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Vol 24  Issue 1,240 October 29, 2020

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

A Glimpse Into The Past

Lowenstein and Music

Sol Lowenstein and the beginning of instrumental music in Ardmore public schools are synonymous- he came to Ardmore in 1907 from Boston Conservatory of Music immediately began a program designed to give well-rounded music facilities in the schools.

At first he organized a string program and developed an orchestra. In 1926 development of the band began with about 20 youths where organized to play pep and martial music. This organization grew and became an aggregation which could both march well and play excellent concerts. The dual role has continued to be a major function of the band.

After 33 years of service Lowenstein resigned and Paul Enix took over as band director. During the next two years the high school band became well known for its fine concert work. Enix went into service and Raymond Gabbard assumed the music directorship. After 12 years of teaching in the system Gabbard quit to go into private business and Albert H. Fitzgerald was secured to serve as band director of instrumental music in Ardmore.

The present “Pride of AHS” is composed of 72 members and marches for rodeos, Armed Forces, Christmas, homecoming and other parades. It also lends favor to the football season with impressive halftime displays and gives concerts each year for school assemblies. The band members also perform an annual midwinter and coronation concerts as well as participate in district and state music contest.
-Carter County History book 1957


September 1969
Janet Carol Eckenrod declined to withdraw her complaint against Assistant Attorney General W. J. Monroe. Monroe was unknowingly involved in a minor automobile accident near the courthouse. He apparently glazed Eckenrod’s car as he was pulling out of a parking space. The woman took down his license number and signs a complaint for reckless driving and leaving the scene. Monroe and Oklahoma Attorney General G. T. Blankenship where in Carter County for Blankenship to give a speech. His topic was “Lend me your eyes and ears” which encouraged citizens to cooperate with the law and report lawbreakers.

September 1926
The Producers State Bank of Wilson closed its doors August 23rd under the orders of Waldo Watkins, State Bank Examiner. The assets of the bank are reported to be $280,000 and liability unknown. Patrons of the bank had withdrawn $5,000 prior to the closing, but no serious run developed.

September 1926
Leland Busby, 17, and Willard Ballard, 19, farm youth, were instantly killed today by a bolt of lightning. The team of horses they were working was also killed. The boys had been cutting hay and took refuge in a wagon when the storm approached. The bolt tore Busby’s clothing loose from his body and burned a hole in his head. There was no mark on Ballard.

Q. From my January 2006 newsletter:
“Butch, In the 1940’s a company came to Ardmore, and made a short movie using local “talent”. The movie was shown in Ardmore several times. The film was owned by the Lowensteins, owners of the Tivoli and Ritz theaters. Does anyone have a copy of this movie that one could see and copy? It would be fun to see it again. I was one of the “stars” as many Ardmoreites were.” -Bill Spearman

A. Filmed at Whittington Park, in the Our Gang style, with many grade school students appearing. Don’t know of any copies still around. But it would be neat to see it again as many of my contemporaries were in it. -Steve Douglas

Q. Where in Oklahoma can you dig for selenite crystals?
A.  Great Salt Plains Park in Jet, Oklahoma.

Q.  What did the Curtis Act do?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of October 30, 2008

In the last issue of T&T we talked about  a Reader finding some kind of mystery fruit growing behind the MTC Federal Credit Union on 12th NW. Several of you wrote in with your suggestions, but it was Leland McDaniel who came through with the name for this variety.  Leland is the local OSU Extension Agent here in Ardmore, and he reported this particular fruit is the Jujube fruit, also known as Chinese dates. I did a search on the internet and found much reading, including all the purported medicinal properties of this fruit. I think next Spring I’ll find a way to plant a couple of these on our acreage.
The Daily Ardmoreite, September 12, 1948

Two Women Dead Result Ambulance – Truck Wreck

A 91 year old woman was killed, her 48 year old daughter-in-law fatally injured, and three other persons hospitalized in a head-on crash of an ambulance and a farm truck six miles north of Ardmore on Highway 77 at 7pm Friday.

Dead are: Mrs. Malinda Mae Garrett, 91, Gainesville, Texas, who has recently been in an old folks home in Tulsa, but who was enroute to her son’s home in Gainesville at the time of the accident. She died before reaching the Ardmore sanitarium and hospital.

Mrs. Geraldine Garrett, 46, wife of C. A Garrett, a Gainesville carpenter and do-it-yourself laundry operator. Mrs. Garrett, gravely injured about the head, died at 12:45pm Saturday at the hospital. She had been given several transfusions during the night and only slight hope had been held that she might survive. She was riding in the ambulance with her aged mother-in-law and the impact hurled her the length of the vehicle into the windshield.

