A Home Grown Home Page

Home of the This and That Newsletters

Vol 15  Issue 766  September 29, 2011

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

Last week I had marked on a map about where some remains of an old concrete bridge was located west of Lone Grove on Walnut Bayou Creek, north side of Highway 70. A T&T Reader had sent me a Facebook post about it. Come to find out I was about 1/2 a mile too far south with my red X. Garth Hoard in Lone Grove is a great cartographer (map maker) in his own right. He looked up the location on Google Maps and could see the bridge was part… or used to be many years ago… part of Memorial Road.  Thanks Garth! Satellite images are just amazing and they are available to everyday people!



Here is the same map, Garth has drawn a line on it to show where Memorial Road stops at the creek where years ago there used to be a bridge.


Also in last week’s newsletter the Tower Drive In theater was mentioned. What a surprise this week when I received an email from George Davis with additional info on the theater, PLUS he had drawn on a map an outline how the theater was situation on 4th NW. Here it is in his own words:

“Butch, Randy Simmons had a question right down my alley. I don’t have any photos of the 77 North but some knowledge. In the late 40’s and early 50’s drive-in theatres became popular. Ardmore had three, the Tower, Starlight and Skyview. The Starlight was south of town on Commerce just at the top of the hill on the West side of the road. The tower was North of town on Commerce also on the west side of the road at Grand Avenue. The Skyview was east of town on old highway 70. The first two were operated by Video Independent Theatres Inc. who also operated the Tivoli and Ritz, changed to Park. The Skyview was independently owned and operated year around. The others closed for winter. In the mid 50’s TV and air conditioning took a toll on the drive-ins and the Starlight closed and the Tower was remodeled and the name changed to 77 North. My first day to work at the 77 North was the day the Tivoli burned. I figured, no job for me but there was. I was not living in Ardmore when the 77 North closed but it was probably about 1975. I have attached a drawing of the footprint of the 77 North which is really close to actual. You can go to Mapquest.com and go to 601 N Commerce St, which is Hastings, pan west to the vacant field and click on satellite. You can see the semi-circle rows the cars parked on still visible in the field. Unbelievable! The dotted line is probably the property line with ingress and digress rights from the highway right-of-way. (See the name of the street, Tower Drive, hence, the original Drive-In name).” -George Davis


I’ve said a couple of times in past issues of T&T Facebook is the greatest communication tool the world has ever known. This week I proved it again to myself.  Since my 20s I have been looking for any Murphree kinfolk in Alabama. I knew there were a lot of Murphrees still there, probably more then any other state, but finding my long lost cousins proved no easy task through the years. Enter Facebook. This week I did a search in Facebook for the name Murphree in Alabama and found several that lived within a few miles of where my great grandmother, Ida Murphree Miller was born.  I messaged two and within a couple hours one wrote back and said he recognized my Murphree names and he was kinfolk. His name is Jack Murphree and today he lives within about 5 miles of where my great grandmother was born in Alabama! Now to pick his brain! Facebook is powerful.


Jill tried out our new Hamilton Beach counter top oven this evening from Walmart.com. She used the rotisserie function of the oven on a chicken, cooked it 2 hours and boy did it turn out great.  Moist and juicy, no burnt wings like with our Ronco rotisserie.


Finally last Tuesday evening got my HHO generator working like it should be.  The ammeter shows it doing 13 or 14 amps and producing HHO gas like crazy! Now the real test begins, driving until my next fill up and seeing what the miles per gallon is with HHO.


U.S. drought monitor


From This and That newsletter archives of September 26, 1998:
“Let someone know you care, it might make the difference between life and death. Believe me, I know. In the 70s and 80s I responded in the ambulance to so many suicides. As I think back… I remember one young 19 year old man, married just a week, he and his new bride moved into the 300 block of G Street SW just two blocks from my house. For reasons unknown, he ended his life. What would it have taken to keep him here… a few smiles… a few hugs… a few dollars? Sometimes it’s the little things that can mean so much.” -Butch Bridges

Q.   What movie about tornados was filmed in Oklahoma?
A:    Twister – 1996

Q.   The automated Twist Tie machine was first used where?
A.    (answer in next week’s newsletter)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Q.  “Hi Butch. Since you seem to be our history person for this area I thought I’d ask this question. How did the Arbuckle Mountains acquire the name “Arbuckle Mountains”? I have lived in Davis all my life and never have learned this.”  -Judy Easley Shiplett

A. They were named indirectly for Gen. Matthew Arbuckle (1778?1851), a career soldier from Virginia who was active in the Indian Territory for the last thirty years of his life. Shortly before his death at Fort Smith, Arkansas, from cholera, several detachments of troops under his command had established an outpost to protect the California road, on Wildhorse Creek in present-day Garvin County, Oklahoma. The post was then named Fort Arbuckle in his honor. Though the post was abandoned in 1870, the name had already transferred in common usage to the nearby hills.


