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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.

Phys Ed Relics from Two Centrals

What’s a fire pole doing in the new Central High School library? (I wonder how long the Pacific Street Central High students called our high school on Caruthers the “new” Central High School?)

Julia Howes Jorgensen, Central High School librarian, and I met to talk about running an advertisement for the Cape Central High School Centennial book. We’ll go into more detail about that, probably when I get back to Florida. With luck, I’ll be wheels-up Sunday and home by Monday night.

Anyway, there was this fire pole with some bunker gear on top of it over in the corner, so I assumed that had something to do with career day or the like.

Mrs. Jorgensen, Class of 1969, pointed to a plaque to its left: “Thousands of Central Students used this Fireman’s Pole to go from classrooms to the gym floor at Central High on Pacific Street from 1917 to 1963. Donated by the Class of ’54..”

She said that Coach Lou Muegge was known to stand at the base of the pole with his “Character Builder,” taking swats at students who lolly-gagged coming down the pole, who didn’t display the proper take-no-prisoners attitude or who just happened to be the last to slide down.

Bench from girls’ locker room

Outside the library, she had scrounged desks and other memorabilia, including this wooden bench from Central’s girls’ locker room. Even if the statute of limitations hadn’t run out, I wouldn’t admit to having ever seen it before today.

Here’s what’s happened to the Central High School on Pacific. It’s been turned into some of the nicest senior apartments I’ve seen anywhere.


7 comments to Phys Ed Relics from Two Centrals

  • Julia Howes Jorgensen

    Great pics of our award-winning library! Thanks, Ken.

  • Terrry Hopkins

    I remember the fire pole a little, but we at the time were not allowed to ride, or maybe slide on it…. I guess I was in the old Schultz school in 1961 1962 era. It was in the balcony of the old gym where, in my time you had to take the stairs down to the locker rooms. The locker rooms, ah….a delightful enviroment for Utes like myself to learn about what it was to be a underground mole. They did paint the walls white to add a little color or light to place.
    Since Ken and I are not allowed to me Cape at the same time. I will be arriving in Cape Sunday, with wheels down at 1:15 or so…

  • Dick Hopper

    If memory serves, Coach Muegge had a “paddle” whih was a piece of firehose wrapped in tape. Wonder if this is part of gym relics?

  • David Middleton

    I was in the 53 class the last to grad. from the Pacific St. School, and slid down the brass pole more than a few times. As the student manager of the football team in 50 and 52 I used to wash practice uniforms in two old washers with ringers in the locker room and hang out the wash on the balcony rails in the cheese box gym. The ringers were always popping open when the knee pads came through in those old canvas pants. WE were transferring to plastic helmets in those days but still had some old and even new leather helmets.

  • Here is a Frony photo of the old gym at the Pacific St. school. Yankee Station comments on the brass fireman’s pole.

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