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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.

Haunting the Mailbox

Watch sent to Ken Steinhoff from Dick McClard 08-29-2013I loved to get mail when I was a kid. I’d order a ring that would shoot popped wheat, then spend the next six weeks waiting for it to arrive. Even today, I like ordering from online companies so I can have the anticipation of the FexEx or UPS truck pulling up inĀ  front of the house.

Rarely, though, does a box arrive unsolicited. When one does, I remember back to my employee with a stalker ex-husband who terrorized her. One day a box with no return address arrived at the office. When she was afraid to open it, I made a big deal out of putting it on the counter, carefully slitting the taped sides and easing the top up while staying as far back as possible. I peered into the darkness and two black eyes and a forked tongue met my gaze. Even though the cop who took it to the zoo for ID said it was non-poisonous, I look upon strange packages differently these days.

When Wife Lila dropped a small package on my desk this morning, I had those same bad vibes.

THIS box had a return address, but it didn’t make much sense: GFJ + ST L; S. Sprigg / Good Hope (Around Back).

There was a watch inside

Watch sent to Ken Steinhoff from Dick McClard 08-29-2013Inside the box was a rather nifty watch and the letter above. When I saw the name “McClard,” I remembered a Facebook exchange with one of Wife Lila’s Class of ’66 Classmates, Dick McClard. He had sent me a birthday wish when he confused me with another Ken he was actually friends with.

When I pointed out the error of his ways (quite a list, by the way), he countered by writing, “I bought you a really nice diamond studded watch for $25 from a fella on South Sprigg and he said he would get it to you but I don’t know which carrier. Let me know if it doesn’t get to you by March. I’m not going to risk a trip to Florida with the temp and humidity you described. IT….IS….BEAUTIFUL here today.”

Nefarious plot

Watch sent to Ken Steinhoff from Dick McClard 08-29-2013Dick and I are on opposite sides of the political fence. I, of course, am a rational, pragmatic thinker and Dick is, well, he thinks Attila the Hun had the right idea, he just didn’t go far enough. He’s a nice enough guy despite that and I treat him like the funny uncle you keep locked in the attic.

When I tried on the watch, however, I was disappointed. It was so small I couldn’t even get the thingie through the first hole.

Either he had underestimated the manly size of my wrist or he more likely hoped the tight band would cut off circulation and cause my left wing to fall off.

Wife Lila has an idea

Watch sent to Ken Steinhoff from Dick McClard 08-29-2013When the watch was too tight even for Wife Lila to wear, she had an idea. She’d hang it on the wall of the kitchen next to other decorative doo-dads.

I didn’t ask for elaboration

Watch sent to Ken Steinhoff from Dick McClard 08-29-2013After she finished pounding a nail in the wall to display the watch, I thought I heard her say, “Well, at least something of Dick’s will be well-hung.”

I didn’t ask her to elaborate.

Thanks for remembering my birthday

So, Dick, you were either seven months early or six months late, but I’ll overlook the timing. It is the thought that counts.

I’ll be sure to send you something on your birthday. Oh, by the way, just for your information, snakes get really cranky in transit. That’s something you may need to know.

7 comments to Haunting the Mailbox

  • Lila Steinhoff

    Anyone who knows Ken, knows that he makes up stuff as he goes along… and sometimes, he creates fictional quotes to keep his story from shrinking.

    I think no further explanation of my alleged ‘quote’ is necessary.

  • Mark Steinhoff


    (Unlike the actual, the fictional explains itself.)
    -Mason Cooley

  • Jesse James

    Nice Watch, to bad it doesn’t fit. Maybe the next time you are in Cape you can make a trip to the alley on South Sprigg and trade it for one that fits. If the fellow is not there you can check the Cape jail for him or Mr. McClard home.

    A story on Mr. McClard, 7th/8th grade, MS Taylor’s English class. Something brought up the topic of paddles of course MS Taylor brought out her small but long paddle with holes in it, it was about the size of a paint stirrer stick. Mr. McClard made the comment that paddle couldn’t hurt a fly or something to that effect. MS Taylor ask Mr. McClard if he wanted to test it out and being the person he is, he jumped to his feet with a big smile and said sure, by golly(he did use the word gosh darn a lot as I remember). Well MS Taylor if you can remember her was a very short stout lady, Mr. MCLarid bent over and she laid one on his behind and a loud whap was heard. His face turned red and he stood straight up and returned to his seat, sitting rather gingerly on his behind. No tears were shed but I believe he learned the power of MS Taylor and her paddle. Some liberties were taken in the writing of this message because I am old and like Ken make comments to enrich the story but Dick’s watch does look “well hung” in the picture. He must feel proud of what of what has become of his present.

  • Brad Brune '66

    If Dick could find another of those wonderful watches in an XXL …. I could see it as the perfect fashion accessory for the many Hawaiian shirts owned and worn by Magnum PU Hopkins.

    As the quote on my favorite T-shirt from high school (still own it but doesn’t fit) says, “COOL IS AS COOL DOES.” and that pretty much sums up Terry’s un-publicized life motto.

  • Terry Hopkins

    If you see another one like that my birthday is Feb. the 5th…”I’m just sayin”


  • Terry Hopkins

    My Wife Liza Loves it!!!

    so get two!

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