Big Change at Wib’s BBQ

Five generations of Steinhoffs have eaten at this BBQ joint on the edge of Jackson, even though I joke that they’ve only used three hogs since the place opened in 1947.

I had let the dishes pile up in the sink for three days (four now), so I had to make the hard decision: clean up the kitchen or eat out.

Wib’s won. When I pulled into a corner parking space, I saw something that caused a quiver in the universe. They had changed their sign.

Grammarians would lose their appetite

Wib’s got away with their skimpy helpings of meat because serious grammarians would lose their appetite as soon as they saw a sign in front of the eatery that proclaimed:

CLOSED

SUNDAY’S

&

MONDAY’S

I could have sworn I had a picture of it, but we’ll have to make do with this one peeking around the corner. Click on it to make it larger.

The front has new blocks because a high school kid drove his car through the front of the building. I suspect that’ll be mentioned in his obit.

Now that the apostrophes have been put to rest and the place is safe for English teachers, I wonder if business will increase as much as the smoking ban helped the Pilot House?

Earlier Wib’s stories

 

Acquainted with the Night

Layout of night photos w Frost poemBack in the days when I was working at The Missourian, I’d cover some night event, maybe a meeting or sporting event, then I’d go to my home basement darkroom to process the film and print the photos. Since I’d rather stay up late than get up early, I’d drive the pictures over to the office that night.

If I wasn’t sleepy, I’d sit in the office doing my homework or listening to one of the three police, fire and highway patrol radios mounted on a column in the newsroom. Every hour, I’d jump when the West Union clock on the wall reset itself to the absolutely correct time with a jarring CLUNK!.

If I got bored doing that, I’d hop in the car and cruise the back streets and alleys, listening to police calls through a Tompkins Tunaverter, a little gray box that converted the car’s AM radio into a VHF FM monitor. Cape’s a town that goes to sleep early, so it was like it belonged to me.

I love biking after dark

To this day, I love riding my bike after dark. In the early evening, you can nod and speak to folks walking their dogs or pushing baby strollers. You can smell what’s cooking for dinner. If there is a flickering light coming from a dark room, you know they are watching TV, because a computer screen emits a steady glow.

From behind, I’m lit up like a Christmas tree; in front, there’s a generator-powered headlight cutting through the blackness. If I look down, I can see in the backsplatter of the light my sweat-glowing legs pistoning up and down, driving the chain with a snicccck, sniccck, sniccck sound.

Like Robert Frost, I, too, have been acquainted with the night.

This is one of my images that will be displayed at the Cape Girardeau County History Center in Jackson after Homecomers and until about the end of the year. The theme of the show will be Coming of Age in a Small Midwestern Town between 1963 and 1970ish. Click on the photo to make it larger.