This and That Newsletter

Vol 12  Issue 588     Circulation 5,000      May 1, 2008

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:

Toll Free Number in Oklahoma:  580-215-4333

Nelda Keck of Woodford, Oklahoma (northern Carter county) stopped by last week to share a photo.  Not just any old photo, but one she took a couple years ago of a bell in her yard.  Nelda stepped out of her house at the foot of the Arbuckle Mountains one evening back in December 2006 and looked west toward the setting sun, and there the bell, the U.S. flag, the pond, and the setting sun came together in the most beautiful array imaginable.  She grabbed her camera, snapped a picture, and little did she know at the time, but the photograph taken that evening would received national recognition in 2007 by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Washington DC.  Keep in mind that this scene in her yard on Highway 53 West was not planned, or rehearsed, or waited for, or put together by software and a computer.  But just in a brief window of time, Nelda was fortunate enough to get a glimpse of almost a miracle of nature, and she caught it on film.   When I saw the photo for the first time last week, I just stared in awe at the picturesque scene, it really brings out patriotism.  Thanks Nelda for sharing this extraordinary photo with everyone.

Speaking of Woodford, Oklahoma, when I drive through that little community and see Akers on the mailbox, I think how the first sheriff of this county and his family hailed from Woodford.  He was Holmes Akers and some of his kin are still residents of Woodford. What an honor it must have been for Holmes Akers back in 1907, to become a part of history in the making as he was sworn in to enforce the laws of a brand new state. There has been many sheriffs since then, but only one "first sheriff".

I am still looking for pictures of two sheriffs of this county, Howard Johnson (1947-1951) and Jack Powledge (1952-1953). If anyone knows of any descendants of these 2 sheriffs, let me know. Or maybe there is a photo in the newspaper ads those years when they ran for the office.

And something else needing researched in The Daily Ardmoreite archives at the library:  It seems its taken for granted by the historians that WKY in Oklahoma City was the first radio station to take to the airwaves in Oklahoma back in 1922.  But it seems the whole state has forgotten that Ardmore's Dr. Walter Hardy might have first started broadcasting from his radio station on the second floor of his hospital at Caddo and East Main back in 1921.  True, both radio stations received their licenses from the government in 1921, but I would almost bet an old fashion hamburger Dr. Hardy also started broadcasting as WOAA that same year.  By the way, Dr Hardy established the first air ambulance in Oklahoma the following year, 1922.

The Daily Ardmoreite, May 11, 1922:  Bud Ballew's body was removed to an undertaker's establishment at Wichita Falls, where it was embalmed, and, in the mean time, his friends were communicated with here in Ardmore. The tragedy took place at 1:35 o'clock on Friday afternoon, all parties agree. On word of the killing reaching Ardmore, Ballew's friends secured the use of the ambulance plane of the Hardy Sanitarium, and in it Pilot Askew and Undertaker Herbert Harvey flew to Wichita Falls, leaving here at 3:15 Friday afternoon. The remains had been brought to the landing field there, and a good sized crowd had gathered to witness the unusual method of transporting a corpse. The remains were placed in the cock-pit of the plane where patients are placed to be brought to the hospital and the return flight was made, the party arriving at Ardmore at 8:00 o'clock, being just about dark. The body was taken to the Harvey Bros Undertaking Parlors and at once a stream of people filled the institution for purpose of viewing the remains. This crowd continued to visit the undertaker's rooms all day Saturday, and even during the rain of Sunday morning.

In the above 1922 newspaper clipping the article just reads "Pilot Askew".  Ardmoreite Gary Simmons has provided us with probably the full name of the early day Ardmore pilot.  Here it is in his own words:  "That would probably be Dorsey Askew who was a partner with Arthur "Art"  Oakley at the Oakley-Askew Airport that operated 1921-1933 north of Ardmore. The airport hanger burned, Feb. 7, 1933, and was not rebuilt. Askew left the partnership in 1926 when he took a job flying mail from Dallas to Chicago for United Airlines. He was the first pilot to fly mail from Dallas to Chicago. I have information that he died unexpectedly sometime later but don't know whether he died from natural causes or crashed. Askew and Oakley were WWI pilots."

