A Home Grown Home Page

Home of the This and That Newsletters

Vol 12  Issue 613     October 23, 2008

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

The past few weeks there has been many stories mentioned about Ardmore’s movie theaters of long ago, and also B. L. Owens Furniture store on Main Street. A Reader told me this week about a tragic accident that occurred at the Globe Theater and one of B. L. Owens sons.

Ben L. Owens and Nellie was blessed with 4 children; Virgil, Eugene, Frances and Victor. The Globe Theater in 1936 was located between the Depot and Caddo street on the north side of Main.  Back in those days there was no air conditioning, and big electric fans were used to circulate the air during the hot summer months.  The Globe had such a fan at the rear of the building near the projection booth. Eugene and some other boys were out back of the building playing, as boys will do, when Eugene got too near the huge fan and motor.  There was a long shaft between the motor and the big box fan blades with a set screw on the shaft. Somehow Eugene Owens’ coveralls got caught on the set screw and he was pulled into the mechanism. Eugene died from his injuries. Eugene’s sister, Frances, would grow up and marry Gene McFall.  In the late 1960s I went to work for Gene McFall repairing air conditioners, refrigerators, deep freezes, and refrigeration equipment at his place of business at 4th and F NW (SW corner). Gene and Frances were the best employers a young man of 19 years old could work for.  The pay wasn’t all that great ($1.25 an hour) but I learned a lot from Gene McFall and Buddy (his main repairman, can’t remember Buddy’s last name??),  All these years have gone by since then, and only this week did I learn about the terrible accident Frances’ brother Eugene was in at the Globe Theater in 1936. And then in the later years, Gene and Frances McFall lived just 2 blocks from me at 315 Stanley Street (now the house is part of 1st Baptist Church properties).


I received an email this week inquiring if I had any info on a train robbery that took place near Nowata, Oklahoma back in 1893.  I couldn’t find anything, maybe someone has some information??  The writer owns a post card on which the robbery near the Seminole switch is detailed by some kinfolks of his.


A T&T Reader told me this week about an unusual fruit of some kind growing behind the new MTC Federal Credit Union on 12th NW. When you first look at it, you think persimmon, but it is not a persimmon.  Several people have looked at it, and not really sure what family this bush belongs to.  The branches have big thorns like a rose bush, but persimmon thickets does not have thorns.  I hope someone can enlighten us as to what this berry is???



As I’ve mentioned before, our neighbors 2 dogs, plus Big Boy from across on the south side of the road, comes to see us several times a day. One day I heard the two small dogs just barking and barking.  I went to see what was all the commotion, and they were barking at two Turkey Buzzards way up high making lazy circles in the sky.  With wing spans of several feet, they are beautiful soaring slow, round and round, looking for food.  The buzzard has silver tipped wings.


I call the dogs Pete and Repeat.  Pete is the gray dog, and so smart.  He could be taught to do anything I believe.  All three of them are so lovable.  Jill and I give them a dog bone every time they come over, so we have them spoiled.  But Pete, he will sit in the front yard while I’m out watering the grass or whatever, and when I head toward the storage shed where the dog bones are, he will start howling to let the other 2 know next door that dog bones are now available and to come on over.   lol

Jill has been in a pie baking mood the past week.  We bought some sweet potatoes at Farmers Market in Lone Grove (79 cents a pound), and Jill made a couple of the best tasting pies a man could put a fork in. Below is a photo of Jill’s sweet potato pie, and below the pic is the recipe.



Click here for the recipe……..  Jill’s Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Galaxy Sign Company of Ardmore was at the courthouse this week replacing a broken rope on the flag pole. Those are pecan trees in front of the building, but I don’t think there will be much of a crop this year.  The weather is so confused I heard pecans will be slim picking in this county.



Wednesday October 29th is Flu Clinic Day in Ardmore.


Ten cheapest places to buy gas in the Ardmore area.


Speaking of gasoline, for about 2 months I ran gas mixed with ethanol in my 1974 Chevy pickup. The signs read “up to 10% ethanol”.  My pickup ran terrible the entire time. Missed a lot, and idled rough.  I switched back to gas with no ethanol, and it smoothed right out. Our 2005 Hyundai ran better than the pickup on ethanol. But everything I read says a car running on ethanol will get 2 or 3 miles per gallon less than a car running on straight gas.  So I am not going to settle for a inferior gas/ethanol mix even if it means paying a little more. I won’t be running any gasahol if I can help it.