Less seriously hurt but confined to the Ardmore hospital and sanitarium for treatment are Bill Clifford Parks, 20, Prague, driver of the ambulance, Robert Eugene Vandiver, 25, Prague, assistant ambulance driver, John “Buck” Hale, 35, driver of the other truck involved in the crash and Mrs. Doris Hale, 31 of Gene Autry.

Hale and their 3 year old son, Larry, also in the truck with Mrs. Hale, escaped without injury.

Garrett, following the ambulance in his own car, was only a short distance behind and witnessed the crash which killed his mother and inflicted fatal injuries to his wife.

Marcus Carter and Theo Cobb, state highway patrol officers, who investigated the accident reported the following details:

Parks, whose father owns the ambulance, said that he was driving about 60 miles an hour. The ambulance, going south, was at the point about a mile and a half north of Caddo creek bridge on U.S. Highway 77.

The truck, owned by Pat Whitfield, for whom Hale works, was going north.

The ambulance had just passed a gasoline convoy truck. As it cleared the big truck, it came face to face with Hale’s vehicle.

Both drivers swerved sharply toward the shoulder, the result being a headon crash. The truck and ambulance were demolished.

The Harvey ambulances were dispatched to the scene and the injured admitted to the Ardmore hospital and sanitarium. The body of Mrs. Garrett was taken charge by Harvey funeral home. It was said the body would probably be removed to Prague for services.

Carter said that Garrett told him his mother had been a guest at the old persons home in Tulsa and he was dissatisfied with the care she seemed to be getting. He had decided to return her to Gainesville, and had gone to Tulsa and arranged for her ambulance journey to the Texas city.
“Butch, my earliest memories of the Tivoli was from the early 70’s while in the 10th grade, I secured a job there as a ticket girl. I quickly became quite popular with my classmates when they found out I could get free passes for them. I remember the cost of a movie ticket at that time (1973) was only 75 cents. I honestly don’t remember going to the Tivoli as a little girl with my folks, probably because the Skyview Drive-In was cheaper for us. But I do remember seeing several movies there during my high school years, including Dillinger, the movie that was filmed in Ardmore.

In fact, my dad worked for Mac’s Wholesale at that time and was making a delivery to the Tivoli at the time they were filming part of the movie in an upstairs apartment somewhere above Luke’s Music Store–at least I think that’s right. Anyway, it was directly across from the Tivoli and Mr. Ben Johnson & Mr. Warren Oates were standing inside the Tivoli lobby taking a break from the filming and my dad was able to meet both of them. I think that was the highlight of his life at that time. I remember him smiling from ear-to-ear, you’d have thought he’d met John Wayne & Henry Fonda.

I also worked at the Ritz during those years and remember not being too crazy about the balcony as I wasn’t a huge fan of high places. One time at the Tivoli, I had to help with a delivery and we had to take the supplies back behind the movie screen and I thought it was totally cool. There was no movie being shown at that time so all the lights were up and you could see through the white screen. I remember seeing some old movie posters on the walls, some graffiti and even some old props, too. I’d give anything right now it I’d had a camera with me at that time so that I could have the photos to share. All I have are my memories.

