This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication

Vol 17  Issue 842      Circulation 5,000       March 14, 2013

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:


Its been 6 years since I tried to sandblast lettering on a brick (2006 brick), but I found out this week I have not lost my touch. I sandblasted a porcelain block from the old Noble Foundation Ag Building which is now just a memory. The inscription on the block was a recognition of Gary Simmons as the director years ago.  Here is a close-up of the block I sandblasted this week.

There is a lot more information and history on the old building, the service it provided at the Noble Foundation, more photos, and the employees who worked within the walls of the Ag building, in the Mailbag below.

The old root beer stand was a hot topic this week on my Facebook. The postings sure brought back a memory or two.  The old A&W Root Beet stand was located on Lake Murray Drive across the street from the old Tipp's Grocery. Those frosted mugs were the only way to go on a hot summer day.

Becky McQueen posted the following about the old A&W Root Beer stand:  "That was my first job. I started working there when I was 14. Waylon and Marylou Agan were the owners. Their picture is in today's paper. Married for 50 years!"

About a mile west of the Ardmore Industrial Airport entrance, south side of highway is the old Gene Autry ranch. There are still a few of his buildings visible from the road.  Doug Williams snapped these pics the other day. Note: The old Gene Autry barns are on private property, and trespassers will be prosecuted.

I was looking through some old files and found this piece of history from 1975. It was a flyer I made and circulated to tell about a First Responder course for which I had the pleasure of being the coordinator. Fire Chief Ronnie Young had asked me to be the class coordinator and I was happy to oblige. I enjoyed those days as an EMT.

I received a call this week from Herman Kirkwood in OKC.  His wife, Sharron, is retiring March 29th from Farmers Insurance. Sharron holds a record I doubt if any of us can claim.  In her 30 plus years with Farmers she has never been late to work, not one time.  Congratulations Sharron, enjoy your retirement!

A Reader in Healdton spot an interesting piece of Ardmore history on Ebay this week.  Its a letter dated 1918 on a company in Ardmore by the name of Hornespeed Propeller Company on Main Street.

I looked in my back issues and found the Nov 9, 2009 T&T had the following info:

The Daily Ardmoreite June 9, 1918


Twenty acres north of City Limits on Caddo Street purchased from Greater Ardmore Company.  Mammoth plant for manufacture of Aeroplanes planned for Ardmore by James A. Horne and associates.

Mr. Horne is planning a trip East at early date to purchase necessary machinery and materials for the first flying machine to be built in Ardmore. He will also go to Washington and may secure war contracts and start negotiations for supplying the Government with the Hornespeed Machines for war services.

Ardmore continues to push forward as the coming industrial center of the State. First we had the great oil refineries and they are still coming. Next came the two mammoth million dollar Tire and Rubber plants. Then came the Iron Works and the modern Refrigerator Plant and other important industries. Already we had one of the largest Pecan Factories in the Southwest. The novel gas stove works, the Paint and Asphalt Works, and many other plants which started Ardmore on the road to being a City.

Hornespeed Propelling Company, 23 Main Street, Ardmore, Oklahoma, -The Daily Ardmoreite, July 7, 1918

Hornespeed Propeller Used On Watercraft

The Hornespeed will blow a greater current of air than any three other fans together. Engineers claim that for ventilating purposes only the Hornespeed Propellers are worth millions of dollars to this company and its stockholders.  -The Daily Ardmoreite July 7, 1928

Herman Kirkwood in Oklahoma City called this week to tell about an event that takes place in Perry, Oklahoma every year. The 101 Ranch Show will be held at the Noble County fairgrounds on Saturday March 30th from 9am to 4pm.

