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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.


Wimpy’s in 1966, 1967 and 2009

Wimpy’s Intersection in 1966

My friend, Fred Lynch, Southeast Missourian photographer, had a picture of the original Wimpy’s building taken in the 1940s in his blog.

I spent some time at the second iteration of Wimpy’s, when it moved across the street to the corner of Cape Rock Drive and Kingshighway. I went into the store a lot of times as a kid, but it wasn’t a normal teenage hangout of mine. I think I was more of a Pfister’s kind of guy.

I took the time exposure above sometime during the summer of 1966. I don’t know if I shot it for a story or if it was just a finger exercise to practice shooting night photos. The headlights and taillights of cars left the light streaks.

Busy intersection for wrecks

I have pictures where Wimpy’s was the backdrop for one of the many crashes that occurred at the busy intersection before traffic signals were installed. My Dad’s construction company had the project to widen that section of Kingshighway. The state created room for the turn lanes by turning the shoulder into travel lanes, something he thought was a mistake. He thought they should have widened the road, but you build to the specs, not to what you think is right.

This picture from 1967 appears to be some kind of minor motorcycle accident.

Wimpy’s was gone in 2009

I took this time exposure Oct. 13, 2009. Wimpy’s has been replaced by a bank, which is closed and for sale. Traffic lights make the intersection safer, but there are a lot fewer cars to control at night after the demise of Wimpy’s.

46 comments to Wimpy’s in 1966, 1967 and 2009

  • Bill East

    Ah, my after-school home my sophomore, junior, and senior years.

  • Jesse James

    I wonder how much rubber was left on the highway from all the burnouts from people leaving the parking lot over the years. Quite a bit I imagine. The good old days.

  • Cory Foster

    Memories of getting off the school bus at Wimpy’s after school with Steve Mosley, Bill “Chuck” Hudson, and Bob Shell for some cherry pie à la mode – with that frozen custard that was a funky yellowish color – before walking home from there to change clothes to play football in Arena Park until dark. Wonder how much we paid for that pie and custard back then?

  • Ray Boren

    I would like to see Fred’s picture of the original Wimpy’s going into arena park…..Ray Boren

  • Tim Pensel

    Wasn’t this intersection also the location of a shootout that some Cape LEOs lost their lives?

  • Ray,

    If you clink on the link in the first sentence, it’ll take you right to Fred’s blog.

    If you like my stuff, you should sign up for Fred’s automatic email notifications. He and I are plowing the same ground.

  • Tim,

    I had to do some digging on this and I came up partially dry. There was a shootout in March 1961 where an auxiliary policeman, Herbert L. Goss, was killed. Patrolman Donald Crittendon was also shot.

    The best I could narrow down from reports in the Cape papers was that the shooting was on North Kingshighway near the city limits.

    In those days, the city limits sign was right about where the speed limit changed from 35mph to 45mph, which was just north of Wimpy’s.

    The alleged triggerman Douglas Wayne Thompson was found guilty, appealed three times and was sentenced to death. I don’t know if he was ever executed, died of old age or is still in prison.

    I’m sure someone else can fill in the gaps.

    UPDATE: I just found this in a story from 1988:

    A man who won a legal battle to escape execution in Missouri for killing a police officer was being held today in Minneapolis, where authorities believe he was about to rob a bank.

    The man, Douglas Wayne Thompson, 55, was charged with illegal possession of firearms by a convicted felon and also was being held for a parole violation in Missouri.

    Looks like he wasn’t executed.

    • Marilyn Miller

      Ken, I will ask my dad, but I think that shooting took place near the town plaza. My dad was a charter member of the Auxillary poice and knew Mr. Goss. My Dad was also working a ball game the night the shooting took place. Word got back to our family of the shooting before dad got home and we were all a little frightened. Will check on details the next time I talk to Dad.

      P. S. Favorite snack at Wimpy’s Cherry Banana 7 up and Reeses Peanut Butter Cup.

      • The incident started at Town Plaza, but the traffic stop and shooting happened near the north city limits of Cape.

        A store manager reported someone acting suspiciously, and it all went downhill from there.

        • Marilyn Miller

          Thanks Ken for clearing that all up. I just remembered something about the plaza. You certainly are able to brinkg up a lot ot our past lives and how nice to remember, even if some are not so pleasant.