One more comment from a 2003 T&T:  In 1924 the Oakley-Askew airport hanger was in the SE corner of Locust Street NW and Chickasaw Blvd.

I heard on the news today some oil field truck tried to cross the Norton Bridge north of Mannsville with too much weight, and broke it down.  We are planning to travel out east to Mannsville Friday, get a burger at Sweet Mama's and then on over to the bridge, get some pics.

Visit the Oklahoma History Boards, start a topic if you want too!

Q.  What is Oklahoma's leading cash crop?
A.   Wheat

Q.  Who was Oklahoma's first native born governor?
A.   (answer in next week's T&T)

A Reader brought me a book about Bromide, Oklahoma this week.  The author, Marshal Don Mitchell, grew up in Bromide, Oklahoma before he left at age 19 for the service.  I did several searches for Don's book "Bromide Oklahoma Centennial - From Boastown to Ghostown' on the web and I could not find a single copy, not even at .  The only place it looks like it a copy can be had is at Don Mitchell's website (see below).  As I thumbed through the book, I can see Don has done a tremendous amount of research on Bromide's history.  And photos, the book is packed from cover to cover with photograph after photograph about Bromide (over 250 pages).  When we were visiting Bromide a few weeks ago, there was not a lot left of the town.  But when you read through Don's book, one can see Bromide during its glory days, with all the commerce and people and hustle and bustle. Bromide did not turn into a ghost town when the mineral bath houses lost their appeal, but it almost did.

Marshal Don Mitchell's website:

I ran across a name I'd never heard this week from Oklahoma's past.  Her name was Lucyle Richards.  Lucyle was born in Pushmataha county, Oklahoma back around 1909.  Lucyle became a ferry pilot for the United States war effort, hauling bombers from the U.S. to Britain for use in the European Theater.  After the war, Lucyle went back to the rodeo, becoming the women's saddle bronc champion from 1951-57. When it came to trick horse riding, Lucyle was right up there with the greatest.

Now that Spring has sprung, we love to go out early in the mornings just before day break and listen to all the birds and animals.  I used my camera to make a audio recording, and just 2 minutes of recording equaled a MOV file of nearly 50 megs.  To big to upload to my website.  So I used a freeware program called Free Video Converter by Koyote to convert it from MOV to AVI, reducing the size down to 15 megs.  Even at 15 megs, if you have slow dial up for internet, you won't be able to listen to this recording (DSL and cable will work).  You can even hear several roosters crowing in the background.

I received in the mail this week a flyer from the genealogy society at Madill on their upcoming Grand Opening of Museum of Southern Oklahoma. The event takes place on Saturday May 10, 2008 from 10am to 4pm.  The guest speaker will be Towana Spivey, director/curator of the Ft Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum at Lawton.  Mr. Spivey will speak at 2pm that Saturday.

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

"Butch & Jill, If you have tomatoes plants you need some Marigolds planted around them to keep the bugs and worms away. It works! Marigolds have an ugly odor that seems to keep the critters off the tomato plants." -Linda in SW Colorado
"Butch here are some links to old 8mm video I shot several years back. These were just before the merger of Santa Fe and Burlington Northern while the line through Ardmore was still Santa Fe. After the merger the name changed to BNSF for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. In some of the scenes you can see Burlington units already running the line."  -Dwane Stevens

Santa Fe Days Part 1

Santa Fe Days Part 2

Arbuckle Mountains-The Cut-2008 Spring Photo Session-Part 1

Arbuckle Mountains-The Cut-2008 Spring Photo Session-Part 2

Arbuckle Mountains-The Cut-2008 Spring Photo Session-Part 3

"Part 1 wound up with a "Watch in High Quality" button under the views counter but the other two didn't. Puzzling!"  -Dwane Stevens

