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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.


Mr Beams MB273 LED Light

Stairs lit by Mr Beams MB273 battery-powered motion light 03-03-2013

Friends Shari and Jan both commented that we should do something to put more light on our basement stairs since Mother is up and down them to feed the fireplace, do the laundry, do her bookkeeping and hide from tornadoes. I discounted them by saying, “She’s been going up and down those steps for 57 years, so there’s not an inch of them she doesn’t know.

When I stayed with Brother Mark in St. Louis on my way to and from Ohio, he mentioned, “We should do something to put more light on the basement stairs.” He’s a guy, even if he IS my brother, so I had to pay attention to what he was saying.

Our house was built just about the time Edison came up with a great idea about making light bulbs. He’d have come up with it sooner, except the light bulb cartoonists use to indicate a flash of inspiration hadn’t been invented yet.

I told Mark that the last thing I wanted to do was overload a circuit by adding another tap for more lights. We noodled around a bit coming up with all kinds of Rube Goldberg ideas until I needed to go upstairs to visit his reading library for a few minutes.

Mr Beams MB273 LED light

Stairs lit by Mr Beams MB273 battery-powered motion light 03-03-2013When I came back, he had discovered Mr. Beams MB723 Battery-Powered Motion-Sensing LED Stick-Anywhere Nightlight, 3-Pack on Amazon.

To be honest, I’ve bought a bunch of LED lights over the years and most of them have turned out to be junk. The Amazon customer reviews made me take a second glance, though. Of 495 reviews, nearly 400 rated the product a 4 or 5 out of 5. Most of the low ratings were for quality control issues or minor nits like the mounting tape not sticking.

I was heading back to Florida on Monday, so I ordered them Friday morning and paid a little extra for one-day, Saturday delivery. They actually arrived when promised.

Saturday night, I used the enclosed double-sided foam tape to tack the three lights where I thought they’d do the most good. Then, I went to bed without telling Mother what I had done. (Sometimes she can be a bit cranky about surprises.)

She loved her new toys

She was delighted with her new toys. She liked the way the one at the top of the stairs came on as soon as she got near the basement door, then each of the other two lights came on about two steps before she got to them. They turn off about 30 seconds after motion stops, and they turn on only when it’s dark. The lights, which are about 3.75″ wide, 3.25″ tall and about 1.2″ thick, are powered by four AA batteries (not included). The vendor claims the batteries will last about a year under normal use.

The are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. They come with a flat plastic mount that attaches to the wall with double-stick foam tape (my method) or screws. I started to put in the screws just to be safe, but I had trouble getting them to fit into the little countersinks and decided that I’d trust the tape to hold them on. It sure seemed secure to me.

Bottom line: if you have a place that could use just a little light and you don’t have an electrical outlet nearby, these are worth a try. They won’t replace a 100-watt bulb, but they do a great job of filling in dark spots. On top of that, they slip right off the mounting bracket, so you COULD use them as an emergency flashlight if you had to. Even though mother keeps a flashlight next to the bed in case she has to make a storm run to the basement, I told her she’d appreciate having those lights if she had to make it with the power off.

How can I get them?

I got mine through Amazon. If you click on this link, it’ll take you right there, and if you order them, I get a piece of the action without it costing you anything extra. By the way, I tried to depict the actual light on the stairs as accurately as possible. It might be just a shade brighter than the real world, but not much.

5 comments to Mr Beams MB273 LED Light

  • Dick McClard

    LEDs have recently improved greatly. I now own flashlights with a single LED that far outshine any incandecent models and with very low power usage.

  • Mark Steinhoff

    Whenever I buy something on Amazon I ALWAYS go through your site and click on the easy (but not very obvious button located at the top left of your site…) link to take me there while also leaving you a little piece of the action. THAT is the very least I can do to help support you in putting up this blog. Sure, I could just donate directly to you, but I know that you like to work the system and getting free money serendipitously makes you happy.

    By the way. The last time we were involved with anything to do with electricity it didn’t end well. We were installing a CB radio in the yellow truck at home. You were looking for power for it by using a circuit tester. The kind that looks like an icepick with a wire coming out of it. You found the wire that would provide us with the power the CB needed and then you thought you were sticking the icepick end into the seat cushion next to me, when actually you stuck it into my thigh. So finding something that involves batteries for power is always first on my list.

    • You are right: I SHOULD make the order link more obvious / obnoxious.

      Let’s set the record straight about your electrical owie.

      1. It WAS the yellow truck, but it was at Kentucky Lake, not Cape.

      2. It wasn’t the CB radio, it was the trailer lights.

      3. I didn’t stick you. You asked for the circuit tester (which you DID describe accurately), and I tossed it to you.

      4. You were a klutz and missed it with your hand, so you thought you’d catch it by clamping your legs together, a big mistake.

      So, my delivery method was not flawed. The receiver was at fault.

  • Yippee. One down. Clothesline steps or pulley to go. Yeah, that will take a while to change, but one slip and fall on that hill might cause her to say a bad word. Especially if she’s laying there till the yard guy comes. Have her start packing food and her cell phone along with the wet laundry in the basket.

    • 1. You can’t pull a laundry basket down steps.

      2. Do you have any idea how hard it would be to pull a load of wet laundry 100 feet up an incline and how long it would take?

      Sorry, you’ve been in that hot FL weather too long. It’s warped your mental processes.

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