Thursday, April 30, 2009

1940s plane crash southeast of Temple

There was a plane crash during the 1940s a few miles southeast of Temple. I believe it was a military plane and approximately three crew members were killed when they parachuted out too close to the ground. Did it make the Tribune? Does anyone have more information or memory about it?

Roger M. Norman

Harold Parkey Burial Friday

Harold Parkey died at a Wichita Falls hospital Tuesday morning, April 28. He was hospitalized Saturday for care of diabetic and leg problems. Hazel arrived at the hospital early Tuesday morning to take him home and found him uncomfortable. Minutes later he died from heart failure. Funeral services will be graveside at Temple Cemetery, Friday.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Small Town Economics

Looking for an understanding of our country’s economic fix? Maybe a look at my home town will help.

Temple, a quaint country town in Southern Oklahoma, is surrounded by wheat fields and cattle pastures. It was first settled in 1902 and quickly became a thriving merchandising center for the smart, poor, ambitious land hungry young farmers who drew their 160 acres in a government lottery. Smart, young entrepreneurs also came to this frontier. Two of them were Bob and Otho Mooney who came from North Carolina. They started with a borrowed $3500 and established the B & O Cash Store, which grew to become a merchandising center for a large area of north Texas and southern Oklahoma. They employed more then 200 and claimed to be the biggest small town merchandiser in America. They operated a lumberyard and would build you a house, sell you groceries, service your automobile, serve you ice cream, provide you medical care and fill your prescriptions. The brothers advertised and operated under the slogan “We sell everything a person needs from birth to death”. They bought local farmers’ products: chickens, turkeys, pecans, milk, cream, cattle and pigs. Cream became butter. Turkeys were processed and sent to New York by the train car loads.

The impact of the B & O was such that Sears and Roebuck bought out the Mooneys in 1929. Sears operated the block square business until 1956 when they opened a large new store 40 miles north in Lawton. Sears gave the 50,000 sq. ft. building to the town.

As B & O became established, W. A. Yeilding put in a clothing store. He too was very successful. When the Sears B & O closed Mr. Yeilding made a deal with Hagger to put in a clothing manufacturing facility in the building. Hagger employed up to 300 people. Workers came from Temple and surrounding farms and communities. After 30 years with highly productive employees Hagger closed the plant and moved it to Mexico for cheaper labor. Economic life of Temple deteriorated. It’s a big change from the 1920’s when the town had five grocery stores, a movie theater, several gas stations, a bakery, four cafes, two auto dealerships, two banks, three cotton gins and various other businesses. Now the town has no grocery store, one bank, a nursing home, pharmacy, auto supply store, a convenience store, lumberyard, livestock feed maker and a grain storage business. The town has several independent craftsmen. This is a small sales tax base from which to draw town operating funds.

Before the 1970’s a large farm family lived on each quarter (160 acres). At five people per farm family that is 8,000 farm folks. Narrow margins for farm products made larger farms necessary. Now the rural part of the community consists of about one small family per 8,000 acres. Many of these farmers live in town. Large equipment enables very few laborers to farm the land. The number of middle class families in the community declined. The number of retirees and welfare recipients increased. It is a quiet country town.

Fifty years ago, Economics 101 taught that all wealth comes from three sources; the earth, capitol and labor.

It seems that when a large amount of labor was done on the farm and in the clothing factory the Temple community thrived. Now the employers of labor are gone and the community does not thrive. Thousands of Great Plains agricultural communities have met the same fate as Temple,

A huge amount of goods we Americans use daily are now made in other countries. What happens to a country if the labor for the goods it purchases is paid in other countries? Temple, Oklahoma and thousands of Great Plains rural communities may be examples of the outcome for the USA as a whole. Is the lost labor factor accounted for in current appraisal of our countries economic downturn?

Will Rogers said during the great depression, “There is not an unemployed man in the country that hasn’t contributed to the wealth of every millionaire in America?” Also he said after the 1929 crash, “After all everybody just can’t live on gambling. Somebody has to do some work.” Maybe other countries are doing too much of our work. How much less welfare and poverty would exist if the overseas jobs were returned to America?

Industrialization of the 1800’s made the USA the wealthiest nation on earth. Will the loss of industry make us a second rate country?

A few years back advocates of globalization said manufacturing moved to other countries would be replaced by a need for services. Who will be the servants? Who will they serve?

Do some countries not tax goods exported to the USA so as to make their goods cheap? Do some of these same countries tax imports to make them less competitive? Does the USA sufficiently tax incoming goods? Could the USA tax imported goods and use the revenue to create jobs to support our unemployed workers?

Do our lawmakers understand that the USA actually is in competition for wealth with other countries?

