Southeast Missouri State College wasn’t exactly a hotbed of political activism when I was there. You didn’t often see students carrying protest signs, particularly on Broadway.
I imagine Editor John Blue looked out his office window on the second floor of The Missourian, saw these young hooligans walking with picket signs in front of the Petit N’ Orleans restaurant, and immediately dispatched his Campus Correspondent (Yours Truly) to find out what the firebrands were up to.
The story said that “at one time, eight persons marched with signs bearing such slogans as ‘Students Have Rights,’ and ‘Faculty, Support Your Students.’
“However, the number in the line was reduced to three after a Cape Girardeau police officer arrived and talked to the picketers. He explained that more than three pickets constitutes unlawful assembly.”
Owner alleges students were unshaven
“Richard H. Barnhouse, proprietor of the restaurant, said that some students had been refused service because they were not properly dressed and were unshaven.
“The students who marched in the picket line Friday, though, were neatly dressed with coats and ties and were clean shaven.”
[Editor’s note: I made a typo in the quote above and said the students were “nearly” dressed. I can’t believe one of you didn’t catch it. I’ve changed it to “neatly.” Much less interesting.]
I don’t know if it’ll reproduce on the screen, but one of the signs read, “I’m a Veteran and twenty-four. Because I’m a Student, You shut the door.”
N’ Orleans in 2009
The restaurant was involved in some sort of controversy and was closed, I think, when I shot it in the fall of 2009. I didn’t pay much attention, because it wasn’t one of my hangouts. I don’t recall ever eating there.
It was family tradition for Lila to shoot what she called The Picture of Florida sons Matt and Adam with of all the Cape nieces and nephews when we came to town. Laurie’s third from the left and Matt and Adam are to the right of her.
Laurie’s dad, John Perry, taught her to be able to handle herself. There’s a photo around somewhere of her and John with their heads buried under the hood of a jeep fixing it. He taught her how to shoot, which led her to qualify as an Expert when she joined the army.
Family has always been important to Laurie. It wasn’t always about hunting, twisting a wrench and getting her hands greasy. She and her dad shared this tender moment one day. (I’ve been told that no feet were harmed in the making of this photograph.)
Military was “a family thing”
She graduated from Cape Central High School in 1996, after attending Alma Schrader Elementary School. She graduated from SEMO, then decided she wanted to join the Army for the educational benefits, the experience and because “it was a family thing.” Her dad had served in Vietnam.
Laurie was a Military Police officer in the Army. She was stationed in Kitzingen, Germany, but she either visited or was deployed in France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Israel, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland, among others. Her location in Germany put her within about six hours of most of Europe’s major historical landmarks.
While stationed in Germany, she received her Master’s Degree in Human Relations from, get this, the University of Oklahoma, which had an outreach program there.
“I’m going to date that girl”
One of her jobs was processing new troops, explaining the local customs and making them aware of what they needed to know. One soldier, Rocky Everett, commented to his buddy, “I’m going to date that girl one day.”
Rocky and Laurie were married in Cape on a cold October night in 2003. They have one son, Fletcher, AKA Flea.
“I was ready to settle down”
After she got out of the Army, she said, “I was ready to settle down, and this was a good community. I always liked antiques, so I started to work at Annie Laurie’s.”
When the owner, Mary Robertson, decided to sell the business, Rocky and Laurie jumped at the chance to buy the place. “One stipulation I made to Rocky was that if we were going to do this, we were going to live upstairs.” And, they do.
Antique shop had been funeral home
Long-time Cape residents will remember the antique shop as having been the former Brinkopf-Howell Funeral Home. “Do people ever ask you if the place is haunted?” I asked.
“No,” she said. “I just tell them that everybody who came here was dead already, so they don’t need to haunt the place.”
Ranked #1 Antique Store in Cape County 3 years running
Annie Laurie’s has been ranked the Number One antique shop in Cape Girardeau County three out of the last three years.
Laurie’s motto, “Expect the Unexpected,” is one of the reasons the shop has been so successful. She’s constantly changing displays (including the mannequin above, which shows up all over the place dressed in outlandish outfits) to make the place interesting.
Annie Laurie’s for period clothing and costumes
Laurie, who is an adjunct professor at SEMO, teaching marketing, works hard to attract college students with her selection of period costumes and funky clothing. Gail, above, made a convincing witch at Halloween.
Need a wig?
Laurie models the wig she wore for Halloween.
Using the Internet for marketing
Unlike many businesses in Cape, Laurie understands that the Internet can bring in new customers. “You’d be surprised how many of our customers find us through Google,” she explained.
