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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.


How Hot is Cape Girardeau?

It is PLENTY hot. Blast furnace hot. As hot as Texas was one summer I was there, and I use that as a gauge for hot.

I rented a bike in Dallas for a weekend ride, and the poor thing skittered from one pool of shade to another. It was so hot a highway work crew had to hang out in an air conditioned pickup until it was their turn to lean on the shovel. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

100 degrees on the porch

Mother’s got one of the most comfortable porches in the universe. It faces east and is shaded, so you can generally sit out there in the hottest weather without even turning on the ceiling fan. Today, though, the thermometer on the wall registered just barely under an even 100 degrees.

That’s not a cardinal on the left; it was a bluebird. I TOLD you it was hot.

1969 high temperature record broken

A new high temperature reading of 106 degrees at the airport topped the previous high of 103 set in 1969. The bank sign at William and Mount Auburn thought it was 107.

It doesn’t look like we’re going to get much relief soon. The weather gurus have issued an excessive heat advisory to run through Monday evening.

Low reading on Mount Auburn

The lowest reading was just up Mount Auburn road from the 107 degree reading. I didn’t feel any pool of cool air when I stepped outside to photograph the sign showing 103 degrees.

108 in Jackson

This bank sign coming into Jackson from Cape says it’s 108 degrees. The grass is so brown and dry that it crunches when you step on it. This is not going to be a good year for shooting off fireworks.

Getting ready for hell and brimstone

The highest reading I found was at the Lutheran Church near the corner of Kingshighway and Cape Rock Drive. Maybe the pastor is getting the congregants ready for a real hell ‘n’ brimstone sermon on Sunday when temperatures are supposed to drop to a mild 104 degrees.

You can’t have this much heat without some big storms coming in behind it. I wonder if we’ll have a replay of last year. The ground is so dry and hard that a heavy rain would probably run off fast.

17 comments to How Hot is Cape Girardeau?

  • Dick McClard

    I love to ride my motorcycle but I refused to get on the thing today to go into town for a ten minute ride for lunch. The helmet would be hot and hot air and raw sun on unprotected arms is too uncomfortable. I rode 100 miles yesterday with friends and had to take frequent breaks for that comparatively short distance. I haven’t had to work for several years now and wonder if I could survive some of the jobs that require you to be outside. I hope that you folks will use your heads while dealing with these harsh conditions.

  • Phyllis Hansen

    Here in MT we have fire danger and fires, but our temps are staying mid 90s so far. Of course our heat isn’t as bad because our relative humidity is very low(20-35%). Of course that is also why our thunderstorms produce lightening strikes with no rain. The rain evaporates before it touches the ground. Ken, looking at your pictures and reading those temps I can feel that heat! Everyone stay safe in those temps – they are dangerous!

  • JIM Halter

    Its hot all over the west part of the us. Today its going to be 113 in Sun City,AZ. I have a motorscotter was on it yesterday. Was like riding in an oven.

  • susan montgomery smith

    Ken, You really know how to rub it in!!!!!!!!

  • David

    East coast started feeling it yesterday, pushing 105 a time or too in Charlotte NC. What today holds? Don’t know, currently 86 with 49 % humidity. I think I will be fine as long as the humidity stays low. Much more and it will be like swimming in a hot tub.

  • Jane Neumeyer

    The heat is a problem in Madison, WI, but a bigger story is the lack of rain.

  • Terry Hopkins

    Wow now that is hot…people in Florida always are saying Florida is hot and when I mention Missouri they always add that “Well it is humid in Florida”. to which I say you have never been in Missouri on a 90 – 90 day, with 90 degrees temp and 90% humidity! They usually grumble some like “oh, yeah!” and then shut up.
    Missouri can me the most uncomfortably hot place in the world. Note, I have been in some pretty hot places, Morocco, Asia, southwestern deserts, all over the Middle East but nothing like Cape on ONE of those summer’s, like you have having now! I remember the BIG hot summer with had in Cape, Probably the “69” summer when the Capaha pool was filled every day and most people did not have air, so the pool was cool off spot…I wonder if the new water park is filled this year? Even the pool water got so hot we had to let a little out ant then fill it with fresh 54 degree water just to make it bearable for people.

  • Ken, did you talk your mother into riding with you to get all those thermometer photos? Some vacation!
    “What did you do on your vacation, Ken?”
    “We drove around Southeast Missouri, taking shots of local thermometers!”
    “Ohhh, I’m sooo envious!”
    My husband and I left MO in May of ’69, so I have no context for comparison, but I know that we had no air-conditioning at the time.
    We got to Fairbanks, Alaska and discovered that they were having their first 100-degree temperatures that summer, too! None of the houses were equipped with air-conditioning, and, in fact, my aunt was renting a place that had the windows painted shut. Smoke from the forest fires obscured the sun that summer.
    None of this conversation makes me feel any better…

  • Sally Bierbaum Dirks

    Hot and excessively dry in the bootheel. Many surrounding towns have cancelled the fireworks displays. There was a 5 mile RR ditch fire this week that threatened some homes.

  • Keith Robinson

    The original air conditioner and furnace in our house was just replaced a little over a month ago. This summer will be the real test to see if this new system is twice as efficient as the original. It’s plenty hot here in KC, too. Reminds me of July 22, 1984 when we first moved here from Cape.

  • Didn’t realize y’all were having such hot weather. It was 107 in Austin the day I flew home, breaking an old record. I think finding cool spots this summer is going to be difficult.

  • larry points

    On top of hot and humid here in the D.C. area, many folks are in misory without power from the storms which you no doubt heard hit us a few days ago. That’s when hot is at its toughest.

  • Gail Lindsley

    Don’t mean to complain but it was in the upper 40’s, while tent camping last night, at the campground in Rimrock, Washington. Like to froze to death. Stay cool Ken!

  • Charlie H

    I spent all week with Troop 2 at Boy Scout camp. It was over 100 each day. Fortunately we did not have any casualties. I cannot remember a hotter week at camp!

  • Jesse James

    Off the subject a little but because of your site I knew where the town of 76 was when mentioned in out of the past 100 years ago today in the Missiourian.

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