Temple is a quaint country town in southern Oklahoma: no red lights; no traffic jams; good people — retirees, farmers and women who meet daily for coffee at the convenience store and at the Senior Citizen’s Center.

Housing is low cost. The town will sell you lots for $300. A good 50,000-square-foot building is available to lease or purchase at a give away price. Temple is 15 miles from access to Interstate 44. It is midway between Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth.

I am a fourth generation resident of Temple. I moved away for twenty-seven years to college and an Army career. Moved back to be near parents and in-laws and because it is home. I wanted to try my hand at being a farmer-rancher. It all has worked out except the farmer-rancher part. The lifestyle, hard work and living on the prairie have been more delightful than I could imagine. Farming we’ve handled a lot of money and did a lot of work with little or no net gain. Retirement income and land appreciation held together a decent lifestyle.

My peers who stayed with farming-ranching (those are the third, fourth and fifth generation locals) have had a tough row to hoe. One I know best says he has been totally broke three times since 1952 when he started farming. He and other progressive farmers have put together large efficient operations which seem to be doing well. A few have jobs in the cities and farm as a hobby.

I think that many of the third, fourth and fifth generation descendents of subsistence farmers were insightful and fed up with the difficulty of farming and made up their minds early to work at something besides farming-ranching. Many made exceptional careers in other professions.
They became successful engineers, entrepreneurs, educators, managers and craftsmen and parents. Most settled in Texas, Oklahoma and California. Many have fond memories of growing up in the Temple community. Maybe some will let us know their thoughts about their hometown.

Seems Temple has gone through the same sort of economic decline as our country may be going through now.

--Harold Powell

Majestic: Creature?

From Cecelia Norman: I don't remember this one. In that treasure box of Suzy's does she have Creature fromThe Black Lagoon?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Majestic Thetre: The Mississippi Gambler

More from Roger M. Norman and the Majestic:

And, now, … for your next movie, how many of you remember The Mississippi Gambler when it came to the Majestic Theater in Temple on June 11 and 12, 1953? The flier was saved by Suzy Jane Blair, then age 12, class of 1958, and daughter of Mae Blair, one of the Temple school teachers.

More Praise for Dorothy's Poem

Congratulations Dottie! Great poem
brings back good memories.
Cecelia Bentley Norman

Monday, April 27, 2009


I don’t know who Dottie B. is but I do like her poem. Good work Dottie.

Sue Wilson Golden

This Old House

This from Jerry Bowles, Temple Class of 1952:

This picture of our old home place was taken from Google Map by my niece, Teresa Bowles Harrison. The place looks thrown away now and is decaying back to dirt from whence it came. Back then the house was painted white and there were more trees and a picket fence around the yard. My Mom loved flowers and she had the whole yard full of all kinds of plants and flowers. Dad always complained about all the watering that she did on the flowers. My Mom was always working in the yard, cooking, canning food, sewing, quilting, and a multitude of other things. She did like to read and that's about the only time she did something for herself.

Out in the back yard we always had a large garden and a chicken house with chickens. Sometimes it would be after 11:00 PM before it would cool off enough to go to sleep. One vivid memory I have of the hot summers is hosing our selves off with the garden hose to help cool.

There used to be a big shade tree near the back door. One of my favorite memories is when company came, especially Uncle Monk. All the men sat under the shade tree and told stories, each trying to get the biggest laugh. Sometimes Mom would make home made ice cream. Peggy and I would sit on the freezer while someone cranked it until frozen. The funny part was listening to everyone trying to boss the thing – put on more salt, no that’s enough, turn faster, turn slower, sit still kid, eat it now, no let it set awhile. I can remember all those things, but can’t remember what it tasted like.

I lived in this house from grade 7 until I graduated from high school in 1952. Lots of memories there, some good, some not so good. My best year was my senior year in school. I had a part time job at Yeildings Department Store and was able to buy some decent clothes. I had a little money and had my first steady girl friend. We would hang around together at school and go to the movie on Saturday night. Dad had an old Chevy car and sometimes he would let me have it for a special date.

Gerald R. (Jerry) Bowles, 1952 Temple Alumnus.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Award Winning Poem from 1951 Temple Alum

I received the message below from Dorothy Bridges Ille, 1951 Temple Alumni. Congratulations Dorothy and thanks for sharing this. --Harold Powell

Harold, in one of the last issues of the Temple Tribune, I saw an ad for a poetry contest, held by the 2008 Oklahoma Conference on Aging. A short autobiography, and as many as three poems could be submitted. The contest was called "Aging Out Loud."

While in Oklahoma City in June, 2008, I saw the same ad in the paper there, and decided once at home I would enter. I sent in 2 poems, and the required story of my life, as related to Oklahoma, such as place of birth, and schools attended. Then I waited.

