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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.

Connie Crete Up Close

General Sign Figures Connie Crete 06-1964I’m not exactly sure what this man is doing, and I’m not sure I want to know. It was in the big box of prints and color slides General Sign Company had taken of signs and other stuff it had created from the 40s through at least the 1960s. Terry Hopkins, whose Dad worked there, said he didn’t know who the man was, but it wasn’t his dad. June 1964 was stamped on the cardboard slide mount.

Terry said General Sign made lots of fiberglass figures at the Kingshighway plant, including cows, BIG John, and Shoney’s little guys. I thought this gal looked familiar.

It was Connie Crete

Connie Crete 06-1964A little deeper in the box was the answer: the girl was Connie Crete,  perched high above Cape Ready Mix and down the street from Schneider Equipment Co. at Bloomfield Road and South Kingshighway.

Over the years, the concrete company would be known for the imaginative decorations its concrete trucks would sport. Dad said he bought concrete from Cape Ready Mix because he figured any company that was that creative and kept its trucks so clean probably also turned out a good product.

You can click on the photos to make them larger.

14 comments to Connie Crete Up Close

  • Russ Rogers

    Ken, I can’t tell you what joy your postings bring to me, because it’s hard to describe this feeling of warm nostalgia for a city I’ve never been to! It’s almost like déjà vu. It feels like I’m remembering things that never happened to me.

  • Ken,
    I grew up with Cliff Sherrill, son of the owner of Cape Ready Mix. I remember that we as a family would always drive past that sign because my dad really liked Connie Crete’s pithy sayings. It’s also amazing how good that sign looks in the photo. Nice memory! Thanks!

  • Terry Hopkins

    This sign made “Ripley’s Believe it our Not’…When she had the “Welcome to 63701” on her sign. This was when ZIP codes were new and people were thing we all would be numbers… Nice sign…and served for years.

  • Nancy Jenkins Wilson

    That was right after zip codes came out and 63701 was famous for the fact that zip codes were first used on July 1st 1963 – thus ours was 63 7 01.

    • That is a seriously cool factoid. I would never have made the connection had you not spelled it out. The slide mount was stamped 06-1964, but that was when the film was taken / processed, which is long after the 63701 sign posting.

  • Ken Seabaugh

    Looking at the Cape Ready Mix Sign makes me want a Bingo BBQ!

  • Gary Ervin

    As I remember what the Shirrell boys looked like, I would bet this is one of the sons of “Pappy” Shirrell, patriarch of the family and a very nice gentleman. I was in Juden School #1 with Clinton and some of his siblings when they lived across the road from the school on what was then known as the Upper Bend Road.

  • Linda

    Dsvid Musgraves worked at the fiberglass division on Kingshighway. He helped make Big John statues for grocery stores.

  • Keith Robinson

    Clinton Shirrell was a neighbor of ours in Cape. He lived next door to Wilmon Huckstep (Terry’s dad). I don’t believe the man in the picture is Clinton although he looks very similar, but I would be willing to bet it is Clarence, Clinton’s brother.

  • Rick Shirrell

    My family owned Cape Ready Mix. It was started in 1951 by my grandfather Clarence Henry Shirrell. He and his five sons ran the company. Connie Crete was sort of a mascot. The oldest granddaughter was Connie Shirrell. Connie Crete got her name in honor of Connie. It was always fun to read the sayings and sometimes making suggestions….

  • CMR. Michael Strack

    Aunt Pat (Patricia Strack) Shirrell was my Dad’s sister. My dad passed away in 2015. He always talked how special Aunt Pat and uncle Bob were to him. We had our family gathering every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Amen to all of my dear family.

  • CMR. Michael Strack

    Aunt Pat (Patricia Strack) Shirrell was my Dad’s sister. My dad passed away in 2015. He always talked how special Aunt Pat and uncle Bob were to him. We had our family gathering every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Amen to all of my dear family.

    Happy Birthday Carla.

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