SEMO Indian R.I.P.

SEMO orientation packet 1965I was cleaning out the hall closet that held a bunch of newspaper clippings and old school papers this afternoon. In the midst of yellowing newsprint more suitable for confetti than reading, I found this folder from my 1965 freshman orientation.

Poor Chief Sagamore had no idea that he and every vestige of his Indian heritage would be exiled only a few decades later.

Look to your left, look to your right

SEMO orientation packet 1965This was a listing of special events. I must have been taking notes on it so I could perform my duties as The Missourian’s campus correspondence. I drove poor editor jBlue crazy because I was supposed to be covering the school, but I spent as little time as possible on campus. Chasing sirens was a lot more fun.

All I can remember from the Houck Stadium Freshman Welcome was sitting in the bleachers and hearing some guy delivering the old lines, “Look to your left, look to your right. Next [can’t remember if he said “semester” or “year”) one of you won’t be here.

He was right. Two years later, I transferred to Ohio University, a school that wasn’t run like a Charleston high school. If you think I’m exaggerating, check out the Student Handbook.

Songs

SEMO orientation packet 1965In case we felt like breaking into song, a small sheet of appropriate songs was included. I visited the SEMO website to find that the alma mater hasn’t changed (although the current version has another verse. Maybe ours did too, but they thought memorizing TWO verses might be too much for us frosh.).

The four songs contain seven references to “Indians” or “Braves.”

Give Me An “I”

SEMO orientation packet 1965The administration must have thought we more capable of cheering than singing because we were given a list of 13 cheers printed on canary-colored paper.

Give Me an “I” was a call and response where the cheerleaders would yell, “Give me an ‘I,” at which point we were supposed to echo “I” back at them. This was repeated for “N,” “D,” “I,” “A,” “N” and “S.”

To make sure we got it, the cheerleaders would ask, “What does that spell?”

The proper response was “INDIANS!” repeated louder three times.

 

 

1964 or 1965 Football

Central High School football players c 195This print of 1964 or 1965 Central High School football players wasn’t great when it was new, and time has faded it even more. Sylvester Johnson is third from the left in the back row.

Syl was one of the best athletes Central ever produced. After Principal Dallas Albers noticed the star player eying his suspenders during an assembly, he shot him a deal: he would award his suspenders to Syl at the homecoming dance if the Tigers won their homecoming game against Sikeston. Albers was so sure Syl was going to come through that he showed up at the dance wearing both a belt and suspenders so his pants wouldn’t fall down after paying off his obligation to Syl.

That’s Bill / Jacqie Jackson on the far left in the front row. I’m pretty sure I recognize some of the other guys, but I’ll let you tell me for sure who they are so I don’t have to run corrections.

Those blue marks

Those blue marks on the top and right margins are crop marks where the sports editor decided to tighten up the photo, probably because he wanted to be able to run the faces larger.

A couple of years ago, I hooked up with Don Gordon, my old Missourian mentor who confessed that he leaned on me whenever it came to doing page layouts. “I watched John Blue mark up pictures. He almost always put a crop mark on them. It might be just to whittle off an eighth of an inch, but he seemed to feel he hadn’t done his job unless he had touched the photo in some way. When I got a picture, I found myself doing the same thing. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I’d always take a little off the edges.”

“I knew that, Don. That’s why I always printed my photos with a little ‘air’ around them so that by the time you and jBlue got finished, the picture would be just right.”

The News from Delta

Burfordville NewsOne of the most challenging jobs I had in my newspaper career was a brief stint as District News Editor at The Southeast Missourian. Denny O’Neil, who had been herding the cats we would call “citizen journalists” today left town in a hurry, so I was nominated to take over the slot.

Every morning, I would slit open hand-scrawled envelopes containing “news” that these people would file. In print, they were called Correspondents. In newspaper jargon, they were called “stringers,” who were paid per published inch. Since many journalists are math-challenged, we would measure the published columns with a string, then measure the string to arrive at the number of inches, hence the name.

