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Vol 20 Issue 1032 November 3, 2016

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net, Phone: 580-490-6823

Prairie Song, Oklahoma is located 5 minutes east of downtown Dewey, Oklahoma (NE of Bartlesville).  Kenneth & Marilyn Moore-Tate recreated a 1800s Old West Town that features a Saloon, Post Office, General Store, Jail, School House, Chapel, Doctors Office, Stables and much more. They had a dream they wanted to express in Prairie Song. Now after nearly 30 years of work you can benefit from a dream come true. All of the buildings were designed and built by Kenneth. Marilyn filled each building with beautiful 19th century antiques, designed the interior and arranged the displays areas. What started out as a cottage turned into the old west town of Prairie Song. No blueprints used to build Prairie Song. A one of a kind experience you won’t want to miss. Round up the kids and head to Prairie Song today. I know I look forward to visiting Prairie Song, Oklahoma someday soon just to step back into time.


A lady in Duncan sent me the photo below. Her great grandfather is in the photo and has Hewitt, Oklahoma written on it. I guess the “H” stands for Hewitt and not Healdton?  Maybe someone has seen a photo like this or has info on this particular photograph?


Webb’s Cafe at Wynnewood, Oklahoma


Fairfax, Oklahoma 1920s


Hobart, Oklahoma 1908


Monroe, Oklahoma post office


More pictures of Engine 1108 at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum, getting it ready to move to the depot.


This is a picture of the steam locomotive after some of the sandblasting had been done.


October 1932

After months of experiments with various chemicals F. C. Carson, a local Bertillon expert, has perfected a new system of taking fingerprints from the object on which they were left by the criminal onto a printing negative. Applications for a patent have been made, and Carson believes his invention will be worth thousands of dollars.

One of several bricks I sandblasted this week.


You can find current gas prices for a particular Oklahoma town by entering the name or zip code in the GasBuddy search box.


Q.  What Oklahoma county touches four other states?
A.  Cimarron County in Oklahoma’s panhandle is the only county in the United States that touches four other states: New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Kansas.

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

From This and That newsletter archives of November 2, 2002

This Halloween I had very few kids come by for trick or treats. Maybe 20 at the most. And it made me think back to around 1960 on 3rd NE when my mother would spend all day making popcorn balls to give away on Halloween night. I think the most she ever made was 200 popcorn balls, and some years those would all be given away and we started giving out penny candy of some kind. We had a gas stove and she’d shake that pan for what seemed like hours popping enough popcorn to make 150 to 200 popcorn balls. She grease her hands with butter and mix the popcorn with caramel so it would all stick together, then wrap each popcorn ball in wax paper. She placed them in big wash tubs to hold them all. It was hard work but my mother loved doing it for the kids. People just don’t do that here anymore, for obvious reasons. I’m sure some of you have some stories to tell about Halloween and trick or treat night as a kid. I would imagine some parts of the country do it a little differently then other parts of the country.
Here is an interesting email I received this week. I checked it out and it is bonafied.

“I have an old leather suitcase belonging to Frank A. GANZ that has been stored in a Forest Service warehouse it Sitka, Alaska for several years. No one is really sure how we came in possession of it, however, we would like to see a living family member get it. Inside are several photos, letters, bank statements, and other documents. Frank appeared to be a fisherman and possibly miner and had addresses in Craig and Sitka, Alaska. Names mentioned are: From Jennings, Oklahoma, Charles and Esther GANZ, Mrs. Hanna Jane GANZ, Henry GANZ, LoRena I. KEENAN, John H. KEENAN; from Healdton, Oklahoma John H. and Ruth GANZ; from Gladewater, Texas, Charles E. and Lorena Keenan McCHESNEY and their son Ronald Max who was born June 20, 1935; from Buckeye, Arizona, Mary S. ROBERTS, among others. Dates range from 1916 to 1940. Please explain your family connection and show GANZ in the subject line.”  -Terry Butler, Resource Specialist Tongass NF, Sitka Office 907-747-4280
I got a surprise email this week from Antlers, Oklahoma with 5 bells attached. Antlers is in Pushmataha county, everyone calls it Push for short, and Teresa Young is the Pushmataha County Assistant Coordinator for GenWeb at Antlers, Oklahoma. She took the bell pics for me. Push is a beautiful part of the state. I love to go through there on the way to Arkansas. Mountains and pine trees everywhere! Here are the bell pics Teresa sent.