"Ardmore's Studio 107, located at 107 E. Main will be having an opening reception Saturday, May 3, 2008 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Go by and visit them after the Music Fest!! After and during the reception, you can be entertained by the bands playing at 9 East Main. What a great way to start off the month of May!!!"
"Butch, I just ran across this site and thought you and your readers might enjoy it. This is a jukebox site and you can play music from the 1950s through 1980s. Pretty neat!"
"Butch, Absolutely loved your Enos Mall photos.  I grew up spending my summers and spring breaks in Enos.  My grandparents have owned property there since the 60's.  Until I was an adult, I didn't realize there were vacations spots outside of Lake Texoma, lol. Needless to say, I have very fond memories of Enos, In fact, a few years ago I bought property just east of Enos on the lake.  As corny, as it sounds, my dream is to purchase the Enos Mall.  So far, the owner is not selling, lol. I've been buying bait, food, and chocolate soldiers at the Enos Mall since 1970.  In the 80's, it was the only thing around there, but there is more growth now. Given another chance, head there for breakfast.  Have the Texoma Sunshine favorite country style breakfast. Just a tidbit of info. you may find interesting.  Down the road from the Enos Mall is a little store called Weaver's.  Great place as well.  They rent movies there and may be the only place that doesn't require membership.  You just take your movies to the counter, pay and that's it.  They don't record any info. from you.  Hard to find that kind of trust these days. Love your website.  One of the most unique, educational and entertaining sites I've seen.  If you're ever just south of Denton, TX, in a little place called Lake Dallas, right off I-35, try the Mechicano's Mexican Restaurant.  They have some of the most authentic chorizo breakfast tacos in the area. Thanks for your sharing your passions."  -William Davis
"Butch--- I know you like hamburgers---This weeks Gadsden Times ran this site under Mr. Modem. That is supposed to get you the best burger with toppings in the U.S.  I took a cholesterol pill for just writing this ad down."  -Crowe in Alabama
"Butch, Rose Chapel was somewhere West of Springer. I read somewhere that it was SW, but I?m not certain. My aunt told me it was in the foothills of the Arbuckles, but that covers a lot of ground." -Jim Hubbell, Texas

This photograph was taken around 1914. The boy in the dark jacket holding a cap in the front row is my uncle, Charlie Selfridge (1905-1919). The little girl on the far right is my aunt, Jenny Selfridge Byrom (1908-2002).

"Does anybody have any information about Cliff Gatewood? He had a wild west show very similar to Col. Jim's, except a whole lot wilder. They called him
Cliff "Wild Horse" Gatewood because he used a lot of authentic wild horses in his shows instead of experienced bucking horses. I would really like to find a picture of him to include in my story about him and his shows.

I left Col. Jim's show in Akron Ohio when it crossed with Cliff's show. Col. Jim was showing in coliseums and Cliff was playing county fairs. People would never believe the things that Cliff did to create free publicity. If somebody was to do some of them today they would be sued for billions of dollars.  That same year, 1945, when we finished showing at the county fairs, we loaded everything up on rail cars and put on 6 shows in Canada in the winter time. The shows were in ice arenas. The ice was covered with a layer of bark from pulpwood mills. The first show was in Sherbrooke. Cliff sent Earl Evans to Miles City Montana to buy 90 carloads, about three thousand head, of wild horses. He told Earl: "I just have two requirements, the have to be at lest six years old and have never been touched by human hands" He would just buck them one time and then sell them to the rendering plants which every town had one of at that time.

When we got to Sherbrooke Cliff called us all together and told us: "Boys, We're not going to waste our time hauling these wild horses through  town, we're going to drive them right through down town Sherebrooke. We're only going to use them one time any way and then send them to the rendering plant. Let's head 'em toward the ice arena, scatter 'em all over town, and then try to round 'em up" And that's exactly what we did! they got in stores, kicked out plate glass storefront windows and car headlights. The next morning's papers were fill of pictures and stories about the rodeo. And nobody sued him!