If we were lucky, the stringer, who might be filing the same stories to three or four papers, would type the copy. If you were even more lucky, you might get the original or one of the top carbons. I usually didn’t have that kind of luck.

Sometimes the stories would be typed in black ink. When that started getting light, they’d switch to the red part of the ribbon, Eventually you’d get something like this: a page that just peters out with a penciled note, “Sorry hope you can make this out. my typewriter ribbon just gave out.”

No, your ribbon gave out about two weeks ago. (Click on the photos to make them easier to read (except for this one. Nothing is going to help it.))

Ann Withers from Delta

1965-12-18 Chicks Delta News by Anne Withers 8One of our long-time stringers was Ann Withers from Delta. She and her husband Andy operated a service station in the tiny town best known for being a speed trap halfway between Cape Girardeau and Advance. He ran the garage and she handled the gas station side.

Her stories were heavy on the doings of Ann and Andy. Being a serious journalist, I edited her copy with a meat axe until here was nothing left but the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.

One afternoon, Editor John Blue came over to give me some guidance. He said to cut people like Ann and Rip Schnurbusch in Old Appleton some slack. “Not much happens in these little towns, so they make do the best they can. Besides, their little asides are what make their columns fun to read.”

Since I now write in much the same Ann and Rip style, I can appreciate what jBlue was saying.

She loved blood and gore

1966-02-26 Deaths redacted Delta News by Anne Withers 12Ann loved to provide more detail than what most of our readers wanted to encounter over the dinner table. I can imagine her leaning over the gas pumps getting the full scoop from the local railroad gang. (I’ve removed names from this offering to protect the privacy of family members.) She also tended to run stories together, leading to a blending of a gruesome railroad accident, a gunshot suicide and the passing of a well-loved citizen all in the same paragraph.

I never figured out Ann’s penchant for inserting random extra spaces between words and punctuation marks unless she thought she was paid by the typed inch instead of the printed inch and she was going to stretch it as much as possible.

OK, THIS one was funny

Music mystery Delta News by Anne Withers 9Proving that even a blind hog can find an acorn from time to time, this account of mystery music was funny. Since the “beloved senior citizen” wasn’t named, I wondered if it might have been Husband Andy.

Saga of dead sparrows

Storm Delta News by Anne Withers 11Here’s her account of a sparrow-strangler of a storm.

The end of an era in Delta

Leaving Delta News by Anne Withers 6This story must have been written in 1966 about the time they retired.

Andy Withers died in 1979

Pigeon Delta News by Anne Withers 4Here is Andy Withers’ obit from the July 25, 1979, Missourian:

Delta–William Andrew (“Andy”) Withers, a businessman here for many years, died at 8:15 Tuesday night at Chaffee General Hospital. He was 74 years old. Mr. Withers was born May 3, 1905, near Delta, the son of Frank and Selena Lewis Withers. He had resided in the Delta community his entire life.

On Dec. 27, 1927, he married Miss Ann Cracraft at Cape Girardeau. For 38 years, he and his wife owned and operated Withers Service Station and Garage here. He was a member of the Delta First Baptist Church and the Whitewater Masonic lodge.

Surviving are his wife; brothers, John and Louis Withers, both of Florissant, James Withers, St. Louis, and Arthur Withers, Clinton, Md., and sisters, Mrs. Herbert Schlegel, Cape Girardeau, and Mrs. Glenn Chateau and Mrs. Jeff Thomas, both of St. Louis.

Service will be at 2 Friday afternoon at the funeral home in Delta, with the Rev. Ronald Shrum, pastor of the Delta First Baptist Church, officiating, assisted by the Rev. Jack Owens. Burial will be in Memorial Park at Cape Girardeau. Members of the Whitewater Masonic Lodge will serve as pallbearers.

