This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication

Vol 17  Issue 877      Circulation 5,000       November 14, 2013

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:


Over the years the small grocery stores ran by ma and pa have slowly became a thing of the past, being unable to compete with the big box stores, and eventually gobbled up. Even when I was a wee teen in 1960 there were over 50 grocery stores in Ardmore. Over time I stopped at quite a few of them on a hot day to drink a cold sodie water as I rode my Honda CB77 305cc Superhawk on every road in this county, which I loved to do more than anything. I sure miss my cycle riding days.

This week Dwane Stevens stopped at one of the few remaining country stores in Carter County 7 miles north of Lone Grove, the Newport Grocery. I'm sure it was like reminiscing the old days for Dwane. He snapped some photos and talked to the owner, well, here's his email to me:

"Butch, There's a nice little country store in Carter County that I thought your readers might enjoy seeing. It's the Newport Grocery owned and operated by Shirley Christian and it's located on the NE corner of the intersection of Stobtown Road and Newport Road about 4 1/2 miles north of Lone Grove, Oklahoma.

It's one of the small grocery stores that used to be common in the rural areas of Carter County but nowadays these small stores have nearly all disappeared. It's well worth a visit and Shirley is one of the nicest and most friendly people you will ever meet. Shirley and her husband ran it for years and after he passed away Shirley has continued to operate the store for many years more. Some of her kids that live close by help out but Shirley is there most of the time.

I've attached some photos of the store showing inside and outside views. She stocks lots of items including fishing lures, pop, snacks, canned goods, deli-cold cut meats, etc. She even makes fresh made to order sandwiches and hamburgers. She has a small table with chairs if you want to sit and enjoy your meal in the store.

She also sells gasoline and diesel at competitive prices so there's no need to run into town to the "Big Boy Stores" every time you need something plus you get a big smile and a friendly welcome every time you come in. So if you haven't been there lately or haven't been there at all then I highly recommend you stop in for a cold pop and a great tasting fresh made sandwich.

Small American family owned country stores with old fashioned friendly people won't be around forever!" -Dwane Stevens

Note:  Although kin, the Shirley Christian above is not the same Shirley Christian who recently retired from the sheriffs office (1983-2010).

We snapped some pictures last week at Robbers Cave at Wilburton, Oklahoma. Plenty of 60 foot pine trees and things to see and do. Camping was great!

There is even an equine campground for horse lovers about a mile away from where we camped. We camped at the Old Circle Campground.

Just a short walking distance from our campsite on top of the hill is Belle Starr View.  There was a breathtaking scenic view behind the Belle Starr Lodge building.

Talk about walking, we got our exercise Saturday when we walked from our campsite to the entrance of Robbers Cave..... 6 miles round trip. Yikes!!!

The Belle Starr View Lodge also has open WiFi for internet access, plus it was the only place I could get an AT&T signal on my cell phone, 5 bars.

Here is the GPS reading and map, you can zoom in or out.,-95.350101

And I found one gas station in Wilburton that sells pure gas (no ethanol) to fill up for the trip back home. It was the Sinclair Handy Shop #1 at 414 Main Street.,-95.315532

I did find a good video on YouTube someone took last year about Robbers Cave (12 minutes).

Monday morning early I sure wanted to eat breakfast at the Corner Cafe in Wilburton, but they were closed.  Maybe next time.

On the old Route 66 highway 9 miles east of Edmond, Oklahoma is the town of Arcadia. Arcadia is only about 250 people and growing smaller. It lost 11 percent of it's population the past 10 years.  But in Arcadia is a business called Pops. Pops has the biggest soda pop selection anywhere ? and THIS one?s on the one-and-only on Route 66! Beyond a BUMPER CROP of pop, find sparkling juices and a rainbow of thirst-quenchers. Order sodas ice-cold in the bottle with a straw (POPS-style!) or in a cup.  We had talked about Pops in previous newsletters and how I wish I could visit and try an old fashion root beer.  Well, the other day Deana Craighead and Helen McReynolds were in that area, and stopped in at Pops for a look-see.  Low and behold this week here they came with a bottle of Dr. Brown's Root Beer for me, so at least I can now say I have kinda been there. lol.

Here is a link to the history of Pops, a unique one-of-a-kind place like nowhere else in the country.

And while we are at Arcadia let's not forget the Arcadia Round Barn that was built in 1898. It's the only truly round barn, as most are hexagonal or octagonal.

The Daily Ardmoreite: 1896 Killing At Pushmataha Courthouse - The Langston City Herald dated 16 May 1896 reported that a full-blooded Choctaw, Charles Homes, was legally shot at Pushmataha court house grounds thirty miles west of Antlers, Wednesday, in May of 1896., for the murder of Charles Kiotubby, his son-in-law.