          • I’d like to claim that I have a fantastic memory. (Well, I guess I do.So many of memories turn out to be fantasies).

            The real helper is that Google has The Missourian’s microfilmed back copies on line now. The indexing is pretty sloppy, so you have to try all kinds of search options.

            Go to http://news.google.com/archivesearch
            Pick Advanced Search, then make your source Southeast Missourian.

            Happy hunting.

            If it’s something you REALLY want, contact Sharon Sanders, Missourian librarian. She’ll charge a nominal fee, but she’s good.

      • Lyndel Revelle

        Ken: In that shootout there were 3 guys involved, Douglas Thompson (as yoou noted) Sammy A Tucker and one other guy whose name escapes me at this time but it happened in 60 or 61 and I knew Mr Goss too.one of the “robbers” was executed and I think sammy Tucker died in Jail but Douglas thompson did get a trial in Scott County and was convicted I think but i can’t actually remember. The Missourian had a big write up about it when it happened
        As for Wimpy’s I may have a close up of Wimpy’s in a yearbook I have.

      • Dave Gaither

        The shooting to place at Wimpy’s I was there that night eating a burger & fries when it took place, a bullet hit my car antenna and broke it in half. The other officer was Don Crinton? not sure of the spelling of last name.

    • Van Riehl

      The other perp. was Sammy Ayre Tucker. He was executed fro this crime. They both had criminal records in California.

  • Sondra Cook

    Ah, the memories of Wimpy’s. My parents and I went there every Friday night for supper when I was in grade school. As a teen, I spent hours and hours there.

  • Judi Coleman

    Terry, Dick and Bill Shambo were sitting out north of Cape on a country road drinking beer. Someone pecked on the driver’s side window and when Terry looked he had a gun in his face. It was Douglas W Thompson and he stole the car and made the boys get out. Needless to say they were terrified.

    Several years later Terry was subpoenaed from Gitmo to identify Thompson and because of that they let him out of the Marines a month early. Plus they also called him back 4-5 yrs later on an appeal.

  • Buckwheat

    I was a curbhop at Wimpy’s in the late 60s and enjoyed seeing these pictures.
    In addition to the Wimpy cheeseburgers, I would recommend the stew, chocolate shakes and hot dogs with cheese. In reference to the shootings, I remember that that occurred about 200 feet north of the current former bank building, on the same side of the street.

  • Patty Turner

    I remember sitting in the parking lot of Wimpys one night and a guy named Ron hit a gas pump at a filling station that was across the street and a fireball shot up. I don’t think anyone got hurt but it was a spectacular show. We were always sitting in the parking lot waiting for something to happen and that night we left with something to talk about.

  • Sharon Wieser Searls

    Genie Vandiver Buchanan and I practically lived at Winpys while growing up. We lived on
    Cape Rock Drive, only several houses up from Winpys. We have many wonderful memories
    of Cape, Teen Town, cruzing Broadway & Main, Phisters, Colonial Tavern, The Alverado, the
    flood on Main Street, all our friends at Central, Training School and Catholic High. What a true
    blessing it was to grow up in Cape.

    • Dave Gaither

      How in the world are you? You said you and Genie Vandiver Buchanan practically lived at wimpys, do you have any idea how to get in touch with Genie I have tried everything. I know she lives around Stuart Fl. but cant find a ph number. The last time I saw her was in the mid 60 at Sarasota Fl, I was living there at the time and ran into her in a grocery store in Sarasota, I think she said then she was living in Venice fl then. If you have any idea please reply thanks

  • Cherie Mullins Wren

    Does anyone remember Ray Mullins? I know my dad worked there when he was in high school! I was born in ’67 so I don’t remember it.

  • Lynn Fitzpatrck

    Tucker and Thompson were going to rob the Kroger store. My sister, Cecile Busch, was working there that night. They didn’t catch them for a while. I was just a kid, but I remember being told that every farmer in the Cape area went out and bought a floodlight.

  • Sheila Hopkins Phillips

    Wimpy’s evokes many great memories; it was a landmark institution!