Ann Withers died in 1988

1965-01-22 Grandparents Delta News by Anne Withers 3Here is her obit from The Missourian on Dec. 1, 1988:

Delta–Service for Ann C. Withers will be held at Ford & Sons Funeral Home in Delta at 1:30 p.m. Friday, with Rev. Kenny Martin officiating. Interment will be in Cape County Memorial Park.There will be an Eastern Star service at the funeral home at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Withers, 77 years old, of Delta, died Wednesday, Nov. 30, 1988, at southeast Missouri Hospital. She was born March. 9, 1911 at Jackson, daughter of John W. Cracraft, and Margaret Statler Cracraft.

She married W. A. “(Andy”) Withers on Dec. 27, 1927, in Cape Girardeau. He preceded her in death July 24, 1979. Survivors include a brother, Lynn Cracraft of Carlsbad, Calif.; two stepsisters, Mrs. Carmen Golightly of Cape Girardeau, and Mrs. Ruth Miller, of Sandusky, Ohio. She was preceded in death by 6 brothers and one sister.

Withers was a member of the First Baptist Church of Delta, the Whitewater Eastern Star Chapter 174 and the VFW Auxiliary 3838 in Cape Girardeau.

She and her husband owned and operated Withers Garage and Service Station in Delta 38 years, retiring in 1966. she was the Delta news correspondent for the Southeast Missourian, the Chaffee Signal, and Advance News.

[Editor’s Note: jBlue would have given the writer of this obit a royal reaming. You NEVER referred to someone in an obit by their last name, particularly if it was a woman: you used the full name or a courtesy title with the last name. It was also style to stick a “the” in front of Rev.. The writer also failed to capitalize “The” in the newspaper’s name in the last graf. There is a better than even chance the obit was written by the funeral home, but a Missourian copy editor should have caught those errors. Unless, of course, that was in the era when the paper didn’t care about such niceties.]

A prayer for the rabbits

1966-02-14 Rabbits Delta News by Anne Withers 2She may not have been the best writer in the world, but she was wired into her community.

Donkey ball game postponed

1966-03-1966 Donkey Ball Delta News by Anne WithersThe excitement of a donkey ball game had to be put on hold because the donkeys scheduled to play were killed in a fire.

Vietnam War touches Delta

1966-01-021966 Vietnam Delta News by Anne Withers 10I can picture Carl Dayton Poinsett’s mother telling the story about her soldier son in just that breathless burst. Maybe Ann was a better writer than I gave her credit for.

jBlue was right: I should have passed on more of her copy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Achievement Edition

1967 Achievement - Cape Wishy-Washy 50The Missourian’s big annual extravaganza was the Achievement Edition, published after the first of the year and looking back at the previous year’s accomplishments. We started working on the copy and photos well before Christmas.

Back in the old days before computers, we didn’t have filenames to keep track of stories, headlines and layouts. We used “slugs,” a line of lead type with a descriptive title. If the reporter was sending the story in several “takes” or pieces, then he or she would create a slug that might say, “murder1, murder2.” Since the composing room would occasionally miss taking the slug out, it was a good idea not to use titles that could be embarrassing (like labeling the religion news “god junk”).

Because the Achievement Edition copy was done so far in advance, it was given an additional slug “Atomic” so it wouldn’t get crammed into the daily paper. Or, at least that’s the way I remember it.

One Christmas break when I came home from Ohio University – it was probably 1967 – Editor jBlue asked if I would have time to roam all over the region shooting buildings like The Wishy-Washy Laundr-O-Mat. The 1968 City Directory says it was at 1526 Independence and that Homer R. Dickmann was the manager. At five bucks a shot, plus mileage, I jumped at the opportunity.

Start at the outside and work in

1967 Achievement - Cape Ricardos 47In those days, The Missourian was a regional paper. My negative sleeves said I went north as far as St. Genevieve, as far south as East Prairie and as far west as Lutesville. jBlue, always cost-conscious, instructed me to start at the far ends of the region and work inward toward Cape “so I don’t have to pay you to drive the same roads more than once.”

I was told to shoot any commercial buildings that looked new or remodeled and a representative sampling of any new homes that looked “expensive,” defined as costing more than $25,000. By the time I got done with the project, I could have qualified as a tax assessor.

