A Home Grown Home Page

Home of the This and That Newsletters

Vol 28 Issue 1,422 May 2, 2024

This morning around 3:00am 5/02/24 we had a torrential downpour bring us 2.5 inches of rain. South central Oklahoma is soaked. Need a break from all this but none predicted for the next 5 days. 🙁

The Newport Mesonet station is 9.7 miles north of my house at Newport, Oklahoma.


Below is a map showing the locations of the ferrys along the Red River of Love County. Let’s see… Courtney Ferry, Sorrell Ferry, Scanlin Ferry, Rector Ferry, Sevill Ferry, Thacker Ferry, Watts Ferry, Browns Ferry, Tucks Ferry, Fletcher Ferry, and Tiptons Ferry. Plus the toll bridge where I-35 crosses the river today.

After all the heavy rains over the weekend below is how Turner Falls 18 miles north of Ardmore has been flowing. Or should I saw gushing! And lots more rain predicted over the next 5 days.

A friend of mine took a picture of Ardmore’s Flying J gas station/truck stop while buzzing around in his plane the other day.

HAM Talk by KC5JVT via Echolink

Last Friday evening 04/26/24 when the tornadoes came through south central Oklahoma the HAM Repeater 970 near Turner Falls in the Arbuckle Mountains lost power.There is a generator at the location to power the HAM equipmenet but without power to that area, it wasn’t long before nothing worked. So a much of the next 24 hours the 970 Repeater was worthless. Thankfully Ardmoreite Vance Smith KE5BAL purchased some gasoline and took to the location to get the tranmitter up and running again. There was also an electrical issue and Vance was quickly able to get that fixed. I hope someday soon there will be a long term solution to this “no electicity problem” so the Repeater can continue operation without interruptions. Of course maybe someday the repeater can have internet to we can send and receive perfect transmissions worldwide. In the mean time I am working to get set up here at home so I can continue HAM transmissions (Simplex) off-grid without power for extended periods of time. At least that’s my goal.

It’s worthy to note that the nationally recognized emergency frequencies are 146.520MHz and 446.000MHz and should be included in your radio’s scanned channels. These are for Simplex operation meaning, radio to radio transmissions without a Repeater. If you regularly use 1.25m, 33cm and/or 23cm bands, there are national Simplex calling frequencies defined per the band plan for you to look up. (as of 2023)

Every Sunday night local HAMs hold their Net at 8:00pm. All licensed HAMs are welcome to check in.

The Boredom Breaker Net transmitting from a radio tower near Claremore Oklahoma averages 60 HAM check-ins daily. Nearly everyday day or two a new HAM check-in for their first time to the Net. The Net is open to anyone who is a licensed HAM. Net opens at 12 Noon Oklahoma time everyday until 2:00pm, 7 days a week.

From the Mailbag

Butch and Richard Craven!!

I can’t thank you enough for the valuable follow-up to my Coatsworth query. I have traveled the world during my 25 year career in the U.S. Navy but Johnston County, OK is where my roots lie (currently live in State College, PA). I now have a hobby that I very much enjoy: Ancestry and geneaolgy. From my two primary family’s roots (Epperson and Pope), I now have 15,000 names which have populated my “tree” going back as far as the 11th century in southern France and participation in the Crusades. My maternal grandmother’s (Walden) family also comes into my tree having moved to Johnston County in the late 1890’s. While both of my parents grew up in the Bromide and Thackerville/Tishomingo areas, respectively, they never met until both were working in a shipyard in San Diego early in WWII. I first entered this world there in 1946 and shortly thereafter our growing family moved to Texas and made frequent visits to Bromide and Tishomingo for several years before relocating again to Oregon in 1956.

I greatly appreciate the map Richard included which helped me close some legs in the Walden family journey’s. I had never seen that one before. Now I am busy tying together this new information with several old news clippings I have discovered.

One last thing: “Who’d a Thought It” was what the locals called Coatsworth up to the point that my grandfather Cordy Walden became postmaster there. I have found references to “Who’d a Thought It” from old Wapanucka newspapers. One of the better mentions of that community comes from records of a local minister (William T. Muncrief) who resided there:

William Taylor Muncrief and wife Mary Sue Durham moved from Van Buren, Arkansas to Loco, Indian Territory in 1890. (Loco is about 35 miles west of Ardmore)

They moved from Loco to “Who’d a Thought it” community in 1896.

“Who’d a Thought it” is better known today as Coatsworth.

Again, I really enjoy your materials and look forward to more gems!! Best wishes, -Ed Pope

Interesting website about Central Airlines, which came to Ardmore in the 50’s.  Your note about the Springer airport reminded me of it. -George Pretty


Below is from my newsletter dated
April 28, 2001 – Issue 210

Last weekend when I was in the bustling little town of Purcell, Oklahoma a couple of things came to my mind. First was an incident that happened in 1925 here in Ardmore. Sheriff Ewing London was removed from office by a judge for corruption among other things, and a Sheriff Pro Tem was appointed. Appointed was dairy farmer James Cruce who lived out north of Ardmore on Mt Washington Road. Cruce removed nearly everyone in his office of London’s employees, and hired in their place his supporters, creating his own law enforcement machine. But Cruce’s reign would be short lived, only 30 days, when a judge in Purcell would overturn London’s removal from office, and reinstated Ewing London as sheriff.