Q.  Who was the first Oklahoma Governor to serve two consecutive terms?
A.   George Nigh 1979- - 1987

Q.  What is the official state beverage of Oklahoma?
A.  (answer in next week's T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of March 18, 2000:

"I had a heart touching phone conversation with one of the survivors of the 1966 American Flyers air crash. Terry Mayer was 19 years old when the plane went down northeast of Ardmore. He said he spent a total of 18 months in the hospital from his injuries, most of that time at Ft Sill, Oklahoma. At the time of the crash Terry lived in Star City, Arkansas. He now resides in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. Terry said the accident haunts him every day and he will never get over the pain and anguish that night."
"Just 7 miles west of here is Lone Grove, Oklahoma. They have a weekly newspaper called The Lone Grove Ledger. Each week there is a column in it about things that happened in the county. One part is "85 Years Ago" and I love to read it, it has so much history of long ago. This past week they listed towns in Carter county that existed 85 years ago, but no longer. I found several Carter county towns I didn't recognize... Boland, Monk, Loam, Homer, and Chargis. It also lists towns that no longer exist in Love, Marshall, Murray and Johnston counties."


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

Check gas prices by town or zip code anywhere in U.S.

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

"Butch, My sincere ?Thanks? to Frank Peoples and you for the thoughtful gift of the only known remaining porcelain tile salvaged from the Noble Foundation Soils Laboratory. The interior walls of the lab were of porcelain tile. The tile embossed with my name and the date I was privileged to serve as Agricultural Director is very meaningful to me. It ranks high in importance as it was presented through your efforts by a thoughtful and appreciative former employee that worked in the laboratory while I was Director.

As background, when I was discharged from the Army, April 7, 1955, I could have returned to my employment with Automotive, Inc., Ardmore, as a parts counterman but became aware of a possible work opportunity with the Noble Foundation Agricultural Division. I applied for the job and was accepted for employment beginning April 15, 1955. While I was with Lyle Thompson, PhD, interviewing for the ?job?, we met Ed Noble in a hallway. Dr. Thompson introduced me to Mr. Noble, saying, ?Mr. Simmons is interviewing for a position with the Ag Division?! Mr. Noble was quick to reply, ?We don?t have positions here, we have jobs!? Dr. Thompson?s face assumed a deeper tint of color. The Board of Trustees was meeting and Ed Noble was there for the meeting.

My primary job was to work in the laboratory as a lab technician under the leadership of Jack Alexander, a soils specialist in charge of the Lab. At that time, the laboratory was located in the top floor of the only office building on the grounds. It was the home of the Administrative, Agriculture and Biomedical Divisions. A decision was made to build a separate Agricultural Division building west of the original structure. The building was completed in late 1956 or 57 and we moved into the new surroundings with a new state of the art laboratory. It is from the laboratory in that new building that the tile was saved when it was demolished later for a new building. In addition to my work in the lab I also helped with research projects on the Headquarters, Lone Grove and Madill Blackland Research Farms that we managed during those days.

To make a longer story shorter, I completed my university requirements through night and day classes on and off campus. Then served as a Soils and Fertilizer Specialist on one of the Farm Planning Teams during the early years. I was assigned as Director of the Agricultural Division by the Board of Trustees, October 1, 1965, at age 32. Through the years, our personnel pioneered the team specialist approach to help solve problems faced by farmers and ranchers in the 100-mile radius served by the Noble Foundation. Our early research work with plants, livestock and pecans on our Demonstration and Research Farms resulted in new techniques and plant varieties that have benefited not only Oklahoma but other agricultural areas of the United States and internationally where climate, soils and other conditions are similar. Four Directors and 25 years later, the Agricultural Division continues their dedicated effort to improve the lives and income of the people that furnish food for our tables. Again, my ?thanks a bunch? to you and Frank for your thoughtfulness. God Bless!"  -Gary Simmons

