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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.

CHS Gym Headed for History


The countdown has started for the gym we old Central High School students remember. The Missourian reported that the 84-by-50-foot gym, built in 1955, will be replaced by administrative offices and other features sometime in March.

The public is invited to see the gym one last time on Saturday, January 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I guess it won’t matter if we walk across the polished floor in our street shoes this time.

Here is a collection of stories I’ve done where the gym was featured.

Beware of Ghosts

Coach Terry Kitchen felt the presence of spirits when he was moving old trophies out of the gym. Wonder how restless they’ll be when the walls start tumbling down?

1963 Girardot Pep Rally

1963 Girardot Pep RallyKid Adam looked at this picture and commented, “Did dark socks not exist in that time frame?” The post has several random CHS photos in it. (Click on the photos to make them larger. Click on the links to go to the original story and more pictures.)

The dreaded rope climb

Central High School's phys ed rope climbI remember how much “fun” PE was. I always wondered whose job it was to inspect the “Jesus Nut” that held the rope to the ceiling.

“All you could hear was breathing”

Cape CHS Students watching JFK assasination news on TV in gym 11/22/1963Students gathered around a TV hastily pulled into the gym so they could hear details about the shooting of President John F. Kennedy. Our Age of Innocence was over, and it was only going to get worse.

Locker rooms, real and imagined

Cape CHS Girls volleyball

© Ken Steinhoff All Rights Reserved (so don’t repost it)

I envisioned my female counterparts being ushered into individual cleansing facilities where there would be soft music playing, the water would come out at the perfect temperature, towels wouldn’t be needed because each compartment would be equipped with air-drying fans and there would be a gentle spritzing of the perfume of the girl’s choice on the way out. Attendants, probably freshmen, would take care of nail and hair maintenance and see that clothing was restored with nary a muss.

Manager Terry Crass patched them up

CHS Manager Terry Crass and player c 1964Terry Crass served as manager of the football, basketball and track teams. His life after high school was impressive.

1967 Girardot Queen court

1967-01-14 Girardot Queen 12There’s no telling how many queen crownings I shot in that gym.

The September 21, 1967, Missourian listed the 1967 Girardot Queen court:  Miss Mary Hirsch, center, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hirsch, 1855 Thilenius, was crowned Central High School Girardot Queen at ceremonies last Friday in the school gymnasium. Her attendants are, from left, Miss Holly Lueders, daughter ofMr. and Mrs. Paul Lueders, 1115 North Henderson; Miss Jane Dunklin, daughter ofMr. and Mrs. Maurice T. Dunklin, 839 Alta Vista; Miss Georganne Penzel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Penzel, 1844 Thilenius, and Miss Debby Holland, daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. W.T. Holland, 2221 Brookwood.

Gym Jim putting up decorations

Cape Central High School students decorate gym Jim StoneJim Stone and some other classmates were decorating the gym for something or other.

More decorating pictures

Decorating CHS gym mid-1960sRight after I published Jim, I discovered more pictures of the gym being transformed into something special under the watchful eye of Miss Sackman.

Secretary Helen Ketterer watching wrestling

Helen Ketterer watching wrestlingQuiet Helen Ketterer became a different person at a wrestling match.

Coach Bob Goodwin 1925-2014

Central High School pep rally c 1965Bob Goodwin taught a total of 33 years in Southeast Missouri schools, including Lilbourn, Chaffee, Cape and Jackson. He died in 2014.

1966 Prom Queen Linda Stone

Queen Linda Stone Central High School Class of 1966 Senior PromLinda Stone tells what it’s REALLY like to be a prom queen.

Syl Johnson earns his suspenders

1966 CHS Basketball Homecoming Dance 02-25-1966Principal Dallas Albers, an inveterate suspenders-wearer, noticed Sylvester Johnson admiring the pants-holder-uppers at an assembly one day, so he made a “deal” with him: if the team won the homecoming game with Sikeston, Syl wouldn’t have to worry about his pants falling down at the dance – they would be securely held up by the coveted suspenders.

Plaid shirt pep rally

Cape Central pep rally 09-09-1966I don’t know if it was coincidence or conspiracy that a sizable chunk of the males at this pep rally were sporting plaid shirts.

