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Vol 17  Issue 868 September 12, 2013

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402 Email:  butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net Phone: 580-490-6823

In December 2002 the Ardmore Airfield memorial was installed at the Ardmore Airpark to remember those who died in plane crashes there and in other places in the U.S. while training from that airbase. We learned from a relative the name of Peterson should read Petersen.  So Gary Simmons asked me if I might try to correct it with my sandblast unit. We met last Saturday morning to see what could be done.  One must keep in mind granite is very unforgiving, but we think it turned out pretty good. It was just an unfortunate error back in 2002 when we had the monument sandblasted by Wilson Monuments of Lone Grove, all we had to go on was newspaper clippings which spelled it Peterson.  Hopefully this correction will suffice to Mr. Petersen’s family and friends. Below are some pictures Gary took last Saturday.





And here is a close-up of the before and after of the letter E.



Received the following email yesterday reference the old bridge SW of Hollis, Oklahoma:

“Looks like the old bridge will soon be coming down. Some tell me they will connect to the paved County Road 680 a mile or so south that goes to Hwy 287 about four miles west of Quanah. It seems there still will not be paved road from the bridge to County Road 1033 that would take you to Kirkland on Hwy 287 just east of Childress. That route would be about 8 miles more of very poor roads for Hollis going to Quanah So, people will continue to go from Hollis to Gould then south to Quanah and from Hollis straight west on Hwy 62 to Hwy 62/83 then straight south to Childress, TX. It will continue to be as it has from 1928, a ?bridge to nowhere? due to lack of good paved connector roads and shorter drive alternatives. It will help some farmers and ranchers and hunters in the area of the bridge such as those who have land holding on both sides of the river.”  -Gary Branigan

Ardmoreite Steve Hamm took a couple of photos in 2005 of the bridge near Hollis, Oklahoma (Harmon County) in the far southwest end of Oklahoma. The location of this old wooden slat bridge is 7.5 miles south of Highway 62 just west of Hollis, OK. (If you’re on a dirt road, you’re probably on the wrong road, it’s all blacktop to the crossing.)



In 2010 Gary Branigan took this view of the Red River Bridge south of Hollis.


Map of Hollis, Oklahoma showing the location of the bridge south of Hollis


In far, far southwest Oklahoma is the town of Hollis. This is a can of motor oil that was manufactured there by the Oscar Bryant Oil Company called Falcon Oil.


Seems like everyone has heard of the Dionne Quintuplets of Canada. But in the 1915 at Hollis,  Oklahoma the Key quadruplets were born…… daughters of Mr and Mrs F.M. Key of Hollis. They made many appearances, were on the front page of the newspapers even as young adults and even served in the armed services together. The quads were Leota, Roberta, Mona and Mary Key. I wonder if Hollis, Oklahoma has any info on them?

1935 newspaper article on the Key quadruplets.

Last week on my Facebook someone asked about the motel that used to be where the present day Citizens Bank is located at North Commerce and 12th street.  It was really called a tourist camp many years ago by the name of The English Village Tourist Court. I remember it well because around 1970 they’d call me when one of the window unit air conditioners went out and needed repair.

Next door to the west was the Mac’s Mini Mart where I’d walk to from the ambulance service and drink a Dr Pepper and eat Hostess chocolate cupcakes or Hostess Twinkies.  Spent many an hour watching to the north toward the ambulance service, and sometimes here I’d see the ambulance heading my way, I’d jump in, and away we’d go on a call.

Postcard drawing of the English Village at North Commerce and 12th.


Speaking of convenience stores, Sonny Bourns work evenings at the Pak-A-Sak on Lake Murray Drive and C Street SE back around 1980 when I patrolled for the Sheriffs Office. Sonny and I had many conversations over several years when I’d stop there, but he never had much to say after his son Ricky committed suicide in the KVSO studios on the top floor of the Ardmoreite building (W. Broadway and B Street) at midnight one night in 1976. Ricky was their only child, and it was so sad when I stopped at the Pak-A-Sak, I didn’t know what to say, and Sonny never carried on conversations with me like he did before.  It was such a sad time.  I remember he told the cemetery workers they didn’t need to mow and trim the grass, etc., where Ricky was buried at Rose Hill, that he’d take care of all that, and he did. He had them install a water hydrant nearby and Sonny kept that plot of  land in pristine condition year round.

