PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
Last Saturday the Chickasaw Nation had their Grand Opening for the new Chickasaw Cultural Center at Sulphur. I had been wanting to go see it every since I learned of it’s construction last year, and when I heard on the news last Saturday was Open House, Jill and I made the trip to Sulphur for a visit. We were not disappointed!
The Native American beauty that abounds there in the buildings thrilled my soul. It was my great, great, grandmother who lived and died in Blount county, Alabama who gave me my Native American (Choctaw) blood line. It’s hard for me to explain this connection, but it is that connection that binds Native Americans together. A wonderful feeling indeed. As we walked around the Chickasaw Cultural Center there was so much to see and do and learn about the Chickasaw culture we will being taking another trip there soon as we were unable to see it all in one day.
Over 1,000 people attended the Grand Opening last Saturday, and the sharing of the Chickasaw culture that I experienced that day is one I will never forget. I’m proud of my Native American blood and proud the Chickasaw Cultural Center at Sulphur, Oklahoma will be there sharing it all for generations to come.
The Chickasaw Cultural Center hours of operation are:
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. (through Labor Day)
When we first entered the complex, one of the first things we saw was this magnificent statue named the Chickasaw Warrior.
Buried beneath the Chickasaw Warrior is a time capsule.
We didn’t have time to go into the new Exhibit Center, but plan on doing that on our next trip.
This is an interesting piece of Chickasaw history.
To the east of the theater is the Amphitheater.
Of course the first thing I spotted when I looked in the direction of the amphitheater was this bell. The bell has always had a significant meaning to the American Indian as you will read on the plaque below.
When Jill and I went inside the Theater, the movie The Aviator was showing. The movie is the true life story of Pearl Carter Scott from Marlow, Oklahoma who at the age of 12 started flying when she befriended by Wily Post back in the 1930s. She would soon become the youngest licensed pilot in America. Pearl was a remarkable lady and when you see the movie you’ll understand why her book is titled: Never Give Up. I encourage everyone to see the movie if you get a chance.
You can go to the link below and read more about the movie, the cast, and see the trailer. Great movie!!
Obit: Pearl Carter Scott
This is a couple pics I snapped inside the theater. Beautiful.
Also inside the theater is the cafe. When the movie let out, this place was packed with hungry visitors.
Inside the Wall of Honor is a 3 tiered circular was with plaques on display of the Chiefs of the Chickasaw Nation, the Governors and the many other key Chickasaws that help make the Nation what it is today.
This is a view looking from the Wall of Honor toward the theater.
This is a view of the Administration Building along with a gift shop on the inside.
As I walked around the Center enjoying all the beauty that is there, I could not help but think about my great great grandmother who was of Choctaw and born in Blount county, Alabama. She was Nancy Elizabeth Reid Murphree (Abt 1824 – 1887) and buried in the Murphree Cemetery there in Blount County, AL. I wish I could find out more about her and her husband, Thomas D. Murphree (1816-1863).
This video made near Goodland, KS of a “snow train” should make everyone feel cooler after the heat wave the country seems to be in right now. The forecast here is over 100 degrees for at least the next couple of weeks.
This week we had our first really baby deer come up in the backyard to eat corn. She has those big white spots we hear about, she is so beautiful.
Q. What governor was called “the hero to the common people?”
A. John “Jack” C. Walton
Q. What was the name of Wiley Post’s airplane?
A. (answer in next week’s issue)
Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..
“Here are some pictures of a cowboy twirling a rope at the Sulphur Trade days. This is a lost art, but for us Okies it’s not a big thing to see. I have enclosed a link to my Trade days pictures that I am acquiring maybe for a book some day. This takes place every Sunday morning 52 times a year and it is packed from 5 am till around 11 or so depending how hot it is. $2 dollar admission fee per carload.” -Doug Williams
“the name of the swimming pool at turner falls was Cedarvale. it was next to the jolly courts motel. besides the pool, it also had an open air skating rink. i spent many teenage evenings there. the pool was just a widening of the creek. i don’t believe that any chemicals were used in it. part of it was concrete (sides & bottom), but the north end was sand. there used too be a rope tied to a tree on which you could swing & drop into the water. this could be dangerous if you dropped on top of someone. it was a nice place to swim, but i preferred the blue hole, vendome or bellview.” -susan
“Good evening Butch & Jill, Hope that your day has been going well. While visiting Oklahoma last month and going to the Gene Autry school reunion one of our trips was to Bill’s catfish house in Long Grove what a treat and the other was at the EL Tapitio Mexican restaurant on the north end of Ardmore. Their chili releno is something out of this world (um, um good ). The Mexican food we get here comes right out of the back of the food service trucks. Summer has finally arrived here in central Oregon and our garden is finally doing something. A happy belated Birthday to you. Keep up the good work. Until next time.” -Robert & Karen Cole
“I hadn’t seen any horny toads in years but last year I saw one or two of them at my mother’s place in Healdton, where I had seen them many years before. I remember that two of us boys were trying to catch a horny toad when I was about 7 or 8 years old when it appeared to shoot blood out of it’s eyes on the other boy. I don’t know if the blood actually came out of the eyes but it really did squirt it on him. Do you remember “mountain boomers”? That isn’t the proper name for them but that is what we called a commonly seen large lizard when I was growing up in Healdton. There used to be lots of them at the cemetery back when the cemetery was dry and rocky and all the graves were mounded up. There were also many of them around the Easter pageant in Lawton back then.”
