This and That Newsletter

Vol 13  Issue 644     Circulation 5,000      May 28, 2009

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:

580-657-8616 (not a toll free number)

Another history lesson by Betty Carroll:

"Once Upon A Time.... Plainview school was located on the originally established land three miles southwest of downtown Ardmore. School District I-27 was approved March 9, 1909 and was a one-room school. The first building had one teacher, Miss Pearl Jones, and accommodated students up to the eight grade. This original structure burned in 1918 and was replaced with a two story building. That building was replaced by a rock building with housed all 12 grades and is now the Clint Buck Elementary School. In 1923 the school had four teachers and an opportunity for a high school education. Teachers were Leona Fullerton, Mrs. O.C Reynolds, and Inez Crites with Verla Clark acting as both teacher and principal. O.C Reynolds was superintendent, the school board members were Arthur Lynch, T.J. Hernon and J.A Zellner. The year 1924 was the first year with a graduating class of seniors. Seven students were graduated, including J.L. Zellner and Lean Lynch (Minter)."  -Recorded by Betty Carroll, March 15, 1989

Caleb Hacker came by this week with an unusual item he came across northwest of Ardmore. An old bottle of some kind, with the words Ace of Drinks, but seems no one knows who made these type of bottles.  Caleb thinks it was manufactured/sold in the Ardmore area.  Maybe a T&T Reader recognizes this unusual bottle??? Caleb's email address is  or  580-668-2885

In the last T&T newsletter we had a poem written by my uncle Paul Bridges just a month before he was killed in action in France in 1945.  A Reader sent in this week a newspaper clipping from the Green River, WY newspaper about my uncle Paul dated January 25, 1945 in which the clipping tells of Paul shooting a deer in France on Christmas Day the month before, and he and his buddies all had venison to eat at Christmas time.

A lady here in Ardmore contacted me to help find her son-in-law's father.  She has nearly all his pertinent information, DOB (1960), SSN, last living in Florida, brother's name, sister's name, etc., just needing to get in touch with him for a reunion in July.  If any 'super sleuth' would like to help find him, send me an email and I'll send all the information provided me this week.  Any help appreciated.

Well, after several weeks I consider the chicken coop finished.  And after Jill added her touch to it, its fancy, that's for sure.  We call it the Hen Hotel.   lol

If anyone is into raising chickens, I found a wealth of information on the subject, written by a lady in the UK.  I think she knows about everything there is to know about chickens.  She puts out a monthly newsletter by email which I look forward to each month.

We have some seedlings started from the Porter Improved seeds I bought a month ago.  Maybe they will turn out this time.

Speaking of tomatoes, my tomato webpage gets more Hits then any of my other 530 webpages.

Ten cheapest places to buy gas in the Ardmore area......

Q.   The Thunderbirds rescued people from what concentration camp?
A.   Dachau

Q.   During WWII how many POW camps did Oklahoma have?
A.   (answer in next week's T&T)

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

Oklahoma Antique Aircraft Association will be having a "Fly-In" at the Pauls Valley Airport, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma on Saturday, June 6, 2009. It will be open to the public and is a gathering of pre and post WWII aircraft. The Pauls Valley Kiwanis will be selling breakfast at 8:00 AM and lunch at 12:00 PM. Please attend and enjoy the fun and learn a little about aviation.

For further info please contact: Johnene Smith -
 580-653-2622  or Glenn Smith -  580-653-2253  or

"Attached are some photos from the Memorial service at Ardmore's Confederate cemetery last week."

"Butch, I am a long time tomato grower, and couldn?t help but notice that two suggestions may help all the growers. 1. Know if your tomato varieties are indeterminate or determinate varieties. The determinate types seldom need pruning, have a ?prescheduled? harvest where the fruit comes in at an earlier date and almost all at once. The growth and fruiting are ?determined? where the indeterminate are not. They are bred this way for large commercial growers so only one harvest is required. The INdeterminate tomato is a vine (like the determinate) but requires pruning. I like to remove all the leaves and branches before the first flower set. I usually say ?below? the first flower set, but in your case (upside down planting) I can?t. This hardens up the stalk and places the work of that ?sugar factory? plant into producing fruit, not the unneeded lower leaves. Then I remove all the suckers as they appear, with the exception of those that come from the nodes on the first and second stems. Actually, this is a popular method of directing the growth into only three stems. There is a method of removing the suckers called ?Missouri? pruning where only one or two leaves of each sucker are allowed. This provides additional leaves if they are needed. You can probably find references to this online. By removing the suckers, two things are accomplished. You get more plant growth directed into production of fruit, and there are less leaves and the sun can get to them all to create the necessary photosynthesis. When leaves are hidden, they can turn yellow and die.

