This and That Newsletter

Vol 11  Issue 553     Circulation 5,000      August 30, 2007

Ardmore, Oklahoma

Robert Chavers sent in some photos this week he took of a little horny toad he found in his yard.  I remember finding them in the 60s in my neighborhood of Northeast Ardmore, but the last 30 years I have not seen nary a one in town.  In 1997 a Reader sent in a photo of a horny toad she saw on East Main in the yard of the old Dunbar School, but it seems they have almost become extinct in this area.  But Robert found they still survive in Ardmore, but I would guess very few still in this area.  Thanks Robert for sharing the pictures and confirming horny toads are still around Ardmore.

Last week Wilson Monuments of Lone Grove sandblasted a new name on the 1966 memorial at the Airpark.  Ralph David Johnson of Yonkers, New York died from his injuries about a month after the plane crash.

Crossroads Grill and General Store is located at Highway 32 and Highway 377 across from Crossroads Baptist Church (about 8 miles south of Madill).  Jill and I stopped in there last week to get a hamburger.  An Ardmore postman told me he and his wife do the same thing as we do when it comes to hamburgers, always searching for that perfect hamburger.  He told me about the burger at Crossroads Grill a few months ago. Well the burger at Crossroads Gill comes close to perfect, but it was not perfect.  Its a delicious hamburger though.

But I have to mention another burger, one of the best we've ate in southern Oklahoma.  We found it last weekend at Davis, Oklahoma at the Main Street Cafe.  Now these people knows how to make a burger. I'm always hesitant to vote a burger as Number 1 because there are so many great hamburgers in this area, but this may be it.

The Slow Pokes of Ardmore will be holding its 53rd reunion this weekend on Sept 1st. We've talked about this several times the past few months, many of you have help Rob Ragland gather some history on the Slow Pokes. Well, this Saturday is the day.........

There was a very unusual looking car parked on the west side of the courthouse this week, one like I have never saw before.  It is called a Smartcar and from its 3 cyclinder engine it gets 70 miles to a gallon which equals 300 miles on its 5 gallon tank.  Jackie Cooper Imports in Tulsa has already sold out its 2008 Smartcar allotment, so I guess I won't be getting one of those.  Tempting, very tempting.

Below is a pic I took of the Smartcar parked this week at the courthouse. The sun was so bright and my settings were a little off my photo has some whiteout, so the picture is not perfect but I think you'll get the picture.

Also this week Jerry Landrum sent in a pic he and his new bride took when visiting in the Black Hills of South Dakota the other day.

Jerry and Barbara also spotted in interesting old bell. What makes this bell different from all the other bells I have on my bell webpage, is it has an electric clapper.  Not that is unusual.

Karen Jones sent in an interesting newspaper clipping this week. It tells of the original street naming for some of the street in Wewoka, Oklahoma back before the 1900s.

There has been several mentions in my T&Ts over the years about the "Mayor of Overbook", George Bourland. I remember talking to him even back in the 60s and he was an interesting character to say the least.  Overbrook resident Cleta Hipley sent in an interview that was done by Ralph Evans a number of years ago. Its kinda lengthy, but very interesting about the Overbrook history of by-gone years.

A Reader sent in an old map the State of Sequoyah around 1905. Back then it was proposed that Oklahoma be two parts, Oklahoma Territory and Sequoyah Territory. But it didn't turn out that way, it would become Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory.

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

"Hi Mr. Bridges,  I am from Overbrook and a friend of mine shared this information with me.  It is interesting reading about a small town that is older than Ardmore.  It is long, but I typed it exactly as written.  Ralph Evans, from Greenville, OK, wrote this as told by George Bourland.  We always referred to Mr. Bourland as "The mayor of Overbrook."  Thanks.  -Cleta Hipley
"Butch, as a response to your mention of using paraffin was for canning, I wrote to one of my father's sisters knowing that if she didn't actually use this method that my Grandmother definitely would have used the method years ago.  I also remember watching her and her mother using this method.  I think, as she states there was a shortage of lids, was because of WWII having a short supply of metal.  Her response is below.  Hope this helps. Thanks." -Kathi G., Fayetteville, Arkansas

"The wax seal seems to be a traditional way of sealing and expelling the air before the use of vacuum-sealed (Ball, etc.) jars came into widespread use. If you make the paraffin at least 3/4" thick, then ants can't smell through it and therefore won't chew through it; and your jellies (devoid of any oxygen interactivity) will keep indefinitely.  The trick:  The insides of the jar MUST be completely clean above the top of the jelly.  Food particles or grease will ruin the wax seal."