The Daily Ardmoreite, August 1929
J.S. McCharen is no longer county treasurer. McCharen and his deputies finished their book checking and left the office, just ahead of successor Roy Ashley and his staff, including A.V. Arnold of Newport, and Kermit Adams, Prairie Valley.

This Amish Auction at Clarita, Oklahoma is this Saturday, September 14th.


Q.  On March 26, 1930, the “Wild Mary Sudik” gushed oil for how long?
A.  Mary Sudik No. 1 was the most productive well in the world in 1930. It blew out on March 26, 1930 in Oklahoma City and spewed for 11 days before it was capped on the 3rd try.
Click video about of the Wild Mary Sudik well:  CLICK HERE

Q.  What is Oklahoma’s state drink?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of September 11, 1999:

This week I had the need to buy a paper from the little nearby town of Marietta, Oklahoma. It was Saturday and I thought…. Where can one buy that weekly newspaper in Ardmore, Oklahoma. My mind flashed back to the 1960s when the bus station was across the street east from Ardmore’s City Hall. The buses would bring in newspapers from all over the United States and stack them in neat little piles on the floor in the southwest corner of the bus station. After making several calls around town, now I know those days are gone. They call it progress.
This is the Elks Hall in Ardmore before 1920. The building still stands at West Broadway and North Washington.
Plains, Oklahoma was located in Ellis County.  Here is a photo of the depot back many years ago before the town dried up.
I forgot to tell everyone last week when I traveled west on Oswalt Road there is one thing that stands out. One quarter horse ranch after another. I’m talking about nice spreads too. If you ever looking to buy a quarter horse, just travel west a couple miles from the I-35 and Oswalt Road exit. The exit is 12 miles south of Ardmore. Down that road are plenty of quarter horse ranches! One more thing about Oswalt Road west…. it is a beautiful rolling hills countryside. On some of the hilltops a person can see several miles!
Below is a heart touching email I received this week. Mel Clark was on my Oklahoma Emergency Medical Technician Association board back in the mid seventies and represented the Oklahoma Panhandle. Besides operating the funeral home in Beaver, Oklahoma he also operated the ambulance service. He had a passion to help people… always striving for better trained EMT personnel onboard Oklahoma’s ambulances. Here is that email I received this week……

“Butch, Thanks for all of the issues of This & That. I have my late husband, Mel Clark, to thank for all of these great weekly events past and present for my enjoyment. Mel was a true Okie from the day he was born in Cherokee, Oklahoma until his death this past year. Mel has traveled all over Oklahoma, with him being not only a funeral director and embalmer he was also on the American Heart Association among many other things. You have mentioned so many things that triggered his memory on lots of things that took place during his travels. He would relate these thoughts and so my life was enriched even more so just because of all his memories. I just want to send a special thanks to you for bringing forth so many happy thoughts to him and giving him sort of another chance to relive all of his experiences. For myself, I am a transplanted Texan from the great state of Arkansas, but have lots of family living in and around various parts of Oklahoma. Mel enjoyed reading all of your weekly news and although he himself said he was computer illiterate would go into any and all of the websites that you posted and it brought back great memories for him. I have just this year started reading all of your news and I now understand why he enjoyed them so much. I generally clean house on Friday nights and so I have taken up the habit of taking a break just at the time that you send your weekly out. Makes my break really enjoyable. I just wanted to tell you that you are doing a great job and to keep em coming. We Texans enjoy all of these memorable things that you write about. Thank You.”  -Pam Clark in Texas

