SEMO Construction in 1967

 

Southeast Missouri State College – now University – was yanking buildings out of the ground like crazy in 1967. I roamed the campus taking photos of the work that was taking place so we could show it in the February 25, 1967, Achievement Edition.

Kent Library Expansion

This was the beginning of the Kent Library expansion project. Dearmont Hall is on the left.

Soft spot for construction workers

I’ve always had a soft sport for construction workers, particularly crane operators, because of the hours I spent watching Dad operate a dragline. He could drop the bucket exactly where he wanted it, pull in a load of dirt or gravel, swing it over and dump it into truck without spilling a rock or banging the bed of the truck. The men working under him had absolute faith in his ability to hit his target, because a mistake could have killed them.

When I was about 10, Dad was setting a big tank for someone. He had the load locked down and suspended about five feet off the ground while a worker for his client was leveling the dirt below it. He stepped off the crane for a break, then sent me back to get his jug of iced tea. When I climbed up into the cab, the tank owner went berserk. “Kid, get DOWN off there. If you touch something, you could kill that man.!”

I froze until Dad hollered back, “If I thought he was going to touch anything, I wouldn’t have sent him.” Turning to me, he said, quietly, “Fetch me the jug, please.” I realized then how much confidence Dad had in me.

Built in the old Home of the Birds

One Missourian photo caption said, in part, that the 12-story structures on the new North Campus will serve hundreds of students when they are first opened in the summer. A service center has two high-rise dormitories  attached to the corners. Under contracts recently awarded, two more buildings, identical to the first, will be built on the remaining two corners of the service center, which will provide students food service and recreation areas.

By building the tall structures in the valley of what past generations called the Home of the Birds, the college was able to keep the height of the buildings at the level of existing buildings. That avoided a top-heavy effect.

2010 Aerial of dorm area

This photo is looking east toward the high-rise dorm area. Academic Hall, not visible, would be at the right.

Houck Stadium, Kent Library

This photo, taken November 6, 2010, shows Houck Stadium at the bottom. The large building at the top center of the picture is Kent Library. Dearmont Hall is on its right.

Photo gallery

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

Some Days You Make Pictures; Some Days You Make Memories

Wife Lila was trying to make some space in the guest room closet when she asked, “Did you know there’s a big plastic box of slides and film in here?”

The answer was, “No, but I hope it’s got some stuff in it that I’ve been looking for.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to contain photos of the old St. Francis Hospital before it was torn down or two slide trays from my trip to Philmont Scout Ranch.

Smiles and moisture

It DID have a treasure trove of color slides and black and white photos from 1961, when I got my first 35mm camera, an Argus Autronic 35. I used it to shoot photos of my Trinity Lutheran School classmates, scenics and some family photos that bring a smile to my face and, in a few cases, some moisture to my eyes. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

I started to make this a piece about the peacocks at Memorial Park Cemetery – even had the photos uploaded and the headline written, but I kinda painted myself into a literary corner and decided to put that photo of Mother and Dad in to get me out of it.

I don’t remember taking it, probably because the moment didn’t mean as much to me then as it does now. I often say that some days you make pictures; other days you make memories. This was one of those cases when I’m glad I made a photograph that lets me fill in a memory that I DIDN’T make at the time.

One day you’ll understand

I think Dad knew what had happened. I can read in his expression, “Kid, one of these days, you’ll understand.”

Composition needed work

We had a pretty back yard, but I don’t think it was nice enough to explain why I cropped the picture the way I did to show more yard than family. That’s Brother David on the left and Mark in the middle.

Chekov’s Gun and the peacocks

“Checkov’s Gun” is a literary rule that says “If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired.” Since I brought up peacocks, I guess I better produce them. This was one of several peacock pictures from 1961. You may see others later.

I wrote about the history of Memorial Park and the Tower of Memories in the fall of 2010.

 

Thanksgiving 2011

Family was my Number One Thing to be Thankful for in 2010, and it tops the list again in 2011.

The Steinhoff Family from Florida, Missouri, Colorado and Oklahoma managed to make it back to Cape to celebrate Mother’s 90s Birthday Season. Son Matt shot this group photo. (Click on any image to make it larger.)

He had everything set up earlier in the morning to do the photo in the back yard, but the sun moved and the shadows were bad. He shuffled us over to the side yard where the light was better, but still spotty. He worked fast, mainly because so many of his subjects were young and prone to crankiness and because so many of his subjects were old and he didn’t know how many takes he’d have left.

Matt’s last perfect family portrait

He took much longer to shoot this one of the Florida branch on Easter Sunday 2009. In fact the video I recorded of him arranging everyone, running to get into the photo before the self-timer tripped, checking the camera display, yelling at various of us for minor infractions, then redoing it time and time again, runs 7:46, something that a couple of commenters have complained about. They didn’t get it: it was SUPPOSED to be long. That’s why it’s titled¬†How to Shoot a Family Portrait (In the Real World).

Here’s where you go to see still photos of the extravaganza and / or subject yourself to a 7:46 min video.

They’re both iPad proficient

I’m thankful that my grandsons have had a change to meet and get to know their Great-Grandmother. Malcolm gets to see his great-grandmother only once or twice a year, but they’re close enough that she can kibitz his computer game. There’s not that big a gap between 90 and seven, I suppose, when you both know how to use iPads. Malcolm is Matt and Sarah’s son.

Graham – the newest addition

Mother journeyed to Florida shortly after Graham was born in February (remember our Road Trip back). Graham doesn’t know a stranger. I have a snippet of video right after this still shot was taken that shows him breaking out in a huge grin and reaching for her.

Both of my sons keep in regular contact with their grandmother by phone calls and email. Even though they didn’t grow up in Cape, they feel the same attraction to the area that I do. Graham belongs to Adam and Carly.

Missing from the photo, but not forgotten

Even though Matt wasn’t much older than this when Dad died in 1977 – and Adam hadn’t even been born yet – both boys have heard so many stories and memories that it’s almost like they grew up with him.

Dad may not be in the photograph at the top of the page, but he’s still in the picture for us.

David’s Christmas Bike

While looking through some old converted 8mm home movies, I ran across this snippet of Brother David getting his first bicycle. The best part is watching him polish the fingerprints off the fender at the end.

Tech note: Brother Mark moved the old 8mm movies to VHS tapes. I used an ION Audio VCR 2 PC USB VHS Video to Computer Converter to copy them to a digital file. They’ve lost something in all the gyrations (and they weren’t all that great to begin with), but they still bring back a lot of memories for me.

Bikes were part of our life

By the summer, he was riding his bike to ball games. (After pumping up the front tire.)