You Can’t Get to Cape

I was living in Florida when I bought a reproduction of a 1926 Rand McNally road atlas to try to plot out my trip back to Cape Girardeau.

I noted to Dad in a letter that “i got this new-fangled book from the AAA people, but they didn’t allow as how it was possible to get from fla. to mo., so they wouldn’t even give me a triptik.

[Editor’s note: It was my style to type informal communications on cheap newspaper copy paper and in all lowercase. My theory was that it signaled to the recipient not to expect clean spelling and grammar.]

Wait until the bridge is built

aaa suggested waiting a few more years until they get the bridge built across the river at cape-what-ever-it-is. they said there’s a ferry there, but it ain’t to be counted on.

Why don’t you just wave from Illinois?

aaa pointed out that you have to go all the way to either memphis or st. louis to drive across the river and, confidentially, they said it don’t look much different on the west side of the river than the east.

maybe we could just stand on opposite sides of the river and wave, they suggested.

 

Dad’s Boat in the Basement

1944 LV Steinhoff classified advertising

Every family has stories that may or may not be true. Dad often told a story about pulling his toy wagon full of sheet music for the woman who accompanied the silent movies at the Broadway theater.

We all dismissed that as his version of walking 12 miles to school in waist-deep snow (uphill both ways.)

Eventually, Mother sent me the obit of the woman who HAD played music at the silent movies. I guess he wasn’t just funnin’ us with his tale.

Dad and the basement boat

I don’t ever recall Dad mention the boat he built in the basement at Themis Street before discovering he couldn’t get it through the door. That strikes me as a story no man would tell on himself.

I was never able to determine if the tale was true, and all the folks I could ask are no long with us.

Then, I ran across a couple of Missourian classified ads from 1944. The one at the top of the page was to sell a new, 12-foot row boat; table top model radio, $25; electric jig saw, $10; and one 4 and one 6 cylinder magneto.

Maybe he HAD gotten the boat out of the basement, and maybe that’s why he was also able to sell the jig saw.

Bicycles for sale

1944 LV Steinhoff classified advertising

About the same time, he was trying to sell two pre-war bicycles, like new. (And the boat.)

Mother with bikes

Mary Welch Steinhoff holds her bike and one belonging to L.V. Steinhoff in front of the garage in Advance, MO. They rode the bikes from Cape Girardeau to Advance shortly after they were married.

Decades later, she still talked about how their legs cramped up from the 36-mile ride.

The first year I started serious biking, I did the 72-mile round trip in their memory. I had quite a bit of long-distance cycling under my saddle by then – including at least one 100-mile day, so I fared better than they did.

Another bike photo

Mary Steinhoff and LV Steinhoff w Roy E Welch in background – Rolla MO 1942

Here’s Dad on a bike. Mother’s dad, Roy Welch, is looking through the screen door in the background.

I think that Advance ride dampened their enthusiasm for long two-wheeled expeditions.

 

 

 

1965 Ford Galaxie 500/LTD

I ran across a bunch of 4×5 negatives, some of which were in really bad shape, showing the 1965 Ford Galaxie 500/LTD and noting that Ford Groves had been around for half a century.

I don’t have any idea who the women models are. Check out the old TV on the left.

Who are these women?

Here’s a better look at the young women. I wonder if they were hired talent or friends, relatives or employees of Ford Groves.

It looks like the film might have slipped out of the groove when it was being developed, resulting in all the funky stuff looking like it’s trying to eat the Ford.

If I had turned it in as a class project when I was a Fine Arts student at Ohio University, I would have come up with a fancy, high-faluting caption brimming with Deep Meanings. 

This guy must be important

He looks important: he’s got on a suit, wingtip shoes and a steely countenance.

I’m sure one of you will be able to identify him.

Obligatory mug shot of Galaxie

Spell check keeps trying to change the word to Galaxy, but the name on the side of the car and the sign says Galaxie. Ford should know, right?

Wikipedia provided this information about the 1965 model:

“The 1965 Galaxie was an all-new design, featuring vertically stacked dual headlights. The cars were taller and bulkier than the previous year’s. The new top-of-the-line designation was the Galaxie 500 LTD and Galaxie 500 XL. The LTD and the XL trim package were accessory upgrades from the base Galaxie model. Engine choices were the same as 1964, except for an all-new 240 cu in (3.9 L) six-cylinder engine replacing the 1950s-era 223 “Mileage-Maker” six and the 352 was now equipped with dual exhausts and a four-barrel carburetor.

“Suspension on the 1965 models was redesigned. Replacing the former leaf-spring rear suspension was a new three-link system, with coil springs. Interiors featured a new instrument panel, as well as two-way key vehicle access: the introduction of two keys was for valet parking, where the rounded head key would only open the trunk or locked glove compartment, while the squared head key would only unlock the doors and the ignition.”

Car salesmen pitching the Ford Maverick

This ad shot is so cheesy I finally grew to appreciate it. It was for The Athens Messenger in 1969. You can see more Maverick ad photos here.

I tried everything I could do to get out of shooting advertising photos.

Part of it was because some advertisers thought that since they hired you to to take their ad picture, they could also try to dictate what you could shoot in a news situation.

 

SEMO Erases Another Iconic Building

Razing Houck Stadium 12-08-2021

Someone posted on Facebook this morning that Southeast Missouri State University’s iconic Houck Stadium was being demolished. I decided it was worth putting on my pants and donning a light jacket to take a look at it.

By midafternoon, about half of the south stands had been reduced to dust and twisted rebar. A worker I chatted with said he thought they’d be done in about a week.

The north stands and Houck Field House aren’t slated for demolition (yet).

Inside a locker room

I thought that I might be able to get a higher angle shot from an office window in Houck Field House, but the only good candidate was locked.

I wandered down a hallway until I saw an open door and walked toward the light until I ran into a friendly worker. We exchanged construction war stories until I thought we were at the point where I could gently suggest that he look the other way while I disappeared for a few minutes.

Unfortunately, another guy showed up about that time, so I abandoned the idea.

On my way out, though, I stopped long enough to shoot the lockers and peppy slogan above them. The light wasn’t great, and I couldn’t get it all in one shot, so I created this combo.

Chief Sagamore’s old perch

Razing Houck Stadium 12-08-2021

Gates leading to the bluff where Chief Sagamore used to appear were locked, so this is the best I could do.

The white cloud is a powerful spray of water to keep dust down. Cars parked on Bellevue Street still got a pretty heavy dusting. Reminded me of what happened in the old days when dust from the cement plant would coat Cape when the winds were out of the south.

Gallery of demolition photos

Here’s a gallery of photos I shot December 8, 2021. Click on any image to make it larger, then use the arrows to move around. I’ll go through my files to see how many vintage Houck Stadium photos I can find, along with any appropriate anecdotes for a post in the near future.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.