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.

Bunny Bread’s “Used Bread Store”

I was in Sam’s Club the other night right at closing. While I was standing near the baked goods area, I watched an employee culling the shelves of product that was hitting its expiration date. I thought to myself, if I had shopped there 10 minutes ago, the baked goods would have been considered fine; now it’s considered stale.

That got me to thinking about the old Bunny Bread facility at William and Christine St.

Toast from the “Used Bread Store”

My brothers and I were raised on cinnamon sugar peanut butter toast. If we were lucky, we got it made out of raisin bread. It didn’t matter if it was plain white bread or raisin break, it was almost always from the “Used Bread Store,” as we called it. My folks said the bread was perfectly good, just past the sell-by date. They assured us that we were going to eat it up so fast that it wouldn’t have a chance to get stale for real.

Bunny Bread Comes to Southeast Missouri

When Raymond Lewis died, his Sept. 25, 2001, obituary in The Southeast Missourian had information I didn’t know about Bunny Bread (previously known as Bamby Bread).

In 1925 Raymond Lewis and his two brothers, A.C. and Arnold, launched Lewis Bakeries in Anna, Il., with $300 they borrowed from their mother. Mr. Lewis took over the bakery in 1944 and grew the company into a major regional bakery.

In 1950 he originated and copyrighted the name “Bunny” and in 1951 he built a new bakery in Anna. Soon “That’s What I Said, Bunny Bread” and “Get the Rabbit Habit” were heard all over the Heartland.

The company is now comprised of seven bakeries selling fresh bread products in 14 states from Michigan to Alabama and from Ohio to Arkansas, and frozen products nationwide.

He became known for many original aphorisms including, “Grow or go,” “You don’t have to be big to be good,” When you get through changing, you are through,” “Keep your business as modern as your car,” “Just look in the mirror if you want to see your bad competitor”, and “The right time is when you make it.”

His marketing magic must have worked. Son Matt remembered having a Bunny Bread T-shirt when he was a kid, so he insisted that his grandmother send him one for Grandson Malcolm (for the record, he isn’t up to his normal cuteness standard in this photo. The sun must have been shining in his eyes. Malcolm, I mean.)

Bunny Bread Teen Age Club fundraiser

These three girls were going door to door trying to sell Bunny Bread to raise funds for the Teen Age Club. The negative sleeve said it was taken Aug. 24, 1967.

Ad shows Bunny Bread storefront

This ad showing the history of Cape businesses probably ran at Bunny Bread’s high point.

A May 29, 1956, Missourian story announced the start of construction of the building shown above. “The structure, declared cost of which is $21,000, will be 130 feet long by 50 feet wide. Three sides will be concrete block and the front brick. The bakery, 533 Good Hope St., will continue to be used by the firm while the new structure will be used as a loading point for trucks which distribute the products. ” The new building was needed to quarter the company’s fleet of 15 trucks.

The end was near

On Dec. 3, 1992, the other shoe dropped. Bunny Bread Bakeries, which was founded in a log cabin in Anna in 1925, announced it was closing its Anna baking operations. The Cape Girardeau bakery closed in 1988. Loss of population from the area was given as the reason for the restructuring.

I’m not sure when the “Used Bread Store” morphed into C.A.P Supplies.