SEMO Looks the Same

It’s nice to see that some things in Cape remain more or less the same. Academic Hall has undergone a bit of a facelift, but it looks pretty much the same as it did in around 1966.

Academic Hall in the mid-1960s

The trees are a bit different and there are parking meters there today, but a student from the 60s would have no trouble identifying the building, even though the photo was taken from the parking lot behind it instead of the more traditional front view.

Foreign Languages Building today

There are a few more bushes and it’s shot in a different season, but the Foreign Languages Building looks like a copy of itself. Even the downspout on the side looks identical.

Foreign Language Building then

I see my old 1959 Buick LaSabre station wagon in the shot. I need that car back. Since I left West Palm Beach on June 21, I’ve driven my Odyssey Minivan 3,278 miles, requiring 15 fill-ups at an average price of $50 per tank.

I was supposed to head back Friday so I’d be back in town in time to hop a plane with Wife Lila for a vacation trip to Seattle (because that’s as far as you can get away from Florida and still stay in the continental U.S.) Day before yesterday, a couple of warning lights flickered on, then went off. Since it’s 1,100 miles back to Florida, I took it into the local friendly Honda dealer for a checkup. I’m not being sarcastic when I say “friendly folks.” I like the service I’ve gotten from them in the past.

The bad news came back that I need a new center brakelight. And to replace the cabin air filter. And a new catalytic converter. And a new transmission. New transmission? Say what?

“I can’t in good conscience tell you that you could make it back to Florida with the error code that the computer is showing,” the nice man from Honda said. The new trannie would cost about $5K. If I did everything they recommended, the total bill would come to about $7,500. Plus tax. The car’s got 144,360 miles on it. That doesn’t make sense.

Want a good deal on a Honda Odyssey?

So, after weighing options, I’m leaving the car at Mother’s, flying back to West Palm Beach, hopping another plane to Seattle, seeing what 40-degree temperatures feel like, getting in Wife Lila’s car and driving back to Cape to pick up my bike and computer gear. By that time, we’ll figure out what we’re going to do to keep us a two-car family.

In the meantime, is anyone looking for a 2000 Honda Odyssey with good air, new tires, a few dings, comfortable seats and a bad transmission? I’ll make them a good deal.

What happened to the Buick, you ask? I drove it until I left for college. It was a bit of a challenge at the end. Reverse went out. With practice, you get pretty good at figuring out how to not need to back up. Dad finally gave it to one of his mechanics to haul firewood on his farm. I wonder if it’s still kicking around? I got in the habit of never needing to back up. I could make it work.

14 Replies to “SEMO Looks the Same”

  1. OBD codes are so generic, I keep a reader/reset handy as not to get taken by repair shops. Did he tell you the code?

    My Honda kicks out a rocker arm sensor failure when the oil needs to be changed.. One trip to the repair shop and a few $$$ for something that could have been fixed with a simple oil change, I got the OBD reader. My guess is on the cat converter.

  2. I had a Volkswagen Fox with no reverse! Got good at not getting into a situation where I would need it. Once in a while when I had my girls with me I would ” forget” so they would have to push me out of a parking spot. Taught them humility. LOL

  3. Ken, my sister had the same problem with her honda van. She had it serviced at the dealer for all it’s life and the dealer wanted Honda to help with the transmission. Honda said no on all offers so she switched to Hyundai.

    1. There was about a four-year span when Honda had transmission problems in the Odyssey. I’m on my third transmission in that car. In fairness, I think this one has about 100,000 miles on it. The others died quite quickly.

      Other than that, I’ve enjoyed the vehicle: lots of room, easy to drive, reasonable gas mileage for something that large…

  4. Ken – Academic Hall is undergoing a huge renovation. New plumbing, new electricity, and many other things. All offices have been moved to other parts of the campus and it will be a while before it is all finished. Might take a couple of years..

  5. Some things don’t look the same, Ken. I lived in Leming Hall for two years–wonderful old dorm with high ceilings, big rooms, tall windows with wide window seats, big community bathrooms on each wing. I loved it!
    My daughter went to Semo in 2000–stayed in Dearmont. Tiny rooms, narrow halls, floors that got turned into “co-ed,” even if that’s not what we signed up for…boys taking showers in girls’ facilities….Horrible!
    But my memories of Academic Hall are all good! It’s a wonderful treasure of a building, and I’m all for anything they want to do to improve it! I hope they don’t get the “Let’s-improve-Academic-Hall-like-we’ve-improved-Bloomfield-Road” feeling—or they’ll tear it down and build a one-story unit that’s “safe.”

  6. Didn’t there used to be statues inside Academic Hall? The ones that now reside in Memorial Hall (or at least they did 25 years ago. Yikes, has it been that long since I’ve spent any real time on that campus?)

    Anyway, I have vague memories of those statues being in Academic Hall in the 1960’s. If I’m remembering correctly, where in Academic were they? Inside, along the main floor hallway?

    1. The statues still exist, but they’ve been moved out of Academic Hall. I asked about them the last time I was in Cape.

      They were on my to-do list, but I was focused on other areas this trip. Maybe next time.

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