Tales, Myths, and Humorous Stories about early day Cardin
By Elmer Heatherly
A Cardin Shop that specialized in Clock repair and removing Warts
In the early 1940's there was a small Clock Repair Shop located directly across the street from the Assembly of God Church in Cardin. The little shop was next to Orville Benscooter's Used Lumber Yard. The shop was owned by old Mr. Matthews. His wife was an elderly lady and she sat in the shop most of the time in a rocking chair. She wore long dresses down to her ankles. One day, I took our old family pendulum clock in to the shop for some minor repairs. The old lady was sitting there, and I noticed that she kept looking at me. She suddenly motioned for me to come over to where she was sitting. It seems that she had spotted a very small "seed" wart that I had on my cheek, next to my nose. She told me that she could take the wart off. She further explained that she would get the wart on her finger and wish it off on someone else. She started rubbing the wart with her finger, while at the same time reciting something with strange sounding words. It sounded to me at the time that it could have been in German. When she had finished, she told me that after 3 days, she would get that wart on her finger and she would wish it off on someone else. Every morning I ran to the mirror, but the wart was still there. After 3 or 4 days, I forgot about checking the mirror when I got up. I was sitting at the breakfast table and my mother, Faye Heatherly said to me "your wart is gone from your cheek". I ran to the mirror and the wart had disappeared. Who can argue with success. They charged me 75 cents to repair the clock, but the removal of the wart was free.
Taking Pedro to breakfast
My dad, Ott Heatherly and some of his brothers were going fishing one morning. They were taking Pedro Walton with them. Pedro and Lottie Walton used to live just around the curve from Cardin going toward the Central Mill. They decided to stop and have breakfast at a restaurant. When the waitress came to Pedro, she said "Sir, how do you like your eggs??" Pedro looked at her and replied "Boy, I sure do like them".
The "Big One" that got away
Jess Hayden and his wife lived on the Whitebird road just past the Eagle Picher Offices. They used to be the caretakers at the Stepps Ford on the Neosho River, west of Cardin. (Ed. note- There was a bait shop, concession stand on the North side of the river, where they charged admission. It was kind of a recreation area. There were picnic tables, fishing, swimming, (Yes, people swam in the Neosho River) and in the fall, they had many pecan trees, and people used to go out there and pick for halves, or they would buy your half. It was another way Cardin Kids made a buck.) My dad, Ott Heatherly, and some of his brothers used to regularly take Jess Hayden fishing with them after he moved to Cardin. One day, they were fishing down on Grand Lake on one of the floating Fishing Docks. Jess Hayden was on the inside of the dock sitting asleep in a lawn chair. He was fishing in the inside well of the dock. He had a bell fastened to the end of his fishing rod. Some of the Heatherlys were on the outside walk around the fishing dock They took a long pole and fastened a hook on the end and put it under the dock and managed to hook his line. They wrapped the line around their hands and yanked causing the bell to ring. Jess came up out of that chair and grabbed his rod and reel and began to fight the "Big One". He kept yelling that had a big fish and he didn't think he could handle it. They finally just took the rod out of his hands and it plunged straight down into the deep water out of sight. He sat down in the chair and my dad and uncles described him as "white as a ghost". He told them that he finally figured out what he had hooked. He said, "it was about a 150 pound flathead catfish and he just got tired of playing around with me, and he just shook his head and decided to dive for the bottom, taking my rod and reel with him". When he got home that night, his wife came out to the gate, and he said to her, "Mom, I had a big flathead catfish hooked today, and he was bigger than you are". He used to sit on the bench at VonMoss's variety store and tell everyone that story who came out of the Post Office. They never did tell him any different, but they did replace the rod and reel. He told the story of the "Big One" that got away for the rest of his life.
Cardin Woman Captures Robber
One of the most colorful characters in early day Cardin was Ethel Hackett. Ethel eventually became the Justice of the Peace in Cardin. She later married J. D. Lawrence, and most of you remember her as Ethel Lawrence. She lived almost directly across the street from the Cardin Post Office. One day in the early years of Cardin, she happened to witness a robbery in progress at a Grocery Store, across the street from her home. The store must have been Drennan's Market. It was located in the building where the VonMoss Variety Store was later. The robbers left the grocery store on foot and started running east down toward Tar Creek, with Ethel in hot pursuit. She chased the robbers all the way down to Tar Creek and picked up a rock and threw at them, striking one of the robbers in the head, knocking him out. She grabbed the robber and held on to him until the police arrived on the scene and arrested him. No wonder they later made her the "Justice of the Peace" in Cardin. Ethel was very knowledgeable on Oklahoma State Law, and she had a long and colorful career in Cardin.
The man who could make a Table Walk
Free Cole and his family lived on the corner about a block North of Sanders Lumber Yard on Stringtown road. He put out the word around town that he was able to make a table walk, and invited people to come to his home to witness this event. I was about 10 or 12 years old then. I went to their home one evening, and there were many people in the living room. There was a square table sitting in the middle of the room. Free Cole finally came into the room and stretched his arms out and began to make gestures with his hands, while mumbling some strange words. Finally in a loud voice, he commanded the table to walk. The table began to rock back and fourth and up and down. However, there was one of his daughters sitting in a chair at each corner of the table and they each had their hands on the table leg at their corner. After this went on for awhile, people began yelling to Free Cole, "your daughters are jiggling the table causing all the movement". Free Cole responded: "No, No, they are just holding the table down. If they were not there, holding it down, the table would completely get away from me". So much for the "Walking Table".