In late November, the book of poetry arrived, heavy as lead, since so many citizens entered the contest. It is a beautiful paper-backed volume, with every single poem intact. but I noticed that the Women's Division had not been judged, which was a disappointment.

So I waited, feeling that a person would be notified, if a winner, by mail. No word came, so I was resigned to not winning. Two weeks ago, a large package came from Oklahoma City. Enclosed was my trophy, made of acrylics, and in the form of the state of Oklahoma....declaring that I was the third-place winner, for my poem entitled "Recollections" in the Women's Division of "Aging Out Loud."

I was, and am still thrilled. In the Women's Division, there are about 230 poems, and mine was judged 3rd. place. Below is my poem:


Crickets, an orchestra, strumming in the dell,
The ringing, chiming of a distant bell,
The song of the yellow meadowlark,
Long evenings, strolling in a park.
The call of a mating mockingbird,
Prettiest song you've ever heard.

The sweet smell of the May Day flower,
Sitting, sunning, in a secluded bower.
Running in the bottom of a dry creek bed,
Red knit stocking cap upon my head.
Gooseberries, watermelon, and hot apple pie,
Fresh green pastures of wheat, maize and rye.

On a Halloween night, a big harvest moon,
Sleeping in 'till half past noon.
Skipping, with a June bug on a string,
Catching tiny fireflies on the wing.
Crawdading in the mud and pouring rain.
A barefooted wanderer, feeling no pain.

Walking home from church with a trusted friend,
Scorching hot, or bitter cold wind.
Spin the bottle, awkward teen of gait, look,
Pasting US Savings Stamps in a book.
That last generation before the bomb and the box,
The slap-happy kid in white bobby sox.

That was me,
Dottie B.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Haley Drug New Look

Temple’s Haley Drug has a new look inside and out. Ken says it was Wanda’s idea.

The Haleys bought the business from Guy Hooper April 1, 1970. Says he wondered if starting April Fools Day was a good idea.

Hooper bought out Fred Warren about 1955 and removed the fountain. Ken was pleased to be without the fountain. He had worked in a drug store with fountain and found it a “head ache”.

Folks of my time remember Warren’s Rexal Drug for five cent ice cream cones, milk shakes, cherry and frosted cokes. I also remember the distinct smell of the pharmacy. The young guys working behind the fountain counter were celebrities. Puck Moorman, Russell Dilks, Loren Douglass. Stanley Baker and Claude Mullins were a few of them.

Temple Election Results

School bonds of $375,000 were approved this month by Temple voters with over 80 percent voting yes.

Results for town trustees:

  • Council Ward 2 – Joe Keaton 166, Virginia Dupler 165;
  • Council Ward 3 – Jerry Oliver 172, Valerie Hale 162;
  • Council Ward 5 – Janice Cole 157, Joe Giles 91, Gloria Mooney 88;
  • City Clerk – Londa Johnson 215, Tiffany Cochran 119.

Temple photo enhanced

Jerry Fetters borrowed one of Roger Norman's Polaroid photos of Temple (1961), and had it enhanced: Jerry says:

Since I did not have a picture of the front of my dad's store with the Fetters' sign on the front, I contacted Roger and borrowed the picture and then ran it through a photo lab here in Houston. The lab brought out the sign and made a the picture clearer. For instance the old Sales Barn sets out East of town by itself without a Bill's grocery in its place. Also there is no nursing home in the picture. Additionally I was able to read Temple Well Ser. on a building located on Main street east of Main. I think that was Jack Roddy's company. I was surprised to see the building there with the doors seemingly open implying that the well service company was still in business in early 1961. You may find it interesting that your B&B shows up in the picture.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rembering the Greatest Show

Roger's poster from the movie The Greatest Show on Earth brought back fond memories of some readers.

Jeanie Graybill wrote: Well, my Mother worked next door to the theater in Duncan and I had to wait on her to get off so I saw this movie probably a dozen times and loved it so much I could have watched it a dozen more times!

Cecelia Norman wrote: I remember seeing it. My dad, Bill Bentley, ran the projector then. It was one of my favorite movies. Remember the Sat. morning serials? For a quarter you could buy a ticket, popcorn and a coke.

Pat Lyford said: Roger , I remember the movie, but it was before I moved to Temple.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Greatest Show, part 2

Here's the rest of the Greatest Show Flier

Majestic: The Greatest Show ...

Does anyone remember seeing “The Greatest Show On Earth” when it came to the Majestic theater in Temple? It showed March 21-24, 1953. My Wife, Suzy Blair, then age 12, saved the flyer which is attached.

-- Roger Norman