Photo of Frank Peoples (left) and Butch Bridges

1950s photo of the old Noble Foundation Soil Laboratory Building

Becki James Jackson will be the speaker at the March 18 meeting of the Arbuckle Historical Society in Sulphur. She will tell the history of James Department Store, James Sundries, and James Courts. Becki will also address the histories of the families of her parents, Collie James and Arlene Miller James. The 7:00 p.m. meeting will take place at the AHS Museum, 402 W. Muskogee, across from the First Christian Church. There is no charge for the program and everyone is welcome.
"butch, you and the t and t readers have been my "go to guys" when it comes to ok. history since about '98. so it is to you all that i pose this question--anyone ever hear of a man called "uncle billy" oswalt? i ask because my uncle donald odel goforth was orphaned at a young age and he told us kids that "uncle billy" ran an orphanage for boys (around oswalt) and took him in until he was old enough to make it on his own. i don't remember if uncle don told me this, or one of his children, but the story goes that "uncle billy" rode with either quantrel's raiders, or the james/younger gang after the war, and robbed enough banks with them to save quite a bit of money. but his conscious got to him, and when he found the lord he atoned by buying a spread big enough to take care of a number of orphaned boys and did just that until either shortly before he died or right up until his death. any info would be helpful. could be something to it. i know cole younger used to visit friends around those parts when he got out of prison."   -stephen riner
"I don?t know how you got to be a distant cousin to Sue but that is none of my business. I lived in Love?s Valley during the 30s. I think Billy Joe meant that he is nearing 90 instead of 80. He left off a lot of names but he did good. Bill, my grandparents were #29. You had their names as Jeff and Mamie Thompson. Her name was Emma. All of us grandchildren called her Mammy and that is probably where you got the Mamie. Many people called her ?Bluebonnet Thompson? because she always wore that blue bonnet. I still think of your mother so often. My grandfather used to take me on his plow to the end of the row which was next to Taylor?s field. Taylor would take me on his plow to the end of the row in front of your house and I would play with Betty Sue. Your mother would make us peanut butter and crackers and Kool-Aid. It sure was good on a hot day. We usually played on the front porch or under the tree in the yard. It seemed like most of the kids lived near the grocery store with all the Michaels around and the Presleys. Do you realize that nearly all of the ?kids? who lived in the Valley are gone now and those left are mostly in poor health. But those were the good old days and I would love to go back and enjoy just one more day back then. I was in the Valley recently and the ?old timers? would not even recognize it. Several years ago we put a marker at the old school but when we drove by you could not see it for the weeds. Thanks for the memories. Do you still paint gourds?" -Frances Dunlap

"I had 3 families in that group that I was related to. The name John Copeland should have been George Copeland, my grandfather."  -Keith Read

"Butch, keep watching for turkeys in our area. We have had 60 to 70 in our front yard and around our house. There were so many they were too hard to count and I could not go outside to get a good picture or I would have scared them off. I have never seen that many on our property before and there have been a lot of deer also especially during the snow we had around Christmas. You may have neighbors dogs that are keeping the turkeys away. There was a flock of turkeys on our drive as I left to go to Ardmore about noon on Friday, March 8th. I have seen large bunches on our neighbors pecan bottom on to the west of us also. They seem to be thriving and are big healthy looking birds."
The Ardmore Chamber of Commerce along with the City of Ardmore's Emergency Management and Carter County's Emergency Management will be sponsoring a Severe Weather Awareness Disaster Preparedness Day on March 16th, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The National Weather Service will also be conducting a Storm Spotter Training class at 10:00 a.m. The event is being held at the Ardmore Convention Center located at 2401 North Rockford Rd.
"Butch, There are plans for an Ardmore High School Class of '78 35 yr reunion this summer on Saturday June 15th at the Ardmore Convention Center. If you could possibly help get the word out it would be appreciated. There is a FB page to sign up under AHS Class of 78 reunion. If people don't have FB they can contact JoAnne Rider Goff who is doing a great job of organizing it. Thanks."  -Roxanne
"Butch, Here's a new challenge for your readers.... Let's name our favorite old Ardmore eateries and restaurants and photos would be nice." -Jadean Fackrell

Here's some of mine:
1. Of course, The Hamburger Inn
2. Eden's
3. Priddy's
4. Bill & Barb's
5. Super Dog.. on Commerce...let's drag the Super Dog
6. Chuck Wagon.. corner of Hwy 70 & P NE
7. Tower...after church on Sunday
8. What about lunch at the YWCA
9. Miller's Dairy Mart for malts and hot fudge sundae
10. What was that little skinny hole in the wall on Washington across from the Mulkey? (My friends Oleta (she worked at telephone co) & Densil Turner (he worked at Dr Pepper) ran it.

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of leave the world a better know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

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Ardmore High School Criterions Online
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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