“Teresa Roberts Cunningham and I were just talking today about Ardmore’s Santa Fe Prairie-type Locomotive No. 1108 — and remembering that the centennial of the 1915 explosion will be coming up on September 27, 2015. The locomotive is certainly no better off for nearly 60 years of exposure to the elements — but I’m really wondering about evaluating her (the locomotive) for operational rebuild. At a minimum, she should be stabilized against further progression of rust and decay, re-jacketed (her boiler jacket — the outer skin that made her presentable to the public and, together with a layer of insulation protected the crew from the heat that “made her go” was removed and scrapped when the asbestos abatement contractors took care of that problem in, as I recall, the late 1980s), repainted, relettered, her brass builder’s plates reattached and all running boards, lights, etc. recreated. Imagine, though, how it would be to have her back under power, fully operational. To get an idea what that might be like, check this video from a recent rebuild of a somewhat similar former Santa Fe Pacific-type:  — of course, then we’d need a place to operate it!”  -TOM ELMORE


Info on the 1108 engine on display at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore


“Just saw a tv clip about a bowling alley in Anadarko that had a burger called a Shafers Burger. It looked good!!! Thought you might want to make an adventure that way. It had two patties and lots of fixings. Good eating to you.”  -Bette Newton

“Here are pictures taken by my son from the boat ramp at the arm of the Arbuckle Lake off Shepherd Hills Rd, Sulphur. Lake within a couple of inches of 6 feet below normal.


More pictures of the north arm of Lake Arbuckle taken by my son.” -Joh in Sulphur, OK.



“Good Evening Butch ~ Just read your newsletter and want to send you a link to a video on how to boil and peel an egg. The first requirement is not to use a fresh egg. Eggs that are a week or so old work best. I have tried this method and it does actually work. Let me know how it works for you.” -pat davidson, Brenham, Texas


Ron Wagoner, long time Railroad memorabilia collector, will be having a garage sale featuring lots of Railroad items. Items will include timetables, books, photos, some china, tons of misc papers.

Dates and times:
Friday October 7th from 8am to 5pm
Saturday Oct 8th from 8am to noon

Parkway Mini Storage, 1841 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore Oklahoma
(on Hwy 199 just east of where the railroad tracks crosses over 199)

34?11’16.23″N 97? 6’0.20″W
on Google Earth

questions?……call Ron at 580 319 2389

“This is a remarkable side of 9/11 I hadn’t seen before. Enjoy. Takes about 12 mins.; narrated by Tom Hanks, and well worth watching.”


100 Years Ago The Davis News 09/28/11:

100 YEARS AGO: Buildings being moved from Main Street could not be taken across the railroad tracks because the Pioneer telephone wires were only about 14 feet high. The council passed an emergency clause that telephone, telegraph and electric light wires had to be at least 22 feet high.

The salary for the new No. 1 rural route postal carrier was set at $1,000 per year. The route was a little over 24 miles long.

The name of Crusher post office was changed to Arbuckle. It had been called Arbuckle switch by the railroad company a long time.

Deputy Sheriff Mook shot a rattlesnake while out riding in the mountains southwest of Davis. It was a diamond rattler that was over 9 feet long and about 6 inches in diameter with 23 rattles.