Bell at Antlers Library https://secureservercdn.net/

Bell at St. James Episcopal Church in Antlers 
(This is a beautiful bell)



Bell at First United Methodist Church in Antlers https://secureservercdn.net/

Bell at Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Antlers https://secureservercdn.net/

Bell at First Presbyterian Church in Antlers https://secureservercdn.net/
I remember back as a kid when we came across a horse apple tree, we thought we’d really found something but really didn’t know what to do with them. I don’t know of one thing horse apples are good for, do you? When I was out at King Lake southeast of 3rd and P NE a while back, I happened across a horse apple tree with horse apples everywhere. Seems like someone told me when I was a kid that horse apples were not good for horses. Anyone know?

“Butch, The following is from Bill Geiss. He is the grandson of Ellsworth Collins, the man that used to own the whole Turner Falls area. Collins built the “little buildings” for tourists to visit as sort of a tourist trap. He wanted them to stop and look. The buildings are not tall enough for even Bill to stand up in, and he is only about 5′ 8″ tall. They never served any other purpose. The only buildings that were used are on the east side of Honey Creek. And there was never a ranch there. Ellsworth Collins was Dean of Education at OU for a while and he was a collector. The Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum has a huge barbwire collection. It is now one of their prime permanent exhibits. It was largely donated by the heirs of Collins. Collins heirs gave Turner Falls to the city of Davis. Also donated the land that became Camp Classen.”

“Funny you should mention those little rock buildings up in the hills of Turner Falls. I was up there just a couple of weeks ago during the craft fair. I took a walk up to the falls and also took some time to climb up to the buildings. The buildings were once the headquarters for the Collins Ranch. On one old rock gate is a sign that says “Wyld Acre”. (There’s a story behind that name, but I can’t remember it.) There is also a sign that tells a little about Mr. Collins and about the architectural style. The structures are really fascinating. They are all separate from each other, connected only by pathways. Several are multi-story structures with stairways barely wide enough for a medium-sized person to climb. Most of the buildings have a fireplace, and the ceilings are not much more than 6 feet high. It’s hard to tell which rooms were living quarters and which were for sleeping. I’m sure they were probably multi-functional. I found nothing that resembled a kitchen, but there were several outdoor cooking areas….fire pits, rock fireplaces, and rock picnic tables. What made the biggest impression on me was not the fascinating old buildings, but the TERRIBLE state of disrepair!! The buildings were filled with trash, doors were either barely hanging on rusted hinges or completely torn off, and the effects of vandalism were evident throughout. Graffiti is everywhere! I think the city of Davis (if they are still in charge of the park) should be ASHAMED!! These buildings are a part of local history, and are being destroyed by lack of care and supervision. I would hate to see them made off limits to the public, but perhaps that is what it will take to preserve them. Maybe that’s not the answer, but something most definitely needs to be done before it’s too late. So much for my soap box lecture of the day. I’m curious if anyone else has been there recently and has the same impression. Turner Falls, in general, is still one of the most beautiful places in our area.”
“The mention of car “boots” made me think of a story a friend told me about his visit to Australia. Instead of garage sales, they have what they call “car boot sales”. Everyone packs up their unwanted junk, loads it in the “boot” of the car and heads to a local field where they have what resembles a big flea market. No prices are marked. You just sit around and dicker all day to get the best bargain. My kind of place!!!”
“Butch, someone in your T&T today inquired about oil companies during 1919. My older brother, the late Richard D. Fronterhouse, wrote a research paper about oil development in Carter County during the 1920’s. A copy is located in the Healdton Oil Museum in Healdton, OK, and it was published last year in the Healdton Herald’s Oilpatch Mania. I don’t know if this would help your reader or not, but the research article does contain references.”

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch, most of us who go camping or R/Ving don’t realize that we are already on Indian time. It’s just too simple. Who cares about a time schedule. Just enjoy what there is out there to see. Keep up the simple life and enjoy.” -Okiefenokie in GA

“Hi Butch, I saw the picture of the old padlock. I have an old combination padlock from when I was in the 9th grade. It was for my wall locker. The parents had to buy the lock for $1.50. Believe it or not, I still remember the combination. I put a tag on that old lock so that my son will know later on. The year was 1960. We were living in Hurst, Texas. Hope all is well.” -Cecil

“A short tidbit regarding Miss Muncy Reece (comments in newsletter on 10/27/16). She began teaching in AHS in 1924, the year my Mom Wilda Willingham Davis graduated. Muncy’s last year to teach in AHS was 1960, the year I graduated. Cool!” -George Davis AHS Class 1960

