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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.


Debaters Not Worth 20¢

CHS Debate Club c 1965I posted pictures of a mad feeding frenzy after the Girardot yearbook had gone to press and the photos in it were made available for purchase. When I was going through a box of prints the other night, I found this one of what I assume to be the Debate Club. It had the price of 20 cents written on the back of it.

Despite the people clamoring for photos in the other post, apparently nobody thought we were worth two thin dimes, so I ended up with it.

I think I have figured out who all the players are. Back row, l to r, Chuck Dockins, Ken Steinhoff, Bill East, Jane McKeown, Mike Seabaugh, Debby Young and Shari Stiver.

Front row, l to r, Pat Sommers, Joni Tickel, Vicky Roth and Sally Wright. Click on the photo to make it larger.

“Where’s My Change?”

Ken Steinhoff toys c 1953 03-03-2015

Nanci Griffith sings about having to change buses when going from North Austin to South Austin when she was a teenager. The transfer would give her just enough time to run into the Woolworth’s store, grab a vanilla Coke, look in the record bin and “wink at the boys” on her way to catch the next bus.

In her song, Love at the Five and Dime, she says, “All Woolworth stores are special. They all smell the same. They smell a little bit like popcorn and chewing gum wrapped around the bottom of a leather-soled shoe. They all have the same sound.”

Standing in the toy aisle

Main Street w Woolworth Store 04-05-2010She could have been describing the one in Cape. There I was, standing in the toy aisle of Woolworth’s clutching a crumpled, much-handled one-dollar bill and trying to make up my mind.

Just down the aisle from the toy section was the long lunch counter. It produced a mixture of sounds: silverware clinking on heavy china plates, the whirrrr of mixers cranking out milkshakes, the squeak of the revolving vinyl-covered red stools, and the low murmur of the town’s movers and shakers solving the problems of the world while sitting next to teenagers on dates and mothers with kids in tow.

Vintage soap scum

Sensing that Mother was getting impatient, I finally picked the toy boat on the right, something that is still covered with soap scum from probably around 1955.

It was marked “99¢”

I handed my limp dollar bill to the cashier and stood waiting patiently. She finally noticed I was still there and said, “Is there something else?”

“I’m waiting for my penny change.” Even then, I was a hard negotiator who was determined nobody was going to rip me off.

“There is no change”

“There IS no change,” she dismissed. “The toy was 99¢ and there is a penny tax. That’s the whole dollar.”

That was a rude awakening. I must have been about 6, and my faith in math and economics was shattered. It was much like when Son Matt got his first paycheck at 13 or 14 and came in hollering, “Who is this FICA dude and why is he taking my money?”

I can’t wait until we plop the grandkids in the tub to give another generation a chance to float those boats. I’m gonna get my buck’s worth.