This and That Newsletter

Vol 13  Issue 673     Circulation 5,000      December 17, 2009

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:


This week I received an email from Kenneth Updike of Wilson telling about his most memorable Christmas which took place back in 1951 (see mailbag below).  He asked in his email if I'd share in this week's T&T my most memorable Christmas:

In 1958 or 1959 (about 10 years old) I wanted a train set for Christmas.  I think every little boy wanted one at that age.  My maternal grandparents, Stanley and Addie Carmon, bought a Lionel electric train set and hid it in the lumber yard building so I wouldn't find it.  Unlike most people today, we didn't open our Christmas presents the day before, but only on Christmas morning, a custom I still keep today.  Early Christmas morning before I woke, my grandfather went out to the lumber yard to get the train set to bring inside the house.  On the way back to the house (our home was next door to the lumber yard) he somehow dropped the box containing the electric locomotive and lost a small spring that was required for the train.  Needless to say everyone was sad that the train would not run on the oval track.  But my grandfather used some ingenuity and took the spring from a ballpoint pen and it worked!  We spent lots of hours that day running the train 'round and 'round the track.  I found this picture and as best I remember its very close to the train set I received for Christmas that year.

The Daily Ardmoreite
Sunday, December 28, 1919
Ardmore, Oklahoma


At the county jail, following his usual custom,
Sheriff Buck Garrett was host to the prisoners on Christmas Day. And the sheriff lived up to his policy of not doing things by halves and put on a highly appreciated "spread".  There was turkey and cranberry sauce and pies and all the "fixings" attendant at a Christmas feast. Besides all the good things at the Christmas dinner table, the "shut-ins" received candies, fruits, nuts, tobacco, etc., all of which helped materially to lighten the burden of feeling that they were denied the freedom of the average American citizen.

I received several emails the past week about a Norris Chapel school north of Mannsville in Johnston county.  We know from the 1923 Carter county school journal there was also a Norris Chapel school between Ardmore and Dickson on the north side of the highway. So, I wonder why 2 schools with the same name, only about 10 miles apart?  Maybe the one a Greasy Bend predates the one in Carter county?  More in the Mailbag below.

A good friend is retiring at the Carter County Clerk's office on Friday December 18th.  Ruth Holley has spent the past 20 years working in public service and has decided its time to retire to the private life of just Carter county citizen east of Ardmore.  The old adage says, All good things must come to an end, but I know Ruth and her big smile is going to be missed by many at the courthouse. Ruth might have corrected some of us when we didn't dot our i's or cross our t's just right on purchase orders she was processing, but it was because she knew from years experience if it wasn't done right on paper, it meant problems later.  There will be a come and go reception for Ruth at the Carter County Clerks Office between 2pm and 4pm on Friday December 18th.  We'll miss you Ruth Holley.

A Reader was wondering if anyone has experience with repairing porcelain dolls. She has this special doll given to her by her grandmother who passed away a few years ago. This week the doll fell off the dresser on its face, breaking the porcelain. If you have a talent at repairing such a item, send Jammey an email.

Speaking of talent, I didn't know until this week we had an artist at the courthouse. Seems that Jay Wallace in the Assessors Office is gifted with the talent to draw freehand. Jay was drawing some Christmas decorations on the chalkboard for their office Christmas party this week when I walked by, and snapped a picture.

Are you using AVG anti-virus? get rid of it; you use Norton's anti-virus? remove it; Commodo AV? chunk it; McAfee anti-virus? Save your dough, get rid of them all. You're using Spybot or Malwarebytes? Remove them all, you don't need but one program now. Microsoft has just released the best one yet. And unlike some of those above, it is not a memory hog that slows down your computer. Microsoft's Security Essentials is an anti-virus and anti-spyware program combined, it runs in the background in realtime, keeping the bad stuff off every minute you're on the Internet, and best of all, its FREE! The program downloads very fast, only 8 megs, and setup is so easy, nothing complicated.  I do recommend uninstalling any anti-virus you have on your computer before installing Microsoft's new Security Essentials.

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area......

Q.   What governor ran against the Socialist Party in WWI?
A.   Robert Williams

Q.   Don Diego del Castillo came to Oklahoma in search of what?
A.    (answer in next week's issue)

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

"Does anyone remember the name of the restaurant that Bob Ledbetter had on Crystalwood Drive? It was after Crystalwood had closed? Thanks."
"My 9th grade teacher was "Sinky" Lewis.  He taught me French that I loved & still remember.  I went to Durant to try out in the contests & they said I was too little.  He was such a good teacher - he had a sister my age named Katherine.  (I'm 96 now). Does anyone remember this teacher?"  -Elizabeth Kendrick Gunn, Graduated AHS 1931
In response of the old house on Newport Road.

