A Home Grown Home Page

Home of the This and That Newsletters

Vol 21  Issue 1,088    November 30, 2017

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

Movie fever struck Ardmore in September of 1972 when the casting call went out for the movie Dillinger. Droves of star struck Ardmoreites turned out, and 97 were eventually employed for the movie depicting the crime career of the notorious gangster of the 30s.

It was quite an experience for local people to witness the movie crews at work. Scenes were shot at the courthouse, the old Federal Building, on a downtown street and in the towns of Gene Autry and Dougherty. Chickasaw Lake Club simulated the Little Bohemia Lodge, famous hang out for the Chicago gangster.

Although 95 of the locals were used for walk-ons and crowd scenes, James Clark and Ronnie Roberts had small parts in the film. Roberts drew the magnificent salary of $5 a day plus one meal for his non-speaking part as right-hand man to Hollywood star Ben Johnson.

Clark, a make-believe G-Man, was bumped to $10 a day because he had a one liner and the close up scene with two of the stars. Both men suffered attacks of nerves that almost cost them their “careers”. Robert’s hand shook so badly that his scene had to be shot over, and Clark missed his cue, resulting in another take for his scene.

Other locals who took part in the crowd scenes were Bill Woffard, Lester Priest, Merle Salthouse, Wayne Warthen, John Cox, Charles Snodgrass, and Jody Williams. Young John Bacon done a pair of knickers and climbed to the third floor of the courthouse to point a finger at a friend in a make-believe shootout before encountering the outlaws getting a shoe shine on the first floor.

In the beginning, a production company official how to explain to the local group they would probably in up on the cutting room floor, but hope springs eternal. However, after editing and cutting, only Bacon and Roberts were the only ones who were recognizable and that they said later, “only if you look quick.” Then, their days of glory over Roberts went back to his job with the welfare department, and Clark back to the district attorney’s office. John bacon went back to school.

Link to the movie Dillinger (1 hour and 23 minutes)


Strange things have been happening in the sand dunes at Beaver, Oklahoma. Records of strange disappearances go back to the 1500s. In one report, men traveling with the explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado disappeared from the dunes in flashes of green lightning. This area is called the Shaman’s Portal, and Native Americans have been avoiding it for centuries.

No one is sure what it is. Some think it is some kind of portal, others think it’s some kind of electromagnetic anomaly, perhaps similar to the Bermuda Triangle. In the 1990s, Dr. Mark Thatcher studied Shaman’s Portal for three years after receiving strange reports from an Oklahoma State University archeologist, only to be chased away from the site by men in suits with government credentials. This has led many to believe it is the sight of a UFO crash and there is an alien craft buried beneath the dunes.


Ardmore main street 1906 at Caddo and Main looking west.


Ardmore Rod and Gun Club north edge of Ardmore, pre 1907 (Indian Territory days).


I took this picture of the bell in front of the First Baptist Church in Marietta, Oklahoma last weekend. A nice, well taken care of, cast iron bell.


Anytime a person is feeling under the weather, and not hitting on all 6 cylinders, I highly recommend wonton soup from Yummy China in Lone Grove. It makes a person feel so much better.



November 1933
Released on a $1,500 Bond the Reverend 0. 0. Bigbee, Baptist minister, today awaited a preliminary trial November 28th on charges of assault with intent to kill C. L. Tidwill in a newspaper office in Ringling. Tidwell, a Justice of the Peace and former Ringling mayor was recovering tonight from a bullet wound in his left lung, investigators said the shooting was the result of an argument over the arrest of a third man.

November 1933
Lester Pickens 26 was shot and instantly killed at 11 p.m. on the Newport Woodford Road 1/2 Mile East of Newport. Sylvester Brown 19 surrendered to authorities at the home of his father. He abused my mother and sister Brown told officers. He said he decided to Avenged and waited in the middle of the road with a shotgun until Pickens appeared.

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 town’s first public swimming pool was created by an accidental explosion during an oil well fracturing job at a well site?
A.  Owen Park at Tulsa, Oklahoma was created by an accidental nitroglycerin explosion.

Q. Oklahoma’s longest river is the Beaver/North Canadian River (752 miles). What is the 2nd longest river in Oklahoma?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletterBelow is from This and That newsletter archives of November 30, 2005

I never cease to be amazed at how my newsletter and webpages circulate around the country and world, and the emails I consequently receive. In 1949 an Ardmore love story came to an abrupt end by a young couple in their teens. The first part of this month a man in New Mexico found a 1949 Denver Post that told about this sad love story and put it in a song. Songwriter Greg Laumbach, “The Singing Professor”, was so overcome by the sad story on the front page of the Denver Post he sat down and made a song about it. Its ironic this 19 year old boy left this world just 14 days before I arrived. The link below will take you to the story, the couple, the writer, and the song.
I was in Gainesville last weekend and ran across Elvis. Yep, he’s not dead, he’s living just 40 miles south of Ardmore in Gainesville, Texas. And to maintain a low profile, he’s running a furniture and antiques store just 3 blocks east of I-35 on California Street exit. And to think he’s been hiding out just south of here and we didnt even know it.

Okay, maybe this is not Elvis, but he sure looks like the man with the gyrating hips. His name is Patrick Carson and he used to do Elvis impersonations in Las Vegas and more recently Dallas. But he too decided to get out of the limelight and moved to Gainesville, Texas but even there he cant get away from us dyed-in-the-wool Elvis fans. I wouldn’t have discovered this little known Gainesville secret had I not stopped to take a picture of the life size $990 gorilla sitting outside PAC Furniture Outlet on California Street. Elvis runs the PAC Furniture Outlet.
Elvis also had a couple of pool tables for sale inside the building. These are hand made there in Gainesville by a man who makes them out of Alder tree wood, a very hard wood. This table cost about $6,000.
What a delightful photo of the Salt Creek School that was posted in Butch’s T&T. There was an area known as Salt Creek back in the 1880s, 1890s (Indian Territory). My great grandfather George Davenport moved his wife and sons to that area in 1893 where he traded his wagon and team for a piece of land. Their fourth son was born there, and sadly, G-Grandmother Allie died there in 1896. Salt Creek is south of Macomb, Oklahoma about five or six miles. I’m not sure how long the creek is or from where-to-where it stretches. Last summer I was over that way for a reunion and drove off south looking for it. I finally gave up and pulled in where some folks were gathered and asked. Sure enough one fellow knew all about it and pointed me another mile south. It had a new bridge across it and was unmarked so it’s really difficult to locate. The way I found it was, if you can find where the old Anderson School was located (it’s now a residence), it’s a couple miles south of that intersection. Folks over that way are just really nice as I stopped three times to talk to folks and inquire about Salt Creek and other sites. I hope this is your Salt Creek area… and helps you identify your photo.” -Mae (Davenport) Cox
This is a photo of early day visitors to the Prices Falls area, near Dougherty, Okla. 1900

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

The Devon Energy Center in Oklahoma City is the tallest building between Dallas and Kansas City.

A frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives. -American Indian proverb

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges“Friends Make Life Worth Living”PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443


Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
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