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Vol 28 Issue 1,406 January 11, 2024

The interstate’s shoulders from Ardmore to Davis were the last part to be completely finished around early 1970. I nearly met my waterloo coming back from OKC. I had delivered a patient to a hospital in Oklahoma City and on the way back in the Arbuckle Mountains I dozed off for just a second. During that 1 or 2 seconds I felt the tires on the long Pontiac ambulance I was driving drop off onto the shoulder which was about 1 or so inches lower than the concrete part of the main lanes of the interstate. Of course when I felt that right front tire drop off those couple inches, the first reaction is to jerk the vehicle back to the left. Mistake. I went all of the highway going 70 or so almost flipping it. I finally got the ambulance stopped and a man drove up behind me, walked up to me and ask, “are you ok”. I replied “yes”. He said, “boy, I thought you had lost it.” God was with me that day.

Before the interstate was finished and open to the public, when I made an emergency run to OKC, through the mountains I just had to turn off my emergency lights and siren. Through the Arbuckle mountains and especially the horseshoe curve part of the Highway 77, there was no place for people to pull over. The completion of I-35 made my runs to much easier, no more going through all those little towns and their traffic. I remember the Davis PD would always have a patrol car at their one signal light on Main street, stopping traffic where I turned north on 77 to continue on north to Wynnewood and Pauls Valley. Those were the days.

From the Mailbag

Who remembers the Dinky train to Madil? -Robert Hensley


Photo I took back in 1983 of the Masonic Temple building being remodeled. -Robert Hensley

Hardy Murphy checking Buck’s hoof before show in 1937

Dear Butch and Jill—

During the next few days, you’ll hear a lot of people tell you that time is passing faster and faster for them.  “Seems like it was just the Fourth of July,” they’ll complain. Or: “I can’t believe it’s 2024 already!”

I’ve found just the opposite.

You see, since I’ve been receiving your newsletter, Thursdays haven’t been coming around fast enough. Thursdays are the days I receive the newsletter. By Sunday or Monday of each week, I’m impatient for the next Thursday issue of ” This and That” to arrive, full-up with stories, people, local news, history, folklore, memories, and more, wrapped around with wonderful photos. And it’s all written in voice so honest you could trust it enough to shoot craps over the phone.

Time moving faster? Not at my house. A week can drag like a dog passing peach pits while I wait for the next issue of your newsletter. Thanks for all you do and for the wonderful entertainment! 

Happy New Year from your fan from south of the Red River!

-Rusty Williams

HAM Talk by KC5JVT via Echolink

I’m still working on being a HAM radio Prepper so when the power grid goes down for who knows how long, I’ll still be able to transmit to other HAMs. I ordered an antenna to go on top of the metal roof and should reach out a lot further than my little 1/4 Wave antenna I have now. The DBJ-1 ($54) antenna is top of the line, highly acclaimed, (dual band 144-148 MHz and 440-450 MHz) and made by Professor Ed Fong (WB6IQN) and his class at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Hopefully someday I’ll figure out a way to get it at the top of my 40 foot ROHN radio tower but for now I’ll just have to attached it to my metal roof.

Below is a link of Professor Ed Fong’s website and the different antennas available.


We had 7 HAMs check-in last Sunday evening when our local Net was called by Russell Keeton (WD5HCK). The winner for long distance was David Joeseph (N0MUA) at Sillwater. I hope to hear more of my HAM friends out there check-in this coming eveniing at 8:00pm on the Arbuckle Net 970.

Below is from my newsletter
Issue 195 January 13, 2001

Oklahoma put to death by lethal injection the first woman on death row at the state pen at McAlester, Oklahoma. There is much side taking on this issue, not only in this state but nationwide.

The Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Oklahoma, Thursday, July 8, 1915



Oklahoma City, July 7. – Death in the electric chair has been the sentence for several persons convicted of capital offenses in Oklahoma during the last two years, but up to this time none have so suffered. The last preceding administration was opposed to capital punishment and there was no electric chair in the penitentiary. This administration is alleged not to be opposed to the death penalty and there are two death sentences awaiting arrival of the date set for execution. These dates will be advance of the readiness of the electric chair, however, and Governor Williams has said that he will reprieve the prisoners in order that they may be executed in the new chair when the state board of affairs shall have that instrument of retributive justice ready.

The state board of public affairs undertook several months ago when the appropriation for a death chair became available to build the chair at the McAlester prison. It was understood that the work was making rapid progress until last week, when the board received bids for supply the complicated electrical apparatus that makes the chair a death chair. Now, ready for executions set for July 30 and Aug 6, and that they will be delayed.

R.C. Moorehead, a negro who killed Clifford Garrison at Snyder, February 7, 1915, was sentenced to die July 30. Henry Booklan of McIntosh County was sentenced to die in the chair Aug. 6. So far neither case has been appealed to the criminal court of appeals, and the death penalty will probably be exacted when the electric chair shall be ready.

