This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication

Vol 19  Issue 969      Circulation 5,000       August 20, 2015

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:


Today I am breathing better after receiving my first Social Security check (direct deposit) yesterday since my retirement. Without that Social Security check I guess I'd still be punching the time clock for Carter County Government.

In January 1940 Ida May Fuller of Vermont was the first person to be issued a Social Security check from that batch of 1,000 that month in 1940. She had to wait approximately the same length of time as I did to get her first check, about 2 months. Miss Fuller's claim was the first one on the first Certification List and so the first Social Security check, check number 00-000-001, was issued to Ida May Fuller in the amount of $22.54 and dated January 31, 1940.

Ida May Fuller
Born: September 6, 1874, Ludlow, VT
Died: January 31, 1975, Brattleboro, VT

Photo of Ms. Fuller holding the first Social Security check.

The Nation's first shelterbelt was planted on the H.E. Curtis farm near Mangum, Oklahoma in Greer County. Oklahoma's first state forester George R. Phillips planted the first tree on Mar. 18, 1935.  From 1935 to 1942, 223 million trees were planted in 18,599 miles of shelter belts throughout the plains states with 2,996 miles in Oklahoma. The nation's number one shelterbelt is located five miles east and one mile north of Mangum. Like many of the original shelterbelts and the narrower windbreaks planted since then, it continues to provide conservation benefits to this day.

A home in the 1500s: The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying, "dirt poor". The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh on the floor to keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entry way, hence, a "threshold".

Last train from Ringling, Oklahoma 2008

Plaque in remembering the accidental bombing of Boise City, Oklahoma during WWII

1958 photograph of Devil's Den north of Tishomingo.

Below is a link to a Folder I created several years ago and started placing photos I've accumulated of Devils Den north of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.

A few pavers I sandblasted this week.

Myself and a number of friends have been losing weight and keeping it off with TruVision, plus feeling better than I have in many years. If anyone wants to try it, give me a holler. "I'll meet you at the Walmart mailbox!" Join us and check it all out at the link below.

The past few days we have received a reprieve from the 100+ heat here in Southern Oklahoma, so our air conditioning is not working as hard. When that a/c kicks in I can't help put see dollars going out.  But even without a reprieve my Okie Power Saver is helping keep the electric bill down from everything else running including the 220v electric dryer every day. Our last power outage/surge was in May, thank goodness, but I know when it does happen, and it will, the Okie Power Saver serves as a full-house surge protector too. That in itself is worth the $135 investment (includes postage).

Q.  What Oklahoma county was named for a Civil War general?
A.  Jackson County, Altus is the county seat. General Stonewall Jackson

Q.  What Oklahoma governor was the first elected Republican?
A.  (answer in next week's T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of August 18, 2001:

I was off work Friday, so I decided to take a little trip south, to Gainesville, Texas among other places. But on the way I ran across a little sign with an arrow pointing east. The sign was located 5 miles south of Marietta, Oklahoma on old Highway 77 and read, "Wikle's Water Works. So I turned east and went down a dirt road to check it out. At the end of the dirt road I found Wikle Water Works.

Roy Wikle (1924-2008) and I talked for a while, he said he and his wife, Evaline, opened the water bottling business in 1995, but they had lived there since 1974. The water comes from 4 wells on his property and pumped into the building. He went on to tell me that lately, the "big boys" were trying to put him out of business but he wasn't budging. This wiry little man may not be a big boy, but I bet he is like a wild tiger if pushed into a corner.