2. If you want to encourage very high yields, you need to periodically fertilize the plants once they begin to set fruit. I suggest about a tablespoon of Ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) or maybe a short table spoon (2/3 -3/4 ) Ammonium Nitrate (33-0-0) every week or two. I have not grown them upside down.

But I will try it someday. Gets away from all that tying and concern about kinked branches when they are laden with fruit, disease, cutworms, etc.

I put the fertilizer around the plant in a circle about a hands width from the stem, and then water it in good, or use the ?Texas? (since that?s where I am) method of placing a coffee can with plenty of holes in it, set open side up and empty between each plant with the top at soil level. Then I put the fertilizer in a quart of water and pour it in. It drains out the holes and into the soil at root level. I wash it down with a couple more fills. In the upside down method, I guess I?d mix it up and pour it around the edges of the can and put the lid back on.

While upside down seems a good method to avoid some insect damage, the sphinx moth caterpillar or the hornworm will still get at them, and those big caterpillars can go through a plant in pretty short order, so keep on the lookout for them. If you see leaves beginning to disappear, except for the central vein and some of the other veins, suspect hornworms.

Oh, by the way, I have heard all sorts of rumors about the hornworm. First, let me be specific, the hornworm is a huge green or multicolored hairless caterpillar that has this large horn on his rump. Anyway, more than one person thinks that horn is poisonous, that these caterpillars bite, and all sorts of things that make it seem dangerous. To clear the record, it is completely harmless. They could not hurt you if they wanted, so there is nothing to be concerned about. Simply pick them off when you see them. Pitch them up on the roof of your house and the birds usually eat them. No, they don?t burrow into wood. They simply eat tomato plants until mature and them spin a cocoon in which they complete the metamorphic cycle and emerge as a large beautiful moth. The moth has elongated wings, the top wing often resembles bark, and the under wing is where you find the unique colors. One of the most common is pink or reddish and with a simulated eye. They are also called hummingbird moths as they fly much like that little bird, hover at flowers in the evening sipping nectar until mating time. They will generally lay on tomato plants as that is the only vegetable the larva prefers.

If you will mix say, about 3-5 inches of peat moss (the granulated stuff from the bottom of the bog) in with your potting soil, it will greatly enhance the soils moisture retaining abilities and prevent drying out, and reduce watering needs. Additionally, placing mulch on the top of the bucket should prevent or at least slow the evaporation rate if you aren?t using a lid. I always use mulch and for that reason.

My crop this season is not doing well as I have been experimenting, and the person who said that the plants do better with plenty of sun but lower nighttime temps is correct. Frankly, when the night temps go over 75 degrees F, it can stop fruit production. Same can be true for temps under 55, so the tomato can be a tricky vine in some areas. In Texas, we have this red or yellow clay soil and it just doesn?t drain. We have to get the ph to about 6.0 and add plenty of lime plus several pickup loads of good soil for the usual 350 sq. ft. garden and 8 ? 10 bags of peat moss. Then the summer heat comes along and it can be another problem." -John M. Cook in Texas

"I am so intrigued with Betty Carroll's history of Carter County and this area. I too can remember her on the radio. It was a pause and refreshing thing to listen to her. I encourage the First National Bank or anyone else to support this kind of advertising. It will make you "lots" more money than any other kind of advertisement."  -Ken at Wilson
"Hey Butch, Thanks so much for sharing the letter and poem written by your uncle, shortly before his death on the battle field while fighting for the freedom that we enjoy. We can never thank these brave guys and gals enough both then and now in the service to our country. On this Memorial Day as every day, our prayers go out to our solders, airmen and sailors as well as the families that they leave behind. We sometimes forget that those left behind are heroes as well. Thanks for your T&T each week. I always look forward to it. Best wishes to you and Jill." -Roy Miller, Oklahoma City
"I was amused several years ago to read in a very old (1950s) edition of The Oklahoma Almanac that Roman Nose State Park was named for "State Senator Henry Roman Nose." It doesn't appear in later editions, now mostly about government and I think a state publication now. The current publication says the park was named for "Chief Roman Nose." Presumably the Tourism Department, with their emphasis on "Native Americans" as a tourist attraction thought it would be more attractive to list him as a chief rather than a state senator."