“I retyped this poem written by Ken@wilson and was wondering why he had not put his name to it. Something as beautiful as this needs to be shared and I was wondering if he has penned more that he has not shared. I am sending it to all my friends and relatives that do not get the T&T. It is great to have seen it in the T&T. Kudos.”  -Ken Cole, Bend OR

By Kenneth Updike in Wilson, Oklahoma  ken5429@gmail.com


“Wednesday night or Thursday morning, our calico cat got sprayed by a skunk. It has been a while and there is not a more horrendous smell which seemed to permeate our house and cars even though she is an outside cat. We were busy yesterday and didn?t have time to bathe her, but we just had the pleasure of bathing a cat this afternoon. Thankfully , she is a sweet girl. If our male cat, Barney had gotten sprayed, a bath would be out of the question. We have found the following formula to work. Thankfully, we haven?t had to use it a lot. A friend gave it to us many years ago and it always does the job.”  -Roberta


Many different formulas have been suggested as homemade skunk deodorizers. The more common remedies include diluted solutions of tomato juice or vinegar to eliminate odor from people, clothing and pets.

The products mentioned above work to some extent, but the formula below, which can be made from items found in most households, is a much better solution.

Mix together:

l quart of hydrogen peroxide
l/4 cup of baking soda
l teaspoon liquid laundry soap or dishwashing detergent.

The first two ingredients form an alkaline peroxide that chemically changes the skunk essence into a odorless chemical. The soap breaks down the oily spray.

“Hi Butch, What I would like to know is what is the current over all status of the Ardmore economy? I was there this weekend to visit a family member on their b-day. I am shocked at how it changed in 5 yrs and from what I saw not for the better. I had even considered retiring back in the area. I have been in south Texas for 10 yrs and was amazed at the changes.

My trip to walmart was the most shocking upon my exit only to find a flyer on my truck. A notice that one of Ardmore’s bank was on the decline. So that indicates to the average person things are not good. I felt if a bank was going down the real estate must be in far worse shape.

I realize nothing last forever but I notice things were not quite as neat and clean as I remembered from the past. And had plan to contact a real estate agent next week to discuss my relocation. But I came home and have real mixed emotions.

Of course friends and relatives claim they don’t really notice the decline. However I felt if you look at something everyday its not as drastic as it was for me. Am I wrong in my assessment of the area or am I not looking at the real picture? Because I know of areas down here when the foreclosures and 2 banks failed it made a major decline for a while. Not to account for many businesses closing. But things here have some what recovered and most were not as established as some in Ardmore.

But now over 50 and being in Ardmore through my 20’s I wonder if things will ever be viewed the same. I had fond memories of the old Miller drive in among others that are no longer there or the same. To see the new mall on 12th NW was a shock but sad also that downtown will never be like it once was growing up.But I quickly noticed many empty buildings such as the old burger place and then the blockbuster one block down. I thought the crash was somewhat over as far as failures. But if first national fails that will leave many more business owners and more empty buildings. My cousins said housing prices were still high so that makes me wonder why if the area is suffering a major decline. Thank you.” -Zac Brown

“Hey Butch, Read your FB post about the drive ins and became curious about the 3rd one south of town. I was born in the late mid-50s and raised south of town (Hwy 199 [now US70] bisected the homestead and the interstate shaved off the west edge. I’m sure that drive-in was before my time but I do remember Lahoma courts, the driving range, Hilltop/Evelyn’s diner and truck stop on the way to town. I wonder if Mr. Davis could shed a little more light on where it was, say in relation to another landmark or crossroad or such.”  -Garth Hoard

P.S. – As we’ve recently noted, ol’ mother nature carries her scars for quite some time. Here’s the Skyview Drive In theater (under a plowed field):


And another version of the 77 North view:


I Lost My Heart In Oklahoma by Kevin Fowler

Picked up the paper just the other day
When I was over ’round Chickasha
Flipped over to the classified ads
To see what I could find
Somewhere in the lost and found
Between a diamond ring and an old black hound
There was a letter from a man down in Texas
Who left something across the state line


It said I lost my heart in Oklahoma
If anybody finds it please send it back
Reward offered by the owner
No questions asked

It said he met her over Tulsa way
When he was just a kid
Still remembers to this very day
All those crazy things she did
I’ve got a lot in common with that man
Yeah, I’ve been in his shoes
You’d better watch out or you might get taken
A heart’s not hard to lose

What he said wasn’t all in vain,
Don’t think I’ll ever find it now
The past is one thing I can’t change
The hands of time keep spinnin’ ’round
I’ve been searching high and low
But now I know it’s my one last chance to bring it home


It said I lost my heart in Oklahoma
If anybody finds it please send it back
Reward offered by the owner
No questions asked

Yea, I lost my heart in Oklahoma


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!
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

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.