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Vol 19  Issue 936  January 1, 2015

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

The New Year has started. Let’s forget the old and welcome in the new. I have a quote I repeat every now and then, “Let the past stay the past.”  That’s what I intend to do and look forward to the new year and everything it brings. Even though I know there will be trials and tests in the upcoming year I’m going to remain optimistic, and I hope all of you do too. Happy New Year everyone!

When I come to the close of a year I look back the past 12 months and think about those that did not make it to the new year with our T&T family. I have over 5,000 in my T&T family, the numbers change from week to week. I add new members every week and sadly, I lose some through other reasons including death. I wanted to share an email I received 15 years ago in this first issue of 2015:

September 11, 1999.  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 (1999).

“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… that’s 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.

It is emails like the one above that makes it all worthwhile. I appreciate everyone and all the good times we share together right here through this newsletter every week.

As I was typing this newsletter today I received a sad email from Canada. Ardmoreite William “Bill” O’Heran passed away. He has been a contributor to the T&T for many years. Below is the email today from his son:

“After a very unsettling year of moving between hospitals, assisted living facilities and long term care facilities, my father passed away Dec 30th, 2014.”  -William O’Heran


Below are 2 emails I received from Bill O’Heran in 2002 and 2004.

02/23/02 “The restaurant on the east side of the highway just south of the Club Avalon was called “Carleton’s ” It did a great business especially late at night with all the night owls leaving places like the Glider Room etc.. The tavern on south a few miles was called Jim’s Alibi. It too was located on the east side of highway 77.Jim used to be located across the street from the Tivoli theater during the big ww2. I believe the place across the street from Randolph’s saddle store was later called the Top Hat, rather than the Rendezvous. If people are really interested in the history of the Club Avalon, Bill Boone still lives in Ardmore and would probably be willing to answer any questions anyone might have.” -Bill O’Heran in Canada

08/28/04  “As promised here is a chart showing the businesses that occupied Main Street throughout 1940 and 1950’s as we remembered it. The chart was made by my niece Laura Lamb and her mother Rita Lamb. Rita was the daughter of Lawrence Sprekelmeyer and Laura was his Granddaughter. We can’t verify accuracy as 100 per cent. I note that the A and P store and the Peoples Federal Loan agency do not appear on the corner of Main and C street because the buildings were torn down. but all in all its a pretty good illustration of the businesses of Ardmore. You must remember this all resulted from my request to Laura to photograph Main street from the Santa Fe Station to the First Methodist church then cross the street and photograph the other side of Main street back down to the railroad. Laura did this for me on a Sunday morning when there weren’t any cars dr. Sorry, I can’t send you a copy of those pictures.” -Bill O’Heran

Below is a hand drawn map Bill drew of the businesses in downtown Ardmore in 1945.


A paver I sandblasted this week.



Last Monday afternoon there was a nice retirement reception for Carter County Commissioner Dale Ott. The event was held in the OSU conference room in recognition of his 24 years of service to the people of this county. Over 60 of Dale’s friends were in attendance. I like the quote on Dale’s cake, “Good Bye Tension, Hello Pension.”  I’m sure going to miss that man.


I snapped this picture of Dale placing the paver with his name and info sandblasted on it in the walkway on the west side of the courthouse.


Speaking of retirement, I’ve been spreading the word of my intentions to join the good life and the ranks of the retired people in June 2015. Hopefully Jill will make ME a retirement paver. LOL

Q. Becoming the last U.S. state to do so, what year did Oklahoma declare Christmas a legal holiday?
A.  1907

Q.  What year was alcohol prohibition repealed in Oklahoma?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of January 5, 2002:

