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Vol 28 Issue 1,424 May 16, 2024

The 1910 Carter County Courthouse is getting a major overhaul of it’s copper dome. It was really in bad shape with a number of leaks which caused rotting boards and framework under the copper, so it is badly needed. Scaffoldling has been installed and the work begins. Courthouse maintenance supervisor, Kalub Miller, was up at the dome and found a jar with memorabilia from 1999 when the cupola was installed. My Carter County business card was in the jar. I had completely forgot a bunch of us the day of installation creating the “time capsule” and Dave Kappel put the “stash” in the cupola.

HAM Talk by KC5JVT via Echolink

Vance Smith ( KE5BAL ) sent in an update on all the work and improvements to the 970 Repeater north of Ardmore.

“A controlled burn got out of control in March of 2023. The insurance check helped to rebuild the W5BLW repeater site up on the Arbuckle mountains. Cleaned up all the old building and brush and prepped the lot for 4” to 6” of screenings. 

The tower guys came in and cleaned off all the coax’s and old tower lights, inspected tower, and made adjustments and gave us good inspection. Checked all of antennas, took 2 old UHF down and kept a db 146.970, UHF, 800 mhz antenna’s. Installed 3 260’ runs of 1 7/8” hard line coax. installed new LED tower lights and controller.

Set a new power pole and breaker box, poured 8’x 20’ slab with weld plates. Bought a used-once conex box and drilled and welded brackets for plywood mounting walls, installed a radio rack, mounted Yaesu DX-2 repeater with a new 146.970 tuned times wave Duplexers and lightening arrestors, with a backup 12 volt battery to supply power to radio in small power outages, and soon a new one ton mini split HVAC system to keep everything at operating temps though out the sessions. And a small generator / inverter for when the electricity goes out for more than a day or two. Lot more things to finish and work on.”
-Vance Smith

The Bordom Beaker Net is held everyday, 7 days a week from 12 noon to 2:00pm Oklahoma time out of Claremore, Oklahoma.

From this week’s Mailbag

Hey “On The Halves” > Great job on the 1423 newsletter. One of the best ever ! Very informative stuff. Whatever Kool-Aid you were drinkin’, save some for the next issues. So much info about the flamboyant Joe Ben Champion. What a character. Perhaps all that charisma was why my pappy had an association with him. Especially with legal stuff. Joe Ben loved the drama of the courtroom. I still remember his often used quip: ”…let’s sue the SOBs”. His infatuation with watches is why pappy liked watches so much. Pappy couldn’t afford the high dollar ones that JB had in his collection. Pappy often said: ”I’ve got a champagne appetite on a beer income”. Since you came up with so much info on JB, perhaps you could do some research on yet another Ardmore character from that era: Richard Knapp. Richard was a good friend of pappy’s, and was killed when he flipped his sports car on commerce. It was the same make & model of sports car that James Dean was killed in. It was the same color also. Richard was an advertising mogul of Ardmore fame, and he certainly was not going to be outdone by James Dean. -Steve Miller

Did you know that the Atlas Missiles from the disbanded Oklahoma missile silos of the Cold War were used to put astronauts into outer space during the Space Race with Russia ? These missiles went from one use to yet another very different use. Both of which were directly tied to our long often tumultuous relationship with Russia.

An outstanding tv program from the folks at OETA about the Oklahoma Cold War history can be Googled and watched. It is part of the popular Back In Time PBS tv series. The Back In Time episode is titled: COLD WAR TARGET.

Ardmore played an important role in this historical moment. The 9416 Recovery Squadron was stationed at the Ardmore AFB. It was responsible for recovering the returning bomber aircraft had they dropped nuclear bombs on Russia. My pappy was part of the Command Officer Team with the 9416th. I remember watching, as a wee lad, the practice drills of recovering aircraft for the process of radiation decontamination. Little did they know that this process would have been futile. The radioactive particles could never have been neutralized.

I recently attempted to get recognition brought to the brave folks of the 9416th with no success. Each day, those of the 9416th lived on needles & pins not knowing if the U.S. would engage Russia in a nuclear war. We came so close. Oklahoma was a prime target for Russia because of the missile silos and numerous air bases. Oklahoma would have been vaporized during a nuclear attack. All of us Okies would not be here today had this happened. THINK ABOUT IT……. -Steve Miller

Q. Butch, below is a building on North Washington across from hamburger Inn. What are those numbers and letters? -Jake Bramlett

A. The letters I.O.O.F. stands for Independant Order of Odd Fellows. The numbers are the year left side and right side – 1918. And No 6 is the Lodge number. My grandmother, Addie Carmon, was a member in the early 1960s and I went to a couple of their meetings with her. -Butch


