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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.

Not Big on Beale Street

Memphis 11-23-2015Our family generally headed north to St. Louis instead of south to Memphis, but I suggested that Curator Jessica fly out of Memphis on the chance that I might drive home to Florida for Thanksgiving towing a ski boat for Kid Adam. I haven’t had a chance to check out the boat’s motor and make the trailer roadworthy, so I’m sticking to Cape for Turkey Day.

About the only thing I remember about Memphis is that Dad always warned me not to honk my horn in that town because the noise ordinances were so strict the cops would ticket you for being overly horny.

Mud Island was closed

Memphis 11-23-2015I had hoped to show Miz Jessica Mud Island, but it was closed for the season. We didn’t have a lot of time before her plane left, and we were already down in the Beale Street area, so we elected to park at the Beale Street Landing and walk up to the street known for the Blues and W.C. Handy for a quick bite to eat and to soak up the ambiance.

Let me say I was less than impressed. She and I split a sampler platter that contained some onion rings that were so tough you couldn’t bite your way through them; nachos consisting of a few dry threads of pulled pork BBQ glued to taco chips with plastic cheese, and two nondescript chicken wings.

I had REAL barbecue at the Dixie Pig in Blytheville the next day. Instead of Beale Street onions that could be used for shoe leather, The Pig made theirs with Texas sweet onions that were tender and as sweet as eating an apple.

I felt like a rube

Memphis 11-23-2015I don’t like places like Disney World because they have no soul. I feel the same way about modern Key West. I preferred it when it was a scruffy Navy town with pawn shops every other door and full of disreputable types who had let social gravity sweep them to the southernmost part of the continental U.S.

I know I didn’t give Beale Street enough time, but walking around there made me feel like a rube. I don’t like feeling like a rube.

Reflecting on the Real World

Memphis 11-23-2015I felt much more at home when we hit our parking lot just as the sun was going down and the Mighty Muddy Mississippi River was reflecting in a window. Ahhh, back to the Real World.

It’s that time of year again

Buy From to Support Ken SteinhoffEverybody is getting all excited about Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Overspend Wednesday (I made that one up), so I’m going to join the din.

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5 comments to Not Big on Beale Street

  • I love a good tourist trap and who doesn’t…and Beale street is right up there with best. It has a great name and history, and even song’s about the street…and when you get there…well, not much. Gertrude Stein once said “There is no there, there.” This seems to seems to fit here. Walking in Memphis is a great song, but Beale Street is really not all that great. Try the Peabody Hotel, now there is little history and a cool place to watch ducks and have spot of tea only a couple of blocks from Beale.

    • Terry,

      I hate tourist traps in general. I’m sure Beale Street has redeeming qualities if you dig for them, but didn’t feel real to me. Bourbon Street hits me the same way. I like gritty, not pretty.

  • Barbara Campbell

    If you want real Memphis BBQ try Corky’s on Poplar Ave. If we are in Memphis it is a given we will eat there at least once. This has been a 30 year business with many other stores but the original is the best. Their sauce can be found in lots of grocery stores now. And I think you can still find the ribs at Sam’s

  • anita bishop

    Ken, I lived in Memphis from 1984 – 1999. I was there in the 80’s when the place was a ‘boom town’. I was there when it began to sink fast. I never liked Beale Street then or any other time, I understand your feeling.

  • Virginia Kerr West

    The last time I was in Memphis was when I was a junior in High School! Am sure it has changed a lot now !

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