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Vol 16  Issue 780  January 5, 2012

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

I want to welcome everyone to 2012 with this first newsletter of the new year. I hope 2012 is a good one for all of us.

In last week’s newsletter I posted the following request:

“Butch, love the stories. Here is one. Does anyone have info on the Harlem Thrillers basketball team? They would do fund raisers for schools. And put on a great show. I saw them twice as a kid. They were Ardmore’s answer to the Globetrotters.” -Marty

Ardmoreite Rick Wallace came through in flying colors with information! He talked to Ardmoreite Ralph Williams and obtained the following:

“The Harlem Thrillers was founded by Art Bones Smith & Goose Tatum Jr. in 1966 1.Art Bones Smith Los Angeles, Ca. 2. Goose Tatum Jr. Watts, Ok. 3. Richard Loftis (passed away) 4. Allen Smitty Smith Albuquerque, N.M. 4. Vance Handy Williams Los Angeles, Ca 5. Art Muscratt Woodard Denver, Co 6. Darrell Mullins ? Ohio 7. Sugarfoot Johnson Tulsa, Ok 8. Music Scott Memphis, Ten 9. Michael Big Bend Benjamin Ardmore, Ok 10. Easy Ed Williams Los Angeles, Ca. 11. Emery Aaron Ardmore, Ok—- I have several other names that i will have to make double check! The Thrillers started in Ardmore, Oklahoma and they also had a pick up team like The Harlem Globetrotters have the Washington Generals. Butch, I got this information from Ralph Williams from the Veterans Center and Ralph graduated from Douglas High School here in Ardmore and he knows more about Basketball than anyone that I know!  Emery Aaron at one time lived across the street from me on 5th N.E. which is now Martin Luther King Drive and Emery would come to my house quite often and show me some of the V.H.S. videos from the tours that the Thrillers would do and Art Smith still had control of the Thrillers in the late 1980s. Emery also played basketball at Southeastern in Durant at the same time that Dennis Rodman played and of coarse Dennis became world famous with the Detroit Pistons, The Spurs, Chicago Bulls, & L.A. Lakers.

The only thing that I can add for now is the following: Art Bones Smith before starting The Harlem Thrillers played with The Harlem Clowns in the early 1960s. The Harlem Clowns was started in 1934 when Al Runt Pullins left The Harlem Globetrotters upset with Abe Sapperstein the owner of The Harlem Globetrotters who took ownership of The Globetrotters in 1928. The original name of the Globetrotters was The Savoy Big Five 1926. There was another Group called The Harlem Magicians founded in 1953 by Lon Varnell with other unhappy Harlem Globetrotters and by the way the Ardmore High School Basketball coach and Douglas High School Basketball coach Frank Luster also played with the Harlem Globetrotters and the late great Marcus Haynes who played with the Harlem Globetrotters went to School at Ardmore Douglass High and went to Langston University along with Frank Luster and beat The Harlem Globetrotters and at that time, The Harlem Globetrotter beat the World Champion Boston Celtics of the N.B.A.”

Thanks Rick for the above info!

Up until 1973 Oklahoma had a unique piece of nature located near Freedom, Oklahoma in northwest Oklahoma. It was known as Chimney Rock. I sure wish it was still standing today, I’d love to make a trip there and see it.



January 4, 1968. Vincent P. Kucinski, federal prisoner, overpowered a jailer and escaped from the Carter County Jail. Kucinski’s escape constituted the second jail break this year. James Kenneth Johnston and Marie Welch pulled a gun on jailer C.C. Claxton and fled on January 1.

April 1978: Although no arrest is eminent, police believe they are homing in on a prime suspect of the Friday night fires that damaged the third and fourth floors of the Carter County Courthouse. Authorities are still speculating as to the motive of the fires, but the primary target was the office of Yvonne Richards, court reporter for Judge James Dillard. It was believed the fire had been burning in Richards office for at least an hour before it was discovered at 9 p.m. Richards lost about 4 years of records and the office was gutted. Another fire was set in a pile of papers in the office of the Judge’s secretary, Jane Nance. There is evidence the suspect spent a lot of time in the courthouse before igniting the series of fires. Early estimates of damage range from $30,000 to over $100,000.

During Christmas holidays we received a beautiful 2012 Australian calendar from our Aussie friends Steve and Sonnie.  Inside was a Christmas card with a recipe for Pumpkin Scones. We had never heard of Pumpkin Scones, but can hardly wait to try it. Sounds delicious. I wanted to share this recipe from the Down Under if anyone wants to give it a try.


