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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.


Free Entertainment in Cape

After dinner, Mother and I took a drive down to the river where we were treated to a panorama of a barge crossing under a beautiful moonrise. If the moon wasn’t full, it was close enough for me. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

I’m getting ahead of the story.

But, the moonrise photo is putting the cart before the horse. That was the last thing I shot. Let’s take things in order.

I walked almost to the north end of the new river walk, then started back to the Broadway gate opening. The standard contingent of strollers, folks with folding lawn chairs, and just plain sitter-downers were gathering to enjoy the gentle breeze and welcome cool temperature.

My eye was drawn to a gentleman in a gray shirt who was teaching the Duncan kids how to skip rocks. He preferred to remain anonymous, so we’ll call him Sir Skipper.

Gerry and Cassie Duncan of Kennett, and their three kids, Whitnee (11), Tanner (7) and Caleb (4) were on their way from Kennett to St. Louis for a Cardinals baseball game. They are fans of Broussards, so they stopped for a bite to eat, then decided to wander down to the river to let the kids burn off some energy.

Search for the ultimate skipping rock

Sir Skipper explained to the children the the first step is to find “the ultimate skipping rock.” They followed him up and down the riverbank like he was the Pied Piper, rushing up time and time again, rock in hand to ask, “Is this it?”

Caleb and Tanner work on style points

Before long, every male who passed by offered his own special skipping advice. (It must be a guy thing.) For the first half dozen or so throws, Caleb and Tanner were bigger on style than results.

“You throw like a girl”

When I chided Whitnee for using an overhand throwing motion instead of a sideways flip – “You’re throwing like a girl” – she immediately countered with, “It’s because I AM a girl.” It didn’t take long for her to master the wrist flick that would send the rocks skipping.

Mom Cassie kept marveling, “This is free. It doesn’t take batteries. It’s not electronic…”

“MOM, I skipped one”

Caleb, at four, took a while to get the hang of skipping. When he DID start skipping as much as splashing, he expected to get noticed.” MOM!!!! (dragged out to three syllables), I skipped one!”

“Do you remember….?”

The kids took off a few minutes to watch a train go by, then to try to get a towboat to blow its whistle, but couldn’t get the boat’s attention. Dad was getting antsy to get on the road, but every entreaty to pack it in was met with “Just one more…..”

I told Cassie that 30 years from now the kids may not remember the baseball game, but I bet at least one of them will start a conversation with “do you remember that guy who taught us how to skip rocks?”

And that, Dear Reader, gets us back up the first photo where you came in.

 

 

7 comments to Free Entertainment in Cape

  • In the 2nd paragraph, you introduce Caleb as being 2 years old but in the picture, “MOM, I skipped one”, you say he is 4. He looks more like 4 to me, so I am taking that as his correct age. 🙂

    • Can we split the difference and make him 3?

      You’re right. I made a slip of the keyboard and will correct the initial age to make it four.

      Good catch. My proofreader should have caught that error. Flogging is in order.

      • Sue (Neal) Van Hattem

        Hey Dennis this looks like a “4” to me!! “and Caleb (4)” and I don’t even have my glasses on!!!
        Ken, you can let the Flogging go to another day. =)

  • A great way to end any day is going down to the river…I think in my youth this was a routine part of the evening. If for noting else to cool off on hot day, we are talking pre-air conditioning here.
    I was in Cape this week checking on my dad and did the same. In the afternoon the river is shaded by the flood wall after about 4:00 pm and makes a great cooling off place in Cape. Almost always a breeze down there in the late afternoon. Dad and I looked at the river, a tow boat going up stream rounding Cape Rock and then just looked at the river for 30 minutes or so…nice way to wind down a day.
    Glad to see others are passing this ART down to their Children.

  • Roslyn (Ticer)Kline

    Memories come rushing back ! We would always go down to wave at my Dad who was a Captain on the river, and we would get so excited when he would see us and blow the horn ! I am sure I am not the only one that enjoyed that ritual, but it great to see another generation down there skipping rocks and waving a passing boats ! thanks for sharing !

  • Cassie Duncan

    We loved the article! The kids were very excited when they saw it. Thanks so much!! It has become a keepsake we will remember!

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