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Vol 26 Issue 1,335 Sept 1, 2022

A Glimpse Into The Past

The Daily Ardmoreite
February 16, 1903 

Blizzard of Unusual Severity Rages Over The Land

Rain, hail, sleet and snow with a biting cold wind holds high carnival, cattle suffer and business interrupted

Following closely upon the cold rains of last week a blizzard of immense proportions has swooped across the country extending from the far Northern lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

It is the most severe experience that Indian Territory has had in four years, and it may even result more disastrous than the severe storm of February 11th 4 years ago. Although the cold is not so intense now as it was then, when it reached 17° below, this thermometer this morning recording 8° above.

The rains which preceded this were cold and affected cattle very materially, to use a cattlemen saying they were “badly drawn”, when this blizzard struck them, and in many localities where feed is scarce the results will prove disastrous. That cattle will suffer severely on the range is a foregone conclusion.

The fall of snow is estimated at from 10 to 12 inches and is drifted badly. The ground was full of water previous to this heavy snowfall and will now be behind tillage for many days.

A convinced report of the storm as received by the Daily Ardmoreite will show its scope and severity, and no doubt prove interesting.

The Red River, which is the is the second-largest river basin in the southern Great Plains, is salty through tributaries above Lake Texoma. The saltiness is caused by a natural phenomenon that dates back to ancient times. About 250 million years ago, an inland sea blanketed parts of what is now those states. As time passed, that sea evaporated, leaving salt deposits – mostly sodium chloride. Rock and silt eventually buried the deposits, but the salt continues to leach through natural seeps in tributaries above Lake Texoma, sending as much as 3,450 tons of salt per day flowing down the Red River.

Below is a photo I stumpled across about Madill police dogs with their handlers and the police chief of Madill, Oklahoma. Dec 1963

Frank Lytle (1904-1992) was a machinist originally from the Pennsylvania steel mills who moved to Ardmore around 1960 with his wife Fannie. There was nothing he couldn’t make with a metal lathe and a few tools.

I remember as a teenager watching him use his personal lathe in his garage at 1011 3rd Northeast (right next door to my grandparents Stanley Carmon first home in Ardmore in 1905). I watched Mr. Lytle make things on his lathe. He even made me a couple things when I needed them for my projects. I sure wished I had a lathe like his. Mr Lytle could take a raw piece of metal and turn it into something of precision on his lathe. He was a true craftsman, something you can hardly find nowadays.

Mr. Lytle would tell me of his times working at a metal fabrication company on Moore southwest in the early 60s. A college degreed engineer would bring him blueprints of something to make on the company lathe. He’d say ok and take the plans to his workbench. But looking over the blueprint it called for him to make a 5/16th inch bolt to go into a 1/4 inch hole. Mr. Lytle would take the blueprint back to the engineer’s office up front and show the mistake. The engineer looked at it a minute, then said, just go fix the part as the plans call for it.

In a few days, the engineer would bring him a new set of corrected blueprints. Mr. Lytle would make the same part again, only this time with the correct specification. He said he wasted tons of 440 high carbon steel correcting blunders like that, throwing the wasted steel in the dumpster out back..

One story Frank Lytle told me was when he was working in the PA steel factories aluminum was invented. He said to the machinest like him this was almost like a miracle come true, a metal that would never rust. Metal workers were excited.

But what was not realized at the time was aluminum when left out in the open weather, became pitted and oxidized from the effects of air and sun. Dream gone.

Mr. Lytle was one of the finest Christians I’ve ever met. I will never forget Frank Lytle.

Q.  What was the first city in Oklahoma to have electricity?
A. Vinita was founded in 1870 by Elias Cornelius Boudinot. In 1889, gunman and lawman Tom Threepersons was born there. It was the first city in the state with electricity. The city was first named “Downingville”, and was a primarily Native American community.

Q. Where in Oklahoma can one make a 1.5 mile trek through the mountains to a beautiful waterfall?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG….

Butch:  Just read last week’s issue of T&T.  Surprise. Brought back a rush of good old memories of days long gone by.  I admire your tenacity for publishing T&T all these years.  I like the new T&T format.  I’m now 93 years old and live alone since my wife, Patricia Paschall, passed away eight years ago.  Two years ago I drove cross the Arbuckles on my way to a family reunion at Antioch in western Garvin County.  I was aghast. I could hardly believe my eyes. All those huge ugly wind mills disfiguring my beloved Arbuckles.  Maybe I’m just cranky in my old age. Anyhow, I still enjoy reading T&T.  Thanks for all these years. ~ Don Davidson, Brenham, Texas