Visit the Oklahoma History Boards, start a topic if you want too!


Q.   Where in Oklahoma can you dig for selenite crystals?
A.   Great Salt Plains near Enid, Oklahoma

Q.   How many earthquakes are recorded in Oklahoma each year?
A.   (answer in next week’s T&T)

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Long before it was ever known as the Tivoli Theatre, it was known as the PALACE Theatre.” -Ernest Martin

“Butch, I was happy to see your mention of selenite crystals in T&T. They can be found in the Great Salt Plains State Park up in NW Oklahoma (NW of Enid). According to some brochures we got, they are only found here in OK and one other place in communist China. We went up there a few summers ago and had a great time digging. The crystals are VERY fragile when they first come out of the ground. You have to use water to flush away the surrounding soil in order to get them out. It is difficult to get a cluster since they break so easily. There is actually a “season” for digging, and designated areas are roped off to allow the crystals time to re-form in the off areas. It’s well worth a drive to see this area of our state. I’ve included a picture of a small cluster that I dug.” -Kerry

“Just stop by to let some people know that me and my family made it threw hurricane Ike ok.  Lost our home but not our lives. Thanks for the news letters that help pass the time. Please keep them coming.”  -Billy McBride  bgmcbrid@UTMB.EDU

“While recently visiting my cousin at Mannsville/Greasy Bend. I stopped and took some photos of the Washita River and the River Bridge. Just thought I would share them with you. Keep up the good work!” -Karen Morgan-Palmer




“Hi Butch, Can we stand another Ardmore’s Theater report? You probably don’t get a lot of input from us who were here in the 1930s. I became aware of downtown Ardmore around 1930 when the No 1 theater in Ardmore was the Ritz, half a block East of the now Tivoli. The name Tivoli came into being mid-30s when the old Palace (its original name) was renovated to become the latest and greatest between OKC and Big D & FW. The Tivoli-Palace theater was a major ‘picture show’ for anywhere in the Southwest in its early days and had fallen to second string by the 30s, playing second runs and westerns. And sometimes road shows.

These were traveling movies by small producers without national distribution. They arrived with props and eye-catchers placed outside to lure people in. Mostly westerns, with rusty old guns wired to lean-ups & still shots of the thrilling scenes, etc. The Palace was an ideal location.

There were a couple of little third string movies in Ardmore that cost a nickel for admission. One mid-block across from the Ritz on Main St. between A & B, another just East of Caddo next to the depot. For a time there was one in the now Ardmoreite building.

Thursday night was Bank Night at the Ritz. At 9 o’clock a drawing, sometimes of a couple hundred dollars. Your number called, if you got in there within three minutes you won. People gathered outside on Main street hoping for luck and buy a ticket to get in quick enough. A quarter was a lot to pay just to see a movie and the off-chance you would win. Money was scarce and hard come by.”  -Bob McCrory

“Not sure if anyone has mentioned it or not, but coming up this next weekend (25th and 26th) is the Texoma Hamarama at Ardmore Convention Center. Check out the webpage. It would be great if you mentioned it in a This and That. This use to be at Lake Texoma but this being the second year in Ardmore it is growing with leaps and bounds. Also trying to get more people involved in Amateur Radio in the area too.”  http://www.angelfire.com/tx5/TexomaHamarama/

“I wanted to share some photos Tricia took of the wildlife on our porch. These are picture taken during the past ten days here in Big Sky, Montana. The first two photo are of a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk or Cooper’s Hawk. I can’t tell because of the age. In the second photo he had just swooped down to pick up some prey on the porch. The third photo is of one of the four Steller’s Jays that live around our house. They are year around residents. The last photos are of the Red Fox that we see almost every day. Occasionally he comes on the porch to eat bird seed. We got about 2 inches of snow last night. It is the season of change.” -Monroe Cameron






“My earliest remembrance of the Tivoli is from 1952, the summer before I started school at Lincoln. We had moved to Stanley Street from Lake Ardmore. My sister, Sharon, and I made friends with Beverly Edwards from across the street and we went to Saturday matinees at the Tivoli. I remember that they were most often westerns and a serial along with one or more cartoons. At that time admission was two pop bottles. It seems like admission changed to ten cents at some point later.

