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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.


Cape Boy Enroute Florida

By the time you read this, I should be half-way back to West Palm Beach. I started to type “half-way home,” but that wouldn’t be exactly true.

I’ve told the story about being stopped at a roadblock near Dutchtown a few years back. A Missouri Highway Patrol officer politely asked for my license and registration. “Florida,” he said. “You’re a long way from home, aren’t you?”

“No, sir,” I replied honestly. “When I’m in FLORIDA, I’m a long way from home.

My brother Mark collects all kinds of stuff. One of his treasures is this mileage chart that used to hang in a service station back when they were more than places that pumped gas and sold you beer and lottery tickets.

You’ll notice that the chart shows the distance to places as close as Sikeston (33 miles) and as far away as San Francisco (2,195 miles); it has Illinois, Tennessee, Nevada, New York, Arkansas, Texas and Michigan.

What’s missing?

Florida

The sign maker must have deduced that there was no reason a self-respecting Missouri Boy would ever need to go to Florida.

There’s something to be said for that.

The past month I’ve spent in Cape has made me appreciate this area more than I ever expected. It’s the most fun I’ve had running around shooting photos and connecting with folks since my old Athens, OH, days when I was doing daily photo essays.

I have such a backlog of new material I don’t even know where to start. Folks have been exceedingly kind to open their homes, their scrapbooks, their libraries and to share their stories.

I’ve had accidental encounters with classmates I haven’t seen since 7th grade at Trinity Lutheran School (Patti Haas, who no longer wears pigtails), and a fellow I gave my business card to 30 years ago.

I haven’t downloaded my GPS track from this trip, but I filled up my gas tank at least three times once I got here, so I’ve driven almost as many miles AROUND Cape as I did to get here.

Mother was my “spotter”

My “spotter” for most of those miles was my mother, Mary Steinhoff. She’s always up for an adventure, so all I had to do was rattle the keys and she was headed for the door.

She’d point out birds in nests, old country cemeteries with tombstones barely peeking above the brush and she didn’t flinch when I’d drive right past signs reading, “Road Closed – Under Water.”

She kept up a running commentary about people, places and things throughout the whole trip. She didn’t complain when I’d leave her sitting in the car while I was engrossed in a conversation with someone or trying for “one more” photo.

When I’d get back, she’d ask me, “Did you find out X?” or “did you ask her Y?” She’d have made a great editor because she could always come up with a question I wish I had asked.

She also took with good grace the yarn my brother used to spin about her arm. “You had to go and tell everyone about that? It’s bad enough that close friends and family have heard the story. Now EVERYONE has heard it.”

She misses the toothbrush

After we had already extended our Cape stay by a week, long-suffering Wife Lila decided to fly back to Florida so she could get back to work. When she hopped into Mark’s car to catch a flight out of St. Louis, she (nor I) knew that I’d be here almost two additional weeks.

I knew where I stood when I got an email message from her saying that she missed the electric toothbrush she had left with me.

Advertising was a disappointment

One of my goals was to find some advertisers or sponsors for the site. I was convinced that this would be a good vehicle for someone. When I prepared my sales materials in the middle of March, the site had about 4,000 visits per months and 155 subscribers. This morning, it was 6,694 visits and 218 subscribers. Those are good numbers for a niche blog only six months old.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to connect with anyone. Some folks read and loved it, but didn’t have any money; others didn’t bother to even return my email. This area is a little behind the Internet curve: many businesses don’t have a web presence that I could direct a link to, even if they WANTED to advertise.

Love or money

I learned a long time ago that you can either work for love or for money, rarely both. Looks like I’m working for love until I come up with a better business model.

Photo blogging takes lots of gadgets

If things are a little light for a few days, it’s because I have to unpack and set all this equipment back up when I get to West Palm Beach. You don’t realize how many wires are involved until you see them spread out all over the desktop.

14 comments to Cape Boy Enroute Florida

  • Bill East

    Have a safe trip.

  • Terry Hopkins

    I was told once…the best places to go are not on a map…looks like they were right…Cape is not on the map in Florida and I guess the same holds true there.

    Welcome back to Florida where “you never know was the guy driving in front of you is going to do”!

    I am going to CAPE today flying out via United…any pictures you forget to take let me know, I will have email…

    My first stop is that Castle in the woods Elmwood…That is way cool. I will let you know if I get the Grand tour…or if I get to meet the new sheriff!

    Have a good trip!

  • Tim Pensel

    Ken, I passed you crossing S. Sprigg St. during one of your shoots on my way to the in-laws in Oran. (First time I’d seen you in person since the sixties!)

    Be safe. I’m looking forward to reading your future blog entries.

  • Nancy Skinner

    Have a safe and blessed trip. May God bless you always.
    Thank you for all you do for us Cape people.

    Best regards

  • Dennis Hente

    Ken, thanks for all the pictures! It brought back many memories of the great town I grew up in.
    Hope you can continue the great work!

  • susan smith

    Ken,
    What a delightful episode you presented this time. Your
    brother’s sign is priceless and your mother is obviously more than priceless. Your quest to bring
    the past to the present is such a gift for all who
    read and view – thank you. I hope you have some luck
    with advertisers/sponsors. Working for “love” is not
    all bad, but it doesn’t pay the bills. Keep the FAITH.

  • JUDI COLEMAN

    Bless you Ken. You made me visualize again many happy memories from years ago.

  • The Cape Girardeau Archive Center in Jackson, MO added your website to our list of links. We love the history we’re posting.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Janet Fenimore Robert

    Have a safe trip to Florida and thanks for coming by my office for a visit. Did your camera break with all those pictures you took? Hope you can keep up the great work you are doing on this site as apparently many of us are really enjoying it. And the best to your Mom…it is obvious where you got your sense of humor and gift for gab….Look forward to your next visit.

    • Janet,

      Nothing broken or even bent. I’ll be posting a before and after photos when I get set up again.

      I’ll be careful in my photo selection. I want you to record my deeds in the nice, not naughty column.

  • ladysonia

    Hi boys! Im an aspiring model and I want to make it on my own in the industry! I love fooling around with cute boys and just having a sweet time you know?! I love my kittens, and just can’t get enough of them… and I like it when dudes show my kitten the same attention jk lol!

    • I’m sure this message is from one of my old classmates I met at the reunion.

      I removed her URL and email address, so you won’t be able to reply to her. I’m keeping her all to myself.

      (The spam filter does a pretty good job of keeping this kind of stuff from getting through, but it’s not 100%.)

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