Student vs Faculty basketball

CHS Student-Faculty Basketball 6Math teacher Ralph Ford looks like he’s revving up for takeoff . He doesn’t seem to notice the ball is behind him.

Narrow ties and white socks era

Central High School pep rally c 1965This pep rally made me think of the TV series Friday Night Lights.

Looking for contact lens

Notre Dame HS vs Central HS basketball at Central 1-31-1967I’m pretty sure this was the first game I covered that involved a lost contact lens. Follow the link to check out the pep band in their tiger-stripe jackets.

1965 Majorettes

1965 Central High School majorettesAfter taking several outside shots, we moved the 1965 Majorettes indoors to the gym.

1970 aerial shows new gym being built

Aerial photo of Central High School on Caruthers Ave c early 1970sThis aerial view of Central High School from the early 1970s is looking from the southeast corner roughly to the northwest. Caruthers Ave. is running along the right side of the photo. The new gym is under construction and the swimming pool with its bubble hasn’t been started. The post also has more recent aerials of the school.

World’s ugliest cheerleaders

Male cheerleaders at CentralI’ve shot scads of cheerleaders at high school, college and pro games. Every organization must have used different qualifications. Some girls were picked for looks; some for popularity; other for spirit; others for athletic or dancing ability; others must have been daughters of community movers and shakers. This group must have been selected for having the hairiest legs.

I remember Anne Buchanan

Central High School Cheerleaders collect money for March of Dimes 1963One of the pictures I found of Anne Buchanan was with the other cheerleaders collecting for the March of Dimes in 1963. She’s on the right.

A tour of “Old” Central

Tour of Central High School 06-26-2010_5788This post contains a batch of photos taken when we toured “Old Central” during the 2010 reunion. Of course, we stopped in the gym.

11 comments to CHS Gym Headed for History

  • Virginia Kerr West

    OH BOY, those were the good ole days ! 🙂

  • Terry Hopkins

    I Am glad I took the tour last time…

  • John Calvert


    Towards the end of the video there is a picture of the 1966 Cape Central Track Team. I am in that picture. Do you have the picture in your collection.



    • John, click on the link below the video. There’s a gallery of photos. Are you talking about the shot of the undefeated 1966 team (your name is on it).

      That’s a copy shot of the original one that Coach Kitchen saved from the dumpster. It’s not going to be the highest quality, but I can email it to you. If you’d like a print, let me know the nearest big box store that does reprints and the size you’d like it, and I’ll send it to them for printing. You can pay for the print when you pick it up. (An 8×10 usually runs less than $5.)

  • David Patrick

    Wow, what precious memories! I am going by the gym today so I can take one more smell and add one more precious memory. Thanks Ken for all your effort for the trip down memory lane.
    David Patrick

  • Susan Welker

    Hey, David Patrick. Do you remember the tiger drawing you asked me to do for the banner that was meant to hang in the gym? “Forever”, you said. 🙂 And now the gym is going away. 🙁 Gee,I wonder whatever became of the banner after all these years. I still have the original tiger sketch that was completed for that banner.

  • Beverly Essner

    Ken Steinhoff, Coach Kitchen would like to speak to you. Would you call him at school? 573-334-2923 I work with him and shared this post with our staff.

  • Beverly Essner

    Ken, never mind. Coach Kitchen had emailed me on Friday. I just found out he spoke to you Saturday.

    • I spoke with him Saturday. He mentioned that he had salvaged more old photos of past teams. I spoke with the director of the Cape County History Center and she said they’d love to create an exhibit of them. I’d like to borrow them long enough to scan them.

      I’m also getting folks asking about getting pieces of the floor and bleachers. If you hear anything about that, please let me know so I can pass on the info.


  • Marise Compass

    The old gym is razed. I drove by on Saturday, April 2 and was surprised to see the pile of rubble and part of the lower floor standing where the gym used to be. I was going to include some pics here but was not sure how to do that. I did post some on the following facebook page, if you are interested in seeing the results of the recent demo: Cape Girardeau CHS Class of 79

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