I think it was the next year that Hopalong Cassidy came to Ardmore and appeared on stage at the Tivoli one Saturday morning after the movie and then opened the new grocery store on South Washington between 4Th and 5Th. I remember getting a Hoppy ring that day.

You were right about the darkness in the theater. My strongest memories of the theater were the clock in the auditorium surrounded by neon. It seems like the First National Bank had its name on the clock. The music that played before the lights went down was always Glenn Miller’s MOONLIGHT SERENADE. The only other lights in the dark theater were the red exit lights. And yes, the usher was constantly wandering though the theater with his flashlight ready to shine on any couple getting too chose.

I remember the same woman at the concession stand most of the years I lived in Ardmore. It seems as though she wasn’t always the friendliest person.

Christi Love, the daughter of the Tivoli’s owner, was in my graduating class in 1965. I suspect she has some interesting stories to tell.

I received my first barbershop haircut at the Tivoli Barbershop about 1949. My barber’s name was Clint Ross and he cut my hair for the next 18 years. I remember when the cost of a haircut increased from 25 to 50 cents. My mother made me go to another barber because of the increase but that only lasted one or two haircuts because she didn’t like the way the other barber cut my hair. When the Tivoli burned, Clint opened a new shop on Grand just west of “E” Street.” -Monroe Cameron

Bois d’arc fruit may hold key to Alzheimer’s http://www.tamus.edu/systemwide/06/03/research/fruit.html




Extracted from the Lone Grove Ledger archives
85 years ago:
Aug. 5, 1913
Hewitt – The work on the new Methodist church is progressing nicley and the building will be ready for occupancy soon.
Nov. 18, 1913
The Methodist Church, South, people will no doubt be the first to have a church building in Wilson, although it will be a close race, between that denomination and the Christians. Rev. Dr. W. U. Witt of Ardmore, presiding elder for this district, has closed a contract with the Wilson Townsite Company for two lots on which to put a church building and parsonage immediately. The South Methodists now have a church structure in the course of construction at Hewitt and it will be moved to the Wilson site. Rev. H. B. Thompson, now located at Lone Grove, has the circuit including Wilson, and will preach there after the church is located. Rev. Witt intends making Wilson a permanent charge with a pastor stationed there regularly. The Christian Church at Hewitt will also be moved to Wilson in the near future.
Dec. 2, 1913
The Methodist Church has been moved from here to Wilson.
March 31, 1914
The Methodist Episcopal Church announced the following appointments: Lone Grove and Wilson, J. C. Sessums; Woodford, Charles Mann~~The Wilson Historical Museum has a collection of church notebooks filled with histories, news articles, records and pictures. All churches from Wilson and the surrounding communities are represented. You are welcome to stop by and look at these notebooks or add information and pictures. Wilson Historical Museum is open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tues., Thur., Fri., Sat.

Song of the South by Alabama 1989

Song, song of the south.
Sweet potato pie and I shut my mouth.
Gone, gone with the wind.
There aint nobody looking back again.

Cotton on the roadside, cotton in the ditch.
We all picked the cotton but we never got rich.
Daddy was a veteran, a southern democrat.
They oughta get a rich man to vote like that.

Well somebody told us wall street fell
But we were so poor that we couldnt tell.
Cotton was short and the weeds were tall
But Mr. Roosevelt’s a gonna save us all.

Well momma got sick and daddy got down.
The county got the farm and they moved to town.
Pappa got a job with the TVA
He bought a washing machine and then a Chevrolet.

Song, song of the south.
Sweet potato pie and I shut my mouth.
Song, song of the south.
Sweet potato pie and I shut my mouth.


See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore Oklahoma
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

Save on long distance calls, just a couple cents a minute!
Oklahoma Bells: https://oklahomahistory.net/bellpage.html
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

All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
Feel free to forward this free newsletter. Mailouts: over 1,600.
To be removed from my T&T mailings, just send me an email.
I do not sell, trade or give my mailing list to anyone for any reason.