PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
I was at Pauls Valley this week on business. On the way I took Exit 66 (Highway 29) off I-35 and went east on 29 to Highway 77, then north into Pauls Valley. I had to stop at the Steppin’ Out western store at Exit 66 and take photos of 18 very large animal statues. They were horses, bulls, pigs, coyotes, and Big Tex, even a tortoise, all spread out up and down the north and west fence line. I would like to know if there is another place in this area that has this many statues, probably not.
Twenty one years ago today, (Friday Aug 7, 1910), J.R. “Dad” Ridpath began erection the Carter County Courthouse. He took up the task on part of the foundation started by the Gill Construction Company which failed on its contract. The building was delayed from time to time on account of shipments of materials and it was not until late in September 191 that it was turned over to the county commissioners.
Phones are back on in the court clerk’s office after they were shut down a week ago. They were removed as a protest to a budget cut of the department. “I appreciate the fast that so many people expressed sympathy for my cause,” said court clerk Ancel Graham.
A Dallas man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Gary Rudd, a former Carter County District 3 Road Forman. He is alleged to have stopped in the front of the truck driven by Rudd in Dallas, suddenly and for no good reason.
A few pavers I sandblasted the past week.
Those of you who follow me on Facebook have not heard me mention to meet at the most famous mailbox in southern Oklahoma lately. I have been busy the past couple weeks working on other projects, but I still have TruVision weight loss for anyone wanting to try it. Just give me a holler if you want to lose weight the TruVison way. “I’ll meet you at the Walmart mailbox!” Join us and check it all out at the link below.
I received my OG&E electric bill the other day. The month of August was much better than July’s billing. July was $227 and it was down to $174 for the month of August. And to add icing to the cake, OGE reports I am still in the Efficient group, something I have never been until I installed my Okie Power Saver.
Q. Who was the first governor of Oklahoma Indian Territory?
A. Butch, There was no first governor nor indeed any governor of Oklahoma Indian Territory, simply because there was no Oklahoma Indian Territory.
There was the Territory of Oklahoma which merged with Indian Territory to become Oklahoma. The western part of what is now the state was not called Indian Territory and the eastern part was certainly not called Oklahoma until after statehood.
By saying Oklahoma Indian Territory there is no way to tell which one you are referring to.-Larry Guthrie
Q. What Oklahoma county was named County No. 1 and later renamed for a Civil War general?
A. (answer in next week’s T&T)
From This and That newsletter archives of September 1, 2001:
I remember going to McKerson’s BBQ stand in the late 60s. I’d take him a whole chicken from the grocery store, and he’d charge me 25 cents to smoke it. Boy was it good tasting!
But let’s go back, way back to 1936. Before Lieutenant McKerson and his BBQ stand. The first person to really introduce BBQ to Ardmore was I.A. Benjamin (1895-1972). He set up his BBQ stand in 1936 in a sheet iron building at 429 East Main, the northwest corner of East Main and “E” Street. It was called Benjamin’s Barbecue Stand and he sold BBQ from there until the early 1940s. (Lieutenant McKerson opened his BBQ stand right after he returned from serving his country in WWII.) I don’t have a photo of I.A. Benjamin yet, but his descendants are looking for one, and maybe by next Saturday I’ll have one!
But there still is a BBQ stand on East Main, its Mama’s BBQ. The owner is Linda Gail Pickens.
Here’s a photo of my brother, Billy Bridges (1947-1979), standing in the front yard of my grandfather Stanley Carmon’s home at 805 3rd NE. The reason for this photo is you will see in the background the old Small’s Bakery at 810 3rd NE. This was before Mr. John R. Small (1890-1966) opened up his second bakery at 204 “H” Street Northeast (the old Priddy’s Salad Dressing building). I remember back in the 60s my grandfather being asked to come over and give a tour of the building. They wanted to know some history on the construction of the red brick building. Seems my grandfather liked red, most of the schools and buildings he built were red brick.
Here is a photo of a building erected in 1912 on East Main street across the street from Daube’s Department Store. (The old Texhoma Office Supply.) The building is named the Stong Building, 108 East Main, and was owned by the widow of Harry G. Stong (1861-1912), Retta Stong (1873-1937). Mr. Stong began here in Ardmore growing a wine vineyard north of “G” and 5th NE. In 1903 Harry Stong moved his family to their new home at 630 McLish SW, which at that time, he owned the whole block. Mr. Harry Stong died in 1912 of typhoid Fever. His wife, Retta Stong, was a sister to John Small, the bakery man.
Note: In 2014 the word STONG was removed from the top of the building. History gone.
When I drove up at the Wilson Monuments in Lone Grove, there were some people there placing an order for a monument. I asked the man if he was from Ardmore, he said no, but he was stationed at the Ardmore Airpark in 1951 when the Korean War was going on. He was assigned to the fire department at the air base. We had a good conversation about the air base and he was going to have his children pull up Gary Simmons’s Ardmore Airbase website on the air base history when he got back home in PA. The visitor was Arnold Johnson from Erie, Pennsylvania. Here is the business card he gave me.