Wes Leatherock

"Hi Butch! I am an avid birder and I've been thoroughly enjoying the questions and descriptions and wonderful photos of the birds folks are seeing right now.  One person was surprised that the Inca Dove made it as far north as Carter County.  We see them regularly in the summer in southwest Colorado!  I guess they have quite a large range. Here in SE Florida, we have quite a few different parrots, and they love to build large twig nests beside electric transformers!  I guess the heat feels good to them, although there is plenty of heat to go around down here.  Every once in a while, FPL has to take down a nest before it interferes with the transformer's work (i.e. blows it up!). My latest project has been raising monarch butterflies; we have released over a dozen so far this week.  It is simply magical to watch them go from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly in only a few weeks!  A picture of one of our female releases is attached. Keep up the good work.  I'm so glad you are getting chickens.  Nothing beats a fresh egg unless it's a homegrown tomato!" -Cindy
Search Confederate pension records - Oklahoma

"Butch, I have ten 5 gallon buckets, with tomatoes in three 1inch holes on the bottom side up two inches high, I put some small drain holes in the bottom, I placed 3 inches of MIRACLE GROW POTTING SOIL IN the bucket, I stuck my plants in the holes 3 inches, then I filled the bucket to three quarters full of ONLY MIRACLE GROW ONLY, other brands wont work, I now have beautiful plants with TOMATOES also growing bell peppers, I am doing this WHOLE HOG.  ALL HANGING THREE FEET OFF THE GROUND." -Charley
Here is a really interesting link on Bonnie and Clyde from FBI files. Some never released until this week.

"Butch, here's an interesting (or totally silly if you prefer) project I came up with.

A couple of years ago I bought a case or two of solar lights on EBay. I had so many of them scattered around our place that I ran out of places to illuminate so I decided to illuminate our pond. Crazy Huh! Well, anyway I made a cheap and easy floating solar light platform from inch and a half poly roll pipe that I had on hand and formed it into a circle. I cut it into three sections and joined each section with Tees with the middle part of the tee facing up. I put a short section of pipe vertically in the middle part of the Tee and inserted the solar lights onto the top of the short section as shown in the attached photos.

The top ring is just for looks while the bottom ring is enough to float the whole thing. No foam or anything else is needed, just the air inside the bottom ring is enough to make it float.

I ran two lines of black plastic (or nylon) bailing twine from each side of the pond to keep the platform centered in the pond. This makes it easy to service the lights, just untie one line from it's stake and pull the platform to the bank and as you can see from the wide angle shot our pond got a little over full with all the recent rains. I can just about fish from our back porch. LOL

There's an attached night view of the lights also. They look good at night with the reflection on the water.

The lights I used are stainless steel with three LEDs in each. Three LEDs make a much brighter output.

I went crazy and even installed some of the solar lights on my Ham Radio Antenna Tower. I've attached a night photo of that also. One light near the top and two down the tower a ways.

It would be easy to make a floating platform that would look much better and be more elaborate than mine with PVC pipe, etc but as I said I went for cheap and easy at the time. Maybe some of your newsletter readers will.  -Dwane Stevens

Oklahoma Antique Aircraft Association will be having a "Fly-In" at the Pauls Valley Airport, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma on Saturday, June 6, 2009. It will be open to the public and is a gathering of pre and post WWII aircraft. The Pauls Valley Kiwanis will be selling breakfast at 8:00 AM and lunch at 12:00 PM. Please attend and enjoy the fun and learn a little about aviation. For further info please contact: Johnene Smith - 580-653-2622 or Glenn Smith - 580-653-2253 or
"Jill and Butch, I wanted to share this with you , I watched a movie last weekend on HBO (Taking Chance) and was touched by the subject. It is True story about a Marine Officer (Kevin Bacon) who escorts a fallen Marine home to Wyoming. It makes you proud to be called an AMERICAN. My only recommendation is keep a tissue close. I don't care how Macho you are, you will tear up." - Kenneth Kemp, Whitesboro,Texas (Formally from Wilson)

Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.  -Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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

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