Cape Loves to Throw a Parade

Missourian photographer Fred Lynch published a Frony picture of a Christmas Parade taken in the early to mid-50s in his blog this week. It was shot on the north side of Broadway, looking back toward the southwest, in the direction of The Missourian building.

Broadway was still paved with granite cobblestones and the remains of the street car rails can still be seen.

1966 SEMO Homecoming Parade

In my digging through my negatives, I’ve come across at least two SEMO homecoming parades. This one is probably the 1966 Homecoming because the 1966 Homecoming Queen is in one of the cars and the 1965 Queen is in another one.

1966 SEMO Homecoming Parade in front of Marquette Hotel

Marquette Hotel used for student housing

The Marquette must have been used for student housing at some point, because there are student-age people hanging out the windows. There are two women and a man standing on the rooftop to the right of the Marquette. There is a microphone stand in front of them, so they are probably doing live parade coverage for KFVS.

If you look closely under the awning of the hotel, you can see the Civil Defense shelter placard to the right of the door.

KFVS Tower is missing

One thing that’s missing from this picture is Cape’s version of a skyscraper – the KFVS building. The 13-story building wasn’t built until two years later.

Broadway looking northeast; note the KFVS tower is missing

Here’s what the block looks like in 2009

KFVS TV Office building 10-24-09Fred asked if anyone knew what happened to the granite cobblestones appearing in Frony’s photo. They were removed in 1956.

I wonder if they might have been used to replace the cobblestones on the river front. If anyone has any ideas, leave a comment and I’ll pass the information on to Fred.

Except for the KFVS building, the block still looks pretty much the same as in did in 1966. The building the broadcasters are standing on was the TV station location. When the tower was built, the TV station moved into it and KZIM radio (formerly KFVS radio) moved into that building.

Gallery of Homecoming Photos

Here is a gallery of photos taken of the parade. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left of right side of the photo to move through the gallery.

13 Replies to “Cape Loves to Throw a Parade”

  1. Definitely 1966 ( I still have my 1967 Sagamore). In these days before political correctness, the team was still called the Indians, who beat the Rolla Miners 49-13 (Sagamore again). This was my first homecoming in college. One of the features was the concert by The New Christy Minstrels and a young performer just staring out named Jose Feliciano.

  2. Here’s a comment Preston Foster left on FaceBook:

    The KFVS (In Living Black & White) vidicon cameras were an event for those rooftop and street level remotes. Could be Bob Hirsch was still the engineer/producer/button pusher for those live broadcasts.

    I departed KFVS for a dissolute “unemployed” fall semester in ’66 and joined Zimmer (elder) and Speidel at KZYM in Jan. ’67.

    Amazing how a few B&W images can trigger all those neurons! Thanks, again, Ken!

    [I’m working on a posting about KFVS. I’m trying to find a picture of my brother Mark firing up the huge Cat diesel generators in the building’s basement. I have a picture of him operating a camera, but the generator shot is eluding me.]

  3. Fred Lynch sent an email with some other info. Here it is, with his permission:

    I never knew the Marquette was used for SEMO student housing. That might explain the trashed rooms I saw upstairs in the hotel after Thad Bullock bought the hotel.

    SEMO also used the old Saint Francis Hospital on Good Hope St. for student housing before it was demolished. Again I toured the trashed building before it was torn down. That might explain why SEMO is back in the on-campus dorm business as they have built some new dorms in recent years.

    It is obviously KFVS’s Don McNeely behind the microphone on the roof. He is also in one of Frony’s 1957 homecoming parade shots in front of the old house. At the time they did not do TV of the parade so McNeely was watching it with everyone else.

    I was amused at your picture of Bob Wiley developing film in the plane. Only once did I accomplish a similar feat. When Senator Bob Dole campaigned for president in Cape Girardeau – don’t ask me the year- his plane landed at 11 am. To make the deadline for the afternoon edition, I developed the B/W film in the car while driving back to the Missourian, agitating five seconds every mile. I slapped the wet negative in the enlarger, heated it up, made the print, made the deadline and headed to the university for Dole’s speech at 12:15 pm. Not bad.

  4. You can’t get two photographers together without them dragging out their war stories. Here are some I shared with Fred about processing film in planes and cars:

    We have lots of stories about developing color on the run. The lab techs always thought we got better results on the fly because of the light, continuous agitation it got.

    We had our share of misadventures, though.

    1. When possible, we’d rent a van and take the middle row of seats out to give more room to spread stuff out. One day I happened to walk into the studio to find a van seat in the corner of the room. It had been at least three weeks since we had last done a color run, so it was apparent that rental companies didn’t give vehicles much of a check when they were returned.

    2. I was driving a brand-new van with seven miles on the odometer when I hit the gas just a little too hard before the lab tech got everything situated right. The cooler tipped over, spilling water and chemicals all over the carpeting. Fortunately, we hadn’t left the office parking lot, so we could replace all the stuff. When I turned the van in, I said, “You might want to check the seals around the windows in the back. The carpet is all wet.”

    3. For night runs, I bought the lab techs little LED lights that were mounted in what looked like an eyeglass frame. That way they could see what they were doing without blinding the driver. What they also did was to look like some kind of death-ray aliens to cars passing us on the road.

  5. The Marquette sat vacant for many years and had several break-ins. I think I remember hearing that homeless people were found living in there and there were fires started from them trying to stay warm. This could account for some of the damage Fred mentioned seeing.

  6. I just reread Fred’s response and saw that he was speaking of the damage he saw after Mr. Bullock bought the hotel. The time I was speaking of would have been after Mr. Bullock had I believe closed his piano business in the front of the hotel. It was probably when he was already trying to sell it that these break-ins occurred and homeless people were getting in there. I also remember hearing that kids broke in and used it as a party spot. I was told that when renovations started there was gang graffiti on the walls in the lobby. We heard lots of stories about the building. It was so sad to see it getting so run-down as the years went by. From 1963 until 1989 we lived at 315 Bellevue, which was just around the corner from the Marquette, so we drove by at least once a day. There were many times we would see that windows had been broken out the night before.

    SEMO boys were housed in the Marquette and girls were housed at St. Francis Hospital when there were dorm shortages.

  7. My brother Mark may weigh in here to correct my mistakes, but I recall him talking about “visiting” the building at night when he worked at KFVS. The biggest problem was that Thad kept a big dog locked on the top floor.

    At night, he’d turn him loose to roam the building to keep visitors out. The key was to figure out where the dog was before you climbed through a window.

  8. I am a junior at southeast and I have undertaken the kfvs station as my project for hp-200 and help anyone can offer me as far as information about the early years of kfvs or any information related to Oscar Hirsch it would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone wanted to share their thoughts about the early years of kfvs radio and kfvs12 television programming in the past. The goal of my research is to find out what the public has thought about kfvs12 from its early beginings as a radio station to the local television station it is today. If anyone wants to send me an email with information or want to meet to discuss the kfvs12 project, drop me a line at

    1. Put KFVS in the seach box on the blog and pull up some of the other stories I’ve done about the station. There are a lot of comments on some of them. I’d post your request in several places.

      My kid brother worked there in high school and shortly after. I’ll send you his email offline.

      He had the job of keeping the generators in the basement fired up because Hirsch hated the power company and generated his own power for the downtown facility.

  9. The parade route appears to run east to west in these photos. Does anyone know the original route and its’ starting point? When and why did the route become west to east and starting at Capaha Park? I would like to hear that story. Thanks.

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