Picking the Perfect Tree

Christmas Tree Lot 12-12-1966I’m pretty sure Missourian editor jBlue gave me a Christmas bonus in 1966 without calling it one: he ran five of my photos on the front page. That’s $25 in my pocket when my salary was in the neighborhood of $50 a week. Here are most of the shots that ran, plus a couple of extras for good measure. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

The caption on the Dec. 12, 1966, paper read, “Louis Owens, 805 South Sprigg, asks Mrs. Owens if the specimen he holds is satisfactory.”

“I found it!”

Christmas Tree Lot 12-12-1966

Joy Metje, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earlie Metje, McClure, Ill., shouts she’s found the one she wants.

 It’s a cold day

Christmas Tree Lot 12-12-1966To Jimmy Trickey, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Trickey, it’s a cold day and he wishes mom and dad would hurry and make up their minds.

Mother and daughter choice

Christmas Tree Lot 12-12-1966Mrs. Lowery B. Miller, white coat, and her daughter, Diane, discuss a tree.

Not the Stones

Christmas Tree Lot 12-12-1966The paper ran a photo of Mr. and Mrs. John Stone and son, Timmy, 1726 Stoddard Court, but I couldn’t find the negative. I’ll substitute this young woman with a boy instead.

Is this Milton Ueleke?

Christmas Tree Lot 12-12-1966I don’t know for sure, but this pipe-chomping man looks like “Uncle Milty” Ueleke, science teacher at Central High School.

Coming down to the stretch

Buy From Amazon.com to Support Ken Steinhoff

Kid Matt is bugging me to go into the holiday shopping home stretch with a reminder to click on the big Click Here button if you are going to buying gifts through Amazon.

(Actually, I’ll post a really good deal in a few days if you are thinking about signing up for Amazon Prime. The special hasn’t started yet, but I’ll announce it when it kicks off December 26.)

Here’s more info on how it works.

Missourian Crime News

1967-09-17 Hanning Burglary 2I’ve been working my way through the seven weeks of newspapers that stacked up while I was out in the Midwest. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting a concentrated dose of local news, but it seems like every paper has a story about multiple people being shot, stabbed, bludgeoned or poisoned. Cops shoot perps; perps shoot at cops.

The big story for several days was a woman who went missing; her body was found with her head and fingers cut off and abandoned out in the swamps. Cops, who had been staking out her doctor husband, saw some of his relatives removing something large from his house and discovered it was his body, dead from an overdose.

It was refreshing to step back in time to these photos and a crime account in The Missourian September 18, 1967, by comparison:

A squirrel hunter, Charles H. Meyer of Gordonville, Sunday stumbled onto what was thought to be stolen goods near Gordonville. Loading the goods onto a truck are from left, Deputy Sheriff Bill Sperling, Larry Meyer, son of the hunter, Deputy Vernon Sebastian, Deputy Jon Knehans and Mr. Meyer.” The story ran on P3A, not the front page, but it was still big news.

Burglary goods in briar patch

1967-09-17 Hanning Burglary 3The Cape County Sheriff’s Department Sunday recovered items estimated to be worth $500 to $600 which were taken in a burglary August 5. The items, found by Charles Myers, in a woods on his farm as he was squirrel hunting, were believed taken from the R.L. Hanning farm near Whitewater.

The Sheriff’s Department said the loot consisted mostly of electrical equipment, appliances and tools and were spotted by Mr. Myers wrapped in a tarpaulin in a briar patch.

Chief Deputy Wm. A. Sperling said the briars were 12 and 14 feet tall and it was difficult to even open a truck door after backing in to pick up the recovered items.

He said the loot was stashed not far from Route Z west of Gordonville, but could not be seen from the roadway because of the thick foliage. Mr. Myers, however, was hunting further back in the woods and spotted the tarpaulin in the briar patch, Mr. Sperling said.

