This and That Newsletter

Vol 11  Issue 539     Circulation 5,000      May 24, 2007

Ardmore, Oklahoma

Last Saturday Jill and I headed south into Texas again. With gas prices sky high in Ardmore, and finding gasoline 34 cents a gallon cheaper in Texas, it just seemed the best direction to head, for just driving enjoyment.  And we are finding plenty to see and do in the Lone Star state.  The first town we hit was Gainesville, Texas to stop at the gigantic, almost new, Walmart store on Highway 82. Jill loves the Gainesville store compared to the one in Ardmore, even though she's not really an avid Walmart shopper as I am.  After picking up a few items, we went east on 82 toward Sherman.

Unlike most towns across the nation, Sherman does not have a Main Street. I always wonder what kind of founding City fathers would build a town without a Main Street?  Or maybe it started out with a Main Street, but through a committee meeting the name was tabled? Ardmore had a lot of streets in its very beginning that it does not have now...........

Back to Sherman, they do have a courthouse square at Travis and Lamar streets in downtown Sherman where the historic Grayson County Courthouse is located.

Scattered around the courthouse lawn are several memorials to the Civil War years.

In 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt was on his way by train to a reunion of his Rough Riders group in San Antonio, TX when he stopped at Sherman for a few moments to speak to the town folks.... 35,000 to be exact! Below is a link to a plaque on the east side of the Grayson County Courthouse to honor President Roosevelt's visit to their city.

After dropping in on a couple of Sherman's antique stores at the town square, a lady told us if it's antiques we wanted to see, we must travel south about 30 miles to McKinney, so it was off to McKinney, Texas.

McKinney is a lot larger town than Ardmore, and that was very evident last Saturday at the courthouse square in downtown McKinney. It's downtown area was all a bustle with people everywhere visiting the 50 or so antiques shops.  Like Sherman, they have a town square centered around the Collin County Courthouse.

There was plenty of free parking, and we parked just a block south of the square in a City owned lot, got out of the car and the first piece of history we came to at the street was the old Collin County Prison.  And it's for sale too, so if you ever wanted to own a prison, get hold of them.  lol

On the north side of the courthouse in McKinney were several markers and statues dedicated to the Civil War including a statue of James Throckmorton. Throckmorton became governor of Texas immediately following the Civil War and led the re-construction. James Throckmorton of McKinney even played a part in some history closer to Ardmore, when in 1861 he organized 100 mounted riflemen from Collin county Texas to go and secure Ft Arbuckle near Davis, Oklahoma and Ft Washita east of Madill during the war between the north and south.

Jil and I must have walked several miles just visiting the antique shops in McKinney and other businesses, but a unique display in this one shop caught my attention. It was Clyde's Antiques just across the street south from the Collin county courthouse. Clyde has two floors of everything one can imagine, but he also has in the very back of the store a private museum of sorts dedicated to the ice cream parlor days of long ago.  Clyde has dozens of old ice cream churns, an authentic looking ice cream parlor, and other related items behind glass. The trip inside Clyde's just to see his "ice cream museum" is well worth the time.

After all that walking and building up an appetite, Jill and I headed back to Highway 75 to head north when just a couple blocks before the highway was a Diary Queen. Clyde's ice cream museum had us both thinking ice cream, and when we saw the Dairy Queen we couldn't resist stopping for a cold treat.  I chose a strawberry shake, Jill a vanilla, and they really hit the spot, kinda giving us a second wind so to speak. And this Dairy Queen was like grand central station, people coming and going constantly, and standing in line plumb to the door to get a taste of that delicious ice cream. I remember Ardmore having a Diary Queen years ago at P Street NE and Highway 199 in the NE corner of that intersection.  By the way, my strawberry shake was one of the best I've tasted!  Here's a pic I snapped of the Dairy Queen at McKinney, Texas.....

One thing I noticed in Texas towns, the public is much more respectful of parking places reserved for the handicapped. I really appreciated seeing that kind of respect from those Texans, because here in my home state, in Ardmore at least, it seems to be non-existent for the most part. I often see strong, able bodied people from teenagers on up parking in those spaces meant for the handicapped and elderly.

On our way home we went through Denison and stopped at the best antique store we visited that day, if its antiques and lots of just ordinary everyday junk items your looking for, this place has it.  The Katy Antique Station is located on the east end of Main Street next to the railroad tracks. On the west side of the building was a beautiful mural painting depicting a Katy railroad train.