I must have thought Ricardo’s Italian Swiss Chalet Ristorante looked recently spiffed up. The City Directory says it was also known as Rich House Inc. and was located at 731 Broadway. It was flanked on the left by Sisco’s Professional Barber Salon (Wm. D. Sisco), and optometrists Joe L. Mosley and James A. Drace on the right.

Sterling replaced the St. Charles Hotel

1967 Achievement - Cape Sterling 16The Sterling store replaced the historic St. Charles Hotel at the corner of Main and Themis. I photographed it being torn down.

Personal Finance Loans

1967 Achievement - Cape Personal Finance Co 13John H. Jarrett was listed as manager of Personal Finance Loans, 31 Main Street. The other buildings include Zickfield’s Jewelers, Tony’s Jewelry and Gift Shop and the Sweet Shoppe.

Eggiman’s

1967 Achievement - Cape Skinners Barber Shop 39Skinner’s Barber Shop must have had a short life. It doesn’t show up in the 1969 City Directory, and there is a sign in the window that says “For Lease, Inquire at Eggimann’s.”

Eggiman’s Authorized Dealer of Maytag and Admiral Appliances (Richard L. Eggiman, mgr) was at 225 South Plaza Way. That’s my old 1959 Buick LaSabre station wagon parked in front of Eggiman’s.

Swann & Son Garage

1967 Achievement - Cape Swan - Sons 07From the off-kilter angle of this photo, I wonder if I might have just changed rolls of film and this was a shot where I was advancing the new roll of film to get past the leader. Swann & Son Garage (C. Elwood Swann) was located at 430 William Street.

Missourian Litho and Printing

1967 Achievement - Cape  Missourian Litho and Printing 06Missourian Litho and Printing Co. (John Beaudean) was at 500 William.

Cape Chiropractic Clinic

1967 Achievement - Cape Cape Chiropractic Clinic 7Cape Chiropractic Clinic, 726 Independence, was occupied by Drs. Wm. D. and R.M. Edwards.

Dr. M. Allen Brock

1967 Achievement - Cape Dr M Allen Brock 27The building on the right has a sign large enough to read that says “Dr. M. Allen Brock – Chiropractor.” The City Directory has Dr. Brock’s address as 148 S. Ellis, but this doesn’t look like Ellis to me. I can’t read the sign on the building on the left. If I had to guess, I’d say this is Independence.

Ford’s Meat Company

1967 Achievement - Cape Fords Meat Co 33Ford’s was located almost directly across from the Steinhoff, Kirkwood and Joiner Construction Co. on Hwy 61 near Sprigg Street. Managers were Bessie N and Lloyd N. Ford.

Power substation

1967 Achievement - Cape 35I think this might be the power substation located on the east side of old Hwy 61 that leads to the Diversion Channel boat ramps. It has been expanded in recent years and is protected from flooding by a huge dike around it.

Photo gallery of Cape and St. Genvieve buildings

Some of the negatives were in sleeves that said “Cape;” a few, though, said “Cape – St. Gen.” I’m going to assume that the ones with snow in them were Cape. I didn’t bother to try to identify the residential buildings because The Missourian’s microfiche in Google was missing the dates when the Achievement Edition ran. You’ll have to give me your best guess if you see something that looks familiar. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the sides to move through the gallery.

If there is interest, I’ll scan buildings from East Cape, Scott City, Illmo, Charleston, Bertrand, Lutesville, Marble Hill, Chaffee, East Prairie, St. Mary, Perryville, Old Appleton, Oak Ridge, Fruitland, Brewer, Thebes, Olive Branch, Tamms, Delta, Bloomfield, Aquilla, Diehlstadt, Oran, Morley, Benton, Kelso, Delta, Advance, Patton and Brownwood. Oh, and I just found another sleeve of Cape buildings. As you can see, there isn’t much of Southeast Missouri I haven’t prowled. Unfortunately, I won’t have any IDs on the buildings. I’ll be lucky to get the town right.

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