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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.


Old Fruitland School

When I went back to Cape in the spring, I was curious to see if the old Fruitland School was still standing near the intersection of 177 and Route W. Dad built that road when I was two years old, and I remembered having a wienie roast there with the Steinhoff, Kirkwood and Joiner families.

The photo above shows Dad – L.V. Steinhoff – me and Carolyn Kirkwood. This was a rare outing for us. Dad wasn’t much big on picnics. “I eat sandwiches sitting on the ground six days a week. I don’t want to do it on the weekend, too.”

Old Fruitland School is gone

I imagine the old brick schoolhouse used to stand right about where the North Elementary School playground is today.

“Play like these are brownies”

Funny how stuff sticks in your head. I remember the ground was a little muddy where a bulldozer had gone by, leaving perfectly rectangular pieces of compressed soil behind in the tracks. “Let’s play like these are brownies,” Carolyn Kirkwood said. Even at two, I wasn’t falling for that trick.

Attending the event were L.V.,  Mary Steinhoff and Ken Steinhoff; Troas (Bones), Lillian and Billy Joiner; Jim and Maurine Kirkwood and Jimmy and Carolyn.

North Elementary School

This is a pretty, new, spiffy school. I still like the old brick one, though.

I’m always amused – OK, ticked off, if you have to know – at the people complaining about cyclists on Route W. That was considered a farm-to-market road in the days when Carolyn was trying to feed me mud brownies. Since I was there 60 years ago, I figure I’ve earned the right to ride it on my bike¬† without people honking at me.

On a sadder note, I’ve seen a lot of posting about this being the week that Elvis died in 1977. Like I wrote earlier, this is also the week that Dad died in the same year. There’s no doubt in my mind which one I miss more.

10 comments to Old Fruitland School

  • Ken,

    Some of those old B&W photos seem to be taken with the camera held closer to the ground than eye-level. Nice. The biggest thing I miss with my D60 SLR (compared to my pre SLR camera) is the ability to take shots from close to the ground without crawling around in the poison ivy on my belly. And then there are the positions in between which are sometimes even more difficult.

    I see that Nikon sells a right-angle adapter for cameras like my D60, which is supposed to help with positions like that. Have you used one? How do you think that would work with a bicycle handlebar bag?

  • Spokesrider,

    Yep, I agree that it was nice in the old Nikon F days to be able to take off the top of the camera so you could see directly onto the focusing screen. It made high and low-level shots much easier to compose than holding it over your head in a Hail Mary.

    Of course, today you can see immediately if you got the shot, so that’s not a bad tradeoff if you’re shooting something relatively static.

    My previous digital camera was a Canon Powershot G6 that had a digital display screen that would fold out. That was REALLY helpful.

    I haven’t looked at any right-angle adapters. If you buy one, let me know how it works out for you.

  • Pat Smith

    I was a traveling art teacher a number of years in the Jackson School District. The Fruitland school was one of the schools I visited each week. I especially remember there was a large hog farm nearby and the smell was not especially nice sometimes, depending on which way the wind was blowing. A number of other former Centralites also traveled to that school to perform their appointed duties.

  • Pat Smith

    Actually, Ken, are you sure that is the Fruitland school and not the old school at Pocahontas? If your picture is of the Fruitland School, they must have made some architectural changes before I taught there. (That is certainly a possibility)

    • I’m not even sure that the old goat staring back at me in the mirror in the morning is me, but I’m pretty sure the picture is of the Fruitland School.

      I base that on Dad’s note on the scrapbook, not anything I specifically remember.

      The photos were taken in 1949, so it’s likely that there were a lot of changes by the time you got there.

      I make a run by Pocahontas almost every time I get to Cape, and I don’t recall my mother ever mentioning any family stories about the metropolis. (I’ve got some pictures taken there in the queue for a slow day.)

  • That’s the(Fruitland) North Elementary School in the Jackson R2 School District for sure. All 6 of my grandkids have gone to that school and it is a very, very nice grade school. My youngest grandchild just started kindergarten this year. I have 3 grandchildren there at the present time. My oldest grandchild is a Jr. in college and he went to Fruitland North Elementary. The playground was recently updated with new equipment a few years ago and my grandkids couldn’t wait to go to school to try it out! Reminds me of the wonderful big brick schools we used to go to. Such a shame that they tore down Washington and now want to tear down Franklin. What dummies! Those schools will be here long after the rest of the other buildings in Cape fall down!

  • joyce

    does anyone have an old picture of the Fruitland School, I believe this may be where I started 1st grade, can’t remember alot about it, but would love to have a picture..

  • George Davis

    Ken, this is off the subject but my dad worked on the Wappapello and Clearwater dams as a dragline operator. I think he worked for Steinhof Kirkwood and Joiner some where. Was it at Wappapello? I didn’t know how else to contact you.

  • Donna Baker

    The old pictures of the Fruitland school that is in black and white. I went to that school from the fall of 1972 to the spring of 1975. The pig farm was about 2 miles south of the school and yes depending on the way the wind blew the smell was pretty ripe. I enjoyed my years at the “Old School”. The grades there was 3rd, 4th and 5th.

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