“We create an atmosphere where people feel at home. We have coffee and cookies around. We remember our customers’ names and what they like,” she said. She’s started taking digital photos of customers and posting them on her Facebook page.
American Gothic style
Here was her Facebook comment under this photo: “Lovin’ old men in overalls. This cutie blushed a bit when I asked him if I could take his picture. I just wanted to squeeze his cheeks.“
Recognized by Southern Living Magazine
Annie Laurie’s Antiques was featured as “a definite stop” in Southern Living Magazine’s Southern Antique Shops.
Laurie was written up in The Southeast Missourian’s40 Under 40 column April 3, 2009.
Brian Blackwell interviewed her Sept. 28, 2009. He quoted her as saying, “You name it and I have done it. Snow cones, tanning salons, hostess, juvenile detention worker, internship at local police department, soldier, nonprofit organizer, veterinary assistant, office manager, university instructor [and] business owner, just to name a few.”
Annie Laurie’s Antiques Photo Gallery
Here are a selection of photos of Laurie and some of the things in her shop. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.
This is a collection of photos from the 1964 Southeast Missouri State College Homecoming Parade. Bands from a lot of local schools, Including Central marched in it. Since it was a presidential election year, there are several political floats.
NOBODY could step out like Ruth Ann Seabaugh
Ruth Ann Seabaugh, Toni Grose and (I think) Nancy Swanstrut past the Rialto Theater.
Gallery of Homecoming Parade Photos
Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.
I just discovered more film from this parade. I think I have all of the Central students in this selection, so I’ll save the rest of the the pictures for another day.
Volunteers were busy converting the old Walther’s Furniture Store and Funeral Home at 502 Broadway into the Discovery Playhouse when I was home earlier this spring. It opened April 22.
It looks like it’s going to be a great place for kids to cool off during Cape’s hot and humid summer.
Playhouse starting on the ground floor
The Playhouse is a two-story building, with an attached section that rises to three floors. All of the work is concentrating on the first floor at this time, with the other floors to be developed as funds become available.
Landmark sign to stay
I was told that the landmark Walther’s sign will remain, although it will be changed somewhat. I don’t know what those changes are.
The old parts of the building and the views from the windows fascinated me more than the playhouse in progress.
1916 was a big year
A Missourian roundup on Dec. 31, 1916, said that “1916 is prominent for the number of fine business houses erected, among them being the new home of the Buckner-Ragsdale, ‘Quality Corner Store,’ a handsome structure, the upper floor of which is occupied by the Cape Girardeau Business College; Walther Brothers Furniture Store, one of the largest in Missouri outside the three largest cities; the I. Ben Miller ice cream and candy factory, declared by State Dairy Commissioner Bennett to be the finest in the State of Missouri; the Meyer-Suedekum Hardware Company’s building and others.”
Looking to the south from the second floor of the building, you can see 501 and 503 Broadway across the street. Hinchey-Greer Merchantile company occupied 501 Broadway around 1906. Alvin Cotner modified the building in 1919 or 1920 to house the Auto Parts Company, which was there until 1957. Cape Paint and Glass occupied the property from 1958 through 1991. An interior connection between the two buildings was made somewhere between 1908 and 1915.
Mural sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church
A mural, sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church is on the west wall of 503 Broadway. It reads, “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.” That’s probably fitting to be across from the Discovery Playhouse.
It’s easy to get lost in old newspaper stories
While researching the Walther’s history, I got sidetracked with stories of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic and accounts of local boys going “over there” to fight the “huns.” One thing that surprised me on the front page of the May 13, 1921 Missourian, was a pair of obituaries.
The first was three paragraphs giving an account of the funeral of Allbright Walther, retired furniture dealer of Cape Girardeau. It contained very little personal information.
Directly under it, was one headlined, “Sam Randol, Ice Dealer Is Dead; Long Illness Fatal to Colored Man.” It went on to say that “Sam Randol, well-known colored ice dealer, died at his home…following a long illness with dropsy. It listed his relatives and the organizations he belonged to and some funeral arrangements.
It concluded by saying that “Randol was among the better colored citizens of Cape Girardeau and stood high both among the people of his race as well as among the white citizens. He had been in the ice business here since a young man and was known by most every family in the city.”
I would never have expected the second obit to have been given such prominence in that era. He must have really been an exceptional person.
Gallery of photos from Walther’s Furniture / Discovery Playhouse
Here is a selection of photos taken of the Discovery Playhouse renovation and views of the neighborhood. As always, click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.