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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.

The Dreaded Word Problem

Math book  412x600 The Dreaded Word ProblemLet’s get this out of the way first: I was a lousy math student. I could, with some tutoring from Friend Shari and Dad, grasp the concepts, but I was too interested in debate and photography to waste time (from my perspective) doing the homework.

Geometry was even a bigger bore: I mean, why bother “proving” stuff that had already been “proven.” Come on, let’s plow some new ground here.

We had soft-cover books

Math book 2 423x600 The Dreaded Word ProblemWe folks in the Class of ’65 had “proof” books of the Concepts of Modern Mathematics. They books were printed on regular 8-1/2 x 11″ paper and had a pink heavyweight paper front and back with some kind of black tape binding, if I recall correctly.

By the time Wife Lila’s Class of ’66 got there, the book was a real hardback with Grace Williams’ name on the flyleaf as an author.

Misses Williams and Rixman were good teachers and extraordinarily patient with the likes of me. I mentioned to Shari one day not long ago that I was sure they gave me a higher grade in their classes than I deserved.

Her┬átheory was that if they thought a student had the potential to accomplish something if they ever pulled their act together, they’d cut them some slack rather than give them a low grade that might torpedo their chances to go on to college. I’m not sure I was THAT pitiful, but I appreciate them giving me the benefit of the doubt.

Wife Lila was more diligent

Math book 5 500x361 The Dreaded Word ProblemMy pink-covered books are lost in a box somewhere in my storage shed, but Lila’s are out on a shelf in plain sight. You can tell from her notes that she took the class seriously. (And, seriously enough that she bought the books at the end of the year.) You can click on the images to make them larger, by the way.

This is a management problem

Math book 3 498x600 The Dreaded Word ProblemIf the problem read, “Mary and Jane complete a typing task together in 3 hours. If Mary types for 2 hours and Jane 4-1/2 hours, they complete the same task. In how many hours could Jane complete the task working alone?”

Well, this sounds more like a management problem than a math problem.

  • Is Mary a Chatty Cathy who distracts Jane from her typing duties, which would mean that Jane would be faster alone.
  • Is Jane a supervisor, who is helping Mary learn the job, so she has to do the work of two?
  • If Jane is that slow, shouldn’t we fire her and hire another Mary?
  • What if Jane is the only one in the office who knows how to make good coffee or clear the jam in the copier, and she’s constantly interrupted?

Don’t even get me started on all the unlisted variables in the touring group problem at the bottom of the page.

Who cares how high the tree was?

Math book 4 500x360 The Dreaded Word ProblemProblem 8 says “During a storm a tree is broken and falls with its tip touching the ground 24 feet from its base. If the top part makes an angle of 30 degrees with the ground, what was the original height of the tree?”

  • Who CARES how tall the tree was originally? It ain’t never gonna be that tall again.
  • If I’m going to climb up the trunk to determine the exact angle, why don’t I just measure the stump, then say, “Hey, Joe, catch the end of the tape and tell me how far it is to the tip of the tree.” Height of stump plus the distance from the stump to the tip of the tree equals the original height.
  • Of course, you’re going to take a productivity hit for the time you take to answer Joe’s question, “Hey, boss, why’d you do that?”
  • While I’m up there measuring the height of the stump, I might as well drag along a chainsaw to whack off the widowmaker.
  • If I do that, I don’t even have to throw the tape to Joe: I can just say, “Joe, cut those pieces up into four-foot lengths, then let me know how many there are.” See, simple math, I get the truck loaded and I don’t have to explain anything to Joe.

Maybe THAT’S why Misses Rixman and Williams held out hope for me: they saw me as a budding practical mathematician, not a theoretical one.

Or, more likely, they didn’t want me to repeat their course.


Fred McLard’s Log Cabin

Dick McClard Fred McLard 04 29 2014 3808 500x351 Fred McLards Log CabinClass of ’66 buddy Dick McClard and I were driving around after trying to locate the mass grave from the steamboat The Stonewall near Neely’s Landing this spring. We think we’re getting close, but it’s going to take some more looking.

Anyway, he suggested we go see Fred McLard’s log cabin. (That’s not a typo: those folks never could get the spelling of their names right. They answer to McClard, McLard, McLaird and MacLaird, among other things.) Dick’s on the left, Fred’s on the right.

Cabin lives inside barn

Fred McLard log cabin 04 29 2014 3844 500x331 Fred McLards Log CabinAt some point long ago, a barn was built around the log cabin. The farm is across the street from the New Bethel Church, close to the intersection of County Roads 532 and 525. It’s on private property, but Fred’s a nice guy and would probably give you permission to take a look if you knocked on his door.

The view across the fields from his house is just short of spectacular, too.

Photo gallery

Here are some detail shots of the cabin. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move around.