This and That Newsletter

Vol 11  Issue 556     Circulation 5,000      September 20, 2007

Ardmore, Oklahoma

I received an email from Herman Kirkwood in Oklahoma City this week about an unveiling taking place Saturday 22nd at Frederick, Oklahoma.  Its about the Abernathy boys of Frederick and their unbelievable journey from Oklahoma to New York City when they were only 10 and 6 years of age right after statehood.  The unveiling is of a Brush automobile, one like was used by the Abernathy boys to ride back in from NYC in 1910.  Herman said the car was found up in Oregon and was purchased by a local fund raising to bring the car back to Frederick.  Herman plans to attend, and I'm sure he'll take lots of photos.  The unveiling will take place at 9am.  If any of you make it to Frederick (it's west of Lawton), tell Herman hello, he's president of the Oklahoma Outlaws Lawmen History Association.

I received a nice surprise this week by email, a Word document composed by the Ardmore Historic Preservation Board detailing the historical markers located in Carter county. (Also listed is some Murray county historical markers.)  A couple years ago the Oklahoma Historical Society published a book listing Oklahoma markers:  A Field Guide to Oklahoma Historical Markers.

The Ardmore Historic Preservation was responsible for all of the Carter County portion of this book, and I believe they had more markers listed with the locations documented, than any other county in the State.  The Preservation Board also documented Veterans markers, and Carter County has a bunch, but they did not include these in the publication. The Bookseller in Ardmore carries this book.

Jill and I made it up to Sulphur last Saturday to attend the tractor show. The weather was a lot cooler than last year, and it was truly a great show, so much to see.  We found us a bench under a carport type awning, and sat all the way through the Grand Entry of tractors at noon... what a site to see!

One booth that caught my attention was a man making brooms.  Don't see that anymore.... almost a lost art.

There was one booth making home made ice cream.... and the old timey churns ran on tractor power!

And last but not least was this one poor lady at the tractor show at Sulphur who I thought was going to have a heart attack if she kept running up and down that dirt trail like she did.  She was directing the 100s tractors and other old vehicles when and where to get in line for the big parade at noon, and they kept her hopping too.  I know I couldn't have kept up with this traffic director.  lol   You would have just had to be there to understand what I'm talking about, this lady was always in a dead run. She truly deserves an award for all her hard work.

It always saddens me when I read or hear about a long time T&T reader passing away.  Many of you will remember the stories told from time to time by Gerald Cobb of Las Vegas.  Gerald shared many a stories in the Mailbag from Ardmore's past when he lived here. Gerald was Carter county sheriff from 1959 to 1963. Gerald Cobb passed away in Las Vegas on September 16, 2007. I'll sure miss his interesting and sometimes amusing pieces of history he shared with us all. See you over on the other side old buddy.

Jill and I stopped in at Mom and Pops Grocery last weekend to try one of their hamburgers.  Boy, it was a great burger, one of the best I've ate lately.  Mom and Pops is a little off the beaten path (SE of Lake Murray) but will worth the drive for a tasty burger!

I mentioned weeks ago Jill and I was looking for a few acres in the country, preferably in the Lone Grove area.  Some of you wrote back with tips and even land for sale, and I appreciate everyone's response.  I am happy to report that we have found 3 acres just south of Lone Grove, exactly like we were looking for too, including electricity, septic tank and SOWC water available.  We hope to close on the property in a couple weeks, and then on to building a modular home on it, so wish us luck that everything goes smoothly.  We are really looking forward to this move to country life!

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

"Butch.  In your quest for the perfect hamburger, you HAVE to try the burger at the little place called the "Wilson Junction Cafe" located at the
Healdton/Wilson 'Y' on highway 70, just east of Zaneis.  And if you have a
big hunger, order the LARGE version!  Man, these are the best burgers in
Carter none!!"  -Mudd Means

"In your last T&T someone wanted to know if there was a listing of Historical Markers in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Historical Society published a book “Mark of Heritage” in 1976 that listed each marker in the state, its location and what was inscribed on the marker along with some additional information about the site. The book also includes a pull-out map with all markers shown and numbered. The book references each marker by its number on the map. The book was written by Muriel H. Wright, George H. Shirk and Kenny A. Franks. You might recognize the name George Shirk for his book about Oklahoma Place Names. The Library of Congress Catalog Card Number for this book is 75-40255. It is a great book, but I believe it is no longer in print. I’ve carried my copy around the state many times. If anyone finds out that this book is once again available, I would appreciate an update. I’m attaching a scan of the cover of the book so someone can recognize it if they run across a copy."  -Gerald Whitworth

"Butch, I have a perfect attendance certificate for my Dad from Bowlin School dated Feb. 28,1918 I would like to know about this school  I think it was located at Cumberland, OK in Marshall County near Madill."
"Here is a delicious hamburger from Marty's Finish Line service station at Ratliff City.  $3.75 but good, sorry about the missing piece, I could not wait. Ha."

