MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

March 17, 2013

Aldridge puts his knowledge to use

Fort Cobb native raises quail, grows vegetables, helps people

— Former Caddo County farm boy Ken Aldridge found a way to keep busy by turning his northwest Muskogee acreage into a place to raise quail, grow vegetables and help people.

Aldridge grew up in Caddo County, between the towns of Fort Cobb and Apache.

“We had about 40 to 50 head of cattle, mostly milk cows,” he said. “We raised corn, cotton, wheat, maize, sugar cane. Back then we had to raise and make our own feed. We would grind it at our own farm. There was a lot less waste. This was before they had all the weed killers. We had to do all the work by hand with a hoe. We called it a hammer mill.”

The feed was a mixture of corn, maize, even sugar cane. Yes, sugar cane, Aldridge said.

“They still feed with sweet feed now. They put molasses in the mix.”

He recalled how hard it was to pick cotton in southwest Oklahoma.

“You had to go out there with your back bent till you get so tired you get on your knees and crawl,” he said.

Aldridge attended Cameron University, then joined the U.S. Air Force.

“I just wanted to be in the service,” he said. “I took ROTC in college and I decided I wanted to be in the Air Force instead of the Army.”

“I started at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, just out of Washington, D.C., and transferred to a radar site in Alaska, 250 miles north of Fairbanks,” he said.  He recalled staying in insulated pup-tents when it got to 30 degrees below zero.

He said he was fortunate to have served when he did — between the Korean and Vietnam wars.

“It was peace time,” he said. “A lot of boys didn’t have the luxury.”

After getting out of the Air Force, Aldridge held various jobs. At Brown Manufacturing in Oklahoma City, he made vertical window louvers. He worked at Muskogee Iron Works, then at Whitehorn Cove Marina before retiring in 1999.

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks