Wednesday, March 11, 2009
All is Well in Ardmore
(Ardmore, OK) I was driving down I-35 tonight heading towards Dallas and the DFW Airport and decided to pull over in this town to grab a bite to eat.
Ardmore is a town located about halfway between Dallas and Oklahoma City. It is known as Arbuckle Country because of its proximity to the Arbuckle Mountains. Although the population of Ardmore is only about 24,000, it is known as the hub of south central Oklahoma.
I also discovered some rather famous people came from this town – or should I say infamous.
For starters, Rue McClanahan came from this town. She played the role of the oversexed, man hungry Blanche Devereaux on the hit television show “The Golden Girls.” She won a few Emmy’s I believe playing the very funny controversial lady.
And it all started right here in Ardmore.
You may also be surprised that one of the most controversial football players who ever played in the NFL is an Ardmore native. Mark Gastineau was an All Pro football player but didn’t do quite as well off the football field. If I remember correctly he spent a year or so in the old clinker. He was cheered loudly for beating up running backs and quarterbacks on the football field but he was not so popular when he beat up his wife. He also had a little problem sniffing the white powder stuff as well. But in spite of the good and the bad, he was born right here in Ardmore.
And then there is maybe the most infamous Ardmore citizen of them all. John Hinkley, Jr was born right here in 1955. His family owned Hinkley Oil Company in Ardmore. When John moved away he wrote letters to his parents about his girlfriend. The girlfriend turned out to be a complete fabrication. You may also remember Hinkley had an unhealthy obsession with Jodie Foster. He stalked her, repeatedly called her and even slipped love notes under her door. And then in 1981, Hinkley shot President Reagan and three other men as they left the Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. He said he was trying to impress Jodie. I doubt if he impressed her and I don’t think he impressed the people of his hometown of Ardmore either.
Tonight I had dinner with a couple of Ardmore residents who are less famous and much less controversial that the others I have mentioned. Daniel and Kerri Whatley have been living in the hub of South Central Oklahoma for several months. I don’t know how long they will live here but I doubt you will ever read about Kerri starring in a sexy sitcom. And you won’t read about Daniel getting arrested for sniffing cocaine or beating his bride. And you will never read where Daniel is accused of stalking a movie star.
Just won’t happen.
But my nephew Daniel is rather controversial – at least to his family. He has moved way too far from home and the folks who brought him into the world wish he and his wife lived a little closer.
But just in case they read this, I have a good report. Your children are fine. Daniel and Kerri are healthy and happy and know their way around town. And they took me to a great Mexican restaurant.
Trust me, all is well in Ardmore.