The Sons Of The Pioneers were the feature attraction at these shows. It was the first year that they played on their own without Roy Rogers, who was the feature attraction with Col. Jim's show. The shows played to sellout crowds and the last one was in Quebec city. After the last show there, the newspaper wanted to take a picture of all of us performers in front of the chutes with the governor and his wife. The photographer set up his camera and proceeded to pose everybody. He wanted Homer Harris and his trick mule in front, the Sons of the Pioneers, next, all of us performers on one side behind them and the governor and his wife, and Cliff and his wife, Elsie, along with the governor's escort of Royal Mounted Police in their bright red coats on the other. Homer's mule was acting up a bit like all mules are inclined to do at times, so Homer asked the Sons of the Pioneers to please move out of the way until he could make the mule sit down and then move back to their position. One of them told Homer: "That's all right Homer, don't you worry about us. We'll be alright. Go ahead.  So Homer popped the little mule on his legs, which was the signal for the mule to sit down. The mule backed up real fast three or four steps and sat down right in the middle of the stand up bass bull fiddle and broke it into a thousand pieces. The bass player charged Homer and tried to hit him over the head with the neck of the bull fiddle, which was all that was left. Homer knocked the bull fiddle player down, the rest of the Sons Of the Pioneers all jumped on Homer and all the rest of us jumped on them and broke up the rest of their instruments. The Mounties escorted the governor and his wife out of the arena, the photographer grabbed his camera and ran, and the picture never did get taken!"   -LeRoy in Texas

"I enjoyed reading LeRoy's letter in last week's newsletter.  In 1964, when I was 16 I had the opportunity to drive Col. Eskew from Ardmore to New York and Pennsylvania.  My Dad had recently passed away and I was afraid that my Mother wouldn't let me go.  After the Col. assured her that we would be back by the time school started, she let me take the trip. We had a great time and when we got back just before school started I announced to my Mother that the Col. and hadn't decided wither we were going to winter in Florida or Arizona.  My Mother said I don't know where the Col. is going to winter but you're going to winter in Ardmore, Oklahoma. That winter I picked Col. Eskew up every morning before school and took him to Randolph's Saddle Shop, so he could spend the day visiting  He passed away that February of 1965, I had the honor of being a pallbearer at his service. I would not take for that summer and winter it was a great experience for me, oh the stories I heard.  It's nice to hear from someone that knew Col. Jim." -Johnny

