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Vol 20 Issue 1034   November 24, 2016

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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



Something interesting on the above photo. All but one man is wearing a hat of the times. One man in a white stripped shirt is wearing what looks like a modern day baseball cap. They didn’t have baseball caps like today back in 1900. Time traveler?


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.  Where is the oldest burning light bulb in Oklahoma?
A.  Mangum, Oklahoma. Burning for over 85 years.
1. Livermore, CA (turned on 1901-1905)
2. Forth Worth, TX (turned on 1908)
3. Mangum, OK (turned on 1926-1929)

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

From This and That newsletter archives of November 16, 2002

“Butch, I love getting your News every week. I finally made it back to Ardmore last June, after 30 or so years to visit my kin folk down there and in 4 days I had one of the best times of my life. I brought my 12 year old boy so he could see his and my “roots” I have missed for so long. I met cousins I didn’t even know I had and some that didn’t remember me, but we had a blast. My mother was a Holley from Tater Hill east of Ardmore, who’s family homesteaded there god knows when……. I got to revisit some of my favorite places, Turner Falls, Lake Murray, drove by my old kin folk homes in town and parked in the street and looked at the house’s and remembered my childhood…… I would like to thank all my cousins that took use in and treated us like family they just saw last week….. Holley’s….Joe Kenneth, Jerry, Margret, and my ” little ” cuz Bobby. We went crusin on Lake Murray and went to Tucker Tower and they have a display case there with a large photo of the workers that worked on the lake and I found my father in that photo ! I was amazed.. I had an Uncle who had a small grocery store with his brother, I believe, on maybe C street. Name was Earl Payne and I think his brother was Wayne. I also after 30+ years got to stop in Pauls Valley at Ballards Drive In and get a “Pizza Burger” that I been dreamin about forever….. Same guy, same burger….great. Once again, it was great to get back there after 30+ years and be treated the way I was by my long lost kin folk, and I hope to come back next summer. Thanks to the “Tater Hill” Holley’s for the hospitality!” -Kirk Holley Smith, Hamilton, Montana
“Hello Butch, As always T&T seems to capture the heart and soul of the home town experience, more specifically Ardmore. It’s also very enjoyable to read the mail bag section and read the input of those who have grown up here, or have historical knowledge to share with the readers. I often intend to reply to something in almost every issue but unfortunately don’t always get around to it. You mentioned, the movie, “Dillinger,” and I remember that well I worked for the Postal Service as a letter carrier then and subbed on Leonard (Granny) Walkers, route he delivered the Court House and Down town area for many years. There are several things I remember during the filming of Dillinger. The scene, in which Ben Johnson, was getting his shoes shined in the Court House Lobby has a sign in the back ground. It is clearly visible, and the Words, Lake Murray are very prominent on this sign. In reality, Lake Murray had not been built during the time when John Dillinger was living. During the filming of Dillinger, one of the town drunks, got caught up in spirit of the Roaring 20’s. A day or two later he attempted robbing one of the local banks, using his finger inside a coat pocket as a pistol. He was quickly arrested. Granny Walker who had carried the down town route for many years was, extremely irate when he had heard they arrested this poor soul, claiming the wanna be bank robber had a case of Jake leg so bad he could hardly walk, and was actually quite harmless. It was also while subbing on Granny’s route that I delivered mail to the Squeeze Inn cafe. It was still in operation in the early 70’s. Does anyone remember in 1971, the incident in which someone was bitten by a dog? the dog tested positive for rabies. When they told this person he would have to take a series of rabies shots, he ran off and no one could find him. This happened about the time I began my career with the U.S. Postal Service in 1971.”
“Butch: We do not have horse apples in California. But on one of my trips back to Oklahoma, I picked some and brought them home with me, and took some pictures of them on the trees. However, we do not have lightning bugs here either, and I think the people in California are missing something of interest.”
“EAT HEDGE APPLES AND STAY HEALTHY….. I have been eating hedge apples, or Bois d Arc for about 25 years. When I have a stomach virus, bacterial infection, or food poison I take a chunk of the apple about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick from my freezer and place it in a blender along with apple juice or sprite or anything to liquify the apple. It has never failed me to be feeling great in less than an hour. The apple has a natural antibiotic (tetraphydroxystylbean) in it. It is also a natural fungicide and are a very strong antioxident. I could type for days about this amazing tree. (DON’T TRY THIS UNTIL THE APPLES HAVE FALLEN ON THE GROUND) in October or after.”