“Seeing the old railroad engine has brought an old memory back to me. In 1965 I climbed up to the operating platform area in the engine. I will not tell how I got beyond the fence except to say the gate was locked and I did not climb over the fence. It was awesome, all the gauges, levers, and valves. Then I opened the firebox and looked in. It was a big space with enough room to stand up in and move about a little. I opened the door as wide as possible then went through the opening into the firebox. The wall toward the front of the engine was unique in that it consisted of a wall of open ended pipes, as if the pipes were stacked on top of each other laying lengthwise the same direction as the engine. Somehow the steam and heat transfer happened in those pipes. I thought it was so cool that I had found a new clubhouse. I went back a few more times, brought candles and matches to try out the clubhouse. It was kind of scary thinking someone could shut and lock my only way out. After that I never went back. Now 51 years later, it is nice to know that old engine will be seen and enjoyed, and is being repainted.” -Randy Day, Slaughterville, OK

“Butch: Once again thank you for all the articles on old Ardmore. I have read with much interest the articles on old Washington Elementary School. I attended there from about 1947 thru 1952. I also remember some wonderful teachers including Miss Davis, Mrs Sankey our music teacher, and principal George Connely. I’m writing today about the wading pool that was in the park just west of the school. It was round and about 30 feet in diameter with a depth of about 3 feet in the center. There was another one just like it in Whittington Park. I remember many wonderful summer days splashing around in those pools. I know they were both filled in many years ago, but I was wondering if any of your readers still had a photo or two of them. Thanks again and keep up the good work.” -Jim

Lost Guns & Fiddle by Robert McCrory

“In grade school 1930s, walking home (in the days before the school bus) I got acquainted with a little old lady who sat on her porch swing. She’d give me a cookie & tell me of growing up in post Civil War Mississippi. She showed me her guns, all in fine condition, a .44 shotgun (dating before the .410), a .38 Colt PP & a Saturday Nite Special. She also showed me a fiddle she said dated from the 1600s from a famous Italian maker, Amati, worth $7000 — I also got acquainted with her grandson who introduced me to making crystal sets & one tube radios — Time goes by, 1981, I’m retired from simulating work out in the world, now back home in Oklahoma. Thinking of the guns, I visit aforementioned grandson, 13 years older than me, retired after a career of commercial radio, he doesn’t remember the guns nor the fiddle. He, a church deacon, I suspect he gave the guns the deep six. The only other heir, his twin brother, a bank clerk.

More time, ca. 2010 visiting my friend at his motorcycle & ATV dealership, former detective Los Angeles homicide, introduces me to one of his customers. “You must be Mac’s son, his gunshop? You probably never heard this but in his shop a man tried to sell this fiddle for $25. Mac told him not interested. I asked Mac if OK for me to buy it & I did. Months later I went in & told him I owed him $10.000 because I sold the violin for $20K & he deserved half, having made it possible. He wouldn’t take a dime.” True I’d never heard it but not surprised. Whatever he was or wasn’t, honest to a fault, not a trace of envy, etc.

I remember, 1960s, radio was talking about poverty, percent of population in poverty, the new minimum wage, etc. Dad say’s “I’m in poverty right now, been in poverty all my life except when I worked on building submarines during the war. Poverty can’t be so bad, here I am, a house, two cars, business property & a gunshop, all paid for, don’t owe a dime.”My apology if this strays too far from the Colt Forum centerline — but now & then something emerges from back down memory lane.”

At the link below are 10 more scans of old photographs this week. -Robert Hensley

Don’t Laugh At Me by Mark Willis, Country Singer 2002

“I’m a little boy with glasses
The one they call the geek
A little girl who never smiles
‘Cause I’ve got braces on my teeth
And I know how it feels
To cry myself to sleep

I’m that kid on every playground
Who’s always chosen last
A single teenage mother
Tryin’ to overcome my past
You don’t have to be my friend
But is it too much to ask

Don’t laugh at me
Don’t call me names
Don’t get your pleasure from my pain
In God’s eyes we’re all the same
Someday we’ll all have perfect wings
Don’t laugh at me

I’m the cripple on the corner
You’ve passed me on the street
And I wouldn’t be out here beggin’
If I had enough to eat
And don’t think I don’t notice
That our eyes never meet

I lost my wife and little boy when
Someone cross that yellow line
The day we laid them in the ground
Is the day I lost my mind
And right now I’m down to holdin’
This little cardboard sign…so

Don’t laugh at me
Don’t call me names

Don’t get your pleasure from my pain
In God’s eyes we’re all the same
Someday we’ll all have perfect wings
Don’t laugh at me

I’m fat, I’m thin, I’m short, I’m tall
I’m deaf, I’m blind, hey, aren’t we all

Don’t laugh at me
Don’t call me names
Don’t get your pleasure from my pain
In God’s eyes we’re all the same
Someday we’ll all have perfect wings
Don’t laugh at me.”

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
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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