Al Knowles: Mississippi Traveler

Al Knowles, Mississippi River travelerAl Knowles was another of those folks who put into Cape Girardeau on their float down the Mississippi River.

I KNOW I wrote a story about him and I’m pretty sure this is the photo that ran on the front page of The Missourian. I can’t find the clip, though, and this is one of the Google black holes. Even my Shy Reader friend, who can find ANYTHING came up blank.

Are these the fuel docks?

Al Knowles, Mississippi River travelerI don’t recall anywhere along the riverfront having rubber tire bumpers, so I bet Al pulled into the fuel docks to the north end of Cape. The little object at the top left might have been the sand facility. Ideas?

A laundromat stop

Al Knowles, Mississippi River travelerThere’s a pretty good chance I gave him a ride to a place where he could clean his clothes. I can’t think of any place right on the river where he could have done a wash.

People you meet along the way

Al Knowles, Mississippi River travelerI don’t know who these two men are, but it looks like they’ve earned an entry in Al’s journal.

As a cub reporter who got stuck with the Huck Finn beat, I met lots of interesting people. Now that I think about it, here are several I’ve written about.


11 Replies to “Al Knowles: Mississippi Traveler”

  1. Ken, if I remember right years ago there was a laundromat at the corner of Mason and Spanish streets and one at the corner of Main and 3rd street. The picture looks like the inside of the one on Main street. Dad would drive one of us down so we could wash the rugs at the laundromat. Mom refused to put rugs in her washer and tear it up.

    1. If anyone has a picture of the old Sinclair station at Main & Broadway, I would love to have a picture of it.
      My dad, Chuck Bellamy leased that station and ran a business there until the bank, First National I think, bought the property and tore the station down to build the new bank. That was around 1950 when we moved back to Cape after living in Jeff City for 6 years.

      1. Wasn’t there an old apartment building on the side across from the department storeon broadway toward the river from Main?

  2. A canoe with a sail!….Al must have been pretty good with this to ride in the Mississippi! The Tow boat waves could get up to 6 feet or so directly behind the tows and carry a 3 foot wave to the shoreline…I am impressed!

  3. Ken, the fuel dock belonged to Charlie Huckstep. It was located north of both the Sinclair station and the Missouri License Office that used to be on the east side of Main Street, across the floodwall from his Sinclair bulk dealership. The edges of the Sinclair fuel dock were, indeed, lined with segments of tires as in your photos.

    If the pictures were taken at Honkers boat dock, Cape Rock would bve visible in the second picture.

    The thing that is seen upstream in photo #2 is a Cape Sand Company dredge that would have been temporarily docked to unload sand.

    1. Thanks, Keith. You confirmed all my suspicions. I figured that object in the distance had something to do with the sand company, but I hadn’t thought of a docked dredge.

  4. Thank you for writing this. We loved listening to papa tell his stories about his adventure on the Mississippi River. I loved the story about the bear and the people he meet. He was a awesome man and he is truly missed.

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