"Hi Butch, Thanks for the great history in this week's e-mail. I had no idea there was a German camp anywhere around Ardmore. It's true about the nail close to the tomatoes. My mom did that and she also wrapped foil around the tomatoes sometimes. She just put the foil about an inch underground and about 2 inches above the ground. We never lost any tomatoes to cutworms. Good luck with your garden. It looks great!!" -Cleta Hipley, Lone Grove, America
"Butch I have never failed to put the nail along side my tomato works. One year....I thought that was foolish and guess what, one morning, all of my plants were cut down. It does work. I never plant any tomatoes unless I have my nails with me. It really is dangerous to leave them overnite without the nail."  -Kenneth
Q.  Are there any free anti-virus programs you would recommend?
"Dear Butch, I am so interested in reading about the Ardmoreite building which was the Masonic lodge. The plans were made by my grandfather, J. B. White. One of my uncles told the story about when the balcony for the theater was built there was some question about whether it was strong enough to hold a crowd. My grandfather went to his friend, Mr. Easley (who owned the Ardmoreite) and Mr. Klein of OKC who had supplied the steel and after some discussion it was decided that they would fill the balcony with bags of dry cement and all the men who had worked on the project and the Ardmoreite would carry a picture of it to show it would support a heavy load. It all worked out that it was safe. I do not know the date but obviously it was before 1930. I do know that at one time there were doctor's offices on one of the floors and that there was a movie theater in the building." -June Maxey
"Hey Butch,  Enjoyed the pictures of the Gilbert building.  My first memories of that place were as little kid in the '50s going to see Dr. Carlock.  It seemed spooky in those early years since I was always afraid I'd be given an injection.  Later my mother would perform in plays there for the Little Theater group and I got to see the Spanish guitarist Carlos Montoya in that auditorium.  I never did understand the significance of the Viking head though. Later when I was in jr. high school I would go eat lunch at the soda fountain just inside the entrance and go to dances at the YWCA on the next block."  -Dave Coulter, Denton, Texas
"If You think the cutworms and bugs are bad just wait until Your melons start to get ripe [fruit trees too] Squirrels, Raccoons, opossums and Fox will clean You out. I gave up on a big orchard years ago and didn't try again until I retired .The only way I can keep them out is with a good electric fence. Put one wire low enough for squirrels and one high enough for coyotes, coon and fox. Deer like the melons and fruit too."  -DeWayne
"Loved your piece about Dale and Roy.  Please remember that our Family had Ford's Cleaners in Davis and that my Step-Dad, Step-Grandmother, and my Mom cleaned the clothes that Roy, Dale, and the Sons of the Pioneers all wore at the wedding ceremony.  In addition, Roy took the time out while in the cleaners to sign all of my Roy Rogers Comic-books affectionately Roy Rogers and Trigger (this before he and Dale began signing things Happy Trails, Roy and Dale). Sure do wish I had those comics today as they might be worth a few coins (not that I would sell them). He also let me sit on Trigger as well as sit on his knee when he was having a meal at the old Buckhorn Caf? in Davis. Thanks again for bringing back some childhood memories for you old Cuz here in Korea." -Poss
"Hi Butch: I read your article where you mentioned an occurrence of gilsonite in Oklahoma south of Sulphur, Oklahoma . "I am a petroleum engineering, University of Oklahoma, 1952, after the navy. Some will remember the times. There are numerous occurrence of gilsonite in Oklahoma. Most are at the southern flanks of the Arbuckle Mountains. One large one mine was between Loco and Alma in Carter County. It operated for several years around the years of 1917. I also found gilsonite in Alfalfa, Count, North of the city of Helena. That occurrence was on the banks of the old inland lake that made the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma. I walked along the escarpment of the ancient lake and found numerous chucks of gilsonite. Apparently the ancient lake was flooded with petroleum from reservoirs that eroded out of the ground. The sun baked the petroleum until it was solid like coal but would melt and flow like oil when heated. The largest production of gilsonite was in Utah about 30 miles south east of Vernal, Utah. Gilsonite was produced there for years by Union Oil Company. The gilsonite was used for news print. Then the news print would smear on anything it touched.  Finally news print is really an ink and the gilsonite mines were abandoned. However, the last time I was there the pits were still opened but not supervised." -W. Carey Hardy
"Butch,  We used to swim in an asphalt pit about where you described 5 miles south of Sulphur then turn right (south or west)  and go about 2 or 3 miles and on the right 20 yards from the road are high walls and a deep pool we jumped off those cliffs and into the water the water always had an oily film on it. (you can see the high walls and pool from the road. The pit is just a half mile or so from the Holly Lake community in case you want to go there. the only other asphalt pits that I knew of were just south and west of the lake Arbuckle dam- my dad worked there from time to time That was Southern Rock Asphalt company and was in business until around 1959 or 60 There was a train spur there that took the Asphalt to Dougherty Max Myers (sp) was the engineer."  -George Peveto

"When the Snow is on the Roses" by Sonny James 1972

Now the golden sun can see us kiss
every summer day we'll love like this
And when the snow is on the roses
when the bluebirds flown away
In my arms we'll both remember
all the love we share today

As we walk along the silvery shore
vows we make will last forever more
When the snow is on the roses
when the summer stars are gone
One more summer will be over
but our love will still go on

When the snow is on the roses
when the bluebirds flown away
In my arms well both remember
all the love we share today
All the love we share today

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

Save on long distance calls, just a couple cents a minute!
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

All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
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.