there. I printed that one. I will probably frame that picture. I remember those stop signs being yellow with black writing. I also remember my uncle Buddy taking us kids to town in a truck like that. Those "Moments In Time" are awesome.

I also like that book about the lawyer. I tried to find a copy around here, but didn't have any luck. I guess that it is a local publication. Do you know the price of the book? Is it a hard cover book? Also, I would like to know the cost to ship a copy to the city. I better mosey along. Stay drive and safe." -Cecil
"Butch I was looking at the list of grocery stores in and around Ardmore dating to way back however I didn?t see the listing for Hagee?s Food Store (between the former Gibsons Dept. Store and the former Bill & Barbs restaurant @ 12th & North Washington) which later became Dicus Grocery which was owned by Jim Dicus who lived in Ada and also had a Dicus Grocery store there too. I worked at Dicus Foods when I was in high school (1978-79). The reason for me sending this letter is because of a break in one night to the store by 2 or 3 burglars and a shootout ensued in which I believe there was a police officer wounded or killed and or burglars wounded or killed. When I worked at Dicus one night after closing we lowered the stairs from the ceiling going into the attic portion of the store where the shootout took place and the bullet holes in the wood in and around the staircase were still visible. Are there any articles or stories of what actually happened there? I would like to learn more about this. Thanks. -Harold

Note: Harold, here is a link to the 1960 Sooner Foods shootout.
Butch: Just read you e-mail about the Rock House & work done by the CCC. My father-in-law, Newt Brawley, worked with CCC in the depression days & helped build some of the cabins. My husbands family (Holloway family) held their reunions there for years so your story brought back plenty of good memories. -Theresa Brawley
"The Mercy Train is tentatively planned to be moved Friday, September 8th. The route for the move will be from Hardy Murphy Coliseum south to Springdale Road then east to P Street NE,  then north on P Street NE, then west on White Street NE, north on either K or N Street NE, then west on East Main Street. and across the tracks on Main to Depot Park."

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 have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but do not quit.

Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things go wrong that you must not quit.

"Don't Quit," Author Unknown

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

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