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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.


Chuck Murdoch’s Kids

Southeast Missourian sports editor Chuck Murdoch c 1966I’ve run a picture of Missourian Sports Editor Chuck Murdoch a couple of times: here and here. The first time I did, some of his relatives ran across it and left the following comments

  • Judy Weiss: “Chuck was husband’s uncle. I had not seen that picture before. Thanks!”
  • Norman Weiss: “Unfortunately cancer took my Uncle Chuck’s life but many great memories remain. Trivia about my Uncle Chuck before he became a sports writer, he was a St. Louis Cop.”
  • L. Louton: “Oh wow, just stumbled across this article – Chuck Murdoch was my grandpa. It puts a smile on my face to see such a great pic of him!”
  • Cara Murdoch: Would you be able to send those photos of Dad(Chuck)? I would love to get copies! And, of course, my little sister, Terri and little brother, Roy. Any of Mike(big brother)?

Chuck’s kids

Terri - Roy Murdoch NYE illustration1966-12-31I KNEW I had some pictures I had taken of Chuck’s kids for a New Year’s Eve illustration.

Let’s set the record straight: I was lousy at shooting illustrations and setting up photos in general. These hokey photos prove it. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

The microfilm copy of the December 31, 1966, newspaper was missing part of the caption, but the part you could read said “Terri, 5, and Roy, 4, children of Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Murdoch, 106 Edgewood, thought it would be great fun to practice for the arrival of a new year. At 8 o’clock Terri and Roy were going strong.

Midnight was a different story

Terri - Roy Murdoch NYE illustration1966-12-31 11But as the clock ticked off the minutes and hours, eyes got heavier and by midnight the sandman had called. Well, maybe next year will be different and sleep won’t be so overwhelming.”

A favorite sports editor

Missourian Sports Editor Chuck Murdoch c 1966Chuck was one of my favorite sports editors. To be frank, most sports editors fit into one of two categories: former high school athletes wanting to relive their glory days or ones who were dumber than a packet of possums.

The latter would drive us crazy. One of them would send you out on the most hackneyed situation with an assignment sheet that would invariably read, “Avoid cliche shot.”

Another one couldn’t read a sport schedule. The photographer would show up at where an event was supposed to be held and find out that it wasn’t at THAT field or on that date. We couldn’t dope out how a couple of thousand spectators could manage to figure out where the game was being played, but the sports editor couldn’t.

Chuck was easy to work with, tried to get me as many $5 assignments as he could sneak by jBlue, and didn’t take himself or his job too seriously.

Gentlemanly politically incorrect

Missourian Sports Editor Chuck Murdoch c 1966Much of what Chuck’s persona wouldn’t pass today’s politically correctness, but he was careful about his language around “the ladies” in the office. He COULD fog up the place with his cigar, though.

His watch says 11:20. If it’s AM, that means he has wrapped up his section for today’s deadline and he’s wandering around kibitzing; if it’s PM, then we’ve both made it back to the office after covering a game. I doubt that’s the case. I would have had to go home to process the film before going back to the office to drop off the prints so Chuck would have them when he came in around 4:30 in the morning. With those kind of hours, I doubt he was hanging around in the evening. He’d been banging out sports stories for so long he wouldn’t have been staying up late agonizing over every word.

A technical side note: the pictures of Chuck were taken with the half-frame camera I carried for “goofing around.” It shot two photos in a normal 35mm frame, so I could get 72 shots out of a 36-exposure roll. The trade-off was that the quality was only half as good. On top of that, this roll had some uneven development streaks. I guess it would be the equivalent of taking photos with a cellphone camera instead of a real camera these days: you sacrifice some quality for convenience.

7 comments to Chuck Murdoch’s Kids

  • Cara Murdoch

    Yes, that was my dad! He loved writing about sports. And I remember those pics of Terri and Roy! Brings back some very good memories of dad! Thank you very much!

  • Terry Hopkins

    I remember Ray Owen…I used to cal in the Swim meet results into him late at night to get into the paper the next day…wow, the speed of it all!
    I did deal with Chuck a couple of times but by 1970 I was gone from Cape too!

  • Casey Doremus

    Chuck was my grandpa. He was the perfect roll model. He never complained. His humor lives on in his grandkids. From his obsession with Spike Jones and Ernie Kovak. I am so lucky to have such an amazing man be a part of my life. He was truly an inspiring man.

  • Joe Johnson (JJ)

    Bottom line: the 1960’s was a great time to live in Cape Girardeau. A very interesting article/story. Thanks!

    p.s. Go Tigers!

  • Cecilia Murdoch Safron

    I met Chuck when I was a senior in high school and I was covering high school sports for the 3 newspapers in St. Louis. He took me to the longest professional tennis match at that time and my parents gave me a lot of trouble because I came home so late. We were good friends for a long time. God bless his memory!

  • Terri Murdoch Doremus

    Wow! thanks for the info! Chuck was my dad & even tho I can’t remember the awesome photoshoot, I sure remember the pics & paper. I always said my dad covered the cool sports before they were cool. He tried very hard to get young athletes in the paper. He also helped with soccer camp to promote the sport. It is so cool to find out info about my dad when I was little or before I was born.

    • Chuck was a pleasure to work with. And, you are right. He did cover minor sports like wrestling, stock car racing and women’s gymnastics (I think the latter might be because the coach was cute).

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