PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
With Veterans Day tomorrow ( Friday November 11th) I thought I’d share a letter written by my uncle, Paul E. Bridges, less than 30 days before he was killed in action on French soil in January 1945. I cannot imagine that January day in 1945 when Paul and his buddies were surrounded by Germans at Reipertswiller, France on Hill 415. Early in the afternoon the Germans sent a party under a white flag to give a message to the American commander of the surrounded troops: Further resistance is futile; surrender by five o’clock or suffer the consequences. 158 were killed including my uncle Paul Bridges.
Dec 18, 1944
Dear Mom and Dad:
Here is a line or so to just let you know I am alright. Got letter from Jack and Evelyn (Bridges) today. Will answer them later. Don’t have much time now. I wrote Don and told him I got the pictures. Do you want them back?
Write and tell me the news. I haven’t heard from Exie but I know she has written. I promised you a poem I had written, did I not? Well here it is. It is one I wrote to Exie for her. The best I could do but does tell you kinda how I feel.
Just a few of these lines are from me to you,
The thoughts we have and the things we do,
Some folk just live from day to day,
While the others have something like this to say,
Though many a mile is between us Dear,
Our love seems to keep us very near,
Your thoughts and prayers that I know are true,
I know will someday bring me home to you,
Though others like us to, are in this fight,
I pray God will keep us from harm and fright,
Their thoughts and mine are all about the same,
Of our Lord, home, and your sweet name,
We dream of the future and things of the past,
We wait for the day we are home at last,
We have a job, a very hard task,
As of home there is very little we ask,
We ask your love, faith, and letters too,
They help us when we are feeling blue,
We worry not so much of things over here,
Ours is of home and folks so dear,
Some of wives, families, and mothers too,
While others, not so lucky, well they worry too,
Some of my thoughts, which here I express,
They are not only mine, although they are for you,
There are others here that think the same,
Well, so what, it is no shame,
If others there were half so true,
These fellows here would come back to you,
We are here for freedom, love, and life to hold,
While most folks there, for money and fun, so we’re told,
I pray that God, your soul to keep,
And boys left here, their souls to keep,
If our time should come for us to go,
Which you will surely know,
I just pray we will meet with Him on yonder’s shore,
And love each other as we did before.
Well, there it is. I had to borrow two pens to write as one ran out of ink. I hope you can read it and you and Evelyn let me know your opinion. You won’t see it in the papers, but all the boys want a copy to send home to their folks. So long for now, I will write you when I can, I try to write you or Jack’s wife at least twice a week – between you get the news. I hope I can write all so they won’t worry to much. Write soon and send pen and pencil if you want to, if not ok. Merry Christmas again and God bless and protect all.
Love your son,
We’ve had some really good rains the past week here in Southern Oklahoma. South of Lone Grove didn’t get all that much, but we did get a couple inches, and it was appreciated. But some places like the Ringling area, and the Davis/Sulphur area received over 7 inches of rain. The farm ponds are full in those areas! I grabbed a few photos from my friends Facebook Walls showing the water pouring over Turner Falls 24-48 hours after the big rains in the Arbuckle Mountains.
Speaking of falls, Doug Williams now has online several dozen photos (7 pages of them!) he took of Cedar Falls northwest of Gene Autry in the Arbuckle mountains. The pictures were take before the big rains, so maybe the falls is flowing again. But first, let’s look at some pictures of Cedar Falls taken in May 2007 by Terry Moore when the water was rushing over the rocks.
Here are this the photo album by Doug Williams taken just last week.
Paul Tucker, Carter County Emergency Management director, conducted the first test of the county’s newly installed emergency warning sirens this past week.
Carter County has recently installed 4 new sirens at various locations in the county. Locations include; Graham, Lockwood and Plainview Road area, Bussell Ridge and HWY 77 area, and the Martins Landing area. The sirens were officially and successfully tested for the first time on November 4th at noon. The siren system will be tested on a weekly basis on Fridays at noon. If there is inclement weather in the area the sirens will not be tested so not to cause confusion.
The county is planning on building the system out to cover more areas of the county over the next few years as funding becomes available. -Paul Tucker, Emergency Management Director
Map showing the 4 locations of the newly installed warning sirens (green dots).
Paul bestowed the honor of pressing the test button to Dale Ott, chairman of the Carter County Commissioners at the Carter County Emergency Management center next door to the courthouse.
With all the earthquakes in Oklahoma this past week, I was sent the following advice by email. Some good ideas if one has time to implement them.
