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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.


Cape Mattress and Triplets

It’s amazing how things in Cape are intertwined. Mother and I were driving down the de-fanged Snake Hill when I spotted a building at 1100 West Cape Rock Drive that brought back memories. It’s a nondescript building. I’ve never been in it, never took a photo of it that I know of, never so much as turned around in the parking lot. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

Located just west of Juden Creek

Still, I remember the building, located just before you cross the bridge eastbound over Juden Creek, as somehow always being there, a landmark of sorts. It’s pink these days, but it once was white.

Alice’s Wicker Wonderland today

Alice’s Wicker Wonderland is there today, but it was Cape Mattress in my youth. When I did a search for it, lots of standing ads in The Missourian’s Locals and Personals columns popped up from around 1944 through 1960. They generally said something like “Buy Mattresses direct from factory and save.¬†Cape Mattress¬†Cape Rock Drive. Phone 1486.”

The Beard Triplets

Now we’ll get to the intertwining part.

The Missourian’s front page on April 17, 1951, trumpeted the birth of triplets to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Beard of near Scopus. [Google Archives doesn’t have a link directly to the story. Scroll to the left and you’ll find it.] The family already had six children living in their four-room house. They were the first triplets born at Southeast Hospital.

Within days, the community rallied around the family, providing them with necessities, a year’s supply of milk and an additional room for their home. A May 18, 1951, story said Cape Mattress had supplied a mattress for a bed for one of the Beard Triplets.

Follow-up at 15

On April 16, 1966, I did a follow-up story on the Triplets when they were going to turn 15. It was written in a breezy and somewhat impertinent style that Editor JBlue didn’t really like. He didn’t chew me out, but he went over the story after it ran to point out the places he thought were inappropriate in a straight newspaper story. I recall I took that approach because the kids didn’t really have a lot to say and I had to stretch it. [That issue of the paper was microfilmed sideways, so I can’t give you a direct link.]

The triplets’ mother, Audrey Beard, died Oct. 6, 2006, at the age of 94. Walter Beard died March 27, 1977. Gilbert Beard, Gladys Glover and Gloria Hoxworth – the triplets – were listed as survivors in the obituary.

So, that’s how a random drive past a vaguely remembered building can twist back to a story that sorta, kinda ties in.

6 comments to Cape Mattress and Triplets

  • I can imagine JLB “discussing” that story you wrote.

    In fact, I don’t think our present copy desk would permit it today.

    I turned the monitor 90 degrees to read the microfilmed story.

    By the way, I took pictures of Alice in her Wicker Wonderland when she opened her shop, probably 20-plus years ago. I think it has been closed a long time.

    • I’m surprised he didn’t catch it before it was published. He usually read almost all local stories longer than a brief. The only thing he really objected to was my reference to Steinbeck. He said it was extraneous, and he was right.

      Of course, I would never go off on a tangent and put in asides and parenthetical comments today (right?).

  • stephen r cotner

    i have a glass top table and 4 chairs i received as a present from alice’s..that was a few years ago. there was another mattress company off of independence street? campbell?

  • Keith Robinson

    Campbell Mattress was indeed on the south side of Independence Street, between Hanover and Henderson if my memory serves me well.

  • Dick McClard

    “Alice” and Harold Bowman, neighbors of ours, have the building now and have impromptu garage sales there.

  • Dave Gregory

    Fred is right. It has been closed for many years. I believe Buck Bowman still owns the building as I see him there every so often.
    Hi Keith.

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