Support Ken

Click here to support Ken Steinhoff through your Amazon purchases.

Purchases made at from that link put 6% of the total transaction price in Dad's pocket at no additional cost to you. You're going to shop online anyway, right? Do it through to support this web site.

Or, if you'd rather just send him a random amount of money, you can do that too...

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.

“Not Mallory,” What’s the Story?

I’m a sucker for graffiti and unanswered question. I also like to watch people and try to make up stories about them to pass the time in airports and shopping malls.

Bro Mark and I used to play a game. We’d sit somewhere to gauge the interaction between two people at a nearby table. We’d watch their body language and try to determine if they were a new couple, a couple on a first date, if they were just friends, if they were headed for a breakup (or in the middle of the one at that moment). Once, to the dismay of someone who was with Mark, we flipped a coin to see who would walk over to the table to see whose theory was correct. His date won (or lost) the flip, but refused to go, so I was elected.

Of course, I reported back that my theory was correct: they were on a first date. That’s why she was laughing at his jokes they were both learning forward toward each other and they were gazing deeply into the other person’s eyes.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. They had been going together for some time. They were just disgustingly infatuated with each other.

Who is “Not Mallory?”

So, what’s the story behind the chalked message “Not Mallory, Will you give me a second chance?” [Click to make larger.]

Did someone scream out the name “Mallory!” at an inopportune time with they weren’t WITH Mallory? Is that why “Not Mallory” is being addressed?  Did “Not Mallory” give the person a second chance?

Speculation welcome.

In case you didn’t recognize the location, that’s the floodwall on the right and the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in the background.

13 comments to “Not Mallory,” What’s the Story?

  • 2 guesses on Not Mallory:

    1. Someone wrote the question and then decided they didn’t wanted another chance and cancelled their request with “NOT” (like saying never mind with great sarcasm)

    2. Someone made the request of Mallory and when Mallory seen it she left her message of “NOT” (meaning no way)

    I opt for my first thought. The chalk is the same color and it appears to be the same handwriting.

  • Christine

    @ Gila: my first thought was your option 2 but upon reading option 1, I like it more. How about option 3: What if he wrote the entire thing as a cruel statement? Meaning, he knew she wanted to get back together but he had no intentions of doing so?

  • #1 makes the most sense to me since the writing does seem to be the same and the chalk color the same. I agree with Gila.

  • Okay, I’ll play. I love mysteries like this.
    Mallory and Frank are standing at the wall, arguing. Frank whips out a piece of chalk and writes, “Will you give me another chance?” Mallory yanks the piece of chalk out of his hand and writes “NOT”! She then throws the chalk into the river and storms off.
    My friend and I sometimes go to the mall, just to sit on a bench and watch. It’s a part of retirement that I enjoy very much.

  • Mark Steinhoff

    The author was making a declarative statement, not asking a question. Let’s call the author, Bill. Bill was seen someplace in Cape in the company of someone who look an awful lot like Mallory and nothing like his regular arm-hanger. Once he was confronted he had to declare to her that it was NOT Mallory he was with that day, it was ah in fact, his cousin from Atlanta. Just a simple case of mistaken identity that got blown out of proportion. In order to regain her affection again and convince his regular girl that she “was the one” he went around town and wrote in multiple places…”NOT Mallory, will you give me another chance?

    Look around town for more of these statements of love, I’m sure you will begin to see them if you look hard enough.

  • Sharon Ridings Steele

    I was envisioning Mark’s scenario, except for the writing in multiple places. Seems a strange place to make sure she would see it.

    • Maybe that was a place they went to watch the submarine races that used to be popular on the Mississippi River.

      They used to be held near Cape Rock, but maybe times have changed.

      Too bad I’m leaving town. I won’t have time to check Mark’s theory of multiple postings.

  • Liz Lockhart

    The author, Jack, is saying that he does NOT love Mallory, and he is making that statement to some unnammed former lover. Let’s call her Jill. Jack fell down as he and Jill were trudging upwards on the path toward a lifetime commitment. Mallory was waiting at the bottom and Jack tarried awhile down there with her, before coming to his senses and deciding to scramble back up the hill to try and reconnect with Jill.

    So, Jill, whaddaya say? Is Jack going to get another chance?

  • Mike Taylor

    You’re all stuck in the 60s, she did the writing, not him!!

  • Keith Robinson

    Ken, are you sure you didn’t write it, photograph it, and then post, just to see what transpires. It would be an interesting study in human reaction.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>