“Butch I remember Dr. Boyd. I also remember Dr. Higgins. His office was in his home and it was on E. St. N.W. About 8th or 9th Ave. I remember I could walk from my house and I even went by myself by the time I was 8 or 9. He mixed his own medicines mostly and used some of the old standards. If you were not eating as well or your stomach was upset he would say you were “bilious” what ever that meant. Back then it was easy to get “impetigo”. The treatment for that from Dr. Veasey was to use “silver nitrate” and if anyone ever had to do that they never wanted to have it happen again. It turned black on your skin and made a scab and that scab had to go for the next treatment. I got it my first year of school almost the first day because I had never been around other kids or hardly out of my yard and God forbid if I touched dirt. My mother didn’t like dirt. But Dr. Higgins could mix an ointment that took care of it. I remember Dr. Higgins well.”
“Butch, Dr. Hathaway delivered me in 1937 out in the country west of Ardmore just off the highway close to (just south of) Jay Norman’s place. I hadn’t thought of him in a million years. My mom and Grandmother used to talk about him all the time when I was growing up”
“Hey, Butch. This is a question for the person who said he is working in Calgary with the TV movie “Johnson County War.” The article on the mentioned web page says that Burt Reynolds plays the part of the cold blooded killer. My question is “Is this cold blooded killer supposed to be Tom Horn?” Tom was a hired killer for the cattlemen’s association at that time and was convicted and hanged for the murder of 15 year old Willie Nickell. Willie’s father was a first cousin to my great grandmother who came to the Ardmore area from Kentucky in 1900. I hope this person or someone who knows the movie will contact me.”  -Bud Caudle

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Non-ethanol gas (pure gas) stations in the Ardmore area.


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Q. Butch, what year did Montgomery Ward close down? I’ve been trying to remember, but drawing a blank.  -Carol BrownA. We got the word the day after Christmas in 2000, all the stores were liquidated by the following April or May. I know Ardmore was by March and I was at Penn Square and we were done by March. The store in Ardmore was built in 1969 at the Ardmore Mall. I spent 28 years there full time before transferring to OKC. Nothing will ever replace the family I grew up with there. I managed the Catalog department from 1976 to 1984 when they closed Catalog, then I was Credit Manager and later Soft Lines Manager. We had basically become a training store to promote managers out of because those of us managers at the time were not relocatable. I had done everything from running payroll to cleaning toilets, those tasks came under “ANY OTHER DUTIES ASSIGNED”. LOL. We have lost a lot of good people, I have a lot of good memories of all the people I worked with. I raised a lot of kids who went on to be very successful! I finished with 40 years in Retail, 28 with Wards and 12 with Macy’s, Dillards and JC Penney! I have spent the last 2 years as an Audiology Assistant in a big Ears Nose and Throat Specialist Clinic! It’s as crazy as retail but I love it!!!!”  -Trina Schoonover Bonham

“Butch, Just read Kenny Chaffin?s message and article on the ammonites in the latest issue of This and That. Enjoyed reading his historical perspective and being from the Madill area myself, I was surprised to learn of his books and other writings about this area. I wanted to correct one error in his story about the state boundary at the Red River. Kenny stated the boundary was down the middle of the river. As you are aware, the Texas / Oklahoma state boundary is unique in the US in that it is on the south side of the river since this was originally an international boundary not a state boundary. It was not until the Republic of Texas came into the union following the Mexican War that it became a state boundary. The river does run through Lake Texoma but the boundary remains at the south bank of the old river bed. A few years back an official boundary commission established the vegetation line on the south side of the river as the fixed boundary since there had been a lot of confusion with the river?s meandering over time. The Red River itself is entirely within the state of Oklahoma between the state?s eastern and western borders.” -Towana Spivey usscout1870@sbcglobal.net

“When I was at Turner Falls this fall, I bought half a dozen frozen fried pies. Because my trip lasted several days before I got them home to my freezer, they got a little soggy. I thaw them, then place them on my countertop grill. They turn out hot and crisp and delicious. Just a little tip. I bet they would be good with a scoop of ice cream while they are hot.”  -Roberta

The tradition of eating black-eyed peas for luck is a southern tradition that dates back to the civil war. Considered as animal food, the peas were not worthy of General Sherman’s Union troops. When Union soldiers raided the Confederates food supplies, legend says they took everything except the peas and salted pork. The Confederates considered themselves lucky to be left with those meager supplies, and survived the winter. Peas became symbolic of luck. My blackeyed peas were sure good today!


See everyone next week!

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

Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Bells of Oklahoma
Carter County Courthouse Paver Project
Ardmore High School Criterions Online
Oklahoma Bells: https://oklahomahistory.net/bellpage.html
Bill Hamm’s Cemetery Database
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

All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
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