#1 – Dancing in the parking lot
I learned a long time ago if you fill out your expense report and round stuff off to even 5s and 10s, you are more likely to get it kicked back than if you say, “Breakfast – $3.97;” “Lunch – $6.43;” Dinner – $16.22.” Mileage should never be 100 miles (even if it was); that sounds like an estimate. Make it 98.7 miles and it’ll sail right through.
She complains when I set the microwave for 2:22 to make popcorn, but I’ve found 2:25 produces some burned kernels, and 2:15 leaves a bunch of orphans behind. It’s all about precision.
Since everybody else does Top 10 lists at this time of the year, I thought I’d find out what the 13-most read posts were in 2014. Interestingly enough, some oldies floated to the top of the heap.
The most-viewed post this year was the 2010 account of the Teen Age Club dance that set the floor bouncing and caused it to be moved to the bank parking lot at Broadway and Main. You can click on the photos to make them larger if you want to see if you were there.
# 2 – 43 years of Cairo photos
A 2011 post of 43 years of Cairo photos slotted in as Number Two. The sad thing is that even most of these buildings have disappeared since the picture was taken in 2010.
#3 – The house in a hole
Readers kept asking me about the “house in a hole,” which ended up as the third most-read story. I ran these photos made earlier, and promised I’d tell the rest of the story later.
The next time I was in Cape, I knocked on the door and was given a complete history of the home and how it got tucked in between commercial properties and the Interstate, but she asked that I not publish it. I’m respecting her wishes. Sorry to disappoint you.
#4 – Dino’s Pizza is doomed
It was a sad day when a fire closed Dino’s Pizza in 2011. These pictures of the last days of Dino’s were taken in May of 2014. A follow-up showing the empty lot where the pizza joint once stood didn’t make the top 150.
Sounds like we’d rather remember that which was there rather than that which is gone.
#5 – Photographs of Smelterville
People still come back to look at a 2011 post I did of Smelterville residents I photographed in 1967. I posed the question, “Where are they?”
I’m happy to report that I’ve been successful in locating almost all the families of those pictured. I’ve produced three “works in progress” books, and am editing video interviews I’ve done with some of the folks who lived there. It’s been a rewarding project.
#6 – Jo Ann Bock’s book
Jo Ann Bock’s book, Around the Town of Cape Girardeau in Eighty Years plows a lot of the same ground I do, but decades apart. She was getting married (1950) just about the time I was getting born (1947), so we’ve viewed the town through different lenses.
By the way, a lot of you have ordered her book through my Amazon link, we both thank you for that. Click here to order your copy of Around the Town of Cape Girardeau in Eighty Years.
#7 – Town Plaza Shopping Center
A photograph of the Town Plaza Shopping Center that ran in the 1962 Girardot drew 20 comments from readers who remember when the Town Plaza was a Big Deal.
#8 – Ruth Ann Seabaugh 1947 – 2012
The dictionary could save a lot of words by just putting a photo of Ruth Ann Seabaugh next to the word “Majorette.” This gal from the Class of ’65 knew how to dominate a street. What I didn’t know until her daughter contacted me was what an extraordinary woman she grew up to be. If you missed the story the first time, it’s worth a read.
#9 – Purple Crackle becomes The Pony
A 2011 story about the Purple Crackle’s transition into “the ultimate strip joint” continues to attract readers and comments.
Even Mother said “I’ve danced there.” I’m assuming she was talking about in the old days when she and Dad would go there and not recently.
#10 – Crash on Independence
It was amazing how many Cape Girardeau landmarks and cultural icons showed up in a simple three-car crash at Independence and Henderson. The photos capture a simpler time when the whole neighborhood would turn out to speculate, estimate and ruminate about exactly what caused the vehicles to try to share the same space at the same time.
As I pointed out in a comment, “Estimates of how much it would cost to repair the damage would be exchanged. Skid marks, the dirt that falls from a vehicle at the point of impact and broken glass would be analyzed by people who were probably as good as most investigators of the time.
“Of course, the fresh crash would cause past crashes to be brought up and compared in detail.
“Any injuries would take the excitement to the next level. That afternoon, everyone would rush to pick up The Missourian to find out how many mistakes they made in their account.”
#11 – Blechle’s Grocery
Posts about neighborhood groceries are always popular. Blechle’s Grocery was no exception. Some readers documented shenanigans that are, hopefully, outside the statute of limitations.
#12 – Founder of McDonald’s killed in crash
Jerry Davis died in a plane crash in 2003. Mr. Davis was not only the founder of Cape’s McDonald’s, but he also owned at one time or another some of Cape’s best-known restaurants: Royal N’Orleans, Ricardo’s, Shakey’s Pizza and Pfister’s Drive-In.
#13 – Those are SOME Cheerleaders
A photo from the annual CHS student-teacher basketball game. It contains some the hairiest-legged cheerleaders Central ever fielded. For cheerleader fans, the post contains 10 links to other cheerleader stories and photos.
Honorable Mention – Randy Morse
This post finished just out of the money, but I just had to include Randy Morse, 1947 – 2014. He and his escapades, including a trip to Florida in a hearse, were well-remembered.
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If you celebrate something else (or nothing), I’m still going to send you Best Wishes.