Here's a photo of the Indian statue in front of Reva McKinney's Style Shop in Marietta, Oklahoma. The statue was carved out of a tree by a guy in Lebanon, Oklahoma using a chain saw.
I stopped in town, next to the Gene Autry Museum and ate breakfast at the Tumbleweed Cafe. I've heard the girls make a pretty good hamburger too. Guess I'll eat one next time I'm there.
And you know I want to give credit where credit is due. Paul Mitchell lives just a few 100 feet north of the Airpark Memorial Park. He's became a committee of one to see the grounds is kept clean, mowed, and beautiful. He checks on it constantly, and his efforts have taken some load off of me, having to go up there so much. And I will say the memorial site is beautiful right now!! We've had a very dry summer, but Paul has kept everything green and growing. Thanks Paul.
Last weekend another piece of Carter county history was lost. Fire completely destroyed the Milo Baptist Church at Milo, Oklahoma. Law enforcement is looking for an arsonist, since several other fires were set in the same area, including a house 1/4 mile west of the church, just the evening before.

I took this picture of the church just a couple weeks before the fire by arsonist.

I may have solved the mystery of where the Mannsville, Oklahoma school bell disappeared to years ago. The past couple years several Readers told me their school bell disappeared a long time ago. Then last May, a Reader sent me email telling in 1961 he and two friends, went to a school east of Ardmore. They stole a bell so they'd have one to ring a Tishomingo college football games. The last he and his friends saw the bell, it was behind the ROTC building at the campus in Tishomingo. Maybe?
Last week there was a sad and terrible story of animal cruelty on the news here in Ardmore. A man from Russia brought with him from his country three years ago, three brown Siberian bears. He kept them in a hot truck without food and water, for what he said was to perform circus acts. Purcell, Oklahoma law enforcement arrested the man. The three bears were a couple of hundred pounds under weight. They looked so pitiful on the newscasts. The three bears were taken to the GW Exotic Animal Foundation at Wynnewood, Oklahoma (about 40 miles north of Ardmore).
Speaking of bears, a friend of mine at the courthouse told me this week she was looking for one of those old bear claw bath tubs. I took many a bath in one of those critters the first 21 years of my life. I think when my uncle, Pratt Carmon, moved into the house, he remodeled and had that old bear claw tub removed. If you know of a bear claw tub for sale, let me know.
Speaking of the courthouse, after my article last week of me finding that key in my office to room 34 at the Richepanse Hotel in Paris, a couple of employees have been carrying me high. When they see me now, they just say, "oui oui" (wewe).
This week I received a nice surprise in the mail.... a wooden toothpick holder and key chain from a Reader in Hawaii!!! Another Reader in OKC was visiting there on vacation, and the two of them got me these two little gifts, to make me suffer and wish I was in Hawaii too!


Speaking of the mail, I received a surprise letter in the mail this week, an article about a man who collects bells in Boone, Iowa. His name is Neil Goeppinger and he has over 50 bells in his backyard! The article is featured in the August 1, 2001 issue of the Antique Trader.


"Butch. Here are the words to London Bridge.

London Bridge is falling down, falling down falling down
London Bridge is falling down.
My fair lady/laddie.

Take the key and lock her up lock her up lock her up
Take the key and lock her up,
My fair lady/laddie!

"Directions: Two kids form the bridge. They each choose a "password." A line of the other children in the class pass through the bridge. When the words "my fair lady/laddie" are sung the last time, they lower their arms and "trap" the child between their arms. As they sing "take the key and lock her/him up", they sway her back and forth. When the final My fair lady/laddie is sung, the child is released and chooses a password. (They do not know whose word is whose to make the game fair.) The child who was captured then goes and stands behind the child who's word they chose. At the end of the game, the child with the most kids behind him/her wins. I taught preschool and kindergarten 9 years, so I guess I qualify as your resident expert. ROFL.. I have no clue how to tell you the tune of it."
"THE WPA: In the CCC Camps where lived, I drove around the lake bed that day was how I learned about the CCC. With loads to pick up and deliveries too, I knew what the WPA had to do. In the camp kitchen, the menu was posted that day, but before the cooks could begin many things were canceled out and substitution put in through they struck for better food. Nothing changed it would be better for a few days, then back to the same thing."