TIPS FOR EARTHQUAKE SAFETY
1) Most everyone who simply ‘ducks and covers’ when building collapse are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.
2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a bed, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.
3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.
4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.
5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.
6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!
7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different ‘moment of frequency’ (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads – horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn’t collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.
8) Get near the outer walls of buildings or outside of them if possible – It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.
9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.
10) Crawl inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.
Spread the word and save someone’s life.
A friend on Facebook posted a message on my Wall this week asking for any info on the history of Ardmore’s Walker Stadium. The best I could find was on page 39 of the 1937 Ardmore criterion. The land was donated that year by Mr. and Mrs. E.A Walker. The link below will take you to the 1937 criterion. When at that criterion, in the lower right had corner where it reads, GO TO PAGE….. type 39 in the box and click GO. You can then click on that page and enlarge it for reading.
From This and That newsletter archives of November 14, 1998:
A few days ago I received in the mail what I call a fabulous find! For over a year I had been searching the Net for the 1973 movie Dillinger. And then a couple of weeks ago I stumbled on a website in Canada that sells old records, movies and the like. He had a Dillinger movie produced in 1940 or so. I sent him email saying I was looking for the 1973 version. In a few hours he emailed me back to say he had 1, unopened and still wrapped in cellophane. He said I could have it for $13 USD and you can imagine what I did, had a money order off to him within hours! When I received it this week, its just as he said…. brand new!!!
Here’s a photo of Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Pete Patterson beside the Patrol’s 1937 Ford. 1937 was the year the Patrol was created.
Speaking of law enforcement, I stopped the other day to see my friend at the Marietta, Oklahoma Police Department, Chief Mike Buxton. I hadn’t been there in a couple years, and they have moved into bigger offices in City Hall. Chief Buxton showed me their two display cases with drug items and illegal weapons they’ve confiscated during arrests.
Here’s a pic with Chief Buxton behind the counter in their new offices.
With the price of chocolate skyrocketing the past few months, I wonder how chocolate milk can be 25 cents cheaper than whole milk at our Braums Store here in Ardmore?
The caps on the Braums milks says it is rBGH free. Not sure exactly what rBGH is, but is a hormone injected into milk cows to make them produce more milk. We know that can’t be good. Glad we got Braums for the best milk in the state.
Q. Oklahoma is bordered by 6 states. Can you name them all?
A: “Hi Butch, I know my states. Oklahoma is bordered by: Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and New Mexico.” -Hazel in Madill
Q. Where is the world’s longest multiple arch dam located?
A. (answer in next week’s newsletter)
Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..
Below are film clips of one of the movies filmed on Turner Ranch that Tom Harris will tell us about at the Arbuckle Historical Society program on November 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the museum at 402 West Muskogee, Sulphur, OK, 580-622-5593. Tom was a young man working on Governor Roy J. Turner‘s ranch at the time. He will share some interesting stories about events on the ranch during filming. Everyone is encouraged to attend this interesting and enjoyable program.
Filmed on Turner’s Ranch
Susan Hayward ……… Robert Preston
and Roland Jack (Sulphurite)
“Next door to the now closed J&J Grocery on the corner of Lake Murray Drive and 10th SE there is a small building with a slanted roof. When this was built in the early 50?s it was a place for teenagers to hang out. They sold snacks and pops and had a jukebox with a small dance floor. Does anyone but me remember this place and if so, please tell me the name of it (before I go crazy trying to think of it).” -Nona Evitts
THE DAVIS NEWS – 100 YEARS AGO: Halloween was celebrated in the usual manner, the boys playing pranks of all kinds, moving small buildings, signs, wagons, plows, etc. No serious damage is reported, according to editor Fay Crossett.
J.B. Outler was appointed to carry the mail on Rural Route No. 1 until a regular carrier was hired.
While cranking his automobile, Postmaster C.B. Ramsey’s foot slipped and the crank slipped also, throwing him against the machine and knocking two teeth loose and slightly cutting his jaw.
James Cronkite, a 1910 graduate of Davis High School, was hired to teach at Chigley.
Mr. Hart, manager, closed down the Majestic theatre. He said his picture show had not been a paying proposition for some time.
Residents were invited to hear the Security Shoe man play his whistle at R.L. Freeman’s store.
Nathan Adler sold the 29×72-foot corner lot and house on Main Street near the depot to W.N. Ervin. It had a small corrugated iron house on it which was occupied by a restaurant. Ervin said he planned to erect a two-story concrete block building on the lot. He bought the restaurant fixtures from Mr. Koonce.
