Laziness – The Mother of All Inventions

Paper towel holder made from plunger 05-18-2020

Wife Lila called me in Cape to ask if I had taken my big drill bits on my last trip north. She and Neighbor Bill wanted to make a paper towel holder since she had run out of napkins.

I started to say, “Why not….” when she interrupted and said, “NO. NO, I am NOT going to make one out of a plunger.”

My Frankenstein solution

For background: when I saw how much towel holders cost, I decided to Frankenstein a cheaper solution. Before I gave it much thought, I was walking through Dollar Tree looking for something else.

Suddenly, I saw the solution to my problem. The plunger cost me a buck, and all I had to do was saw off enough of the handle to get it to fit under my cabinet.

Maybe it’s not laziness that’s the mother of all inventions. Cheapness ranks right up there with it.,

Cheating Death at the Perkins Shoe Tree

Perkins shoe tree 05-05-2020

I got this email from Number Three Steinhoff Brother Mark Tuesday: “I was wondering if you ever went back and photographed Perkins Shoe Tree to see if first, the pole was still there and second, if the shoes were there?”

Steinhoff Family Shoes

Shoes for shoe tree 11-26-2010

He was referring to a utility pole I discovered in 2010 when heading out to shoot aerials with Ernie Chiles. When the Tulsa Clan came to Cape to visit Mother, Mark assembled their shoes, created special red tags, and took them to Perkins to start a family tradition.

Mark wants to be the oldest brother

David, Mark, Ken Steinhoff 08-1978

If it had been any reader other than Brother Mark, I would have assumed it was idle curiosity. With him, I suspect more nefarious motives.

See, he’s always wanted to be the oldest brother. Since that didn’t happen in the natural order of things, he’s been trying to gain the title by attrition. In other words, he’s trying to kill off his two older brothers.

Attempted Fratricide

Mark Steinhoff Christmas 2000

In 2000, we went on a bike ride around Cape. We were going down a long, steep hill with a nasty curve at the bottom when he started pushing me to the edge of the road, kind of like a collie herding a sheep.

I had no choice but bail out into a ditch, making a taco out of my wheel. When the Steinhoffs convened in St. Louis to celebrate Christmas, I presented him with my wheel and a plaque attesting to his evildoing. I wanted a record of his past in case he tried again.

Wanted me to break quarantine

Perkins shoe tree 05-05-2020

I could only assume that he wanted me to leave the safety of my self-quarantine on Kingsway Drive so he could count on my high-risk status to move him up a notch in the Brother Universe.

I accepted his challenge. The top photo shows that the pole and the shoes still exist.

This closeup shows some shoes with the metal tags still in them, but the red paint has faded. In a few places, the tags are still embedded in the pole, but the shoes have gone AWOL.

Shoes tired of hanging around

Perkins shoe tree 05-05-2020

It looks like some shoes have gotten tired of hanging around.

Not Welcome to Perkins

Perkins Vol Fire Dept sign 05-05-2020

This isn’t exactly a Welcome to Perkins message, but I can understand its meaning.

In for a penny, in for a pound

Advance Elementary School 05-05-2020

Since I was already out and about, I made a quick run through Advance to see if I could pick up some great chips and salsa at El Mexicano. They were dark, so I’m afraid they were closed.

I DID see this cool sign on the door of the Advance Elementary School (along with one that said that all Advance R-4 School District facilities are closed until further notice. A man who saw me at the door said they were closed for the rest of the school year, and hoped they might open again by August).

Mrs. Tanner, Mrs. Theresa, Mrs. Christina and Mr. Jones wanted pupils to know “We really miss you!”

“P.S.,” it continued, “I used the ‘smelly” markers. NO you cannot smell them through the window (smiley face).”

There are some bright spots around

Flowers south of Leopold 05-05-2020

I pulled off on the side of a gravel road somewhere between Advance and Leopold to take a look at this field of yellow.

If you don’t hear from me, it’s because Brother Mark’s plot to move up in the Brother Universe was successful.

Wyatt Perry 1993 – 2020

Wyatt Perry at going-away party before heading off to the Marines 07-14-2012

The van was packed, and we were ready to head back south to Florida after spending the Christmas holidays with our families in Cape Girardeau. Wife Lila got the word that Sis-in-Law Dee Perry was getting ready to add to the John Perry family.

She said “Florida can wait.”

Only after William “Wyatt” Perry arrived on December 29, 1993, could the wheels start turning.

The visit every parent fears

John said that when he looked out the door and saw the coroner standing there that it was going to be bad news. Wyatt had been killed in the pre-dawn hours in a car crash. He was 26.

Wyatt’s obituary

Perry family members who have served in the armed forces

William Wyatt Perry of Cape Girardeau died Monday, March 16. He was 26. Wyatt was born in Cape Girardeau on December 29, 1993. He was raised in Jackson and graduated from Jackson High School. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps where he received an honorable discharge.

Wyatt chilling in Florida June 11, 2009

Wyatt was the baby of the family and with that came the privilege of having many nicknames. He was lovingly known as Wyatt Earp, Gah-wy, Prince Harry and Bjorn Ironsides. Though a man of many names, be was also a man of few words. He was kind, compassionate and had an amazing smile and laugh.

Wyatt with his Dad, John, 6/24/2009

He was serious and silly, and kids adored him. He was always the “cool” uncle. His joy in life was spending time with his family and riding his Harley. His leading lady was his Australian Shepherd Hot Mess Bess.

Perry family 9/5/2001

Wyatt is lovingly survived by his parents John and Dee Perry, Grandmother Fern (Maw) Douglas, brothers Drew and John David Perry and his sister Laurie (Rocky) Everett, all of Cape Girardeau. He also leaves behind his nieces and nephews Madison and Gavin Perry, Fletcher Everett, Ashlynn Perry as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. He wi1l be greatly missed by all.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents D.L.(Paw) Douglas Jr., William G. Perry and Lucille Perry.

Memorial visitation will be held Saturday, March 21 at 11 :00 AM until service time at McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.

Memorial service will follow at the funeral home at 1:00 pm.

In memory of Wyatt and in lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to VFW Post 3838. 1049 N. Kingshighway Street, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.

Remembering Wyatt

We were usually 1,100 miles away from Cape, but we still managed to snap a lot of photos of young Wyatt. Click on any photo in the gallery to make it larger, then use the arrows on the left and right side to move to other photos. By the way, there are two pages to the gallery (something I didn’t notice at first).

Steinhoff’s 1954 TV

1954 Service Contract for TV

I was rooting through some of the files in the basement when I ran across this Dec. 17, 1954, receipt for the service contract for our Zenith T.V. from C.F. Hopkins Hardware Co. in Marble Hill. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the actual bill of sale.

Not only did we get the TV, but it came with an All Channel Alliance Rotor, and a Winegard antenna atop a 20-foot mast.

Only Dad Could Touch It

I’m pretty sure I was well into my teens before I could adjust the antenna rotor outside Dad’s supervison. It made cool sounds while the antenna was swinging around. Sort of a “Clunk, Clunk, Clunk.” If it started buzzing, that meant that it was locked up and you had to press a reset button on the back or bottom.

How did we survive with one TV?

When I think back on it, we managed to survive for decades with only one television set, and it was located in the basement. Here’s a link to the folks who are watching it.

Our Eyes on the World

That old Zenith brought us entertainment and the news of the day.