Wrong AND inconsistent

There was some uncharacteristically sloppy editing in this story. The last name of the hunter and his son was spelled “Meyer” in the photo cutline, and “Myers” in the story. Chief Deputy Wm. (Missourian style, for whatever reason, was to abbreviate William) A. Sperling was referred to as “Mr. Sperling” later in the story. I’m pretty sure somebody got a crankygram from jBlue when he read the paper. Being wrong was bad, but being wrong AND inconsistent was unforgivable. The first error was probably the reporter; the second error meant both the reporter and the copy editor weren’t paying attention to detail.

Pioneer Market Closing

Pioneer Market 11-11-2013The last time I wrote about Pioneer Orchard near Jackson, I got taken to the woodshed because I didn’t differentiate between the various Pioneer Orchards.

You can read the original stories and comments here:

Pioneer MARKET is closed

Pioneer Market 11-11-2013To be clear, it is Pioneer Market on 72 west of Jackson that has closed.

Missourian business reporter Amity Downing Shedd wrote in her blog Oct. 18, 2013, “A person reached by phone Friday at Pioneer Orchard’s Market in Jackson confirmed that the market is closing Oct. 31. The owner of the business, Sam Beggs, is retiring, the source said. The business has been family-owned and operated since the 1960s.”

Houses where trees used to be

Pioneer Market 11-11-2013This shot out behind the market shows acres of homes where trees used to be.

Row of greenhouses

Pioneer Market 11-11-2013Here’s a row of greenhouses standing empty.

Greenhouse surprisingly warm

Pioneer Market 11-11-2013The greenhouses were crudely, but effectively put together using sheets of plastic instead of the old-fashioned glass panes. It was cold and windy when I shot these photos, but the inside of the greenhouse was 10 or 15 degrees warmer than the outside air.



Aven Kinder, Farm Editor

Aven Kinder - Missourian Farm Editor - Summer 1966Aven Kinder was one of the most buttoned-down guys I ever worked with. In a business made up of characters and misfits on their way up or on their way down, Mr. Kinder (I couldn’t imagine calling him by his first name) was a model of stability.

Even though he was the Farm Editor and had to roam all over the area dodging cow pies, I never saw him with his sleeves rolled up or his tie at anything but full mast.

He had only two speeds: Slow and Steady. I never saw him get angry or get in a hurry. He was the most methodical guy in the newsroom.

I was there when he retired in 1967. after 38 years at The Missourian. The front page story about his last day said that he was honored by management and his fellow workers who presented him with a $100 savings bond. It’s hard to tell in the badly-reproduced microfilm photo, but I’m almost sure there was a flicker of a smile on his face. He doled those out sparingly.

Mr. Kinder hired on with the paper in 1929; he and One-Shot Frony were the only ones left of the original five members of the staff from that era. For three consecutive years, 1962-1964, his farm pages were judged best in the state. The paper came in second in 1965.

The story said he had no plans for retirement except to “fish a little and hunt a little.” He and Mrs. Kinder, a teacher at May Greene School, lived at 1456 Rose Street. (His obit said 1457 Rose Street, but the City Directory confirms 1456. I bet he did a spin in his grave over that.). What I find amazing in retrospect is that Mr. Kinder retired at 65 with 38 years in the business. I always thought of him as an “old man.” I retired at 62, with 45 years under my belt, 35 of them at The Post, and didn’t think I was old.

Aven Kinder obituary

Aven Kinder, 84, died Jan. 23, 1986, at the Lake Ridge Health Care Center in Roseville, Minn.

On Oct. 5, 1930, he married the former Berenice Piles at Piedmont. She died in March of 1970. On May 5, 1973, he married the former Verrell Whittaker at Advance. She preceded him in death May 21, 1973. (Those are the kinds of dates Mr. Kinder would have come over to ask, “Are you SURE of that?” The dates, sadly enough, are right. The two were married on May 5, and the new Mrs. Kinder died “unexpectedly” on May 21.)

Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Eugene (Sherrill Sue) Wright, St. Paul, Minn.; sisters Mrs. Elna Amsden, St. Louis, and Mrs. Marie O’Neal, Scott City; and two grandchildren.