633 Broadway Falls to Wreckers

633 – 635 – 637 Broadway at the corner of Sprigg

The Southeast Missourian had a story and photo of the demolition of a building at 633 Broadway on Tuesday’s web page. The property has been part of an ongoing controversy for some time. Rather than steal their content, I would encourage you to read it there.

While I was in Cape this fall, I walked Main Street, Water Street and Broadway shooting store fronts to try to compare them with the historical pictures from the 60s. Here are some pictures of the three buildings that made up 633, 635 and 637 Broadway on the southeast corner of Sprigg and Broadway.

The section of the building that was torn down for safety reasons was the part with three windows on the left side.

I always hate to see parts of Cape’s past disappear, but I remember thinking that the building was in sad shape.

Here is a gallery of photos of 633 – 635 and 637 Broadway

Select any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

Hootenanny Hits Central High School

I recognized Pep Foster in this picture, so I sent him a copy and asked, “Who are these people and what are they doing?”

Pep was kind enough to scratch his head a few times and fire back this message:

From left to right (the numbers after the names are class year, not ages):

  • Bill Withers 66
  • Gary Fisher 66
  • Preston ‘Pep’ Foster 64 (age barely 17)
  • J. Frank Moore 64
  • Ron Anderson 64

From the bulletin board,  it would be Dale Williams Choir Room. The 1964 wall calendar says Student Council Talent Show / Hootenanny Spring 1964.

Gary and Pep did a duet of two Kingston Trio Songs.  I remember that Bill and Jay and Ron all built Lutes or Guitars with Mr. Bush who lived in the 900 block of Perry Ave.

A few minutes later, Pep sent this amendment: Ken, on further checking, make that “Jay Moore“…a bow to those changes that have come with age.  His Facebook is “Jay”.  So be it!

I replied, That’s OK. Kenny morphed to Ken as soon as I crossed the Mississippi River headed out of state.

That’s what college is for, a chance to reinvent yourself.

Here’s a gallery of the group and their audience

As always, click on any image to make it bigger, then step through the gallery by clicking on the left and right sides.

Tribute to real folksingers

If you were a Peter, Paul & Mary fan, here’s a tribute I posted when Mary Travers died. I photographed them when they performed at Ohio University the day after Martin Luther King was gunned down in Memphis. They were a class act on stage and off.

It’s Cold, Snow Foolin’

I can see from the weather reports that Cape is colder than West Palm Beach, but we still had ice on our bird bath this morning. The difference is that you folks EXPECT cold weather. It comes to kind of a shock to us South Floridians. Our last ice-on-the-bird-bath experience was last February and our last snow (although some folks claim it snowed or sleeted here yesterday) was 1977.

Here are some pictures from the late 60s of an ice storm that blew through Cape County.

Houck Railroad Cut between Cape and Jackson

This is the old Houck Railroad cut on Old Jackson Road between Cape and Jackson before my dad had a contract to widen the road.

Dad’s construction company won the job to blast the rock of the cut so the road could be made wider. One day he came home in a crankier than usual mood.

It seems that someone miscalculated the load of explosives for one of the blasts and a huge boulder went flying though the roof of a nearby house. Nobody was hurt, but it became a piece of family lore forever after. You can’t go past that spot without someone commenting about “the day that….”

Here’s a more recent picture of the cut and an account of a bike ride through it, including a trip over a bridge I’d rather forget.

Cape LaCroix Creek Bridge

This looks like the new Cape LaCroix Creek bridge on Route W – Old Jackson Road – shortly after it was built. The view is to the southeast.

If I’m correct, the road running along the bottom of the treeline was a shortcut that followed the creek and bypassed the normal intersection of Old Jackson Road and Boutin Dr. and came out near the Heartland Care Rehab Center. The road has been abandoned for years.

I am told that there was an abandoned old house on that road, just after you crossed a steel bridge, that had a short lane that provided an observation platform for young folks who wanted to watch satellites pass overhead. Google Earth shows that the bridge might still be there, but there are trees hiding where the house used to be, so I couldn’t tell if it had finally fallen in.

Location of Bridges


View Cape LaCroix Creek bridges in a larger map

Here’s a gallery of other ice photos

Click on any image to enlarge it, then click on the left or right side of the picture to move through the gallery.

The Principal Was Not Amused

I don’t know if I was driving by the school or if someone tipped me off, but I took a picture of the American Flag flying upside down over the Nell Holcomb School on Sept. 7, 1967. The flag in that position is an international signal for distress.

International Distress Signal

The Southeast Missourian ran the picture with some kind of cute cutline.

The ink on the paper must have still been wet when the principal called to ream me out for embarrassing him and his school. You can’t really SEE purple veins sticking out on someone’s forehead over the telephone, but I had a clear sense that they were.

After letting him vent for awhile, I gave him the only answer I could come up with: “I’M not the one who raised the flag.”

That reminds me of an important lesson that proved more valuable than anything I was ever taught in school.

How to deal with irate callers

I was dealing with an irate caller at The Jackson Pioneer one afternoon, being as nice and polite as only a well-brought-up high school kid can be.

When I got off the phone, the editor, with a bemused look on his face, said, “Kid (they always called me Kid), let me show you how to deal with that kind of call.”

He picked up the telephone receiver and said into it, “Yes, mam, that was clearly the most egregious act of nincompoopery that has been committed since the cooling of the earth’s crust. If it was within my power, I would have that incompetent jerk flogged, if not shot, as an example to the rest of the profession.”

Hang up

‘Now,” he continued, “here’s the trick. Right in the middle of your diatribe, hang up. Right in the middle of the sentence. Nobody would ever think you’d hang up on yourself; they’re going to assume it was a telephone glitch. If you’re lucky, you’ve managed to work them out of their mad and you’ll never hear from them again. To be on the safe side, though, NOW would be a good time to walk across the street for a cup of coffee. Let one of your coworkers be the one to catch the call if she’s still got bile to spill.”

The only thing they remembered

After I moved out of the newsroom and into telecommunications, I’d tell that story when I was training call center personnel. I never actually heard a customer service agent do that, but I know that it was usually the only thing they’d mention from their training when I’d run into them in the hallway years later.