My mother, Norma Hale, was a telephone operator. She worked for Bell Telephone in the 40’s. Last night I watched a movie about telephone operators and it flooded my heart with pride. I thought of the training she must have gone through as a female in the 40’s. Women, still struggling for their own identity, I wondered how she felt.
When I was just a toddler, I didn’t know there was something different in our house. We had two phones. Not just two phones in the house, we had two phone line numbers. One was our family phone and the other was my father’s office. We were taught how to answer the phone professionally, speak clearly, take notes and always be polite. We said yes mam, yes sir and always said thank you. We were taught that the notes that my father wrote by the phone were never to be moved or thrown away. He would write on anything nearby, scrap paper, pictures, recipes…it didn’t matter.
My mother, the one who was the telephone operator, manned the phones when it was after 5:00. She took down the information and gave it to my father. As the years progressed, we all answered the phone, “Apex Tools, this is __.” I had no idea how valuable that training was for our family. I spend the majority of my life on the phone for my two jobs. Answering the business phone and my personal cell always anticipating a customer, a parishioner or someone who may need something on the other end. One of my bosses, much like my own father did, writes on anything around, (sometimes writing as if he thinks I can decipher it) leaving it to me to figure it out later.
I saw online a couple of weeks ago where there were teenagers who did not know how to dial a rotary phone. They did not know how to use a landline. We, unfortunately, have handicapped our children and grandchildren when we have not passed down the need to use telephone skills. My grandchildren answer their own cell phones when I call, “Hello”. Good, but do they do that when their mom calls, their friends call or if it is an unknown number? Do they take messages? Is there a need for a message? Voicemail, have them call the “other cell” to get the person they need to talk to? Do they put you on speaker in a crowd? Would they rather text than talk? Do they even answer your calls or text you back, “Did you need me?”
I love going to the Sonic in the town I work. The lady there always says, “Have a fabulous day!” What if when we answer the phone we say, “Thank you for calling me, I’m having a fabulous day! This is Sharen.” What a difference the conversations could be.
Today, I’m grateful for parents who taught me to use the phone properly.
Just a thought from this side of the pond. -Sharen “Shorty George” Hale

Below is from my Vol 3, Issue 124 September 4, 1999 newsletter:

Last week I told about a Love county Deputy Sheriff Walter Tate being killed in the line of duty in 1917. I went to Oswalt cemetery last Saturday and found his grave. South of Ardmore about 12 miles on I-35 is the Oswalt Road exit. If you go west about 11 miles you find the intersection of Oswalt Rd and Hembree Road. Turn north and go about 1/4 mile curving back to the west is Oswalt cemetery. I found Walter Tate’s tombstone near the south end of the cemetery. His marker was not resting on it’s base, but was laying flat on the ground. I asked myself how could I get his marker back to it’s base. A couple days later at a local auto parts house, and met Mrs. Mary Wilson, owner of Wilson Monuments in Lone Grove, Oklahoma. I told her the story and she ask me to draw her a map where Walter Tate is buried. She said they had a monument to sit in Leon, Oklahoma and her son, Billy WIlson, would drop back by Oswalt cemetery and repair Deputy Tate’s tombstone free of charge. Here is the full story of Deputy Walter Tate’s death.

Deputy Sheriff Walter Tate and his wife Maggie

In 1883 an English colony was incorporated near Harper, Kansas and was known as Runnymede. It was named after the Runnymede in England (the famous place where King John signed the Magna Carta 1215). A few years later, in 1893, the colony of Runnymede would be moved from Kansas to Alva, Oklahoma. Here is a photo of the present day Runnymede building in Alva. The citizens there are discussing converting it into a Cultural Center.

Maintenance crews at the Carter County courthouse have been busy the last couple of weeks redecorating the Honorable Judge Charles Tate’s courtroom. New carpet and a new coat of paint on the walls sure has brightened up the Special Judge’s courtroom.

James Lindsey in Maintenance has done some staining on the handrail that goes from the first floor to the second floor in the Carter County Courthouse. It sure looks nice with a fresh coat of dark stain. James is a true craftsman. He can fix or build almost anything that is given him to do.

9/04/99 – The Carter County Clerks’s Office here is now doing some high tech file transmissions via modem. The county barn at Healdton (western Carter county) is transmitting daily by modem their Purchase Orders to the clerk’s office in Ardmore for processing. This saves employees having to drive the 50 mile round trip to hand deliver the POs to the courthouse. It’s working flawlessly!

“Butch, I am sending you a copy of a letter received in your this week’s T&T – It is of particular interest to me because I was the State Senator that caused the road on the east side of Lake Murray to be completed from the Old Rock Tower site to its tie in with what is now Highway 70 East. I took a map of Lake Murray & presented it to the State Highway Commission, along with my proposed route drawn on it to show where the road should be excavated & completed…. I should mention that I knew the Paschall’s well & it was through inspiration from them that motivated me to pursue the effort. By the way, the route was charted by flying over the area with a helicopter. The Superintendent of Lake Murray, Junior Dobson, actually drafted the route as he flew over the area with the helicopter pilot.” -Ernest Martin

“KKAJ radio in Ardmore, Oklahoma will be “LIVE AUDIO STREAMING” beginning THURSDAY, Sept 1, 1999. Tell everyone you know AROUND THE WORLD to log on.” https://kkaj.com/

We have a lady at the courthouse named Juanita Conway (1928-2915) who takes care of some of the janitorial needs in the building. She has been telling me for a long time, “Butch, those computers are going to drive you crazy”. After this week, she may be closer to the truth then she knows. This week I had promised friends I’d take care of some things for them while they were gone to Las Vegas a few days. I told him I would do it Thursday evening. I lost track of time and didnt even know when Thursday got here. He called me from Las Vegas Friday and then the truth came out. I was 24 hours late in doing what I promised, thinking it was Thursday, when really it was already Friday. I sat down Friday night and starting counting the computers I provide TLC for at the courthouse…. I was dumbbfounded… 95 and still counting. Boy,

Without rain, there is no life.

See everyone next Thursday!

Butch and Jill Bridges