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Vol 26 Issue 1,330 July 28, 2022

The Ardmore Statesman 
August 14, 1919 
Road to Gainesville

The committee given charge of "claying" the heavy sand on the road between Thackerville and the Red River bridge has made a report to the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce announcing that the work is completed and that the troublesome stretch of road is now in good condition. While is still some sand that needs claying, Love County officials have undertaken to attend to it. They also report that almost any automobile can now cover the distance all the way on high gear, and that after the work has settled somewhat, and been dragged some more, it will be almost an ideal piece of clay-topped sand road.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG….

Q. When did Ardmore’s Tivoli theater open?
A. Originally opened as the Palace Theatre November 15, 1915. It was renamed Tivoli Theatre June 14, 1935. The Tivoli Theater, which attracted those in search of entertainment and cool air, especially when Ardmore temperature hovered around the 100 degree mark with humidity about the same, was a popular place on Main Street. Unfortunately, on April 26, 1958 the elegant Tivoli suffered extensive fire damage which spread to Eden’s Cafe, the Tivoli Barbershop and Campbell’s Clothiers. The new theater was a plainer building, lacking the ornate facade of the original and some of the interior amenities. It was still, however, a popular entertainment center as it had been since its operating in 1916 opening in 1915. At that time it was called The Princess and was the property of Harry Lowenstein, who also owned the Palace Theater two doors west where, in 1927, the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson, was shown. The Tivoli closed its doors September 8th 1983, and 21 years later was given to the Main Street Authority by the Lowenstein Trust. From the book Territory Town, The Ardmore Story published 2006 by Sally Gray

Reading some of the mail you have received in this issue there are two items I have to make comment:

1.  My dad, John E. Garrison, worked at WITS END when he enlisted to fight in WWII.  I recently came across an Ardmorite article about a party they gave for his departure.  [His printing career stared by his experience at Wits End]….he worked for two newspapers in California and at one point owned his own commercial printing company in Tulare, I’m sure it was much like what he did at Wit’s End.  When back in Ardmore, he worked at Spreaklemyer’s, and later at the Ardmorite, before relocating to Tulsa and working at the Tulsa Tribune/World, where he retired (when the Tribune shut down)….later passing in 1999.

2. I know my mother, Meredith Moorhead, (AHS Class of ’41) took voice lessons with Mrs. Rawlins.  After the war my folks moved to California (where I was born in 1949) and when we moved to Oklahoma in 1960 I had the honor of meeting Mrs. Rawlins.  My mother wanted me to have voice lesson and I remember going to her home (Not far from the city/central park?)…..as a 6th grade young man, I wasn’t too interested in the idea of taking voice lessons.  I only had the one lesson, and I believe it was not long afterwards that Mrs. Rawlins passed away.  I never had any more voice lessons.  I remember her as being a very nice lady and she was very kind to me.  She was able to listen to me speak to decide where to start working with me.  I was very impressed with her ability to do so.  

Each generation has it’s own remarkable unique examples of greatness.  I have always been intrigued by the many great things that are unique to that generation and the history surrounding Ardmore during those times.
-Bill Garrison,

Below are a couple stereoview cards of John Small of Smalls Bakery, Ardmore, OK.,  with wife and family. 816 3rd NE, Ardmore, OK. circa 1930’s. -Robert Hensley

