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Vol 13  Issue 656 August 20, 2009

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Mark Twain said:  ?When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat?.   Well folks, I’m here to tell you, you don’t need to die and go to heaven to taste great watermelon.  Just go to east end of Love County, Enville area, and try a watermelon from Winchester Farms (580-276-3966   larrycwin@hughes.net ).  We bought 2 watermelons grown by the Larry Winchester family, and I tell you, they were sweet as honey.  Larry Winchester had his melons for sale last Saturday morning at The Market Place (Caddo and East Broadway) in Ardmore.  His trailer was loaded down with OrangGlo, Black Diamond, Jubilee, and Legacy watermelons (by 9am we were too late to buy his renown cantaloupe).  Now we ain’t talking about those small ice box melons like at Walmart, we’re talking about big melons here, so big Jill can’t even pick one up to put in the fridge for the cool down.  We don’t have any scales, but I’d say they weight about 30 pounds or more.  We bought 2 varieties, an OrangeGlo and a Black Diamond.  The OrangeGlo is yellow meated and very delicious.  It’s the first yellow meated melon I’ve had in years, and Jill doesn’t even remember eating a yellow meated watermelon.  She loved it.

Someone asked me how I got such a big melon in our refrigerator, well, if the Black Diamond would have been 1/2 inch bigger, it wouldn’t have fit.  Here’s a pic of Larry standing behind his trailer load of watermelons.


OrangeGlo watermelon after we sliced it last weekend.



After a friend here in Lone Grove told me how hard it was to find OrangeGlo seeds, I did some googling and sure enough, every place I looked that even had them listed, said “Out of Stock”.  So we saved all our OrangeGlo seeds from this week’s melon.  Maybe next year we will try our luck at planting them.


After Jill and I consumed the OrangeGlo melon, we gave the rind to our Barred Rock chickens.  They went crazy over it.



As I said above, last Saturday we also bought a Black Diamond from Larry.  We sliced it open Wednesday evening, and it was a good’un!  Sweet as sugar.  Larry sure knows how to grow watermelons in that rich Love county soil.



If you want to get your hands on a melon from Winchester Farms, be at The Market Place on E. Broadway and Caddo early Saturday morning (next door to Key’s Grocery).  You won’t be sorry.

Ardmoreite Herb Upchurch sent in some interesting photos this week of a plant growing on their property in the SE part of Ardmore. The plant is the Dodder Plant, actually its a parasite. Its also known as the Fishing Line Plant because it looks like a big tangled mess of fishing line, or Love Grass because it loves the plants it attaches itself to to death. Some call it Angel Grass. The Dodder Plant may have some medicinal properties too, at least that’s the way the story goes. If you make a lotion using the Dodder Plant and isopropyl alcohol, and rub it on your joints it helps relieve the pain. If a person was like my grandmother Addie Carmon back in the 60s, her arthritic knees hurt so bad, she took way over the recommended daily dosage of aspirin trying to relieve the pain in her knees. I remember seeing this Dodder Grass stuff along county roads and pastures in this area in the 60s when I’d ride my 305cc Honda Super Hawk on back roads.



Last week I mentioned putting out our trap to catch a racoon.  A couple days later we had one, a little cute fellow in our trap the next morning.  He was taken 6 miles north of Lone Grove and turned loose, so he wasn’t killed or hurt.  He was just a little coon, and cute as can be.  I didn’t want to kill him anyway, and a friend north of Lone Grove coon hunts, so we gave the critter to him to turn lose on his back 40.