“We had 2 theaters on the west side of Ardmore. The one north was the 77 Tower Drive In & the one south on 77 was the Starlite Drive In & and the 3rd one was the Skyview. Ernie and Fran Miller owned the Dairy Freeze ice cream place at W Broadway and E Street NW. Then the Starlite was across the Hiway 77 on the east side was Evelyn’s Chicken in the Rough.” -Bennie Ray Wells, Lawton
“I was reading the rest of your newsletter last week and came across the article on the Eureka Springs article. Boy! I saw similarities that I could relate to. I had a beetle ( also known as a Nazi footlocker) that we used to travel in. I had the VW when I was in college. When I got married in 1972, I couldn?t afford another car so we traveled around in the beetle. In about 1974, we went to Eureka Springs with small kids. What a trip that was for all of us. My wife still talks about how miserable it was getting there. I relate to the back pain, but when you are young and stupid, one doesn?t think about those things. Today, I wouldn?t even consider such a venture. I like my Honda Accord with all the leather and auto a/c etc. I seem to remember the bell you were talking about. I may even have it on slides. I used to shoot slides all the time because they were cheaper back then. I am planning on taking a day trip out west to Clinton to shoot some of the Route 66 stuff. I traveled Route 66 twice when I was a kid. I still remember a lot about it. I remember my dad having the lister bags with eagles on them hanging on the front bumper. There were 5 kids, two adults and two dogs in that old Ford. It was SOMETHING to behold. Our a/c was one of those old things that you put ice in that looked like an old Hoover vacuum cleaner that hung on the front passenger window. I think that it had a cord on it that you pulled to regulate what cooling there was to be had. I think that I could write a book on that experience. Well, I better mosey along.” -Cecil
“Butch, Classmates of the Jefferson Elementary School class of 1965 are trying to find one of our classmates, Leroy Hahn. The Hahn family lived in SE Ardmore in the early 1960’s and Leroy attended Jefferson with us. He did not attend Ardmore Jr. High or High School though. We thought he still may have relatives in the area. Anyone having information about the family, ie, parents names, where they relocated to, anything, would be appreciated.” -Randy Day email@example.com
Re: The children poem “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”
I was told by a woman who emigrated to the U.S. in the 1950’s from England that the poem “peas porridge in the pot nine days old” was oatmeal that was mainly what the English poor could afford to eat in those days of old. -Elmer West, Okie residing in San Antonio, TX.
FBI Child ID App Updated with New Features
“Hope that this finds you all well and wet. Last week you notified all your recipients about Windows XP and things that can and will happen if you stay with it. My friends that are GEEKS say don’t rush out and update to Windows 7 just yet. They say if you do not have Windows 7 wait until Windows 8 comes out next year and it will be more user friendly and have a lot of new things to go along with all the other electronics. Keep up the good work.” -Cole (Central Oregon)
The Daily Ardmoreite – November 27, 1904
One of the Finest in the South West Has Been Completed.
Uncle Sam’s fine jail house has been completed and federal prisoners are now comfortably quartered in the new jail. The removal of the prisoners occurred during the early part of the week and they gave a shout of joy indicating their seal of approval of the new place when the transfer was made. The contrast between the old and new jail, is like comparing a thoroughbred race horse with a scrub pony. To state that the prisoners were glad to be quartered in the new jail, would be expressing it with a too common word. The officials are greatly pleased with the change, the jail and its location. The importance of the sanitary conditions have not been overlooked by the officials and as a result the place is well equipped in this respect. The jail, in fact, is up-to-date in every way and will compare favorably with any in the Southwest. Constructed at a cost of something over $25,000, the jail is similar in every detail to those constructed in Vinita, Muskogee and South McAlester. A special appropriation was made by congress for these jails over two years ago.
The prison will accommodate one hundred and fifty-three men. Each cell is supplied with a bunk and bed material. The third floor on the east side has been reserved for women. There are also separate rooms for white and black prisoners. On the west side is located the hospital for the sick. The jail also contains a laundry and fumigating room. In the basement the heating apparatus is located. It must be remembered that the place is entirely heated by steam.
The town is very proud of the new Bastille and can point with pride to one of the best equipped jails in the south.
NOT FIT TO HOLD A CANDLE TO. Generations ago a menial household task was holding a candle for someone while they completed some type of activity. Some people were not held in much esteem, therefore they were “not fit to hold a candle to.”
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
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Carter county schools, past and present
Carter County Government Website
Ardmore School Criterions
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