  • Scott Buffington

    I remember how terrible we all felt after the shooting. I lived in Tampa, Florida since we left Cape in 1960. So the shooting must have taken place in 1960. I often remember the feelings we felt because murder is so commonplace now down here that it’s always just another ho hum deal. Absolutely loved the pics of Wimpy’s.

  • alice

    I take it this is different from the british wimpy restaurant, born in 1954? does anyone have anymore info? Doing some research and would really appreciate it!
    Thanks.

  • Brenda Strop McNeely

    The shooting took place by what was the old Kroger store where Super D was later located. We lived on Janet Dr. and my dad had died in 1960. Back then that was out of town and we heard the shots. There might have been a short police chase that went past where Wimpy’s was. The reason I can remember this, my Mom became close friends with Rosetta Crittendon, Don’s wife. She had two girls. Rosetta introduced my mom to Don’s brother Jack who came here and worked for the police force after his brothers death. The ended up seeing each other for a few years. His brother Jack went to the executions. My mom had to work two jobs and often he would take me to the police station and take mug shots of me for fun. I also was in his vehicle several times (not a police car) when he would chase down speeders.

  • Brenda Strop McNeely

    Jack later committed suicide. He never got over the murder of his brother.

    • Mike Tripp

      Brenda, I remember Jack Crittendon. When your Mom dated him he came to Little Rock and lived with us for a while as he tried to join the LR Police Dept. It didn’t go well.

  • Brenda Strop McNeely

    I was nine so I hope my memory serves me right.

    • It started at the Kroger store in the town plaza, and the shootout was at Wimpy’s with the Mo HWP and the city police. That is were Mr Goss and Don Crittendon were shot, a police car took Don to the Hospital, at the time they though Mr Goss was not hit that bad, but the bullet hit a artery in his leg and he lost to much blood and died before he got to the hospital. That was to be Dons last night on the job as a police officer, he was going to another job.

  • chris lewis

    thanks for the memories!

  • Mickey Roper

    Great pictures! Thanks. It would be interesting to know how many boys and girls the Lewis family taught how to work. I am one and it was a great experience. I worked there when I was 14 and 15, (1957 to 1959?) I learned a lot about how to treat people and respect my boss. Bill Lewis was great. They were all wonderful.

  • Bill Clanahan

    I realize this is an old thread but I wanted to add my two cents worth. Douglas Wayne Thompson his out for a while near Marble Hill, then eventually fled to Poplar Bluff where he saw my grandpa’s open garage as a place where he could hide the police cruiser he was driving. He was non-violent and non-threatening to my grandparents. He entered their home while grandma was on the phone. She had been talking with my aunt about the manhunt in the area. When grandma abruptly ended the phone call by saying “I’m forced to hang up,” my aunt called her right back and got the same response. My uncle drove to grandma’s house, saw the police car through a crack in the garage door, which verified what we feared. Authorities surrounded the house while grandma talked to Thompson about God. As a cop killer, he knew he would probably not survive exiting the house to surrender. Grandma volunteered to go out the door as a human shield if he’d surrender… And that’s just what they did. My grandma & grandpa’s picture was on the CBS evening news that night.

  • Charlie Wilson

    The shooting that killed Ptlm. Goss and wounded Crittendon took place just north of Wimpy’s in front of Ed Blumenberg’s house. (Bluemenberg was chem. teacher at CHS). My (dad’s) car got shot in the gun battle, as well as two others cars. Goss died at the scene due to arteries in both legs severed, and we couldn’t find the wounds due to darkness and the serge wool uniforms that kept the blood inside.
    The robbers apparently had come from the Town Plaza area while casing for a robbery. I still have the slug that lodged in the grill of the ’55 Buick.

  • Michelle Brown Griggs

    Pfister’s was where I had my “pfirst” limeade. Though I get them at Sonic now, I never drink one without remembering Pfister’s.

  • Wow! This sure brought out some very interesting additions to the original topic. Now THAT’S why the weekly newsletter is do interesting!
    I ate my FIRST pizza at Wimpy’s & I’ve been hooked on it ever since!

  • Chris Bahn

    I too was one of those who served 2-3 years as a Wimpy’s curb hop working for Frank and Bill Lewis in the early 1970’s (while I was in junior high and high school). Those are memories that’ll never fade or die. Thanks for all the reminders and photos!

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