The Famous Horse-Ride of Loyetta Parkison
J.D. Lawrence was married to Loyetta's mother, Ethel Lawrence. J.D. had a horse which he used to ride around town. One day. he rode the horse down to Loyetta's house. We lived next door to Loyetta, and we were all standing out in the street in front of Loyetta's house admiring the horse and the fancy saddle. There was my dad and mom, Ott and Faye Heatherly, my brother Jim Heatherly, myself, Loyetta Parkison and her daughter Patsy. Loyetta decided that she wanted to ride that horse. J.D. dismounted and helped Loyetta up on the horse. The instant he handed her the reigns, that horse bolted and took off like he was on a race track. Loyetta started screaming at the top of her lungs for someone to stop that @#$%& horse. It rounded the corner and headed East toward Stringtown road still at a full gallop. We could hear Loyetta screaming all the way. The horse turned North on Stringtown road still at full speed and we could all see this event happening a block away as well as hearing Loyetta screaming for someone to stop that #$@& horse. It rounded the corner and headed back West toward our street (presently called McGhee St.). Then it rounded the corner by Jim Garrett's place and headed south on our street still at a full speed gallop with Loyetta screaming all the way. J.D. got in the middle of the street waving his arms. The horse stopped just for a second. Long enough for J.D. to grab the horse by it's bridle, but the horse was dancing around so much that Loyetta was unable to dismount. Suddenly, it reared and J.D. lost his hold on the bridle, and it was off to the races again at a full speed gallop with Loyetta screaming louder than ever. It took the same exact route and galloped at full speed all the way around the block a second time. When it turned the corner on our street again J.D. stood in the middle of the street, and when the horse reached where he was standing, it stopped suddenly dead still. Loyetta didn't take long to get off that horse. She was not hurt, but was really shook up. When she got off the horse, we were all standing there in tears from laughing so hard. It was really a miracle that she was able to stay on that horse. Her career as a "Trick-Rider" ended as quickly as it had began. I don't think she ever looked at another horse the rest of her life. Thus ended the horse riding career of Loyetta Parkison.
QUICK THINKING AND QUICK ACTION OF A CARDIN MAN SAVES THE LIVES OF A
"BUCKET FULL OF MINERS"
Ott Heatherly lived in Cardin for over 83 years. He was 94 when he died
in 1999. Although he worked in the Mining Industry, he never worked
under-ground. He worked in the machine shops and also ran the hoist.
During the 1940's he was working at the Ritz Mine just Southwest of
Cardin. He was operating the hoist one morning and had a bucket full of
miners and was letting them down the shaft with the hoist. All of a
sudden, the gears on the hoist started slipping and the hoist
mal-functioned and the bucket began to fall down the shaft. He was
unable to control the gears of the hoist and could not stop the bucket
with the controls. There were some pieces of 2X4 lumber leaning against
the wall in the hoist room. Ott grabbed a 2X4 and jammed it forcefully
into the gears of the hoist, which were out of control allowing the
bucket and the men to fall. The gears chewed up the 2X4, but he forced
the piece of lumber into the gears causing the gears to jam, and stopped
the bucket from falling any further. As the bucket came to a stop down
in the shaft, the cable stretched as the bucket with the men in it moved
up and down like a Yo-Yo. When the bucket finally stopped movement, the
men shined their lights down and they were close enough to the bottom to
climb over the bucket, and hanging on to the sides, dropped to the ground
below. The bucket had stopped about 12 feet from the floor of the shaft.
If Ott had not been successful in stopping the fall by jamming the 2X4
lumber into the gears, it is most certain that they would all have been
A FISH STORY THAT CAUSED A "BAD HAIR" DAY
My parents, Ott and Faye Heatherly of Cardin enjoyed fishing together.
They fished in the Lakes, Rivers, Creeks and Ponds all over Northeastern
Oklahoma for many years. She could catch just as many as he could. One
day, they were fishing down on Grand Lake for Crappie. They were fishing
in the area of the Lake called "Washington Hollow". She was standing on
a rock ledge which protruded out over the lake. She was up about 20
feet from the deep water below. My dad was fishing about 100 yards from
her, but he was standing down at the water's edge. All of a sudden, the
rocks she was standing on gave away and she fell about 20 feet into the
deep water below. I think she was near 70 years of age when it happened.
My dad was terrified because he knew that she could not swim. There
were some large rock formations in between where he was fishing and where
she fell into the lake. He frantically climbed over the rocks hurrying to
get to her. As luck would have it, there was a man standing at the
water's edge right below where she fell into the lake. He was fishing
with a long cane pole. He immediately pointed the cane pole to her and
told her to grab ahold. Just as my frantic-stricken dad got there, the
man was helping my mom out of the water. My dad was very shaken up and
he asked her "Mom, are you alright?" She looked at him and replied "Damn
it - I just had my hair done, and now it is ruined".
End of another "Fish Story".