Below is from my newsletter dated
May 12, 2001 – Issue 212

Let the weddings begin! Well almost. The new pavilion in front of the Carter county courthouse is nearing completion. Here’s photo with Earl Harper laying the last column of rock at the pavilion. Last Fall I was driving by the courthouse on a Sunday afternoon, and there was a man and his wife walking around looking at the courthouse. Curiosity got the best of me, so I stopped, introduced myself and asked what they were doing. He said they were married at the courthouse back in 1932, and have lived in Dallas ever since, never returning to Ardmore til that Sunday. But they decided after all those years, they’d travel back here, and see where they were married. The pavilion would be a nice place to hold weddings.

I had an unexpected visitor this week. His name is Emil Muegge and he was a 1945 graduate of Ardmore High School. He had me scan the Graduation Exercises Program from his graduation in 1945. Emil now lives in Burkburnett, Texas. Besides seeing Emil’s name in the list, I saw a number of other Ardmoreites whose name I recognized from that year.

Emil Muegge obituary


In Murray county at the Davis, Oklahoma Exit, and three miles to the west, is the Lazy S Ranch. Near the front gate on top of the hill is a very nice looking bell.

And back in Carter county north of Springer, Oklahoma is also the Lasy S Ranch and there are two bells on that property.

The Daily Ardmoreite had in interesting article in their May 8, 2001 issue. Carter County Assessor, Sam West, was interviewed on a plan to added county mapping to his Internet website for public access.

“Butch, I read all of the information about the bells over these past few weeks and then I read in the last issue where you went to Tishomingo and took some pictures of some bells there. I can no longer resist sharing the following. At one time there was one more bell in Tishomingo. In 1961 while attending the college I and three of my friends decided we needed a bell to ring at the football games. We drove to an old closed school house west of Ardmore, I am not sure where, as it has been 40 years, and moved the bell to Tishomingo. We mounted it between to wagon wheels and pulled it around at football games. The last time I saw it was behind the old building where we stored our ROTC uniforms during the summer months. It sounds a little silly 40 years later, but I’m sure it must have been great fun at the time. I would be interested in what ever happened to the bell.”

“Butch-The last of the Confederate Civil War widows died at the Oklahoma Veteran’s Home, Ardmore, December 29, 1954. Fannie D. Murphy, 88, was born in North Carolina, March 12, 1886. She was the widow of her fourth husband, N. G. Murphy, a Confederate soldier. Her second husband was Confederate General L. J. Bailey. She married two of her husbands after coming to the home April 12, 1915, where she worked as a cook and seamstress.” -Source: The Daily Ardmoreite

“Butch this is a picture of a huge church bell I saw recently while chasing storms in Waurika, Oklahoma. It was in front of the Chisholm Trail Museum going into Waurika on HW 70.”

“Butch this is a picture of an old hotel that now serves as a Tea House and Antique Shop just across the rail road tracks on HW 70, Waurika. You can enjoy a light lunch with tea and hear the owner tell stories of ghosts, killings, and robberies that took place in the old hotel during the heyday of the Chisholm Trail. Later you can visit the Antiques in the old hotel and visit the huge Antique warehouse next door.”

“Butch, When I was at the Southern Oklahoma Greater Museum the other day I acquired a copy of this article that dealt with schools across the region. I thought the information was timely since we are running picture of schools for the early days. This article comes from the McGallaird collection.”

“In 1923 The Pleasant Hill School was situated about five miles southwest of Ardmore on the *Stapleton Highway. Its location is accessible to all parts of the district as all streams are bridged and the roads are kept dragged. The school was also reported to be about 3 miles south of Plainview. The district school census was 101. A farming community comprises dist. 18. The land is above average in fertility and farmers and stockmen rank among the best in the country. Four or five dairys are in the district. The district lies near the Amerada Oil Field. There are rich deposits of asphalt which is worked and the asphalt is used on the city streets of Ardmore. There was a school house in the neighborhood before statehood . Soon after statehood the present school district was organized. Mrs. Lennie Carpenter is primary teacher and Mr. J.E.Steel is the principal of the school at present. *[today, does anyone know where the Stapleton Highway was located, or its route???]”

M is for the million things she gave me
O means only that she’s growing old
T is for the tears were shed to save me
H is for her heart of purest gold
E is for her eyes, with love-light shining
R means right and right she’ll always be
Put them all together they spell “Mother”
A word that means the world to me.

– Words to the song by Theodore Morse and Howard Johnson, 1915.

Youtuve video of song

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore, Oklahoma