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
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
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