“I don’t have any information on the meteor, but I do remember part of it being displayed at Tucker’s Tower at Lake Murray. My aunt and uncle used to “manage” it when I was a kid. I spent many years at Tuckers Tower as my playground! What a blast for a kid! They lived in the house there and my cousins’ bedroom was at the top on the rocks. At night the coyotes would come up to our bedroom windows and peek in…the raccoons would come up to the living room windows for snacks. What fun times to have been a kid! I also remember the little zoo at Whittington park. If anyone knows Robert Hensley, you really need to get copies of photos from him and history! He’s got a great photo of a race car track in the 20’s that was at Whittington park area too. The photo shows the grandstand full of people and the cars with the drivers at the starting line. It’s GREAT!” -blreed

“Butch; I have been meaning to drop you an email requesting to be added to your “This and That” mailing list. After I was forwarded it today, it made me get into action. Thank you so much for the Courtney Flats Ferry mention and the ferry information in general. From Henry D. COURTNEY’s gg-granddaughter, Candace Gregory Researching GREGORY, PRATER, COURTNEY, WILLIAMS, GHOLSON, WICKER, SANDIFER, SLAUGHTER, MOORE, CAIN and many more.” firegrl@sierratel.com -Candace-L-Gregory

“Butch: I am interested if anyone in Ardmore remembers being in Miss Coffman’s 3rd grade class at Franklin Elementary School, about in 1962 or 1963. Everyday after afternoon recess, she would read from the book, “The Secret Garden”, to her class. We were so excited as she read only one chapter each time to us. (I suppose so that the book would last the entire year). After shefinished reading the book to us, she passed it around the room, where we all signed our names in the margins, as she had done many years previously, and many years after us. I asked Miss Coffman, who I knew well into adulthood, if she would “will” me the book. She said that she would write my name in the front of the book so that I would be sure to get it. Miss Coffman recently passed away and I wrote to her surviving nephew and asked if I could please have that book to take to our 30th high school reunion this year, and then donate this book to the Carter County Museum. This is a treasured piece of history of so many kids that this kind woman taught and pleasured as she read that wonderful book. I hope to hear from him, so this book can be delivered to it’s final resting place…… where many people can enjoy and remember this wonderful time of so long ago.” -Scheryl Williams

“Your T&T is wonderful & each one offers its own unique set of dreams…thanks for spending countless time to provide this wonderful communication to your readers.”

“Your T&T is wonderful & each one offers its own unique set of dreams… thanks for spending countless time to provide this wonderful communication to your readers.”-Carolyn J Hallmark

“Butch, Thank you for doing such a great job for all of us to read each weekend. I look forward to reading about all the different happenings and it brings back such memories. I am going in the morning to get my kids a grapette and let them know what we always thought was the best pop in the world.” -Angie Cox

“HI — My name is Luann Grosscup, I’m a freelancer for the Chicago Tribune. (I am also a former flight attendant for American Flyers.) I have been assigned by my editor at the Tribune’s transportation section to write an article about the supplemental/charter airlines of the past, which would, of course, include American Flyers. Can you put me in touch with anyone from American Flyers? I will be seeking out both crew members and administration. Please let me know if you”ll be able to steer me in any directions as far as finding anyone to speak with for my article. I realize this site is dedicated to the Memorial rather than the airline, but I have been unable to find any other site on the web related to AFA and thought this might be a good place to start. I appreciate your time. Thank you.”

“Butch my mother got me this book, Ghost Town Tales of Oklahoma, back in November. It is pretty interesting. Some of the stories are okay and some are totally awesome, but I’d know you’d like it. Did you ever take a look at my pumpjacks? If you get any snapshots of any or know of anyone who has any send them my way. Later.” -Jayson Pruitt

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0913507741/sr=1-1/ref=sc_b_1/104- 6620607-9393551

“We are pleased with your This & That stories of “back-when” in or near Ardmore. Since that brother of mine has been living in or near Ardmore most all of his 86 years and doesn’t have a PC, he doesn’t get to enjoy the “old times” like we do who receive This & That each week. Last week we read the paragraph about the Priddy boys. There were nine boys and 3 girls, I think, who were living on NE 5th Street on the north side of the viaduct when they started a canning business in their home. One of the younger brothers died early as a teen-ager, approximately 16 years old, I think his name was Clifford. Except for J. C. the other brothers were in the restaurant business. Louis established “Black Angus” restaurant in Okla City before he had his burger business on N Harvey in Okla City. Priddy boys also had a restaurant at Cedar Vale near Turner Falls. I guess the Priddy boys figured all could eat well if they had restaurants during the “lean years” of the 30’s . Metta and I hope to be in Ardmore on or before 20th Jan to lunch with Ira Bridges on his 86th birthday. If you get hungry about that time, we want to feed and visit with you too.” -Doyal and Metta Bridges