The Daily Ardmoreite: At 1:53, in 1896, Homes was led out of the court house, where religious services had been held, and placed on a box before the court house five paces from the court house door. He was blindfolded and two deputy sheriffs stood on either side holding his hands. Deputy Sheriff Bob Jackson did the shooting, standing just inside the court house door. Jackson missed the mark placed over the victim's heart, striking two inches beneath. The murderer lived for ten minutes suffering great agony. Homes' wife was present but did not seem to be affected to any great extent.

October 1966 - The Daily Ardmoreite: Mrs. Kate Zaneis, former county superintendent of schools, authored a book, "Journal of Carter County Schools" which was published in 1923. At that time there were 62 school districts. Currently (1966) there are 14 school districts left.

October 1953 - The Daily Ardmoreite: Carter county will have only 42 voting precincts hereafter, instead of 63 as has been the practice. The number will be reduced one/third because the state legislature cut the allocation to the state election board $150,000.

October 1953 - The Daily Ardmoreite: The body of Gregory John Alvarez, Gypsy Tribal King, who died of a heart attack in Healdton Sunday October 11, is enroute to Washington D.C. for last rites and interment.  About 100 members of the Alvarez tribe and Gypsy friends and relatives accompanied the body of the king from Healdton, and the Healdton high school band accompanied the procession, part way, playing the funeral dirge.

October 1929 - The Daily Ardmoreite:  Woodford and Newport school districts voted to consolidate schools. Beginning next year, classes will be conducted at Woodford. The consolidation brings the number of schools districts in the county to nine. Most of the rural schools that suspended September 1 in order for students to help with the harvest will resume Monday November 4.; separate schools, Monday November 11.

Doug Williams snapped some really good pictures of the Veterans Day ceremony at the Veterans Center on South Commerce last Monday and posted them on his website.

For years I've wanted a pair of boot pulls.  I did a search on and found a really high quality set with wood handles for $7.50 including shipping.  Now I don't have to strain bending over to get my boots on because of old age.  lol

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is the House of Rocks (the Rock House)?
A.   Enid, Oklahoma

Q.  What Oklahoma hotel served as the state capitol until 1917 when the present state capitol was finished?
A.  (answer in next week's T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of November 13, 1999:

On February 13, 1946 a tornado came across Main Street in Ardmore. Besides destroying some buildings around Main and Washington streets, it badly damaged the cupola on top of the courthouse and had to be removed. On Saturday November 6, 1999 a brand new cupola was raised by Eddie Johnson Crane Service out of Ratliff City, Oklahoma to the top of the courthouse. I was in the post office the other day and overheard a man and lady talking. She said the courthouse looks so "majestic now that it's copper dome has been restored". And now with the cupola being restored after 53 years, it truly is back to it's original intent and purpose. I have a webpage dedicated just to the courthouse cupola. On it are several photos I took the day it was raised into place.
The Bogus Check Division of the DAs Office here has now moved into their new offices in the Colston Building. CableOne of Ardmore put in the fiber optic lines as a public service so the ladies could have access to their data at the courthouse one block away via the computer network. This makes at least the third time CableOne has helped Carter County Government at no charge. They have turned us into the largest county government data network in the area, connecting all our downtown buildings with fiber cabling. A big "Thank You" to General Manager David Wall, employees Bill Reynolds, Virgil and the rest of the gang at CableOne of Ardmore for making it all possible!
"I don't have a clue as to the actual history or age of the KVSO building but this much I can tell you from memory. Before it was used for a radio station it had been commonly referred to as "Home Beautiful". It was a private residence and in fact, as a boy, I had a friend that lived there by the name of Elmer Moore. When the building was used as the KVSO studio, what is now known as Northwest Blvd, was commonly referred to as KVSO road."
"Butch I just got up, turned on the coffee pot and the computer, downloaded my e-mail and starting reading your T&T news letter. Checked out the picture that your friend took with her digital camera while visiting Brown's Springs. Butch, there is something to this place. And from my 6th sense, It's not a good feeling that I am picking up from there. My first impression is that it has ET presence there. The reason that I say this is from the 'image' that continues to appear. I would be curious to know if in your picture and then again compared to her's, is the image appearing in the same spot or is it a random thing? Only appearing in the area the picture was taken or related to the whole area?"


"We had some strange lights in Bold Springs, Oklahoma which is north and east of Milburn. Sometime at night strange lights would appear with no known explanation. Haven't been back that way in years, so don't know if it still happens. If you have readers in or around Tishomingo/Milburn area, maybe they could update us...."
I was at the grocery store this week and found some bread that's different from the run-of-the-mill breads. It is by Grants Farms and called Cornflour Bread. I put butter on it, and boy, I think it sure has a great taste!