"The boys who had been hungry at home didn't think it so bad, for there was always plenty of whatever we had. You could go to school if you wanted to, but you had to wait until the night after all the day's work was through. As we went to work each day, we saw rick after rick of wood that was cut by the WPA. With all the threatening signs that were posted, if you were caught hauling wood, you knew where you would go, to the Federal Pen without parole. Their people in town for gas couldn't pay cooked on a wood fire in the yard every day. Not one stick of wood was allowed to pass to the people who needed it and couldn't buy gas. They made sure it did no one any good. Men were sent over the lake bed to burn all the wood. The cattle were slaughtered throughout the land. They reason there was no market for meat people didn't have money to buy what they wanted to eat. To save the cost of a shell the calves were knocked in the head. No one was allowed any of meat that was left in the woods for buzzards to eat. Though many mistakes was made in the effort to increase employment and help the poor. There were people in Washington now trying and that wasn't before. When the WPA workers got their work orders, they would pair off in two's and camp out to gather until the work period was through. With pots and pans to cook in and two quilts for a bed. They boarded a truck for Lake Murray at 25 cents a head. They would sleep on the ground, and hope that the weather would hold good or they would have to seek shelter wherever they could."

"The rock crusher was a man killer. They had to shovel out the rock to keep from being covered up. There was no time to stop and when their turn had come to an end they would stagger out and two more would go in. The wheelbarrows were filled up at the crusher, it was downhill to the end of the fill, then up hill and over the hump at the top of the hill where the wheelbarrows were dumped. I saw a small man who couldn't make it up the hill. The wheelbarrow turned over and there was a spill and about that time the boss man came along and gave him a good cussing, and said if you can't take it go home. I don't know what happened to that man that day my truck was loaded and I had to pull it our of the way. The hardest work I ever saw done to this day was done at Lake Murray by the WPA. There was some heavy equipment but most of the work was done but not all with a shovel and wheelbarrow, ax, hammer and saw. Some of the working conditions that were endured by the WPA would be considered criminal by the standards of today. The governor of the state was heard to say no man was worth more than a dollar a day. The power shovels were old models and with no hydraulic cable operated back haul hoist and crowded the dump truck was gravity dump without any cabs. The rock quarry where they got the rock for the cabins and bridges. And they drilled the pattern rocks to there be always plenty of hard work to do. As I drove across the lake dam spillway, on opening day, I saw people lining the banks along the way. Waiting for opening time standing there ready to throw in their lines. Not many people can remember how things was back then, it has been so long. There is a few of them living, but most of them are gone. So when you visit Lake Murray and enjoying your stay, think of who built it and the WPA. The WPA that I remember."  -W. C. 'Bill' Alexander, Ardmore
"Butch- The chimes at the First Presbyterian Church in Ardmore story is found Nov. 27, 1955.
"Hi Butch, I just read in the Ardmoreite that 75 headstones were vandalized at Rose Hill. Suggest you take Jr along if you check, because he knows where all pertinent ones are located."

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

"The windmill is a Monitor L , made by Baker Manufacturing, Evansville, Wis. The white football, counter weight acts as a governor, tells you what windmill it is. It is a 50 lb. cement ball. I guess cement was cheaper than cast iron. They were made about 1920 . That type of windmill the wind blows into the back and opens the wheel . The modern windmill the tail holds the wheel into the wind." -Troy Loard

"I'm a little new to this e-mail as you may have guessed. I was in A-2-2 3rd platoon in 1966. I was in 1st position in 1st row. I have the same group picture as Terry Witt.I have a complete list of names in order of position. I also have several signed messages on the back of the picture. If you like I will send a copy of front and back of the picture."  -John Thomas Jones
History of the Model T Ford
Hey Butch, It is time for the Chandler Family Association for our annual meeting for September 18 & 19 September, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. Contact Helen or 901-355-5614 for details.
"Found this old photo of Ardmore's Priddy's Restaurant on South Commerce on eBay."  -Mark Coe

Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it's common sense.  -Ronald Reagan

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

Follow me on the TruVision lose weight program
Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Bells of Oklahoma
Carter County Courthouse Paver Project
Ardmore High School Criterions Online
Oklahoma Bells:
Bill Hamm's Cemetery Database
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 Government Website

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