“Hi Butch. I just took a look at the Wichita Falls Railroad Museum website that was in the recent T&T. That site reminded me of something I have been wondering about. Why is Ardmore letting the old locomotive over by the Hardy Murphy coliseum rust away. It seems that it is badly in need of care and painting. It is sad to see a part of Ardmore’s history being neglected like the old locomotive seems to be.” -Jon
“My wife, Ann Halkins Beal, is from Madill and we have two cemetery lots there for sale. (We are now going to be buried at DFW National Cemetery here in Dallas area.). If anyone is looking for lots in Madill, please contact me. The two lots are in Woodberry cemetery, Madill. Both for $500. Can call Ann Halkins Beal, Cedar Hill, TX 972- 291-1398” -Will and Ann Beal, Cedar Hill, Texas email@example.com
“Hello Butch, I found your email address on your Oklahoma History site, and that through googling for a friend of my mother’s which took me to This and That newsletter of a few years ago.
My mother served with the American Red Cross in England in 1944-1945, and was one of five Red Cross Aides stationed at the 188th General Hospital in Cirencester, England. One of these women, Doris Duston, became her good friend. Doris was from Ardmore Oklahoma, and other than remembering my mother speaking fondly of her, and a few photos, that’s all I know about her.
My mother was a bit older than the rest at that time, and I know it would be unlikely “Dusty” would still be alive, but if she were I would love to get in touch with her. I am writing a blog about my mother’s time in Cirencester, and Dusty’s name comes up frequently.
Is there any chance any of your Readers would know of her or know how I could reach her or her family? There was a reference to a Doris Duston’s Circus Plays in This and That, but I’m not sure if that is her married name. The photo below shows the girls, Dusty in the back row, right, and my mother front and center.” -Stephanie Strong firstname.lastname@example.org
“Butch, I enjoy your news letter and look forward to receiving them each Thursday. To the person inquiring as to a drowning at Turner Falls. This was Theoplis Phipps. His father was Jess Phipps and owned the grocery and general merchandise store at Fox, Oklahoma. He was a well known business man in Western Carter Co. As I recall, there was a scout troupe spending the Fourth of July at Turner Falls. They were getting out to come home and someone missed Theoplis. He was found in the Falls pool. Also the names of the other swimming places were Blue Hole and Cedarvale. I believe this death was in the year of 1935 or 1936. A few issues back you printed a story of a police officer going into a restaurant-boarding house and Pretty Boy Floyd was in there. The lady sent him to another room. That police officer was my dad, Arthur Fletcher who was Constable or Deputy Sheriff out in Graham Township, Carter County for many years.” -Dave Fletcher
“Two weeks ago, someone wrote in and said she wished that she could see a picture of someone with a rat in their hair. This picture was taken in 1946 when I was 17 years old. I have a long rat that goes from one side of my head to the other with my hair wrapped around it. My mother did not have her first haircut until she was 18. She kept the “switch” and I braided the hair. I put it across the top of my head.(you can barely see it at the back of my head) and tucked the ends under the end of the rat. Our hair was the same color so it looked like my own hair. Everyone wondered how I had enough hair to braid and then wrap around the rat. There was no hair spray then. Oh, but those were the “good ole days.” -Frances Dunlap
“Glad you enjoyed the Cultural Center AND the movie. When we were in Tishomingo last year we at the ‘traditional’ Chickasaw meal with Pearl’s youngest sister. She’s very elderly and totally delightful. I bought the book, as well. Too bad,… when aviators and especially women aviators are talked about she is NEVER one of them. Gosh, all of us ‘Heald’s’ are glad to see you mingling with ‘our people’!! You know that you are NOW ONE OF US.” -Serena Heald Holder
“The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged.” -Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux Chief
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: 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
Ardmore School Criterions
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