I told Jill we needed to fill up before leaving Denison and heading east 7 miles to Carpenters Bluff since I thought Denison would be the last cheap gas. But I was wrong. After crossing that old historic one lane iron bridge connecting Carpenters Bluff, Texas and Oklahoma, we found cheap gas like in Texas just over into Oklahoma in downtown Colbert at $3.05 a gallon.  But Colbert was THE LAST place where gas was cheap. Everywhere else we traveled through, gas was running from $3.34 to $3.38 a gallon with Ardmore being the highest.

It was really kinda funny when I drove up to the Texas side of that old Carpenters Bluff bridge at the Red River. Jill looked how old and VERY narrow the bridge was, and asked if it was meant for us to drive across?  I assured her it would hold us up, even though it did look like one could scrap the sides of the car. I don't know if a wide Lincoln Town car could make it through the bridge or not.  Anyway, if you have never taken the drive across that particular bridge over the Red River, you have missed a beautiful experience. By the way, that red water was rushing from bank to bank, what a sight.

Mae Scott came by the Carter county commissioners offices this week with one of her still warm-from-the-oven baked goodies to share. This time it was an Amish Friendship Bread loaf, and boy was it good. You know, it's called friendship bread because you have to get the starter dough from a friend, then make your own bread from that.

Here's a pic I snapped of Mae's Friendship Bread she brought by Monday. It didn't last long, in fact, I'm not sure there was any left by the time the commissioners came by.  lol   Thanks Mae.

Below is an email response I received from Carl in MO about a bell that now stands next to the RR station at Waynoka, Oklahoma:

"The Waynoka bell appears to be in good condition, with all original fittings including the factory-supplied timber base.  However, that base is also the most fragile part of the assembly in a sense; I strongly recommend moving the bell to a place where it will not be exposed to the weather, otherwise those old timbers are likely to rot rather quickly.  It would also be a good idea to paint those timbers with a heavy penetrating oil-base paint.  There appear to be traces of original paint remaining on the wood; if that's correct, then a close match to that color would be historically appropriate.  (But as you can imagine, the original paint was probably thin, cheap stuff!) I noticed that the bell is not hanging straight. The most likely reason is that the bearings at the tops of the side frames have dried out and will not move freely.  If you can move the bell by hand and make it hang straight, that will look better.  If you can't move it by hand, then cleaning and re-lubricating those bearings is in order; all they need is a very thin coat of oil to prevent rusting up again.  If you can move it, but it won't stay straight, then perhaps it's not hung correctly on the yoke; that could have happened if it was disassembled for painting and not correctly reassembled.  (The space between the two nuts on top suggests that, because they should be jammed together; modern lock washers were not used in those days.)  Alternatively, it was made that way deliberately in order to counterbalance the weight of the rope hanging down from the far side of the wheel; and of course you won't have that.  So you could balance it by adding some weight to the wheel near the rim. The somewhat blotchy appearance of the bell probably indicates that it was painted with a spray can; a professional power sprayer should have done a more uniform job. And congratulations on the acquisition of a nice artifact for the Waynoka, Oklahoma museum." -Carl Scott Zimmerman, Campanologist in St Louis, MO

About three weeks ago I mention in This and That I was looking for a new pickup. I appreciate those of you who wrote in with suggestions. I was kinda leaning toward purchase of the Toyota Tacoma pickup, but after checking prices we decided to go another vehicle.  We chose the Hyundai Sonata. I can remember 10 or so years ago the Hyundai car was considered a joke, but that's sure not the case today......

Now that Jill and I have a 'new' car, we are looking to buy a place in the country.  I think a few acres some where in Carter county's "Golden Triangle" would be nice. But we want it rural, and a place not visible from the road.  The Golden Triangle covers an area from Ardmore to Wilson to Healdton, and back to Ardmore. If anyone knows of a place for sale, send me an email.

This weekend Jill and I are planning to travel to the Enos Mall in southern Marshall county.  I'm sure most have not heard, much less been to the almost famous Enos Mall, but we're going to check it out first-hand come Saturday, weather permitting. We might even try the food there which I've been told serves some good stuff, like plate lunches and catfish on Friday and Saturday nights. If any one can share more info on Enos, Oklahoma send me an email before Saturday morning since we hope to be at Enos around lunch time!

But if we don't make it to Enos by around noon or decide to eat later, I've been told there is a convenience store just a few yards east of Highway 32 and Highway 99  on the south side of 32 (south of Madill on the highway to Willis Bridge) there's a great place to order a hamburger.  He said it may be the best hamburger he's tried in southern Oklahoma, and he and his wife travels around just looking for a good hamburger. Boy, I can hardly wait to try one.