As I mentioned above, Mel lived in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, in Beaver, Oklahoma to be exact. It was called No Man’s Land because 100+ years ago, it was a lawless area of Oklahoma. Even today it is an almost forgotten part of this state. It least it seems that way sometimes. Years ago the people who lived in the Panhandle even thought about de-annexing from the state and become a part of Kansas or Texas. I had one friend who lived in Guymon, Oklahoma… thats just before reaching Colorado. She and her husband transferred to Guymon from south central Oklahoma for his job continuance. She told me a couple of years later, “Butch, there is nothing up here”. To even find a descent movie theater, shopping mall, or big hospital, they had to travel 100 miles south to Amarillo, Texas. It’s wide open country…. where you can drive 50 miles and not see a house. I wont forget my friend Mel Clark, who lived in Oklahoma’s No Man’s Land. I’ll see you in that big round up in the sky old buddy.
“Butch, I just saw the letter from the man that was talking about the old skating rink and pool in Whittington Park. Don’t know if this is the information he wants or not but this is what I know. My parents were the last owners of the skating rink. Their names were Louie and Faye Cummings. They bought it from Jack Floyd in 1953 when I was 18 months old. Mom said it was run by Mom and POP Floyd for years. They did not have it very long before the old building was condemned. She thought it was torn down shortly thereafter probably around 54 or 55. She doesn’t remember the pool being used when they bought the skating rink. She said Bob Lee and Pete Dennison’s brother worked for them. She doesn’t remember the Dennison boy’s name but they all called him “nothin”. I slept in a bassinet in the corner of the concession. She said it was amazing that I could sleep thru all that. Daddy fixed some skates that would not roll for me and the kids would take me out to the center of the rink and let me “skate”. When they condemned the building, They did not have another place to go so they did not open up another skating rink anywhere. She said it was not too long tho until Ray and I don’t remember his last name, opened a skating rink out at the old armory. Mom is going to see if she has any pictures to send to you. We really enjoy reading your articles every week. Keep up the good work.”
“A friend sent me a copy of your newsletter, and i wish i could be on the mail list. Very interesting stuff. I’m glad i’m not the only one who thinks brown springs, up by Thackerville is a strange place. About 23 years ago, me, my wife, and her brother, were riding around, and ended up at that place. Middle of the day, parked the car at the bottom of the hill where the water comes out. climbed up the hill, was only one faint trail into the woods, over the barbed wire fence, into the cemetery. the farther we walked in the trees, the darker it got. then we started noticing graves that were dug up. A few bones scattered. we got spooked and headed back to the car. Only to find NOW the trail was full of sticker patches, and i was barefooted. The stickers weren’t there going in??? then, the car wasn’t where we left it. It was down the road a ways.. can’t explain it, but we all remember it. got the heck out of there, haven’t been back. We still get chill bumps when we talk about it.”
The ladies at the DA’s office here in Ardmore are excited over the 7 new computers the Oklahoma DAs Council installed for them this week. The new computers on a Windows NT Network allows them access to email and the Internet.

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Check gas prices by town or zip code anywhere in U.S.


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

“Saw article on James Richard Pennington. He was my grandfather. My father was named after him. James R Pennington was born in the house you had a picture of.  When I was a teen my father took us to Ardmore, we knocked on the door of the house he grew up at and they let us have a tour. I know very little of the history of my father’s family. It was nice seeing your article. Just wanted to share this with you. my maiden name is Rose Marie Pennington. Thank you for letting me share.” -Rose Marie

“Butch: Check out this world clock and I’ll bet you’ll list the link on your website. Fascinating! Note how the births are rapidly exceeding the deaths.”

“Butch, the name of the motel on the corner of 12th and Commerce was ?English Village?. I don?t know when it was tore down, because I went onto the service in 1954 and it was still in business. There was good reason for it?s location. Back then there was no I-35, what is now Commerce was Hy-77, which was the main Highway going north and south, 12th street was a cut across to Hy-70, now Hy-199, which was the main highway going east and west.”  -Buddy Garnand (rgarnand@gvtc.com)

“To answer Frank’s question from last week, the answer is English Village. I think the complete name was English Village Motor Court. I remember the sign being green neon. There was also a florist shop to the east from the convenience store that sat on the corner. When I was growing up I think Tommy Anastasio had the convenience store. That would have been in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Our family was living at Lake Ardmore until 1952 when I started school at Lincoln. That convenience store was the last stop heading north out of Ardmore.”  -Monroe Cameron

“Here’s a late evening shot from “rattlesnake peak” of the new “Y” construction at the Ardmore Industrial Air Park. The “Y” track will tie in the new loop track on the NE part of the air park with BNSF’s Red Rock Sub mainline shown.  And believe me they don’t call it rattlesnake peak for nothing 🙂 I’ve seen several there before. That’s why I didn’t stay long enough to get the night shot I wanted. There was a snake skin right where I put my tripod! Yuck!”  -Dwane Stevens

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
-Sun-tzu, Chinese general & military strategist (400 BC)

See everyone next week!

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

Carter County Courthouse Paver Project
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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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