2 cups of Self Rising Flour
1 Tablespoon Powered Sugar
1/2 Cup cream
1 Cup milk
3/4 Cup cooked, mashed Pumpkin

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Turn into a heavily floured surface and pat
dough into approx 1/8″ thickness. Cut into
rounds with a scone cutter and place on a
greased cookie sheet. Bake in hot oven
10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Speaking of food, we stopped in at Jonny’s Grill in Duncan last Monday for a burger. They still serve a great burger basket at a reasonable price.  You can barely see the fries, they are under the burger, but they were delicious.


System Restore Explorer is a tool which allows you to browse system restore points on your computer and select individual ones for deletion should you wish to free up some disk space. It also allows you to mount the contents of a restore point into a folder so that you can browse and copy individual files, without the need to perform a full system restore.


From This and That newsletter archives of January 2, 1999:
Last weekend I found some interesting pieces of history in the most unlikely place. About 35 miles east of Ardmore on Highway 70 is Kingston, Oklahoma. I’ve been through there a thousand times, but this time I stopped at Dennis and Tonsi’s Bar-B-Que Shack for one of my favorites, BBQ sandwich. Low and behold, on the walls of their eatery were over 25 photos of Kingston’s past. Most were taken right after statehood (1907). Tonsi told me the photos were originally owned by Kingston resident Phillip Lindsay. I talked to Mr. Lindsay later and he told me he has more old Kingston photos at his home. I’m going to get with him, do some scanning, and I’ll show you more glimpses in Kingston, Oklahoma’s past soon! Also have you heard of Silver City, Oklahoma? Mr. Lindsay told me about this unusual piece of Oklahoma history.



Q.  Meaning and origin to the saying, “God willing and the Creek don’t rise.”
A. The first time this phrase was known to be in print it was written by a man named Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century. Hawkins was a politician in the late 18th century and early 19th century as well as an Indian diplomat. This was back in the day where American Indians and the white settlers were constantly fighting for the land in the United States. While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President of the United States to return to Washington. In his response, he was said to write, ?God willing and the Creek don?t rise.?


Q. During the land rush OKC and Guthrie’s population surged in just 1 day to how many people? 3,000? 5,000? 10,000?
A. (answer in next week’s T&T)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“I am looking for anyone who might know about this person or where is next of kin maybe be found. The name is T. Naylor and this person lived on Monroe NW in the 1970s. If anyone has any information that would help me out, it would be greatly appreciated.”

“Butch, Here is a link to a video you and your readers might like about New Mexico’s green chile cheeseburgers. You, as an ardent hamburger fanatic, ain’t seen nothing yet till you sample these delights. This is what hamburgers were meant to be!”


Bowden Miller
Alamogordo, NM

“Jim Foreman talks about Oklahoma “stealing” some counties from Texas. He might also check into how Oklahoma efforts saved the long-horn cattle from becoming extinct so Texas could claim long-horns as their state symbol! (The Oklahoma/Texas battles are not only in sports).”

“Butch , the Arbuckle Historical Society and Museum have had some great programs this last year. Each month we have had local people tell of the history of the area and particularly their own families. We had one gentleman talk about the Turner Ranch and then a program about the movie that was made there. The speakers have come from Sulphur and Davis. The meetings are the Third Monday of each month at the Museum across the street from the First Christian Church in Sulphur. Visitors are very welcome. The January speaker will be Berta Stumph who now lives in Madill.”

“You mentioned several months ago about having your older family members record stories about the family. Twenty years ago I videoed my husband telling his son some of the family stories and showing him some of the family keepsakes. He has been gone 16 months now and I finally watched the video 2 months ago and it was wonderful. It felt like he was in the room telling us all the old stories. Keep encouraging people to do this.”

“Map of townships in 1950? I don’t remember any changes in township boundaries in either Noble County (where I grew up) or in Oklahoma County since statehood. For most people nowadays they confuse “townships” as meaning “towns,” which is not the same thing at all.”  -Wes

“Hi Butch. I’m doing some research into codfish liver and came across this image on your site:

The post came from your “This and That Newsletter” January 28th 2005: https://oklahomahistory.net/newsletters/ttnews012805.html

“I’m greatly interested in the content of the rest of this 17 page booklet for my research. I wasn’t sure if you would happen to have the entire booklet scanned or know the gentleman or lady who sent it to you. Thank you very much for your time.”  -Regis Cassidy  rfriendcassidy@gmail.com

The Davis News – 100 YEARS AGO: Rev. R.W. Oakes was named superintendent of Davis schools, succeeding Tom Youngblood, who resigned. Perry Ware and Miss Margaret Gettle were married by the Rev. R.L. Churchwell.
Murray County officers moved to their offices from the west side in Sulphur to the old opera house on the east side.

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. -Benjamin Franklin

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Nashobish Ikana
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

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