Talk about bread, when I was a wee lad in the 60s living on 3rd Northeast here in Ardmore, a block south of our house was John Small's Bakery. John and Eileen Small lived almost right across the street from us at 816 3rd NE (we lived at 805 3rd). Before going to school in the mornings, I'd go outside for a few minutes, many times, I'd see John Small walking to his bakery at 204 "H" Street Northeast. He'd be whistling. And loud too. You could hear him whistling his way to work for two blocks. But what I remember most after coming home from Washington Elementary School, was smelling that bread baking. My mother would give me a nickle and I'd walk to Small's Bakery, employees Charlie Bailey or Joe Smith would take brown wrapping paper and wrap up a hot loaf of bread, I'd rush home with it, my mother would take a butcher knife, split the top of that hot bread, and put in the butter.... we'd make a meal out on it!  -Butch

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

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

Non-ethanol gas (pure gas) stations in the Ardmore area (updated).

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

"Hello Butch, I hope this is still a good address for you. I am desperately trying to locate records so I can see if there is anything extant on my g-g-grandfather Henry Abram Douthit (d.3/1/1930) who lived there and is buried at Rosehill. I have been told he was in the 2nd Cherokee Cav. towards the end of the war, but I have no real proof other than his headstone. Do you have any information on where and how I could access old records on residents up to 1930? Thank you so much!"

Bobby Burns
Windsor, CA

"Hi Butch: Read recently where someone inquired about buffalo meat. I was in Ardmore last week for a brief visit with great-grands. We went to Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur --- an amazing place. The Aaimpa Cafe serves a wonderful bowl of Buffalo meat chili and a piece delicious Indian fry bread accompanies it. Enjoy the newsletter every week. You and Jill keep up the good work. Thanks."  -Mary Gray Meeks
"Butch, The Hornet Spook Light refers to the community of Hornet, Missouri, not Hornet, Oklahoma. It is a very small community south of Joplin, just inside the Missouri-Oklahoma border. The light is known simply as the Spook Light in Oklahoma and the Hornet Spook light in Missouri. I have never looked for the light from Missouri, but have seen it many times from southeast of Quapaw, Oklahoma, not too far from that part of Spring River known as Devil's Promenade. There is only one short stretch of road from which it can be seen. At times the light is white, and at times red. It is not always visible in the exact same location. At times it moves, and at times is stationary. I know people who have looked for it and never seen it, and others, like myself, who have seen it many times. The source of the light is unknown. Some skeptics say it is merely the reflection of automobile head lights from so far on the the east side of the river that it appears to be one light. My grandfather, who hosted a radio show in the early 50s called "Tales from Axhandle Country," told me that the local Indian legend is that it is sort of like Romeo and Juliet: A young man and young woman from two different tribes were to meet at Devil's Promenade. The young lady never showed up, and the light is the lantern of the young man searching for her."  -Tom
"Have you ever seined for minnows? If you want to go fishing, you got to seine for minnows. Or buy 'em at the bait shop for a dollar a dozen. Seining is really not an easy job. Especially if you draw the wadin' side of the net. For you that don't know what I am talkin about. It usually takes two people to seine. Depending on the water your attempting to catch minnows. One person stands along the bank and the other person wades out into the water and slowly drags the net in to a sweeping curve back toward the bank and then you collect the minnows. How many times have I done this with my Dad? lol, a bunch." -Ken @ Wilson
3rd Saturday Sidewalk Sale
Saturday November 16, 2013
6:00 am - 6:00 pm (GMT-06.00) Central Time (US & Canada)
1100 Woodall-Rodgers Freeway, Dallas, TX
Kennedy?s Assassination: How LIFE MAGAZINE Brought the Zapruder Film to Light

AMTK 821 & Drilling Rig
Listen to the music this guy makes! Guy buys a 100-year-old saloon piano for $75 and coaxes magic out of it. Watch the smiles on his face as he plays.

Folks in Heaven
By J. Taylor Ludwig

I was shocked, confused, bewildered as I entered heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all, nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven who made me sputter and gasp ?
The thieves, the liars, the sinners, the alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor who never said anything nice.
Herb, who I always thought was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine, looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, ?What's the deal? I would love to hear your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here? God must've made a mistake.
And why is everyone so quiet, so somber ? give me a clue.?
?Hush, child,? He said, ?they're all in shock. No one thought they'd be seeing you.?

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

Carter County Courthouse Paver Project
Save on long distance calls, just a couple cents a minute!
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

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