"Butch; In your latest T&T there was mention of the rock quarry and Rock Academy near Wapanucka. I believe that this land was sold, with the past couple of years.  It was owned by a couple of sisters in Tulsa, but was purchased by a stone company in Minnesota, or somewhere in that vicinity. There are stories of the Knight of the Golden Circle using the land to deposit treasure to fund a second rising of the South after the Civil War and the legend is that Jesse James was a big fundraiser for this effort.  The land was off-limits when the sisters owned it and I would imagine that it is even more restricted now that is corporate owned.  I believe the Rock Academy was also on the land, but not sure if it is still accessible by the general public since it is an historic site.  Anyone wanting to go treasure hunting for buried treasure should research Bugaboo canyon, between Atoka and Antlers.  There's lots of stories and legends about this place and it is a beautiful place to visit.  I was there this summer and the road was pretty washed out in places due to the heavy rainfall in May-June.  I don't know if they have it repaired yet.  I think I would wait until after the first frost before taking off on a hike through the canyon just to make sure all the snakes are gone.  Make sure you stop at the ranger station and fill out an itinerary form, just in case you don't make it back." -Gerald Whitworth at Glenpool, Oklahoma
"Hi Butch and Jill, I just couldn't wait to expose the new happening in Medicine Park! My daughter, Joyce is getting married to a wonderful man, Tony Garcia who happens to be a great chef! He actually did the ice sculptures and cooked for Tiger Woods a few weeks ago at the PGA Tournament in Tulsa! The new couple have secured the bldg. at the Medicine Park "Y" on Hwy. 49 and will be opening the first Pizza/ Italian Specialties Restaurant in Medicine Park on December 1st! The temporary signs are in the windows and everyone in town is buzzing the news! It is going to be a take out/ dine-in spot for America's favorite food! Who would have guessed? A mural of a gondola floating on Medicine Creek towards Medicine Park will enhance the ambiance inside the restaurant! Hope to see you there! A Hamburger just can't take the place of a great combination pizza! Momma mia, start the ballgame!"  -Joy Willingham in Medicine Park, OK
"Butch, The Deer Festival and Outdoor Show in Antlers, Oklahoma is coming up October 5 and 6th.  This will be the 6th annual show and it has gradually grown during that time. This might be something you and your readers of This and That might be interested in attending."  -Madge Gentry, Vice-Mayor,  Antlers, Oklahoma

"Butch, I am looking to buy a bugle, did you know that there is a severe shortage of buglers to play Taps at Veterans funerals?  If anyone has one to sell or give away email me."
"Butch, I just read a new book titled "12 Mighty Orphans", by Jim Dent, if
you or some of your faithful followers are into sports, especially football,
this is a must read book. It is about an orphans home in Fort Worth in the
20's and 30's. The team was almost unbeatable. Again, I highly recommend this book." -Ken Kemp formally from Wilson

"Butch, I have a minor correction to the mention of Keith Grocery on 12th Ave, NW. Henry and Minnie Keith were the owners of that neighborhood store. When I was 12 years old I worked for them sacking cookies, etc after school and on Saturdays. That was my first real job. At that time cookies came in large boxes (bulk), dill pickles came in a huge barrel kept in the back room and the bananas were on the stalk hanging in the window. They were well known for their meat market. At that time we also had to collect ration stamps for sugar, canned goods, etc. Henry also gave me my first lesson in driving – in his delivery truck!" --Sami Pittman Sutherland

Question:  "I have heard stories of Waynoka having a history of camels out on the dunes at Little Sahara.  I know there have been pictures of locals dressed up with camels for various events showing up on calendars and on post cards. Is there any real history to camels being there, and where did they come from and why? Is there a good story in here?"

Answer:  The camels were a product of the Woods County Chamber of Commerce. Grace Ward Smith of Alva may have had the idea of bringing camels to Little Sahara as a tourist attraction.

I was in high school when the camels arrived. They were penned at the football field before being taken to the dunes. At least one high school boy had a ride on a camel, just for fun and a challenge.

I don't know how many camels were brought to Waynoka initially. Through the years, baby camels were born at the dunes. My husband Rex was a veterinarian, and soon after we moved to Waynoka (our hometown), a camel was born, and he was the 'attending physician'.  That would have been in about 1966.

The camels were a great attraction. Dale Converse and Ike Ashpaugh are names of men who cared for the camels. Postcards were made. Photos were taken. For several years, a very well-attended Christmas pageant was held at the dunes.

As the popularity of dune buggies increased, the dunes were less and less suitable for the camels, though they were penned near the entrance. The decision was made to remove the camels in the mid-to-late 1970s. I would guess they were sold. I do know that the last camel spent the night at the Waynoka Animal Clinic before being shipped to Arkansas.  Our children thought that was very special to have a camel at the clinic.

The Waynoka Historical Society has some nice photographs of the camels, and an original watercolor by Gene Hartsell.

Thanks for asking about the camels.  People still inquire about them. Some of the funniest stories are about the camels getting out on the highway at night, and drivers doing a double-take, and perhaps feeling a bit self-conscious reporting that they had seen a camel on the highway!"  -Sandie Olson

The Daily Ardmoreite 7-14-1915 -submitted by Mindy Taylor
"Fruit Demonstration Car"
The Frisco fruit demonstration car is due to arrive in Ardmore Thursday, July 15.  The car will be in charge of Ashley Bales, agricultural agent for the Frisco Company.
The Frisco Company extends an invitation to all peach growers to attend the demonstrations given on the car.

"Wilson Fruit Growers Ship First Car Peaches"
Fruit growers from the neighborhood of Wilson and Hewitt shipped a car of early peaches from Wilson Saturday.
The variety shipped was the "Mamie Ross."  Elbertas are not quite ready for shipment.  The crop now promises to be the largest ever grown in this section of the state.
There is considerable difficulty in finding baskets and crates enough to handle the crop.

"Uncle Dick" Bynum has shipped his second car of Elbertas this year.  They go to the Chicago market where they bring top prices.

I really don't care anything about the money, as long as I get it.  -Groucho Marx 1890-1977

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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