This coming Monday is Memorial Day, and the Monday before I received a phone call from Jean Marston in Massachusetts, a sister of a soldier who died in the 1966 plane crash NE of Ardmore. She had just found the Remembrance Memorial website and was happy to learn of the memorial site in honor of those 83 people who died in '66 when their plane crashed in the Arbuckle Mountains. But her brother, Ralph David Johnson was not listed on the memorial marker. He died 17 days after the crash in San Antonio, Texas from his burns. His name was not listed on the granite marker because those names came from newspapers and they only listed those who died the day of the crash. We need to get Ralph David Johnson's name sandblasted on the memorial at the Airpark soon.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans will be conducting the annual Memorial Day Service at Rosehill Cemetery on Monday, May 28th at 2:00 PM.  The service should last approximately an hour and a half. We would encourage everyone to bring a lawn chair if possible. We will have  bottled water available. The spectator?s area will be under the large tree at the east end of the Confederate Section. Dr. Leslie Tucker, Oklahoma Division Commander will be our speaker for the event. Re-enactors will be providing an honor guard. -Terry Pierce  405-685-1158


Woodford/Milo reunion June 10, 2007
"Looking for info on James K Bolton, died in 1923 in Dustin, Dan Bolton, lived in Lawton, Laban Bolton, known as (L) lived in McCurtain Co and Ella E (Kimbrough) Bolton wife of J K. George Kimbrough and others lived in the area. Any help appreciated. Enjoy the newsletter and all the stories. Thanks." -Anita
"I can tell you that Dieter Bros BBQ is much better than the Smoke House, and they don't pitter patter around when you order. It is the best BBQ I have ever eaten. In fact my wife and I, and another couple, make it a point to drive to Lindsey to Dieter Bros. at least once a month to eat BBQ." -Scott Bumgarner, Sherman, TX
"The information about how to treat Laptop batteries MAY be correct if the batteries are the older NiCad or Nimetal Hydride.  But if the batteries are the newer Lithium Ion then the proper care is keep them charged.  They will actually last longer if they are topped up each night.  Even if they have only been partially used. They do not benefit from being fully discharged periodically. Be sure to use the charger that came with the laptop unless you want them to get very hot and possibly explode.  By the way, some lithium ion polymer batteries can be discharged at 20x their stated capacity.  That would mean that a battery the size of the batteries in a cell phone could deliver 3.7 volts at around 6 amps.  Supposing a 3.7 300 milliamp battery.  Note that the cell phone batteries although they are usually LiPo are not the ones that can be discharged at that rate.  A lipo battery approximately the size of a D-cell could provide 3.7 volts at maybe 50 amps for a few minutes and not be damaged." -Larry
"Don't know if y'all fancy onion rings but they roll their own both there and in Dieter Bros next door (well, next door if you don't count the liquor & convenience stores between 'em). Highly recommended. Also, Dieter Bros stirs up a mean side of that German tater salad.  I like it better than what I've found anywhere else so far. While we're roamin' around N Texas, you might put these other stops on your list. Gene's Hamburger Harbor in Gordonville (not quite 2m S of Willis Bridge on the west side) grills a nice burger. South of Gene's about 7.5m on the west side is Catfish Haven. Great fish, both filet and whole.  Homemade _pies_ there too!mmmmm. And, for more "Q", keep on goin' south 'til you get to Tioga, TX. On the east side of the hiway, you'll find Clark's Outpost. Mighty fine eats at all." -Garth
"Butch, Now this is what I call a wide angle photo! I shot this one this morning just north of Marietta and used three overlapping shots to stitch together this wide scene. The Heartland Flyer was headed to Marietta. Oklahoma sure is nice and green." -Dwane
"Founded in March of 2005, FlightAware is the first company to offer free flight tracking services for both private and commercial air traffic in the United States. FlightAware launched public operations in September of 2005 and in November of 2005 became the most popular flight tracking service on the Internet. FlightAware's proprietary flight arrival time algorithms combined with our powerful, intuitive, responsive, and reliable web-based interface yield the most capable and useful flight tracking application."
June 16 ? Summer Jamboree ? Gene Autry, Oklahoma Museum. Noon to 5pm. Admission Free ? Donations Accepted. Lots of good entertainment, fun and auctions.  -Les Gilliam, "The Oklahoma Balladeer" 

June 19 ? Concert in the Park with Les Gilliam and the Silver Lake Band, Broken Arrow, OK. Admission Free. 7pm. Band Shell located in Central Park on South Main in Broken Arrow, OK.  -Les Gilliam, "The Oklahoma Balladeer"

"May each and everyone of us remember our Veteran's this Memorial Day! Our freedom is so appreciated and our blessings beyond measure." -Peggy Evers

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.  -From a headstone in Ireland

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

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Oklahoma Bells:
American Flyers Memorial Fund - Administration Webpage
Official American Flyers Memorial Website
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base Website
Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter county schools, past and present
Carter County Government Website

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