Dribbling from Cape to Jackson

Who are these guys? What are they doing?

Cape Central High Students dribble to Jackson

A group shot of a bunch of guys in front of Central High School holding basketballs. Big deal, I thought. I’ve shot a zillion group shots in my day. [As always, click on the image to make it larger. After that, you may click on the left or right side of the picture to move through the gallery.]

Where did the picture come from?

I had a darkroom at home where I did most of my work. Under the table was a plastic garbage can. When I was finished making whatever print I needed, I’d pitch the film into that garbage can. Everyone knew not to empty it and nothing but film was ever thrown into it.

About 10 or 15 years after I left Cape, I came home for a visit, rolled up all the film and stuffed it into two coffee cans without looking at any of it. It hasn’t been touched in 25 or 30 years.

I finally dug out the cans for this project and started unrolling film. Talk about unearthing a time capsule.

Now they’re standing in the street

Cape Girardeau Central High School students with basketballs in front of schoolI looked at the next frame. They’re standing in the street in front of the school. Still, that’s not super unusual. Maybe I wanted to try a different angle.

Hey! What are they doing dribbling down Kingshighway?

Mark Stuart, foreground, dribbling ball from Cape Central High School to JacksonI activated my bellowphone and hollered to Wife Lila in the next room, “Do YOU recognize any of these folks?”

She was a librarian, so she knows how to do research. She pulled out our old Girardots and started thumbing until she found Terry Hopkins, who was in the picture. She reminded me that we’re all Facebook friends, so I fired off a message to Terry asking if he could help.

Terry Hopkins came up with an explanation

That is easy…we were dribbling the balls to Houck Field House for spirit raiser…now the guys in the pictures….Danny Birk palming the ball on the far left…Keith Kelly number 11 for you…Terry Hopkins front and center( god knows why) Bill Bishop…Nice hat dude!

The second row…Mike Young, Student body president…Mike Stuart (brother of Mark Stuart), Rick Beck 53#… and Michael Melvin Friese…what a group… we were all good friends and all of us hung around together all thru high school.

Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

I think we did this because the year before the “guys” in the class before us dribbled all the way to Dexter for the regional B’ball tourney…

Did you guys get lost on the way to Jackson?

Cape Central High School Student Rick Beck (53) dribbles a ball Kingshighway on the way to Jackson“Are you SURE you were going to Houck Field House?” I asked. “I have pix of you guys heading down Hwy 61 near past Wimpy’s. That’s Arena Park on the right. Houck Field House is up Broadway.

“And, you guys COULDN’T have been the basketball team. You might have attitude, but you’re seriously lacking altitude.”

Terry admits to being fuzzy

We were not the basketball team……

The game was at Jackson……I do remember going down Kingshighway…the rest is a little fuzzier… I do remember going down big hill on the way to Jackson….we ran a relay in cars with one of us dribbling the ball…other in the cars and I think we ended up at the Old Gym in Jackson.

”If you can remember ALL of the sixties…you were not there.”

Send some more of the pictures. maybe that will jog the memory…

I was happy to just remember all the guys…

Mike Friese’s 56 Ford with Bill Bishop hanging out

Bill Bishop leans out of Mike Friese's 56 Ford to protect dribbling students

That is Mike Friese’s old 56 Ford…and Bishop is in the car…the second darker car looks like Mike Young’s 64 Chevy that was used to help keep people from hitting us!

If anyone else remembers this, leave a comment. I’m sure there’s someone out there who can fill in some of Terry’s gaps.

Civil War Soldier Still Guards Courthouse

Cook kidsids playing in courthouse fountain on Cape Girardeau's Common Pleas Courthouse grounds June 29, 1967

The glassine negative sleeve that held this picture was slugged “Cook kids & Courthouse Statue 6/29/67.”

It was a fairly popular picture – in fact it won something in at least one contest – but I don’t remember anything else about it. If anybody knows who the “Cook kids” are, let me know and I’ll add it to the page.

I’m sure I’ll find the newspaper clipping at some point that will let me fill in more detail. It’s hard to imagine that those kids probably have grandkids that age today.

Wild art

Pictures like this are called “wild art” in the business. They are pictures that have no particular news value that can run with cutlines only and can be held for a few days. (You had to be careful that your subject didn’t die and that you didn’t run a sunny-day picture on a rainy day, but other than that they could go as needed.)

Some shooters were masters at feature and wild art photography. I was more into news and story-telling pictures, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Since I got paid $5 for every picture The Missourian ran, I had a financial interest in keeping my eyes open for wild art. (Actually, I was so prolific that the paper eventually changed the deal. I got paid $5 for every shot I was ASSIGNED and only $3 for every self-generated photo except spot news.)

The Civil War Soldier is still on duty

I was a little early for my appointment with Fred Lynch at The Missourian, so I wandered over to see how the Civil War soldier was doing. It made me feel good to see that he was still standing watch.

Civil War statue and fountain on grounds of Cape Girardeau's Common Pleas Courthouse 10-31-2009