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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 Central Shop Classes

This is going to be an easy posting for me. Easy, because I don’t have any details and I won’t have to do any research. I think I recognize some of the boys in the pictures, but I’m going to let you fill in the blanks.

As a special bonus, I WILL share with you all I have learned about electrical and plumbing repairs. It will become abundantly clear that I didn’t take any shop classes.

Sylvester, don’t die on me

I’ve always admired folks who can fix things. Dad had a mechanic, Sylvester, working for him. Sylvester was functionally illiterate, but he was a whiz with tools. He had an innate sense of how things fit together and how they worked.

During the winter, when they couldn’t build roads and bridges, Dad would put him to work performing maintenance on the heavy equipment. One day, Dad went into the mechanic shed and saw a whole dragline broken down to pieces, parts, nuts and bolts. Everything was neatly arranged so that it could be put back together using whatever plan Sylvester had in his head.

Dad shook his head, said, “Sylvester, don’t die on me,” and left him to his work.

Electricity is trustworthy

Electricity is easy. You do the work, then you turn on the power. One of three things happens:

  • It works. Life is good.
  • It doesn’t work. Life isn’t quite so good, but you start all over and fix the problem.
  • Sparks fly and smoke fills the room. That’s the least good, but, now you know right away that there’s something wrong and you can fix it.

Plumbing is sneaky

Plumbing, on the other hand, is sneaky. You can do your work, turn on the water main and have water squirt out in the sink like it’s supposed to.

It’s only at 2 a.m. on the second day out of a three-week vacation that it decides to break somewhere in the wall. When you come back, your first clue that something is wrong is when you look in the living room window and a fish is staring back at you.

Do NOT open the front door. You know that annoying little kid who lives next door? Pay HIM a quarter to do it.

Gallery of shop class photos

Click on any photo to make it larger. Click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. If you click and sparks fly out of your computer, it’s an electrical problem. If you see a fish swimming in your monitor – and you don’t have a water-themed screen saver – that points to plumbing. Sorry, that’s the best I can do for you. (BTW, Sylvester didn’t die before he got the dragline back together.)

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