I have a friend over by Kingston, Oklahoma who has been receiving my T&T for a long time. I found out recently she had a bell in her yard. She has been holding out on me all this time! She finally admitted it the other day, and said she’d get me a pic. She has a nice bell! Has anyone else got a bell out there in their yard and not telling me? Now come clean, your conscience will feel much better if you tell me. hahaha It’s like one Reader told me a year ago, “Butch this is crazy, when I’m out driving I am subconsciously looking for you any bells”.
Last week I spoke about what we used to kill ants at the airpark memorial. It was not ampro, but Amdro. I found it at Walmart for a little less then 10 dollars. This is three times higher than the other name brand ant killers, but the other brands didn’t work.
“Butch, I was wondering how many of your readers remember a man that played for Gene Autry’s band–they called him Cowboy Slim Reinhart. He had a radio show too that aired from Dallas, I think. Some of his family still live in the Ardmore area and have promotional pictures and other memorabilia from that era–maybe they can share some copies of it on the net or at local museums sometimes soon. Take care and keep on doing what you do.”
“Butch I had a very weird experience about three weeks ago. I am not into the UFO thing, but this was definitely flying, and I couldn’t identify it. I was driving along a country road east of Roff, Ok., on a road that runs btween Roff and Fittstown. My husband, who works in Ardmore, and I are looking for a house with land to buy. My children and I were getting the lay of the land. There were big white puffy clouds floating across the sky to the north as I drove east along this lonely country road. I was admiring the beauty of those clouds against the deep blue sky, when a small jet plane about two feet in length flew between me and the clouds about fifty to sixty feet to the north of my Ford Van. I was traveling about 30 miles per hour and this thing flew up behind me and overtook my van. It was black and looked like a small version of an F-16. The jet seemed to ride along side me a moment, and then flew in front of me and was out of sight within about 10 seconds. It maneuvered just like a jet airplane, and just flew too fast to be a remote controlled toy. There was no fuel trail, and nobody around that I could see to control it. It was very close and I could make out most of the details. It flew just like the Tomcats in Top Gun. I have never seen anything like that in my life. The only purpose I could see for such a thing is recon work. If you or anybody else has seen this strange thing, I would really be interested in hearing about it. This is an awfully long way from a military installation. Very strange!”
“Butch: Do you know where Hell Roaring Creek is located. It is mentioned in some of the Pioneer Indian Papers as being northwest of the Arbuckle Mountains. Would it have a different name today?”
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..
“Enjoy the history photos your subscribers send. That would be the old Paramount Theater next to the restaurant. It never was the same class of theaters that the Ritz (Park) or Tivoli. Just a bit above the Globe Theater just east of Washington on Main. The Globe did have good chili dogs.” -Dale Young
My mother worked as a waitress at the Town House Cafe. After the war started, we moved to town and she worked there about 1942 until the place burned. The air base had opened and often the officers HIT on her and the owner told her to let him know and he would take care of the situation and for her to just do her job. (And that is the way it worked!) -Marie Wren
“I can’t guarantee this but my father, Warren Davis, worked for the theaters in the 1920’s, and I think the Theatorium was in the next block west, and I think it was on the south side of the street also. Might be a reader who can shed some light on that. There was a theater on Main with no roof, which could have been that one.” -George Davis
Butch: Chickasaw Library in Ardmore has a large-print, unabridged edition of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I read it again recently and particularly enjoyed reading one paragraph where Steinbeck nails the effects of abject poverty on the poor migrants who went to California from Oklahoma, Arkansas and other places in the thirties. Here it is:
“The people come with nets to fish for potatoes thrown into the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed on them. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quicklime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze, and in the eyes of the hungry people there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”
My late parents lived through this, and the slaughter and quick burial of cattle and swine along with dumping of fresh milk into ditches all the while people were starving was too much for them; they simply couldn’t understand the rationale behind the government’s actions. It was a scary time.
“Boundary Street was the edge of town and I grew up on that street. It was dirt for a long time and the houses all had a culvert for cross over to the drive-way. My dad mowed the “ditch” in front of our house so it did look neat as did everyone else. It was great fun to wade in the “ditch” when it rained. It was changed to Monroe and named after my grandfather Monroe Crawford Taylor. The city had grown and it was decided that the name needed changed so my mother submitted the name and got her neighbors to sign the petition. It was eventually paved and had curb and gutter. It was a great place to grow up; all the neighborhood kids played in the “forest” across the street and caught crawdads in the ditch that ran under the culvert on D street.” -Cheryl Jensen
Thanks my friend. I received the T&T as usual. Many blessings to you. Hope you are enjoying your retirement. I was so bored after 80 days I went back to work. -Claude in Juneau
“This guy has a bunch of windmills for sale in California.” -JB
Oklahoma Red Book, a searchable archive.
“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” -Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443
Follow me on the TruVision lose weight program
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 Government Website
All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
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