Ten cheapest places to buy gas in the Ardmore area……


Q.   When did Indian Territory enter the Civil War?
A.    1861

Q.   Who was the last Indian leader to agree to settle in Indian Territory?
A.    (answer in next week’s T&T)

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

“I ran across this site and just wanted to tell you that my brother and I grew up a short distance from the Ketchum’s Bluff and played there many times. Where the old foot bridge crossed there was and old column or two not sure in place back in the late 50?s and you could actually climb down and play around near the base. There was at last one cable as I recall that went all the way across. There was a lot of large rocks below and on one or two there were many names or initials carved where people had been long before my time probably. Most John + Beth, You know the type. My dad told me it was an old foot bridge. I have not been there in thirty years or more now. My memory is not that good for when I played there whit my brother I was probably in second or third grade. At the time it look like the grand canyon to me. I also recall dad worked in an oilfield and on the river bottom there was another foot bridge that was still in use when I was a boy in the mid fifties. People would cross and work in the oilfields on the Oklahoma side. I recall it looked like it was a hundred yards long and I only made it about half way before it started bouncing around and I got scared and turned back. I had not thought about that in years. Thanks for the memories you brought back.”

“If memory serves me right the old building at was actually and old home and a young boy I went to school with lived there. It has a basement that served as another living space. Not much more than two rooms up top and two below. Of course I can?t remember the boys? name. I may have the foot bridge confused with something else after I looked at the two columns I remembered the area better. Just behind the columns between them and the bluff is where I remember the initials being. If you ever get a chance to go back to Oscar look around where the old school was at it the old gate is still there is a marker as well telling when it was built. At one time there was a pretty good sized school building there and I recall a number of old foundations (pier and beam) out in the pastures around the school and old store. My dad told me at one time Oscar was an oil boom town and lots of residents. Just did not last long I guess. I have not been able to find any record of that or photos of the area at the time. I have an old year book from when we went to school there and if I get a chance I will send some photos of the old school. I remember in the summer going to baseball games behind the old Oscar store across from where the school was located. Forgive my rambling. I enjoyed this site immensely.”  -Boyd Raburn







“Dear Friends, This message is primarily for those who live in Kansas and Oklahoma. This coming Saturday night, I will be presenting a concert of Cowboy, Country and Gospel Music at the Wyldewood Cellars Showroom in Mulvane, Kansas. It will be a completely different show from my concert there last year. The date is Saturday August 22, 2009. The delicious meal will be served at 6pm with the concert starting at 7pm. The cost is $25 per person for supper and concert, or $15 for the concert. For reservations, please call 800-711-9748. Last year we had a full house and we hope for that again this year. Wyldewood Cellars is located just a few miles south of Wichita on I-35 at the Mulvane Exit 33. Hope you can join us for lots of music, stories and laughs. (And some surprises!!)” –Les Gilliam

“Thought you would enjoy this article in Lafayette, Indiana paper. This was in Drudge today. A lot of people have chicken houses in Austin, TX. It is getting more popular everyday. It is a good source of fresh food and if you keep the rooster population down, they should be fairly quiet.”  -Roberta


“I do appreciate the nostalgia of your newsletter. I grew up in Carter County and graduated from Ardmore High School in 1943. At that time, because of the war, we had no yearbook. The last one was 1942. I have tried various ways without success to get class rosters from the classes that graduated after me, and before the end of the war, but haven’t figured out how to do it. Can anyone help me? I want lists of those who graduated in 1944 and 1945, please.”  -Carolyn Jones Frei, Lewiston Idaho   cfrei@lewiston.com

Reference to the bell at the Adair Christian Church, Adair, Oklahoma:
 “What your church has is a cast steel bell which was made anonymously.  It could have been made by the C.S.Bell Company for resale through other channels than their own, or it could have been made by someone else who was copying the work of that company.  There are a lot of such anonymous bells around.  My best guess is that it was made about the time your church was built, and was installed then as original equipment. Sometimes, larger bells from CSBell have a date of manufacture cast into the interior.  However, I don’t see one in the photo, and I think you would have noticed when taking the interior photos. In spite of a little bird residue and a little rust, your bell looks to be in fairly good condition.  All of the standard parts are present, and there are no obvious signs of damage & subsequent repair.  That can be attributed in part to a good location in a high, dry, moderately well sheltered belfry. With respect to maintenance, there are a few things that could be done.