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch, several years ago I was sitting under a tree that was over our deck and something started falling on me. There was a squirrel sitting on a limb eating a horse apple about the size of a softball that he had carried from a Osage Orange tree (horse apple tree) that was about 40 yards away. I grew up hunting and eating squirrels but I had no idea that they would eat a horse apple.” -Dan Holder

“After a year or so in Africa I was sent to Frankfurt, Germany in late 1947. I went to Paris for a military permit to enter Germany. U.S. Occupation tightly controlled traffic in & out of Germany & I had to be qualified as an “accredited business man” which gave me access to most military assets—

In Paris a month I bought a pair of dueling pistols for $1.50 in a bicycle shop & a cased pair for $6 in the Paris flea market. My per diem money supported my lavish life style of sight seeing by day and flesh pots by night but not much for gun collecting. There were Colt percussion revolvers that I passed up that would have been better collection pieces than some I did buy. From a big gun shop I bought a nice little Remington .36 caliber pocket pistol and a British 9″ Dragoon flintlock pistol for about $1.50 each. An American business man would take my check on a stateside bank for francs at 4:1 dark market rate. That solved my problem and his. Making money in France but couldn’t legally exchange his francs for dollars. As they say, one hand washes the other—

Germany in 1947-48 was zero in guns due to the severe Occupation restrictions & fear the German’s felt —

In Czechoslovakia the dark market exchange on the dollar was about ten to one. I found how to get local money in exchange for payment to an account in Chicago. At that time, using the high rate of exchange, I could buy a fine new Czech sporting rifle for about $12. Mauser types, with full Mannlicher stock, double set triggers, etc. I struck up a deal with some of the New York co-pilots to buy a rifle for them in exchange for them taking back one for me. Thus he would pay me the $12, I would buy two rifles and get them aboard the airplane and in New York he would send one to my Father. I sent home a dozen or more, mostly in 7×57 caliber & got an Austrian flint military pistol $3. I paid $10 for a 7.63 Mauser broomhandle, with stock/holster in new condition.

In my hotel in Prague the night clerk spoke English, having lived in Chicago, asked if I would do him a favor. A Russian colonel in the hotel who spoke English, was making his life miserable, talking his arm off. Could he introduce me to the colonel so he could talk English? I agreed. Colonel Gorilenko former Soviet liaison officer to U.S. forces in Iran during the war had enjoyed his experiences. Now stationed in Vienna and was on his way to Berlin awaiting Soviet air transport, a gap of several days in the connection & now stuck in Prague. I had long conversations with him and drank his Vodka. He tolerated my nursing a drink for a long time. He told boyhood stories in Russia and with the American army & very was interested about life in the U.S. I also told him of my work with Pan Am and that I was soon going to Vienna. He invited me to visit him in Vienna but I never did, in fear of U.S. Army complications.

Austria was treated more like a liberated ally than a former enemy. The main interest of the U.S. military (British & French) seemed to be that of keeping the Russians at bay. Vienna little damaged by the war, not like Paris but light years ahead of Germany and Prague & was comparable to Paris for looking for old guns. In a used furniture store a box of maybe a dozen pistols. I bought a pair of grungy, grimy dueling pistols for about $2 equivalent. In our airport shop, cleaned up with solvent in fine condition, engraving and gold inlay. I got several fine flint silver mounted pistols in Vienna.

