Cape Central High Top 10 List

In all the excitement over Mother’s Birthday Season, I almost missed the first birthday of this website.

The first posting, on Oct. 20, 2009, contained photographs of the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge to test whether I liked the web template (I didn’t). If the picture is familiar, it’s because it went on to be one of the two header photos.

I envisioned the site as someplace I could “park” photos while I scanned them. I never dreamed that anyone would actually want to see this stuff, let alone read my ramblings. When I saw that random postings were acquiring a following, I started doing nearly daily updates starting at the end of November of last year.

Top Ten List

Here is a list of the ten most read stories, from top down. Click on the link to go to the story.

  1. Rush Limbaugh and Koran-burning Preacher Terry Jones were in same class
  2. This summer’s CHS Reunion, Day 1
  3. The Boat House
  4. Bill Jackson’s transition to Jacqie
  5. Cape’s New Water Park
  6. Radioactive teenage girls
  7. The last night of this summer’s CHS Reunion
  8. Dancing in the bank parking lot
  9. 1966 aerial photos of Southeast Missouri University
  10. Tour of the old Central High school

More visitors than Cape residents

I ran a Google Analytics report on our first year. The site has had 35,851 unique visitors. That’s more people than were counted in Cape Girardeau in the 2000 Census (35,349). I’ve written 239 posts in 365 days and you folks have left 2,605 comments. That’s an extraordinary amount of interaction, and I thank you for it.

Visitors have come from all 50 states and a total of 115 countries or territories. They’ve looked at 177,471 pages

192,454 words

I’ve written about 192,454 words, and you readers have left about 134,596 words of comments. If we’d have been that prolific when we were writing term papers, we’d have earned A-grades from Miss Sadler. (Well, she might have marked us down a grade point for spelling and grammar.)

2,269 photos

Let’s face it, it ain’t my writing that makes this site unique, it’s the photos.

The site has published 2,269 photos, some of which I’m proud; others probably should have stayed in that plastic garbage can under my darkroom table.

One of the most satisfying things about this project has been the number of messages I’ve gotten from readers who have seen photos of their parents and have used those to start discussions about their lives. Many of you have seen a side of them you never knew existed.

Lester Harris and Fred Kaempfer are good examples.

At one time, I was afraid of turning into One-Shot Frony. When I look at the body of work he left behind, though, I see why he stayed in Cape.

Where do we go from here?

I thought I’d be able to wrap Cape up in about a year, then I’d move on to my stint in Ohio. Instead, I’m finding that I’ve only scratched the surface. I have some stories and photos in the pipeline that I think will be as good or better than anything you’ve seen so far.

Down in the Cement Plant quarry

Here’s a sample of what’s coming. This is a shot of the huge columns of stone in the Cement Plant quarry caverns before they were blasted out in the mid-to-late 70s.

Is there a book in the future?

I’ve found out that advertising isn’t going to come close to covering the expenses of producing this site. This isn’t the right market for it, I’m a lousy salesman and I’d rather produce stuff for you to read than beg for bucks.

Kid Matt is looking at what it would cost to produce a book of the best work. We’ll let you know what we find out. Anybody interested in something you could hold in your hand, instead of just see on the screen? The last thing in the world I want is a shed full of books nobody wants.

27 Replies to “Cape Central High Top 10 List”

  1. If you print it, they will read.

    At least I will.

    You’ve done a great job of showing the Cape I remember (although I’d rather have forgotten a couple of pictures).

  2. As far as having more readers than Cape residents, I’m in Japan. I am from Jackson, but the military has transported us. I do enjoy your site, even though I wasn’t even a glimmer when you took most of these pictures!

  3. A year…it seems like much L O N G E R….(grin)
    Thanks for brighting my dull life with your insight and Thanks for your way of looking at things I remember and dicovering many things I do not see when growing up.
    Well, off to go DEEP sea fishing!

  4. Ken,
    Put me at the top of the list for the book please. You are doing an awesome job with the website, it sure doesn’t seem like it has been a year. Thank you for all of your hard work.

