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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.


Governor Signs Fireworks Bill

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon sent out a press release saying he had signed a fireworks bill that “removes a discrepancy between Missouri and federal laws on the labeling of commercial fireworks, and makes those fireworks that are legal under federal law now legal under Missouri law. Because Senate Bill 835 contains an emergency clause, it takes effect immediately, and brings clarity for communities and civic organizations that plan and sponsor Fourth of July fireworks displays.”

Arena Park at night

I don’t really care much about the new law – it was mostly clearing up some technical stuff – I just wanted an excuse to run these firework pictures from 1963. (You can click on them to make them larger, by the way.)

We didn’t generally go to Arena Park for fireworks. When I was a little kid, we lived on a hill just south of the Colonial Tavern that overlooked the park. The hill has long been leveled, so that vantage point is gone.

We can ALMOST see them from Kingsway Drive. This photo of the park looks like it was taken near North Broadview Street.

The 4th was almost as good as Christmas

Kids ranked the 4th of July right up there with Christmas, their birthday and Easter as a biggie in the holiday parade. Your birthday and the religious holidays offered gifts and Easter eggs, but the Fourth gave you an opportunity to blow things up.

Here are two examples:

I love the comment you all have left. (If you’ve been to those pages before, you may need to press Ctrl-F5 to make sure you see all the new comments. (I’m not exactly sure what pressing Ctrl-F5 does, but it’s a lot less messy than the alternative – sacrificing a chicken.)

I don’t know about Cape, but down here in Florida, it seems like somebody’s putting on a big fireworks display every time you turn around. On top of that, some of our neighbors must spend hundreds of bucks on fireworks of the caliber that they used to shoot off at Arena Park. Kinda dilutes the thrill.

 

9 comments to Governor Signs Fireworks Bill

  • Sally Bierbaum Dirks

    I agree with ranking the Cape fireworks display very high on our list of anticipated annual events. We also lived on higher ground and always watched from home.

  • Bill Stone

    I remember as a little kid sitting in the Arena Park Grandstand watching the fireworks. I didn’t care for the loud ones then as they scared me. Later in the 1960s as a Jaycee, I was one of the team that shot off fireworks in the Fayette Missouri City Park on the 4th of July. One person would clean the tube, then another would set the charge in the tube and then a third person would come forward and light the charge with a fuse. Now, on the 4th, in Lake Saint Louis a professional team shoots them electronically, from a distance, under strict guidelines and the fire department inspection. It is beautiful as they set them off from the dam of the big lake. There are a number of boats on the lake a safe distance from the fireworks. The boat lights add to the spectacle.

  • Jane Neumeyer

    Wisconsin has so many restrictions on the fireworks one can buy for personal use that my fireworks demon spouse would have us “visiting” his parents in CG over the 4th so he could go out and buy a zillion fireworks for the backyard. One year when my nieces and nephews were little and using sparklers, I had them wearing oven mitts and was known as Aunt Oven Mitt for some time after that. In Madison we have a huge Rhythm and Booms public display that is synchronized to music.

  • Sally Bierbaum Dirks

    When Doug was stationed in Long Beach,CA, we went downtown to the fireworks display. The set-up was for the fireworks to be attached to wooden stakes placed in the sand waiting to be lit. We were right down on the beach and caught up in the excitement; we didn’t think about the stakes becoming spears as they returned to Earth following the lift off of the fireworks. It was a close call for us as one of the stakes landed at our feet.

  • Carole Schaefer

    I don’t remember any big fireworks displays through the 40s & 50s in Cape. I can understand the 40s not having any, as nothing extra was done then. For Bill Stone, I live near Fayette.

  • Bill Stone

    To Carole Schaefer-Jan and I lived in Fayette from 1966 to 1968. We returned to Fayette early on July 4th in 1966 assuming that there would be fireworks in the Park. Later we found out this was the first time fireworks were shot in Fayette. It was also the first big traffic jam in town! The next two years I was in Jaycees and shooting the fireworks. We annually return to Fayette to visit friends and walk the College, now university, campus.

  • Bob Ravenstein

    I was born on the Fourth of July! I had to share my birthday with my favorite uncle: Sam! i went many pounds of fireworks since i was celebrating for both of US! I always thanked my mom for picking such a great birthday.

  • Dennis & Mary Drum

    This is Mary: we lived in a 2 story house on the 1st block of Luce east of CHS and from my bedroom window on the west on the 2nd floor (which was higher than the houses west of us) we could see the fireworks, and hear the stock car races, for that matter.

    I’ll always remember those summer nights.

  • Pat Smith

    We watched the fireworks displays in the fifties. When they were at Arena Park we watched from a high spot in the Fairmount Cemetary near the Catholic School.

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