"My Grandmother Emma (Burns) Keith lived in this house when she pased away in 1945. It was across the Railroad track one block to the east. Just south of the railroad on the west side of the street. The house was sold to a Mr. Shebester as a rental home and moved to the present location. For a Box House it has fared pretty well. In 1945 a lot of the houses were Box Houses with no water or electricity. Which had a few rooms and a path. Mrs Keith made it pretty well through the Depression with a income of $50.00 per month. My father made $27.50 per month as foreman of the U BAR Ranch two miles north on Newport Road and West about 2 or 3 miles where the Jackie Rabe place is now. I was born there in 1939. My Uncle Barney Keith bought the property after Mrs Keith's death. I hope this gives a little info.

If anyone knows anything about Wiley Burns who lived around the site of now Lake Murray around 1920. He was connected to the Boggs Family. Please let me know."   -Ken Keith

"Butch,  Here are some views of Ann's Chicken Fry House in NW OKC.  Their chicken fry is as big as a plate.....I ate too much."  -Cecil Elliott

"Here are some images of Bethany, OK Christmas 2009. Merry Christmas folks."  -Cecil Elliott

"I would LOVE to plan a Persimmon tree at my house if anyone had any seeds from a wild growing one. I can?t never seem to find one young enough to transplant up near Madill. Thanks." -Jayson

"1951" MY MOST "MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS" by Kenneth Updike

I had been working in Borger, Texas for about three months now and had two or three BIG paychecks under my belt. I had bought me some new clothes which consisted of jeans, a Levi jacket, new shirts and a pair of cowboy boots. I wasn't ready for a western hat yet so, hadn't acquired one.

Anyway, I had Christmas off and since I didn't own a car yet, I rode the bus home to Anadarko for Christmas. I spent couple of days with Mother and Daddy, but had to go back to Borger on Christmas day.

Well Mother took me down to the bus station Christmas morning and kissed me goodbye. I had to make a bus change in Binger which was just a few miles away.

When we got to Binger, the driver had us get off on Main street in front of The Old Yoakum Drug store and told us the bus from OKC to Texas would be by in a couple of hours. Of course everything was closed and here we stood, about 6 or 8 of us with no place to go. It wasn't real cold that morning but the wind was blowing and it was quite chilly.

In a little while a man drove by, stopped and inquired as to what we were doing. We explained to him about the bus change and he said "I'll be right back". His name was Bill Bryan?. He was the manager? of the REA., Rural Electric Coop Association.

In a little while Mr. Bryan and some more folks came back, picked us up and took us down the street to the REA store. Inside they had all kinds of electrical appliances. They brought all kinds of food and hooked up a TV so that we could watch football. We really had an enjoyable afternoon.

These were some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. I am sorry, I cant remember any of their names other than Mr. Bryan. And am not sure of his.

He had someone check on the bus arrival every few minutes so we wouldn't miss it.

I have been through Binger lots of times since that day, but have neglected to stop and inquire about him. Someday, I promise, I will look him up."  -Ken Updike @ Wilson

"There is nothing left of the original Norris Chapel school building at Greasy Bend (north of Mannsville), the property was sold and there was a house built on it , Dean and Barbara Smothers used to live there, I am not sure who lives there now. The old storm cellar may still be there.  There should be plenty of documentation at the Johnston Co Courthouse as to it's existence, I know there are school census records as I had to get that as one form of id for my ss since my birth cert was not an original.  I located it on google earth and below are the coordinates for it. I will see what else I can find when I get a little time."  -Roy


"I always get in the spirit of Christmas and the approaching new year about this time  and although I have never met you and your wife, I'd like to say Merry Christmas and thank God for wonderful people like you that have touched many lives. The content of your T&T is always enjoyable and pleasant to read. Thanks Butch and Jill."  -Donald
Q.  "Will the Daube's Christmas displays be on display at the museum in Ardmore this season?  If so, when? I saw your mention of this in one of the newsletters and tucked it away for the future.  And the future is now  :>)))   I would love to bring my 7 grandchildren down to see them."

A.  Yes, they are on display at the Greater Southwest Historical Museum in Ardmore.  The museum is open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday.

The Daily Ardmoreite
October 18, 1918
Four Rural Schools In New Buildings
Four new schoolhouses, replacing those destroyed by fire, have been completed and the furniture is being placed in them. George W. Coffman, county superintendent, said today they would all be ready for occupancy as soon as the influenza epidemic abates. One was erected at what is known as the Clinton school, one at the Caddo bridge, one in District 50, about three miles north and two miles west of Pooleville and a Negro school at Lone Oak.

My Christmas Prayer by Phoebe Tweed  at
Born 1915 at 315 'F' St SW, Ardmore




Jill and I want to thank all of you who sent Christmas cards through the mail, emailed or facebook'd us with Christmas wishes.  We don't require lots of gifts or material things, we have been blessed 10 fold the past year.  If we had our wish, it would be that everyone who reads this newsletter is blessed with joy and happiness and a healthy new year.  And remember Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Christ child.  2,000 years has come and gone, and above all we wish peace for the world. Oh God, be with our men and women serving on overseas.

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
Ardmore School Criterions

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