  5. Make the book. Your shed back home in West Palm is prone to getting swept up in hurricane seasons, so I’m offering to store the extra copies in my house if need be. I’ll make you a deal, keep the price point low (read that as, “don’t get greedy, break even”) and I’ll buy however many books come in a standard size box (read that as, “don’t construct an extra large box just for me”) and we will both be happy. I’ve seen what other books about Cape look like and your photos alone are much better, plus you’re good storyteller to boot. You have the material, you have the time, I’m looking forward to the FedEx lugging a large box of books to my doorstep in the very near future. Deal?

  6. Happy Birthday! Your site has provided a shelter for me to visit and remember the happy days of my youth spent in Cape visiting my grandparents. My grandfather, Art Stein, worked in the cement plant as did my father during his summer vacations while at Northwestern. I have never seen pictures of it. I can’t wait to see your coming photos and read your stories. Thank you very much……..and save me an autographed book!

  7. Hey, do the book, your archive is a treasure trove Cape history. Do not let the next huricane kill this. Also,Letme know if and when this proposed book is ready i want on. Great blog i hope you are not going to retire cape Central i would miss it.

    1. I was telling my mother yesterday that I’m going to have to live to be 112 if I want to edit all the photos and audio tapes I have collected over the years, at the rate it’s taking me to get through Cape.

  8. Yes, Please write a book about Cape and our area of Southeast Mo. I love the pictures, they alone tell the stories of our past. I will buy a book,maybe a couple. I love reading about our local history. Thanks Marilyn…

    1. I shot almost two hours of video of Ray Seyer yesterday. He had a great Rush Limbaugh story.

      He and Mother both grew up in the area around Advance. I’m going to put them in the car and see if any of their old haunts are still there. Ray told me stories about the days when the area was truly Swampeast Missouri.

      I’m looking forward to editing that video.

    1. A friend emailed that so many of the things I write about ring no chimes at all for her because she had wheels from age 16 on.

      I explained to her that I spent hours and hours doing nothing but driving every street and alley in the whole area looking for pictures. You Hoover up a bunch of memories doing that.

      I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was a good listener who collected stories like other kids collected baseball cards.

      (Although I think some of them are about as shredded as the baseball cards we used to stick in our bicycle spokes.)

  9. If you really want to help Ken Steinhoff earn enough money to continue this blog — and occasionally take my mom out to dinner — click the logo on the left side of the screen and do your Christmas shopping.

    Dad makes six percent on anything you buy through The products are the regular Amazon price and are not marked up. You need not purchase Cape Girardeau-related products for him to get his cut. Anything you buy – from books to screw drivers to kitty litter – earns him pennies.

    The average American spent $417 on Christmas gifts in 2009. If each of his regular readers did just a third of their Christmas shopping through Amazon, buying stuff they’re going to buy anyway, mom might get to go to Red Lobster.


  10. Ken, you will save me a lot of time if you write the book. I have always wanted to write something to give to my son regarding growing up in Cape Girardeau. Now all I need to concentrate on are a few family related items, and it will be a done deal. Oh, and the info is great! We always buy several gifts (mostly books) online. Congratulations on such a successful year.

    1. Bill,

      Photos trump words. You can deny stories, but photos don’t lie.

      I’d love to hear your version of those senior debate trips. As I recall, they were never as wild as I’d hoped they would be.

  11. Speaking of Amazon….Check out Amazon’s self publishing company for your book! Will print the copies as they are sold….Good spot for a wonderful book of your photos. We will look forward to it!!

  12. Put me on the list for one of the first books off the press. It will be a wonderful addition to my library with all of your pictures and stories. I have enjoyed all of the ones you have provided so far. And a belated Happy Birthday to your Mom.

  13. Ken, DEFINITELY write a book or a series with great photos of Cape Central and “the Baby Boom Cape,” etc. You have so much material already, and a great mind–just do it! I absolutely want a copy (copies)!

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