I had an appointment with my cardiologist two weeks ago and while in the waiting room I heard a SiriusXM station that I listen to.  There was another guy sitting at the other end of the waiting room listening to UNDERGROUND GARAGE on his phone so I walked over and started a conversation.  We were talking about radio stations and he told me he was from Jersey and listened to WABC back in the 60s.  I told him that growing up in Ardmore I lived in radio heaven because of the stations we could listen to every night.  It was only much later that I came to that realization after learning more.  I told hem we had KOMA and WKY in Oklahoma City to start.  But then we also had WNOE in New Orleans, WLS in Chicago and KLIF in Dallas.  Then there was Wolfman Jack on the X with 250,000 watts of power transmitting from Saddleback Mountain in Mexico outside of Del Rio.
I think my favorite was KOMA.  Their sound was always so clean.  Years later I found out that their transmitter was a 150,000 watt monster that they operated at 50,000 watts.  That plus the fact that they had one of the very first solid state sound processors in the industry that was especially built for them.  Add the reverb they used and bingo, wonderful sound.
In the summer of 1963 on our last family trip to California I discovered I could listen to KOMA at night sll the way to the coast.  Unfortuneately we never drove very late.  It was about that time that KOMA started running ads for Kearney Drag Way in Nebraska.  Wnen I went to the national science fair in 1965 I met a student from Laramie, WY and all he coulld talk about was KOMA once he found out Bob and I were from Oklahoma.  After my parents moved to Colorado in 1967 I learned that I could drive all the way listening to KOMA at night.  I never drove long distance again for years except at night so I could listen to KOMA.  In the summer of 1969 I drove to see my parents in Fort Collins, then left from there and drove to Ripon, Wisconsin one night passing through Kearney and yes I heard their ad for drag races SUNDAY!  That night as dawn was approaching I lost KOMA  and switched to WLS.  I worked mostly at night for the Green Giant in Ripon so I could always listen to KOMA.  That was the year of the beer strike and after the strike ended the price went up by 5 cents a glass.  We got off work at 7am, showerd, ate and drove downtown because the bars opened at 8.  I drank a lot of Old Style beer in that bar with some of the guys, mostly from Oklahoma.  Back to the camp for a nap, then up for dinner before going to the fields at 7pm.  It was a great summer.
Years later after we bought the property in Big Sky I was driving through Cheyanne and discovered Curt Gowdy was born there.  When looking him up later, I discovered that he was KOMA’s first sports director at the end of WWII and began broadcasting OU and OSU football games and doing play by play.
KOMA had some great DJs.  The names I remember are Johnny Dark, Dale Wehba and Charlie Tuna.  We lived through the golden era of AM radio for music.
The one thing I’ve come to appreciate is how much great music from that time that we never heard because radio programming was so heavily formatted.  SiriusXM has opened my eyes to a lot of music from that time that never received radio play.

Below is from my Vol 3, Issue 119 July 31, 1999 newsletter:

Below is an old picture of the Station Hospital at Ft Sill, Oklahoma

Last January 8th one of our local DJs, Al Hamilton, did a live broadcast on Elvis’ birthday from the courthouse. Besides the great music of Elvis, what the listeners learned that morning was about a room called the Elvis Room. It’s really the copier room, but on display in that room is tons of Elvis memorabilia.

The sheriffs department here has started what may be a first in Oklahoma. It’s the Deputy Ranger Program. Employee Lori Jones has created a website to tell about this new endeavor to introduce and educate young people to law enforcement.

Last week the Oklahoma County Works magazine for the Summer came out and in it was a nice write-up about our webtsite for Carter county Government.

A retirement party was held at the sheriffs office for Deputy Steve Henson. I first met Steve way back in 1969 when his mother worked at the Ardmore Seventh Day Adventist Hospital here in Ardmore in the Respiratory Therapy Department. Steve joined the Sheriffs Department in March 1982. All through these years, Steve has never changed. Just been Steve and a friend. Steve is moving to North Carolina August 1st to be with his aging father. Steve was one of the best firearms qualification instructors during my years with the sheriffs office. He was a true friend and dedicated law enforcement officer. Myself and a lot of others will miss this long time friend.

Steve Henson paver at sheriffs section at the Carter County Courthouse

I sure hope we get the rain predicted over the next couple days. Its so dry here, the only thing green is above my septic tank and lateral lines.

On Tuesday, July 19, 2022 Dr Dorroh of Ardmore’s Mercy Hospital removed my gallbladder (outpatient). The first couply days was pretty rough, felt like I’d been ran over by a Mack truck. But every day since I’ve continued to improve. As of today I can hardly feel anything where the surgery was proformed. God is good.

See everyone next Thursday!

Butch and Jill Bridges
236 Timber Road
Ardmore, Oklahoma