Yeah, I KNOW Christmas and New Year’s have passed, but if stores can stock Valentine’s Day candy and Easter bunnies before the first week of 2018 is over, then I can stretch the Happy Holidays a bit in the other direction. Main Street was spiffed up a little this year. Here’s how Main and Broadway looked from high over the city at Fort A. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)
Some folks were in short sleeves
I figured I should have the bridge in at least one shot, so here it is. I was a little chilly up on the hill, but I saw several brave souls wandering around in short sleeves.
From Common Pleas Courthouse
The color balance is a bit funky, but here’s what downtown looked like from the steps of the Common Pleas Courthouse.
Looking to the north
This was taken from the south Main Street parking lot, almost in front of Hutson’s Furniture. The building on the left would have been the old Woolworth’s building.
South from Middle Main
This was taken at the block north of Themis (see the ugly clock), looking to the south.
This is a familiar icon for anybody who bought a pair of jeans that came with a Tuf-Nut knife.
What do the numbers 1965, 2015, Miss Rixman and X all have in common?
They have to do with solving for the unknown.
Staring into the eyes of my 50th Central High School Reunion weekend, the unknown I can’t solve – like X in Miss Rixman’s algebra class – is where in the heck has half a century gone?
It’s amazing how many random things you can encounter in 72 minutes in Cape Girardeau.
And, I didn’t even have to get out of the car to shoot them. (Which explains why they aren’t all that sharp.)
About a block from Wife Lila’s sister Marty’s house on Themis, I spotted three pairs of shoes swinging from utility wires. Now, you can see shoes tacked to a utility POLE in Perkins or onto a tree at Murray State, but running into a three-fer of pairs hanging in the air is pretty unusual.
63 minutes later
I’m not sure where we went after the shoe shot – maybe Annie Laurie’s Antique Shop – but, just as I was pulling into a parking spot to walk down to the river, I spied this photo shoot going on. It looked like Mom and three girls being photographed for Easter.
I thought it might be a commercial shoot, and I don’t like to interfere with those, so I popped off two frames and walked down to the river. I love the woman trying to coax a reaction from the girls. Click on it to make it larger.
What is this guy’s message?
Nine minutes after leaving Water Street, I found myself tucked in behind this guy. When we were stopped by the red light at Broadway and Sprigg, I got close enough to read the signs (even though one says, “Private Signs Do Not Read).
I wasn’t sure if he meant that or not, so I waited until the light turned green before raising the camera to take this picture. Even though I can read the words, I’m not sure I can deduce the meanings.
Mary Nowell was one of the many Central High School students who lived on Themis Street. I did a video of Linda Stone and Tricia Tipton sitting on Linda’s old steps and listing off all the classmates who grew up around them.
I didn’t know Mary well, but her dad, Bill Nowell, was a major influence in my life. Mr. Nowell owned Nowell’s Camera Shop at 609 Broadway. Other boys hung out in pool rooms and gas stations, but we photo geeks gravitated to Nowell’s so we could drool over the latest Pentax cameras (he carried Nikon gear, but Cape was a Pentax town), Honeywell strobes and other gizmos.
There was faint acidic smell of photo chemicals in the air, along with the odor of unopened boxes of photo paper and film. When I walked into The Palm Beach Post’s photo department stock room, I’d be transported back in time to Nowell’s. I can’t describe the smell, but I’d recognize it anywhere.
Mr. Nowell took a chance on us
Mr. Nowell took a chance on us kids. I don’t know how many teenage boys were extended credit, but I was one of them. I don’t recall Mr. Nowell and I ever discussing it, it just happened. I know he didn’t talk to my parents about it.
Dad grew up in the Depression era where you paid cash. I remember overhearing him talking to a friend one day when he didn’t know I was in the vicinity. He was telling him that Mr. Nowell (he was the kind of man you didn’t call “Bill’) was letting me “put stuff on the books.” Dad said it in a way that indicated that he was proud that an adult trusted me enough to give me credit.
I was always careful to pay the bill off regularly. I always paid for major purchases like cameras and lenses on the spot, but I would charge consumables like film, paper and chemicals. When the balance hit around 25 bucks, I’d pay it off and start again. I’ve held off writing about Nowell’s because I keep hoping I run across more photos taken in the shop.
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone more kind and decent than Mr. Nowell.