Capaha Park Pool Party

I got an email this morning from The City of Cape Girardeau promising that the new Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center will be opening on May 20. (Whoever came up with that name must have been paid by the word. I bet everybody ends up calling it The Water Park.)

I showed some photos of it under construction last month (and discussed Jackson’s Lickitysplit Water Slide).

Capaha Pool Dance

Let’s don’t dwell on the future, let’s wallow in the past. This appears to be a dance on the deck of the Capaha Park Pool. I don’t have a clue what the event was, when it was held or why.

It had a band

It was a big enough deal that a real band was playing and there were lots of spectators outside the fence. Despite all of the electrical cords stretched across the pool deck, apparently nobody got electrocuted. I’m pretty sure I would have remembered that.

I DO remember covering a swimming event there one night with a borrowed electronic flash. The way old-time strobes worked was that batteries would charge up a capacitor so there was lots of juice just waiting around to arch across a tube, producing a blast of light that was thousandths of a second in duration.

I was walking across the pool deck when my wet finger touched the place where the charging cord would normally plug in. There SHOULD have been a cover over those contacts, but there wasn’t.

As soon as my finger completed the electrical circuit, all of the voltage stored in the capacitor tried to light me up like a xenon tube. Failing that, it dropped me to my knees like I’d been poleaxed.

It wasn’t life-threatening, but it WAS unpleasant.

Looking for non-fried memories

This wasn’t the only time I had something like that happen. I was walking across a wet football field one night when I was knocked flat. I assumed that I had stepped in front of a play accidentally, but there was nobody around me.

I got up, took a few more steps and it happened again. Turned out that I had a short in the 510-volt battery pack that powered the electronic flash. The massive charge was looking for a path to the wet ground, and I happened to provide it.

Maybe one of you who hasn’t had his or her short / long-term memory fried by high voltages will be able to tell us who these folks are and what they are doing.

12 Replies to “Capaha Park Pool Party”

  1. My immediate observations would be that this was before corn fructose was put in everything…were we really all that thin back then? Dance moves also seem tentative, like the era of never making jitterbug contact again had just begun.

  2. Larry Stewart…is the guy in Picture 2# with only a bathing suit on, and for the bonus he is dancing with Becky Lange and Amy Barringer is in the sailor top… This is I think a Jaycee pool party…and why the high schooler’s are I here I don’t remember..

  3. Terry, you have better eyes than me! The only one that I am able even guess at, is in the last picture. The boy in dressed white, including the socks, might be Bert Lehman???. I don’t recognize any band member!
    My best recollection is that “white socks” went out around 1962.

  4. Iwas in Cape and left on the 19th and I passed by the new Aquatic center and it didn’t look ready to open on the 20th. It would surprize me if it did.
    Joe Whitright
    Palm Bay, Fla

  5. I’m looking for a roommate of mine when I lived in Chicago and was a flight attendant for United Airlines. Her name was Mary Bissell and she was from Cape Girardeau. Does anyone know her and know how to contact her. I’ve been looking for quite a while and I don’t know if she got married so don’t know if her name is the same or not. Please contact me by email if you know anything.

  6. I can’t believe that I am just now seeing these pics! In picture #2, that is me dancing with the guy in the swimming suit. The girl with the ruffled blouse on beside me, is Diane Fisher. I remember borrowing that blouse for a date once. I just called Diane and told her about the pic.(She doesn’t like computers, so I’ll have to take my laptop when we meet up for lunch). Thanks, Ken 🙂

  7. Ken,

    I really enjoy your articles. I just wanted to chime in and let you know that no one calls it “Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center”. It is now and forever more… “The Water Park”. I really do enjoy the history of Cape.

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