Thanks again, Butch, for bringing back old memories long forgotten & stored away.”  -Kathi G., Fayetteville, Arkansas
“Hi Butch: We lived in Welch, Oklahoma from 1970-1981.  Nowata is west of Welch.  There is a newspaper in Chetopa, Kansas that “might” have covered the 1893 train robbery.  Chetopa is on the Oklahoma/Kansas line.  Might not hurt to contact them.” -Anna Marie.
“Butch, this sign is/was behind the old B. L. Owens store on Hinkle street.”
“Took these pics at the Seminole Nation Museum’s Sorghum Festival today (10/25/08) at Wewoka, Oklahoma.” -James Catron
“Butch, I’m writing on behalf of my dad Bob Farrington (who would have written if he was still with us). We used to live in Ardmore at 1002 East Circle Drive. We were told that the bricks that make up the huge fence/wall around the back of the property were bricks from the Tivoli theater. We don’t know why they were available or when the fence was built but I thought maybe some of your readers would know something about it. Just thought I would pass along a memory that I have and dad would have shared with you. If I can find a picture of it I will send it along this week.” -Marilyn (Farrington) Roder
I just happened upon your website.  My husband grew up in Marietta (Meadowbrook area).  He passed away in 2005, but his brother Bill and his wife MaryAnn live in Ardmore and his other brother, George lives in Oklahoma City.  I enjoy reading your newsletter.  I have a question.  I have a DVD of the Groucho Marx TV program “You bet your Life”.  On an episode from 1953, there is a lady named “Ruby Williams”.  She is from Marietta Oklahoma.  Groucho made a joke about a time he was in Marietta.  Does anyone remember a lady with this name? This would have really been a “big deal” for a small town like Marietta, Oklahoma.”
In the Leon, Oklahoma cemetery……….
RUBY LEA WILLIAMS      5 OCT 1929     22 AUG 1972
“Butch; It is always a pleasure to get the This and That delivered to my mailbox each Thursday evening. In this week’s edition there was a question about a train robbery in Nowata. Maybe this link is what they were looking for.
Turner Falls:  “If you walked the 2 or 3 miles up to the source of Honey Creek, you were at “Wild Woman Cave” entrance (or exit). There is at least one other entrance up above the spot where the spring comes out of the rocks. There are at least 2 more caves on Honey Creek and 2 more located to the south of the falls. “Outlaw Cave” is just above the falls on the north side of the creek, not much to it. “Sink Hole Cave” is located about 1/4 mile west above the falls, maybe 1/8 mile south of the creek in a ravine. It had a steel cable that ran several feet (at least 50-60 feet, maybe 100 feet or more) down into the steep, nearly vertical entrance to the cave.

“Wagon Wheel Cave” is located about 1/3 mile south of the bath house at Turner Falls along the trail that leads up the canyon. It is located at least 100 feet up on the side of the steep, rocky hill on the east side of the creek bed and trail. It has one large room at the clearly visible entrance, a small, very narrow passage way back to a much smaller room and not much more.

“Crystal Cave” is located another 1/2 to 3/4 mile past Wagon Wheel and requires some easy rock climbing to reach. The entrance is well hidden in the trees and rocks, but can be easily found up along the same easterly side of the hill. It is at least 1/4 mile past the end of the trail leading up the canyon, but worth the hike.

There is at least one other cave located on the old Butterly Ranch, now part of Turner Falls Upper Campground that is worth mentioning. I think this one is called “Bitter Enders Cave” and may have another name that I don’t recall. There was always some confusion and interchanging of the names of the caves around the park and surrounding area by some people (especially visitors from out of town), but these are the names most often used by all of the local old-timers in the area that lived their entire lives there. It has been many years since I explored it and the other caves at TF Park and the surrounding area, but at one time I had maps to locate and maps of the layout of each of these caves and all known names. Too bad I don’t have those notes with GPS coordinates to share today. Good Luck, BE CAREFUL and happy spelunking!”
The Lone Grove Ledger
“From the Archives” submitted by Mindy Taylor
Nov. 4, 1913
~ The way of the transgressor is hard and especially when the Pinkertons get after him.  R. E. Clayton, formerly of Ohio, was placed in jail here after being charged with a crime in Ohio.  The Pinkertons were given the assignment to track him down and found Clayton in just 16 days.  He has been working in the oilfields and was arrested by Charley Jones, the
Hewitt constable.
~ The preliminary steps toward the organization of a Chamber of Commerce for Wilson have been taken.  The men who are now building Wilson will be behind the chamber of commerce movement, including F. L. Letch, formerly of Lawton, State Senator Jack Langston, late of Guthrie, L. L. Dunlap, G. J. Leeper, W. H. Bradford, Dr. Darling, T. F. Maloney, H. L. Carmichael, J. T. Martin, James White, and W. W. Means.  Two banks have been organized and a cotton gin and grain elevator are in the works.  Wilson is in the center of one of the biggest cotton-growing districts in the south.
~ The pleasant weather of last week had dried the roads so they were in condition for traveling.  Now Saturday’s rain has put them out of commission again.  The weather and road conditions make it hard on freighters and movers.  Dr. Tidmore’s office is now half way between Hewitt and Wilson and from all indications, it will stay there for some time.  The railroad has become a public necessity, as the wagon roads are absolutely impassable if it were not for the railroad we would be without food and material necessary to carry on the work in the oil fields.  If ever we did need good road building it is now.

Halloween is just a couple days away. Everyone stay safe and watch out for goblins.

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. -from Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

“Friends Make Life Worth Living”Lone Grove, Oklahoma


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