Back in 2011, I picked up a Tour of Rush brochure from the Cape Convention Bureau in the H&H building. Using its guidance, I photographed Rush Limbaugh’s house, his church, the hospital where he was born, the chair where he shined shoes and the radio station where he launched his career. Then I forgot all about it.
Before I let Curator Jessica come to Cape ( she wanted to see if ANY of the stories I had told her about the area were true), I sent her a stack of reading material. It included a book on Louis Houck, a book on the Flood of 1927 and some other things. As an afterthought, I stuck in the Tour of Rush brochure.
When I rediscovered the photos, I went digging for my Rush Tour pamphlet and couldn’t find it. Miz Jessica returned my other materials, but she must have been so enamored with Cape’s conservative megaphone that she couldn’t part with it.
So, it looks like I’ll have to make do with running Rush’s house at 412 North Sunset Blvd. until I can replace my reference material.
So far, I think I’ve only posted two Rush Limbaugh stories:
News outlets always run Top 10 stories at the end of the year because (a) they are usually short-staffed; (b) readers and viewers are busy with family activities and drop off; (c) it’s easy and can be done in advance, and (d) it’s traditional. So, for all of those reasons, except (c), here are the highest-read pages of 2012.
A 2010 post about the old gym uniforms topped the 2012 list because it went viral on another site. It was viewed 3,576 times.
David Holley, the last man living in Wittenberg and a storyteller supreme died April 11 of lung cancer. I only talked with the man twice, but he’s a character I’ll remember forever. His wife, Joanne, lives in one of only two buildings left in the once-vibrant Mississippi River town
I was hoping the river would drop low enough for me to walk over to Tower Rock like Brother Mark and I did in 2003. It didn’t quite make it, and I didn’t want to take my inaugural kayak ride solo in the Mississippi River when these geocachers made the climb. The page was viewed 1,120 times, and 407 people clicked through to watch the video I produced about the day.
#8 “Rush Limbaugh is a horse’s patootie”
I was interviewing Wife Lila’s Uncle Ray Seyer on a wide-ranging number of topics. Somehow or another, Rush Limbaugh came up. He described the high school Rush as a “horse’s patootie” for the way he monopolized the CB radio channels even when truckers were trying to get directions to local businesses. The page had 1,104 visitors.
I was running some errands when a warehouse across the street from our house exploded into flames. Wife Lila dialed 9-1-1, then grabbed her camera and started shooting. The West Palm Beach Fire Marshall and 1,099 other readers were interested in her handiwork.
Remember my Amazon link
If you were one of the folks who stopped by 357,930 times during the year, don’t forget to place your Amazon orders by clicking on this big button or on the links at the top left of the page. I get a small percentage to keep the lights on and it doesn’t cost you anything extra.
Ray Seyer, Wife Lila’s uncle, was going to turn 90 in 2012, so we sat down with him on Oct. 20, 2010, for a wide-ranging discussion about what it was like to grow up in Southeast Missouri when much of it was still swampland. The result was a collection of ten videos that we put together for his family to pass down to their kids. I’ll get around to posting them one of these days.
Rush Limbaugh Remembered
A video that I didn’t include was Uncle Ray talking about one of his first encounters with high schooler Rush Limbaugh. As soon as school would let out, Rush would run home and fire up his CB and monopolize Calling Channel 9, making it impossible for truckers and others in the community to communicate.
[Channel 9 eventually became set aside for emergency use only. Truckers, who first migrated to Channel 10, moved to 19 about the time C.W. McCall’s song Convoy put two-way radio antennas on just about everything on the road.]
Despite a career in the Navy during World War II, Uncle Ray contented himself by labeling Rush a “horse’s patootie.” I’m sure he would have been more colorful, had Mother, Lila and Aunt Rose Mary not been in the room.
Rush Limbaugh and Terry Jones
September 9, 2010, when Terry Jones was international news because he was threatening to burn a Koran, I pointed out that Terry and Rush Limbaugh were both members of the Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1969. The story didn’t hint that they were in cahoots, it just noted the interesting coincidence that Cape’s two best-known exports were in the same class.
The Terry Jones / Rush Limbaugh story was picked up all over the world and got more traffic in three days than I usually get in a month. It also attracted 150 mostly respectful comments. I rode herd to make sure that they STAYED respectful.
Rush has been immortalized on Cape Girardeau’s Mississippi River floodwall mural displaying pictures of prominent Missourians. I don’t think they’ve reserved a space for Jones.
So, you are welcome to comment on an 88-year-old’s recollections of a young Rush Limbaugh, but we’re going to keep it civil, right?
When I stopped by the new Central High School to pick up a copy of the Centennial book, I couldn’t believe I was in a high school library. It felt more like a coffee shop than Mrs. Wilcox’s study hall that served as my freshman homeroom.
The first thing you see when you walk into the library is a small lobby with a catalpa and sycamore sculpture by art instructor Robert C. Friedrich III. The work, “Mind, Body & Soul,” was commissioned by librarian Julia Howes Jorgensen “To Honor Her Family’s Three Generations of Central Graduates.”
She said that the “experts” would consider the small alcove wasted space, but she thinks it’s important to have a place where students can scrape off teenage angst and “decompress” before entering the library. “You remember all the drama, with the cat fights between boyfriends and girlfriends…”
Bright, airy, inviting
Julia said she was given extraordinary latitude in designing the space. She figured it was because she was “Old Cape;” a Class of 1969 graduate “along with Rush Limbaugh” (and, Koran-burner Terry Jones, I added), and had been librarian since 1985. “I live here. I know Cape and our students. I’ve taught here. I knew what we needed.”
It is clearly a non-shushing library. There’s enough space that students can collaborate on projects or talk quietly without interfering with their neighbors. The facility is open from 7 a.m. to 3:30. Julia says students are frequently waiting for her to swing the doors open in the morning.
Craig Thomas murals and art
She brought in local artist Craig Thomas to do paintings and murals. It was a great learning experience for the art students to see him set up his scaffolding and create his work. He was able to communicate to them that “it’s great work, but you really need a spouse with life insurance, too.”
The coffee shop feeling is enhanced by The Bookend, a self-serve, honor system counter where students can buy popcorn, hot chocolate or cappuccino for 50 cents. The money goes to buy “extra” books. “The district buys the first copy of a book, but I use the proceeds from The Bookend to purchase the second, third or fourth copy of books that are ‘hot.'”
She also tries to stock bestsellers, when appropriate, so that students and faculty members have an opportunity to read a book by an author they saw on a late-night talk show .
Julia is an expert at scrounging useful items. Some of the tables in the library came from a Barnes & Noble bookstore that was moving. They were destined for the dumpster when she stepped up to take them.
Links to the past
She’s also rescued key items from the Pacific Street and Caruthers high schools. This artwork and books came from “our” Central. There are patriotic posters and a room directory taken from what is now Schultz Senior Apartments.
There’s a whole shelf of Girardot yearbooks. “That’s how you can tell I’m not a real librarian,” she said, “because I make them available to the students. It’s their school. If they want to look up what grandpa or an aunt or an uncle looked like, they shouldn’t have to beg my permission. They’re always available.”
Students can look into library
There are small windows set high in the room that allow students in the second-floor classrooms around it to look down into the library.
Her father’s uniform
One of the items on display is Julia’s dad’s uniform from World War II. When students remark about how small he was, she tells them that “when you walk the length of Italy, you get that way.”