The wheel lock pistols came in Stuttgart. Later, in 1950, German economy was reviving, merchandise in the shops and good food in the restaurants. New Deutschmark had value, military constraints eased & antique guns appeared in the shops. In Stuttgart, scouting the shops, found a pair of weird looking wheel lock pistols. Bought the pair for $50. I later learned they were Victorian reproduction pieces. (sold 1960s $4000)

The next day we met a Herr Loeffler, a very old man. He lived in like a museum, marble floors, very high ceilings, large rooms & marble columns & furnishings dating back centuries. He had one pistol there, a wheel lock military pistol for about $25. He said he had more at his “landhaus”.

The shop keeper had a little car but no gasoline, which was rationed. I got a jerry can of gas & we went South toward the Swiss border, maybe fifty kilometers. Up narrow valleys nd were seldom out of sight of ruins of castles on the cliffs. The old man grew up in the area & told much of the history when built, destroyed, etc. A few of them appeared to be more or less complete, others were only a couple of walls still standing.

Finally a small village, changed little in centuries. Houses and barns grouped together, separated by a road of ruts and rocks, where this lady would put us up overnight in a her home. Next morning we went to his landhaus, at the foot of a cliff below another castle ruin. His father had built it a hundred years ago. Assembled of old parts, walls were paneled, doors highly carved & the windows beveled & stained glass, all looked medieval. The only thing of modern times was the oil in the lamps. Probably priceless things from the past, in one room were a number of long guns, crossbows & swords plus numerous pieces of armor although no complete suits that I could identify. Outside and up a cliff edge, that led to an attic room, more armor & hundreds of swords standing hilt-down, space out coup;e feet from the walls. From what I know of swords, most the 16th century or before.

Herr Loeffler’s father had been curator of a Berlin museum that closed around 1915. This was residue from the museums. He said his father & he had tried to return items to owners. Now after two wars, with no heirs and little income would use the money in his old age. I got five more wheel lock pistols from him plus several detached wheel locks. That was all the wheel lock pistol items he had & I ran out of money. I planned another trip but I was transferred before I could do it, back to Africa.

I got a nice nickel & bone ’51 Navy early Belgian copy in Istanbul, in Barcelona a neat little miquelet pocket pistol & later in Madrid a nice pinfire military revolver but little else I recall. London, until early 1960s was a rich source for old guns. I was often there, weeks at a time. There was so much wonderful stuff English colonials had brought back from around the world, England lagging behind Europe in war recovery, people we selling their heirlooms. Guns, swords, antiques of every kind, ivory, etc. One memory lingers. Outskirts of London antique dealer I had become acquainted with—- I was hesitant deciding to buy an item, remarked “Mr. McCrory, I’ve been in this business all my life & my father before me, I’ve learned ‘In antiques you should buy it when it is there because you may never have the opportunity again.’”

I got a nice nickel & bone ’51 Navy early Belgian copy in Istanbul, in Barcelona a neat little miquelet pocket pistol & later in Madrid a nice pinfire military revolver but little else I recall.Apologies for being so long winded.” -Robert McCroy

“I think the metal Santa Fe timetable should be displayed at the new Depot park by the train when it is moved there. Maybe attached to a piece of marble explaining what it is and where its original location was.” -Robert

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

I have a list of folks I know……all written in a book,
and every now and then……I go and take a look.
That is when I realize these names……they are a part,
not of the book they’re written in……but taken from the heart.
For each name stands for someone……who has crossed my path sometime,
and in that meeting they have become……the reason and the rhyme.
Although it sounds fantastic……for me to make this claim,
I really am composed……of each remembered name.
Although you’re not aware……of any special link,
just knowing you, has shaped my life……more than you could think.
So please don’t think my greeting……as just a mere routine,
your name was not……forgotten in between.
For when I send a greeting……that is addressed to you,
it is because you’re on the list……of folks I’m indebted to.
So whether I have known you……for many days or few,
in some ways you have a part……in shaping things I do.
I am but a total……of many folks I’ve met,
you are a friend I would prefer……never to forget.
Thank you for being my friend!!”
-Author unknown

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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