“Did you have something within the last year about Karen Silkwood? I just watched the movie tonight. -jayce

From: Butch Bridges
Saturday, March 13, 1999 Vol 3 Issue 99
Last Sunday The Daily Ardmoreite had an article about the Karen Silkwood mystery. Karen Silkwood was working in the Kerr-McGee plant in Crescent, Oklahoma in the early 70s, and supposedly was exposed to radiation. Little did she know at that time, that her $4.00 an hour job would cost her her life. On November 13, 1974 she was going to meet a reporter and union leader that evening to give them an envelope with evidence proving the radiation hazards at the Crescent plant. Anyway, she was killed in an automobile accident on the way to the meeting in OKC. The wreck and her death has always been a mystery. Accident reconstructionists in Dallas said her Honda car was “pushed” from behind, causing the single car accident on the narrow, winding country road that evening. The envelope, by the way, was never found. After all these years, her three children decided make public statements about their mom and that tragedy.
Her ex-husband and her three children lived in Ardmore back then. I remember one of the two girls, forget which one, was making the drag in about 1986, and at “E” Street NW and West Broadway (behind First Methodist Church) she lost control of her car and hit a pole. She was slightly injured. I was the medic that day and took her to the hospital.
A 1964 high school pic of Karen Silkwood, Nederland, TX where she is reported by Life Magazine as one of the “50 Most Influential Baby Boomers.”


“Late this evening, around 5 pm. I drove down to Lake Murray Park and ventured down the road that leads to the Elephant Rock and Cedar Grove areas. If I had traveled on east I would have come to the Tipp’s Point road, but as you know the Elephant Rock road turns north before you get that far. I parked heading the little pickup north on Elephant Rock road & left it on the shoulder. The purpose of this trip was to try and find the two graves I knew to be in the area. I would not say that the little graves have been neglected and it is very possible that members of the family visit the site from time to time. I found recently placed bouquets of flowers on the markers of the two little girls that are buried there, side by side. You will be able to decipher the names & pertinent facts if the attachments are received in good order. Before Lake Murray Park property was secured from the citizens of the area there were many families scattered in their homesteads throughout the region. There are probably many graves located on the Lake Murray Park land and it would be interesting to know if they too are marked.” -Ernest Martin

GPS: 34.085160, -97.102289

Alma Aletha Harris 1/19/1915 – 7/11/1916
Baby Boy Harris 11/2/1916 – 11/21/1916

“The building that “Beds Direct” 719 W. Main and “Tempco” 721 W. Main is in was at one time a lumber yard. It was all under one roof. This was back possibly in the1920’s and early 1930’s. When the City of Ardmore decided to build a new municipal building (Current building minus the addition on the west side) in 1936 or 1937 they had to find a building in which to house the fire department temporarily while the new building was being built. The building at 719 West Main became the fire department house for over a year. They had to try several times to get enough asphalt on the ground inside the building that the fire trucks could start out on without the black top rolling up in waves. I think the Fire Chief then was a Mr. Curtis Moore.

Another item for you is the original church building (before any additions were added) for the Memorial Christian Church at the corner of 12th street N. W. and “A” street was the original chapel built at the Ardmore Air Base back in the 1940’s. After the air base was closed and all of the property transferred back to the City of Ardmore, the City took bids and the Memorial Christian Church was organized and the people bought the building and had it hauled into town and set up in its present location on A NW.”

Last week I mentioned the testing of the Carter County Assessor’s new website with a searchable database of public land records. During that 36 hour test there were some 5,000 hits to the website and at one time 30 Users logged on at once. Wow! Never in my wildest dreams did I think my T&T readers would respond like that! And everything worked fine too. It is still being fine tuned by Steve Hamm with data being imputed along with pictures, etc. But you can check out Assessor Sam West’s new Domain Name just setup this week. His new website is truly a giant step forward for public access of courthouse records and an example for all county officials in Oklahoma.

Last Christmas I gave away nearly 200 of those little wooden toothpick holders to every worker at the courthouse plus all three county barns. Also 9 of you won one in the drawings held before Christmas. I still have a few left and if anyone wants one, send me 2 bucks and I”ll see you get one. Who knows, in a few years collectors may be paying top dollar of one these toothpick holders. So if anyone wants one, let me know now. When they are all gone, there will be no more engraved with Christmas 2000 Carter County Courthouse Ardmore Oklahoma on them!

Fast forward to today: All the above tooth pickholders are gone, none left but one, and I’m keeping it. lol

“Time is a fixed income and, as with any income, the real problem facing most of us is how to live successfully within our daily allotment.” –Margaret B. Johnstone

See everyone next Thursday!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore, Oklahoma