"Hey Butch, thanks for taking the time to get this web site together, I teach at Bodine Elementary School in Oklahoma City and have a 5th grade class of 18 kids this year, with your permission I would like to give media assignments to my children from your website, and have them report on what they read, even give oral reports, would this be ok with you." -Jim Bryant
"Hi Butch, My husband found a pygmy rattlesnake in our back yard a couple of days ago. Thought you might want to let others know they are in the area (Hewitt) and what they look like. The rattles are so small you don't hear a warning rattle." -mindy taylor

"Butch, You commented about Devil's Den and wondered who owned it. For the last several years it has been owned by Johnston County residents, John and Elaine Bruno.  They are very committed to preserving the natural beauty of the Pennington Creek area.  They have removed the deteriorated structures  and returned the area to its natural beauty."
"There was a family owned grocery store on the corner of NW K st and 7th, I don't know exact yr it closed but I think in late 50's early 60's. It was there when we moved to Ardmore in 51.  The Mike West that sent u info abt Berwyn/Gene Autry, would he mind if I contacted him for info on some Little's that are buried in the cemetery, rhey are relatives but haven't any personal info abt them.  Thanks again for all the history you give."  -Karen Jones
The Wilson Post Democrat - June 29, 1950
Armadillos Found in Oklahoma

Although the armadillos are not known to be native of Oklahoma the state game and fish department has reason to believe they are establishing  themselves here.  State Game Rangers Earl Sparks, Maysville, and J. R. Turnbill, Anadarko, located families of the odd, shell-backed animals recently. Armadillos are native to southwest Texas and Mexico, and occasionally are found in Oklahoma.  Those found here may be escapees from traveling animal exhibits or others imported as pets, game department officials said.  The department hopes to place a pair of the animals in its own traveling exhibit which is under construction for educational purposes.

"Many thanks to all who replied to my request for information on the use of paraffin in making jams and jellies. And thanks, too, for the yummy recipes! Most respondents said the purpose was to prevent mold, and secondary reasons were to avoid discoloration/darkening and sugar crystallization. It was the best method available for a long time. My Grandmother Wimberly made sand plum jelly on a wood stove in an Oklahoma farm house in August heat. No electricity - the only refrigeration was a wooden icebox with a block of the cold stuff hauled from town a couple of times a week. We were fortunate to have paraffin - that jelly was wonderful in January!  The article in this site is rather lengthy but very informative about the best methods to use now.  I don't know of anyone who became seriously ill from toxic mold, but the potential is there. Better safe than sorry. The discussions were a marvelous trip down memory lane for several of us, and it was fun to share recollections with T&T friends. Your responses are greatly appreciated!"   -Elizabeth Dyer
"I was reading Mike West's account of the grocery stores, he mentioned the one in Dripping Springs on the north side of the highway. If my memory serves me right the couple who ran the store were named Sears. My brother rented a little house from them next door to the east of the store in the mid 1950s. I am not sure but I believe that Mike and I may be related, my grandmother Carrell's maiden name was West they settled around Berwyn and Baum area, on that subject, my uncle Clint Carrell ran the old Baum store for many years. Also I think one of the stores north-east of the Province Rd was what was known as Caldwell Hill. One of our neighbors from "Greasy Bend", Calvin & Annie Priddy bought or leased that store for a couple of years then moved back to the "Bend", I don't recall but it was probably in the mid to late 50s. I remember the store had a large illuminated clock above the door that you could see from the highway. Keep up the good works." -Roy Barnes, Purcell OK.
"There was a grocery on K street NW on the east side at about ninth/tenth. In 1950 this store was run by a couple in their thirties.  There was a grocery on the NW corner of D street and third ave SE. This store closed in the forties but the building remained (may still be there) until 1953 at least. I am guessing that Dunn family ran it.  They were elderly in the forties. Toliver (sp) store on Highway 70 west of Ardmore at Brock road (before Lone Grove) on North side of highway. There was also a gas pump there in the forties.  There were several grocery stores in Brock about 1940."  -Jerry Brown
"Dear Butch and Jill, Just wanted to tell you how much I still love your T&T newsletter. I was especially touched by the portion written by Katie Moore Dean in this issue. (552).I am 76 years old and a native of Ardmore, so this brought back memories of when I was growing up out in the country near Ardmore. So many of the chores she recalled were performed each and every day at our house. My Grandmother Donham taught me so many of the things she described in her story. She was such a hard-working woman and lived to be 89 years old, so, I guess hard work won't make us die young! Even though I remember going to bed so tired I felt like I would. How far we have come and I wish each of our children and Grandchildren could go back in time and spend one day as we did. It might make for a better future generation!  Thanks again for all the work you do for this newsletter. I would miss it so much if you decided to stop it. Hope that doesn't happen!"  -Kathryn in Las Vegas
"Well Cuz, you did it once again.  Thanks for a walk down memory lane with you bit on the Ardmore Grocery Store's 50 years ago.  I went to a number of them as a kid with my Grandpa Prater, Cousins, as well as Aunts and Uncles on Mom's side of the Family. However, nothing at those Groceries could ever top the open-air Farmer's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable stands there on Caddo.  We got many a nice treat from the vendor's at those places by virtue of the fact that we were Rattler Prater's Grandkids.  Thanks once again for a walk down memory lane." -Cuz Poss in Korea
"I also made jellies and jams and poured the paraffin on top.  I just used it to seal the contents of the jar.  Sometimes it would pull back away from the sides a bit  but I kept some of it for several years before using and it did not go bad.  A few of the jars would grow what my Mom called a "Mother".  I was never sure what she meant by that but I believe it had started to ferment in that lump and if left it would continue to grow like yeast.  There would be a lump on the top and we scooped it off and the jelly was fine."  -Sue
Turner Falls Coyotes

A stitch in time saves nine

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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