As I travelled around Purcell, I came by the Wadley Ambulance Service. It is one of the few remaining private ambulance services in the state. I remember it well in the early 70s when I worked for the ambulance service here in Ardmore. We had a hightop Cadillac ambulance and a hightop Pontiac ambulance during that time period. I forget which brand ambulance kept throwing tread but one did, and we bought the best tires Montgomery Wards sold to run on it. But for unknown reason, we kept throwing tread off those tires, usually around the Purcell area when we transported patients to Oklahoma City. After going through 6 or 7 sets of tires, the Montgomery Ward tire department manager told us we would have to buy tires somewhere else. Since the tires were under warranty, he replaced those 6 or 7 sets free, but finally had to admit he didn’t have any tires that that hightop ambulance would not throw off the tread. After trying several other brands of tires, we finally found that the only tires whose tread would not come off at high speed on that particular ambulance was General Tire. Why I’m telling all this, is that we employees at the ambulance office kinda of had a bet among ourselves, whether we’d make it to Purcell before throwing off the tread on that hightop ambulance. Wadley Ambulance Service many times had to come out on Interstate 35 and take our patient on to Oklahoma City. The two ambulance services became good friends during that trying time. Here’s a pic I took of our ambulance office back around 1970. You can see that hightop Cadallac ambulance in the photo.

In 1978 we had that same Cadillac ambulance catch fire while enroute to Oklahoma City with a patient. Luckily no one was hurt. It all happened at the Purcell exit, and Wadley Ambulance service came to our rescue again, taking the patient on to OKC. Mr. Wadley even let us parked that burned out ambulance at his ambulance office a couple days, until our local wrecker driver, “Broadway Bill”, was sent to get it and haul it back to Ardmore. Here’s a pic I took of that burned ambulance at Wadley’s office.

On Purcell’s Main street is a beautifully restored Santa Fe caboose.

One more thing I noticed in Purcell. When I was there on Good Friday April 13th, the McClain County courthouse was in full operation. Our courthouse in Ardmore was closed that day. This is a pic of the McClain county courthouse.

Just a mile east of Purcell across the Canadian bridge is Lexington, Oklahoma. These are a couple of beautiful murals painted the sides of buildings in Lexington.

And one rarity for Oklahoma is this covered bridge just a block south of Main Street in Lexington (Merle Anderson Memorial Bridge).

Thanks to Ardmoreite Charles Champion II I’m now the owner of a beautiful beveled mirror. It is like the ones he sells at his store across the street from the Hamburger Inn. I wish I had talent like that, making one-of-a-kind Western Americana art.

Dear Butch, We are still loving your newsletter out west here in Vegas. It makes my Saturday mornings to get up and read all the hometown news. I was just wondering if anyone near my age, over the hill, would remember when the Ardmore Airport near Springer had the big airshow back @ 1938 or 1939? I read the recent article by the person recalling the Ardmore Airport. I was very young then, but I remember falling in love with airplanes at that airshow. We had a dirigible (blimp) visiting that day and I was fascinated! They were selling rides on bi-planes and I wanted to go up, much to my Mother’s surprise. I remember what a wonderful day it was and wonder if anyone else remembers those times?

“Butch I just found your page. There was some discussion about Dr. Moxley and the alligators. Dr. Moxley’s hobby was working his place in Love County and he had a beautiful pecan orchard and a large pond that he had built. He also had a neighbor who raised (ran) hogs and he could not seem to keep the fence up between him and this neighbor. The hogs ate his pecans, rooted up his fields and muddied up the water in his pond. After the alligators were introduced , the hog problem sort of took care of itself. Unfortunately, some of the alligators got away.”

“Butch, I was reading a story you had in your mailbag a couple of weeks ago about someone wanting information about a little girl that was the lone survivor of a plane crash by the last name of Arnold, still strapped to her seat, found in a farmers field. If memory serves me correctly, there was a girl by the name of Virginia Arnold that went to school at Fox, and her parents were killed in a plane crash. She was raised by her maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Ritter of Pinto. They are both deceased now, but they have a son, which would be the girls uncle, that lives in Ringling, OK. His name is Rayburn Ritter, and is listed in the phone book as RJ Ritter. Maybe this information would help the person who sent you the letter to find out if this is their lost family member, if you could forward it on to them, there wasn’t an e-mail attached to the letter. They can e-mail me at egc@texhoma.net… Thanks Butch for all you do.”

“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.” -Amelia Earhart

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore, Oklahoma