Looking south toward the Idan-Ha Hotel
I’ve got a gazillion wreck pictures in my files, but I’m going to run only those that are of unusual vehicles, unusual circumstances or have interesting backgrounds. This fender-bender between a car and a taxicab at the corner of Broadway and Fountain in 1966 fits the criteria. I assume the two guys in the foreground were the drivers from their universal “Oh, Bleep” pose.
The old Idan-Ha Hotel is on the corner. I spent many a lunch hour in the coffee shop there when I was working at The Missourian.
Looking north toward the Marquette Hotel
The Marquette Hotel is on the right and the H&H Building is on the left.
Officer Fred Kaempfer directs traffic
I looked at the officer directing traffic and thought I had a shot of him from another occasion. Yep. It was a portrait of a guy with sort of a soulful look in his eyes. I remembered him as being one of the nicest guys who ever wore a uniform.
Wife Lila immediately recognized him from her days working at the Rialto Theater. The only problem was that we couldn’t think of his name to save ourselves.
Fortunately, we have house guests from Cape Girardeau staying with us. Lila’s sister, Marty Perry Riley (Class of 68) and her husband, Don Riley (class of 67) are in town for Marty to do a chalk drawing in the Lake Worth Street Painting festival this weekend. Son Adam’s company, DedicatedIT has brought her down the last three years to do the drawings. (It’s chilly down here this year, but it’s generally not hard to convince her to come to Florida in February with the kind of weather Cape’s been having.)
As soon as I showed them the photo, they both said, “Fred Kaempfer.” Don had been a Cape police officer himself.
What I didn’t know about Officer Kaempfer was that he was a song writer who came up with “Keep Walking On,” sung by Ken Roberts, in 1970. Fred died in 2004, at 80. His obituary fleshed out his life. He worked at Leming Sawmill for 25 years, was a Cape policeman from 1965 to 1973, and was a Scott City policeman from 1973 until he retired in 1978.
A letter to the editor in The Missourian after his death pointed out something else. Few know that during World War II Kaempfer fought in five major campaigns: Sicily, Central Europe, Normandy, Rhineland and the invasion of France, where he was awarded the Medal of Freedom.
View to the east shows First Federal Savings and The Southeast Missourian
It was a hot day in 1966, if the temperature sign on the First Federal Savings is correct – 88 degrees. This is quite a contrast with a Frony picture taken at the same intersection during a snow storm when the temperature was 28 degrees on the sign. You can see it in Fred Lynch’s Southeast Missourian blog.
Notice the phone number on the side of the cab: ED. 5-4433. ED stood for Edgewater. Jackson was the Circle exchange.
You can see The Missourian Building and the Royal N’Orleans, but the KFVS tower hasn’t been built yet.
The Idan-Ha is gone
The Idan-Ha Hotel caught fire a couple of times and was torn down. Here’s what it looked like on Oct. 24, 2009.
The Marquette Hotel escaped the wrecking ball
The future of the Marquette Hotel was very much in doubt for many years, but it looks like it’s taken on a new life. The canopies over the doors were more interesting when the building was a hotel, but, overall, the building looks better than it has in decades.
Note the KFVS TV building sticking high up into the sky.