Bill Joiner 1941 – 2020

Bill Joiner c 1950

Troas (Bones) Joiner was the Joiner in Steinhoff, Kirkwood & Joiner Construction Co. that built roads and bridges all over the region. Bones and Lil, as we called her, had a son William who was about six years older than me. 

He was Billy, which morphed into Bill, much like I tried to shed Kenny for Ken when I got older and left town. Because of our age difference, we didn’t hang out together much.

I don’t know where these photos were taken, but it must have been someplace special for us to dress up like this. I look like I’m about two or three.

Bill died October 9, 2020

Ken Steinhoff-Bill Joiner c 1950

William “Bill” Troas Joiner, 79, of Cape Girardeau passed away Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, at Heartland Care and Rehab.

He was born May 27, 1941, to Troas and Lillian Sharp Joiner.

He was a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and owner of Solar Pools, Inc.

Bill was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. He was a sports car enthusiast, enjoyed watching Cardinals baseball and loved the barbecue from Pilot House.

He is survived by cousins, Larry Bonnell and Susan Hanvy.

I saw him at his son’s funeral

Ken Steinhoff-Bill Joiner c 1950

He was preceded in death by his parents and his son, William Troas Joiner II.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

Funeral will follow at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the church, with Pastor Weston Wildauer officiating. Burial will follow at Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery.

A very special “thank you” to Heartland Care and Rehab and Crown Hospice for the loving and compassionate care that was given to Bill.

Memorial contributions may be given to Crown Hospice.

Ford and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

We took my first plane ride together

I did a blog post in 2014 about a seaplane ride on the Lake of the Ozarks, probably around 1952. That’s Bones, Dad, me, and Billy (he hadn’t become Bill yet). By this time, he had adopted his signature buzz cut hairstyle. Dad was sporting the hairstyle that I would follow not too many years in the future.

 

Dad Bid on CHS Site Grading in 1953

SKJ bid for CHS 01-19-1953

While rooting through some of Dad’s old files, I ran across a bid that Steinhoff, Kirkwood and Joiner, General Contractors, had proposed to do the site clearing and grading for the “New High School Building, located on Caruthers Avenue, north of Independence, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.”

They offered to do all the excavation, fill and drainage work (except for the removal of rocks and trees), for $25,000

Trees and rocks were extra

The charge for removing trees would be based on the number of inches around, measured 18″ above existing grade. It would cost $2 per inch of diameter.

They would be paid $3 per cubic yard for rock removal.

The job went to Dixie Contractors

SKJ bid for CHS 01-19-1953

Unfortunately for Steinhoff, Kirkwood & Joiner, the school board awarded the job to Dixie Contractors of Cape.

I went through almost a month of Southeast Missourians to see what the winning bid was, but I either missed it, or the meeting where it was announced was outside the window I checked.

Should have been familiar with the neighborhood

Dad should have been familiar with the future site of the high school. We lived in one of the first homes built in the block of Themis just east of the school.

Mother often talked about how the site CHS sits on was once a swampy field with a dead horse in it.

Surety bond was returned

Since SK&J didn’t get the job, the school board returned their surety bond. I’ll post that as a gallery in case anyone knows any of the people who signed it. You can click on any of the three images to make it larger, then use the arrows to move through the other documents.

The bond was issued by United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, doing business as W.E. Walker in Cape. Other names mentioned included P.F. Lee, G.P Moore, Dorothy Drexel, and M. Luther Pittman.

Labor Day

Ken Steinhoff deposit slip 12-26-1963While I was going through old files at Mother’s house, I ran across this deposit slip from December 26, 1963. I thought of it with Labor Day coming up.

It tells a number of stories

  • I was paid slightly under thirty bucks a week from SKJ – Steinhoff, Kirkwood & Joiner. Dad put me to work as a laborer one summer mostly to show me why I wouldn’t want to go into the construction business. It was the only time from age 12 until I retired from The Palm Beach Post in 2008 that I wasn’t employed by a paper in some capacity or another.
  • Even then, I had two deposits for photos: $5 from The Missourian, and $1.90 from the Board of Education (I don’t have a clue where that odd amount came from).
  • Another guess is that Dad must have leaned on me to cash all my summer checks before the end of the year so he could close out his books. As a kid with few expenses, I drove the poor accountant at The Missourian crazy because I wouldn’t cash my checks for weeks. This was the last time in my life I was able to cause that problem.

You Want a Heater in That?

P21 Chev Pickup 03-20-1964I now know why I’m a pack rat. Mother’s attic was a time capsule, and Dad’s filing cabinets are a treasure trove of business minutia. I’ve found things going back to 1946. The one summer I worked for him, he set me to scooping up every nail, screw and bolt on the floor of the various shops, and then had me carefully put each one in its proper bin.

I thought he was just giving me busy work to do between unloading lumber and concrete forms coming back from jobs, but, no, I see that his year end inventories were down to the nut, bolt and screw level. Not by box, but by item.

Jim Kirkwood got an “economy heater”

Dad and his partners would usually trade pickup trucks every three years to get the most trade-in value out of them.

The invoice above shows that Jim Kirkwood got a new 1964 Chevrolet 1/2-ton pickup for a grand total of $2,240.70. (Click on it to make it easier to read.)

Extras included a wheel carrier for $15.10; an economy heater for $53.80; a manual radio for $47.90, and two-speed windshield wipers for $16.15.

1967’s model was spiffier

P23 1867 Chev pickupKirkwood’s 1967 truck had a few more extras. Maybe Steinhoff, Kirkwood and Joiner had had a good year. The overall cost was $2,754.20, but his old truck was worth$1,423.20 in trade.

Here were his options:

  • Heater – $68.35
  • Radio – $58.65
  • Wheel carrier – $14.00
  • Gauges – 10.80
  • Heavy-duty springs – $6.50
  • Powerglide – $199.10
  • Deluxe rear window – $43.05
  • 2-tone paint – $16.15 (White/Red)
  • Custom molding – $43.05
  • M/S tires (rear) – 6.80

My oil changing experience

Mark Steinhoff Easter 1962Dad was due for a new truck the summer I worked for him. He’d only had it a few weeks when he pulled it into the shop and told me to change the oil.

Now, I had never changed the oil in anything before, but how hard could it be? You unscrew a plug, let all the goop drain out, you put the plug back and you pour in new goop, right?

That’s exactly what I did. I was surprised that it took less oil than I expected, but a check of the dip stick showed the crankcase was full.

(That’s Brother Mark crawling over one of Dad’s trucks. He was partial to green and white, but I think a blue one slipped in from time to time.)

“Something’s wrong with the transmission”

Dad was working a job out in the Missouri Ozarks, so he didn’t get back until late the next afternoon.

“There’s something wrong with the transmission. It kept popping out of gear all the time. I hope I didn’t get a lemon,” he said over dinner.

The next day he discovered that there was zip, zero, zilch transmission fluid in the vehicle.

I got the drain plug part right, I just didn’t know that belly of the beast had TWO drain plugs – one for oil and the other for transmission fluid.

I give Dad credit. He didn’t chew me out. The truck and I both survived the experience.