A Quiet Fourth

Descendents of Nettie Hopper Family Reunion 07-04-2013_4362Mother and I passed through Capaha Park when we ventured out to Hamburger Express to pick up some ribs. I stopped at a pavilion where it looked like it there might be a reunion of some of the folks who lived in the Smelterville area. It turned out to be the Descendants of Nettie Hopper Spicer Family Reunion. They came from the Ranney Avenue area around Fort D and May Greene School, which is on the north side of Tollgate Hill, but they knew a lot of the folks I had photographed. I’m going to hook up with some of them to hear their stories of growing up in South Cape.

Shameless plug: I’ll be at Annie Laurie’s Antiques for First Friday, July 5, between 6 and whenever if you want to pick up a Snapshots of Cape Girardeau calendar or look at my Smelterville: A Work in Progress book. They are $20 each if I can place them in your hand. They are $25 if they have to be mailed. More about that later if you are interested.

Parade of Flags

Parade of Flags - North County Park - 07-04-2013Capaha Park was quiet, particularly since the pool has been demolished, so we cruised out to North County Park, which was equally quiet. I had to take a couple frames of the Parade of Flags. The wind was as calm as the park and there was some overcast, so the flags weren’t as dramatic as they had been on other visits.

As I was taking this photo, I was moved by the idea that each of those flags represented a man or woman who had served his or her country, and the family that waited for them to come home. These flags have a real meaning. They aren’t some monster flag a car dealer puts up to sell cars. They represent real people.

Kids and sprinklers

Elias and Emily Huff, Jackson, 07-04-2013We cruised over to see what was happening in Jackson. I couldn’t resist stopping when I saw Elias, 5, and Emily Huff, 4, playing in the backyard sprinkler. (As always, you can click on the photos to make them larger.)

We’ve lost something important

Elias and Emily Huff - Jackson - 07-04-2013One of my former staffers told me a few years back that he no longer shoots this kind of photo. “As soon as I walk up to ask the kids for their names, they start screaming and running away. That’s if somebody looking out a window hasn’t already called the cops on me. It’s not worth the hassle,” he said.

Too many hours sitting in front of the All Fear All the Time TV Networks has robbed us and our kids of our independence and innocence. Thanks to Elias and Emily’s father, Tim, for letting me take these photos. It’s nice to know kids can still be kids in Jackson.

Flags Coming Down

I promised myself that I wasn’t going to do another North County Park flag picture, even if it was the Fourth of July.

Then, on my way back from Perry County at the tailend of the afternoon, I saw the flags were coming down. I knew, of course, that somebody had to put them up at dawn and taken them down before dusk, but knowing something isn’t the same as seeing it.

Controlled chaos: no conking

Volunteer Jerry Hampton said most of the work was being done by VFW Post 3838, members of Boy Scout Troop 5 and folks from the Delta 1st Baptist Church. If I missed anyone, I apologize.

The workers acted in controlled chaos. Despite flag poles whirling and spinning all around, I didn’t see anyone conked or speared. They teamed up to handle the flags respectfully and to make sure they never touched the ground.

These flags are special

Those of us who visit the parks and appreciate the beauty of the flags flowing in the wind need to keep some things in mindL

  • Volunteers work hard when it’s cold and when it’s hot to put the flags up and to take them down.
  • Families donate the flags to honor their relatives who were in the service.
  • Each flag once covered the casket of someone who served to protect our freedoms.

Other stories about the display

Flag display gallery

Click on any photo to see a larger photo of these hard-working volunteers, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.