Dad Bid on CHS Site Grading in 1953

SKJ bid for CHS 01-19-1953

While rooting through some of Dad’s old files, I ran across a bid that Steinhoff, Kirkwood and Joiner, General Contractors, had proposed to do the site clearing and grading for the “New High School Building, located on Caruthers Avenue, north of Independence, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.”

They offered to do all the excavation, fill and drainage work (except for the removal of rocks and trees), for $25,000

Trees and rocks were extra

The charge for removing trees would be based on the number of inches around, measured 18″ above existing grade. It would cost $2 per inch of diameter.

They would be paid $3 per cubic yard for rock removal.

The job went to Dixie Contractors

SKJ bid for CHS 01-19-1953

Unfortunately for Steinhoff, Kirkwood & Joiner, the school board awarded the job to Dixie Contractors of Cape.

I went through almost a month of Southeast Missourians to see what the winning bid was, but I either missed it, or the meeting where it was announced was outside the window I checked.

Should have been familiar with the neighborhood

Dad should have been familiar with the future site of the high school. We lived in one of the first homes built in the block of Themis just east of the school.

Mother often talked about how the site CHS sits on was once a swampy field with a dead horse in it.

Surety bond was returned

Since SK&J didn’t get the job, the school board returned their surety bond. I’ll post that as a gallery in case anyone knows any of the people who signed it. You can click on any of the three images to make it larger, then use the arrows to move through the other documents.

The bond was issued by United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, doing business as W.E. Walker in Cape. Other names mentioned included P.F. Lee, G.P Moore, Dorothy Drexel, and M. Luther Pittman.

Apparition in the Stairwell

Ken Steinhoff silhoutte 05-14-2020

On the way down the basement stairs, this strange apparition was projected on the wall.

I guess it’s obvious that I don’t spend a lot of time combing my hair if I’m not going out in public.

Desktop Cleaning

Dead tree near Wib’s BBQ 05-21-2019

A former coworker of mine engages in what he calls “desktop cleaning” from time to time where he digs out stuff that has been held hostage by dust bunnies.

Just because I’ve been slacking off for a couple of years doesn’t mean that I’ve gone completely dormant. I’ve still been shooting stuff that catches my eye, I just haven’t gone to the extra step of publishing it. Unfortunately, some of that stuff is no longer timely, so it may never escape the dust bunnies.

An ageless tree

This guy, though, is ageless. I was getting ready to pull out of the parking lot at Wib’s BBQ in Jackson last year when I saw an old dead tree that had been invisible until then. I knocked off several frames before this bird was kind enough to fly over. (Click on the photo to make it larger.)

The tree may have blown down by now, for all I know. I’ve been back to Wib’s many times since, but I’ve never noticed it more than that once.

In case you doubt my Wib’s obsession

In case you doubt my addiction to Wib’s, here are a few posts I’ve done over the years.

This doesn’t count the number of times I’ve overnighted sandwiches to my boys in Florida or packed them in dry ice to deliver them in person.

Floods and ‘Wrong’ Turns

Valle Spring Cemetery 05-15-2019

If I have to go to St. Louis, I usually take 1-55 northbound because I probably have to do something time-sensitive, like picking up or dropping someone off at the airport. I don’t mind, because it’s a pretty stretch of road, much nicer than most pieces of the Super Slab that have an “I” as their first name.

Fourche a du Clos Valley Roadside Park

On the way back, I look for more scenic routes. I generally hop on Hwy 61 just north of Bloomsdale. That’ll give me a chance to see the Dew Drop Inn, and look over the valley at from the Fourche a du Clos Valley Roadside Park.

When I made the trip in May of 2019, the Mississippi River was misbehaving. A few weeks earlier, there was a sign just north of St. Mary that warned the road was underwater. I knew a dodge that would take me around the low lands, so I ignored the Road Closed sign in Ste. Gen.

Valle Spring Cemetery

Valle Spring Cemetery 05-15-2019

The river had come up a few feet by the time I made this trip.

The water was over the road well north of my cutoff, so I had to backtrack to pick up Missouri M in Ste. Genevieve. That turned out to be a good thing, because it took me past the Valle Spring Cemetery (also known as Calvary Cemetery).

The beautiful grounds, home to about 6,000 permanent residents, was a place I’d like to explore more some day.

A peaceful resting place

Valle Spring Cemetery 05-15-2019

I don’t think you can find anything greener or more peaceful than the lane that runs through the graveyard.

The Quarrytown Road Gamble

Quarrytown Road 05-09-2019

Just beyond the cemetery was Quarrytown Road that took off to the south. I gambled that it might stay on high ground to below St. Mary.

I always like driving through the rolling hills between Cape and Altenburg, but I think this road was even more scenic.

I just like it

Quarrytown Road 05-09-2019

When I started to get back in the van after shooting the vista, this old post caught my eye. I can never explain why I’m stopped by some things.

This ain’t great art, but I like all the shades of green and the idea that some farmer tacked a fence to this old tree no telling how many decades ago.

Sometimes you just have to believe the signs

Quarrytown Road 05-09-2019

When I got to the intersection of Quarrytown Road and Hwy 61, I found that it was time to turn around. The Mississippi River had other plans for me.

The road back was pretty enough that I didn’t mind seeing it from the other direction. I ended up taking I-55 most of the way back to Cape.

I believe that life is about journeys, not destinations. If Hwy 61 hadn’t been under water, I would never have discovered the cemetery nor Quarrytown Road. That made it a good day.