1)  Replace the long-missing pads on the T-bars of the clapper springs.  You can cut new pads from the sidewalls of an old tire.  The clapper springs may need to be bent away from the bell just a little bit to make them effective.  They are intended to prevent double-striking by the clapper, to produce a cleaner sound.2)  Put just a tiny amount of lubrication in the open-slot bearings at the tops of the side frames.  A couple of drops of heavy-duty motor oil will be plenty; you shouldn’t use enough to collect dust and dirt, because that will actually increase wear rather than reducing it.3)  Likewise, a little lubrication on the clapper pivot would be helpful.  However, that’s much more difficult to do without over-oiling, because of the way the clapper pivot is built. It’s good to see that someone has re-roped the bell effectively.  I presume, therefore, that it gets regular use in calling the people of God to worship. If you have more specific questions, just ask.” -Carl Scott Zimmerman, Campanologist
Avocation:   tower bells:   www.gcna.org   (Webmaster)
Recreation:  handbells:     www.gatewayringers.org
Mission:     church bells:  www.TowerBells.org   (Webmaster)
Voicemail: +1-314-821-8437 (home)     E-mail: csz_stl@swbell.net
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA   –  19th c. home of at least 34 bell.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   foundries or resellers



Bunker Hill: District #31 – Located five miles south of Lone Grove, Bunker Hill School was a two teacher, one room school offering eight grades of education.  It is now part of the Lone Grove School System.


“I have a cousin who lives in Rush Springs so I know those watermelons. They are very good, but the memory of those black diamond watermelons that we used to stock up on when we drove through Thackerville still makes my mouth water. Sometimes our memories exaggerate our pleasure.”  -Roberta

“I got a kick out of reading the bit about Oliver’s Tavern because that was “The Place” for teenagers like me to buy that old 3.2 beer back about 55 years ago. I spent many an evening drinking suds in Oliver’s.”  -Jim in Henrietta, TX


“I thought your Readers might like to know that The Guinness World record watermelon is on display at Conrad’s Market in Bixby, Oklahoma. It weighs 255 pounds, is 38 inches long, and its circumference is 62 inches. It was recorded in 1983. It is a sight to behold.”

“Miller Woodson.  Forest Hill Cemetery. It is located east and south of Tecumseh. Take Hwy 9 east through Tecumseh for about one and one half miles past Hwy. 177 to Skaggs City Road. Go south about two and one quarter miles. The Cemetery is on the east side of Skaggs City Road.”

“I thought it may be forthcoming to clarify lingering assumptions regarding Wild Woman Cave and Bitter Enders Cave. Subsequently they both share a division of a larger interconnecting system. Therefore Bitter Enders Cave occupies the lower southwestern entrance adjacent to honey creek. This entrance abruptly ends due to impassable slump. Hence the derived name for ?Bitter Enders Cave? form a group of hiker in the 1920?s. Several other entrances do exist however all they all pose challenges. Trace dye tests have been established and evidence of dye has been recorded in several springs in and around the area.

In the early 80?s or late 70?s the cave claimed 2 people?s lives. Cave divers entered the cave with a common goal to extend surveys and locate new connecting passages. Due to unknown reasons, they drown. This resulted in the 2 deaths. Unfortunately, this ignited a heated controversy and sequence of legal actions against the land owners on behalf of the bereaved family members. Since this time, attempts to access Bitter Enders Cave or Wild Woman Cave has been strictly prohibited.  Bitter Enders Cave and Wild Woman Cave have been survey by several professional caving teams over the past 2 decades. Wild Woman Cave has been measured with over 3.1 miles of subterranean passages. This was recorded on by the NSS. This system is one of the largest known cave systems in South Central Oklahoma.” -Paul M. Rowan, Denton, Texas

Anagram:   THE EYES – THEY SEE

See everyone next week!

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

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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

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