Casino at Night

Back in 1966, I shot a neat time exposure of Wimpy’s Drive-In showing the traffic patterns in the streaks of light left by cars going by and into the teen hangout. I had hoped to shoot something similar of the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau the night of November 10.

Unfortunately for the photo, the parking lot was pretty quiet. It was about two-thirds full, but there wasn’t much cruising for parking spots. You can click on the photos to make them larger.

10,000 visit in first two days

The Missourian ran a math-filled story about the first two days the casino was open. The numbers were confusing enough that they updated the story to try to get the math right. I’m not even going to attempt it, so read their version.

I figured the casino would cause the lights to go out at the bingo joint near the public library, so we drove by there after shooting the casino photos. Much to my surprise, the bingo parking lot was about two-thirds full. There must be a lot of loyal players in the Cape area.

Earlier Casino / Shoe Factory stories



12 Replies to “Casino at Night”

  1. Oh, so that’s where it is! I wondered…
    Back when I was in college, struggling along on student loans and trying to live cheap, I took a summer job at Osterlohl’s Book Store on Main street. I worked with two wonderful +65 ladies, both named “Grace.” Locked into this dead-end job at $1.00 an hour, these ladies epitomized the very grace of their names.
    One of them lived alone in a tidy little frame house down by the old shoe store. Every day, she walked to and from work, a significant distance for someone her age. She always wore those blocky, old-fashioned shoes with a small heel. She was was never sick. I spent some pleasant evenings with her, warmed by her hospitality and good nature. I often wonder what came of her, and I wish I could go back and ask her about her life in that neighborhood.

  2. Madeline DeJournett you worked with Grace Lambert. She went to my church, First Christian on West End Blvd. She was also my 1st grade Sunday School teacher and very nice lady in the purest sense of the word. I believe she was a WWII widow and had a daughter Joyce. She lived just across the street from the shoe factory, as I recall, so the thread from the Casio, shoe factory to Osterlohl’s Book Store is complete.
    Those were different times and walking from the shoe factory to downtown was not a big of deal. We often walked from Mississippi Street to Bertling street, where the world ended at that time, to explore the woods there. Frequently from Mississippi Street to the River Via “Crawdadland” to explore the world.
    Thanks for having me remember Mrs. Lambert.

  3. It intrigues me how a couple of photos of something as new as the casino can bring to life things so old and long gone, yet still so full of life, as the shoe factory, Osterloh’s Book Store, and Wimpy’s Drive-In. I’ve been thinking today, on my birthday, about where I’d like to have lunch, and suddenly I can’t clear my mind of the idea of tasting a burger and chocolate shake from Wlmpy’s or a barbeque sandwich from the Blue Hole or Pilot House.

    1. Memory is a strange thing. You never know what’s going to trigger a long-forgotten memory. I’ve looked at a picture for months and had nothing to say about it, then one night something clicks.

      I was telling someone the other day that my writing is a lot like lightning. Some days there’s a bright flash and an arc of electricity goes straight down and a barn goes up in flames.

      Most of the time, though, it’s like that funny bolt that zigs and zags all over the sky making a lot of light, but never quite becomes a barnburner. But, even if the hay loft doesn’t go up in flames, a lot of folks get to see my flickers.

      Happy birthday, by the way.

      1. A pretty good description of the writer’s art, Ken. In my experience those barn-burning arcs are pretty rare, but they occur just often enough to keep me writing (and reading). The errant zig-zags are the norm, the practice (the dancer’s bar) that prepares the way for those arcs that pierce straight to the heart of things. But as you point out, even the zig-zags can light the sky and set the occasional barn ablaze.

  4. SInce YOU brought it up….

    Mark Twain said,

    “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
    – Letter to George Bainton, 10/15/1888

    Have a safe trip back to WPB.

  5. Happy birthday Rich, it does seem that days like your birthday do bring on thoughts of our own mortality and reflections of the past.ken does seem to have a way of doing that in his little letters we get from him each morning. Rich I hope your birthday was happy and wherever you had lunch it was a good way.

  6. One thing I noted in the Missourian story was the assertion by John Mehner that the casino has attracted thousands to the city; there was no mention of how he came to that conclusion and no fact-checking on the part of the reporter.
    The thing I like about your art, Ken, is the pictures can speak for themselves and open more discussion at the same time. You do choose the subject, but the picture tells it like it is…

  7. My wife and I talked to some folks from St. Louis who came down as a group on two busses. The others we met that day were locals. There was no indiacation of shoppers or true tourists. The place seemed small and mostly slot machines. Four restaurants. We attended a “Tasting” from all four and will go back again sometime for a real sit down meal.

  8. My father and I used to ride horses down in the field of the shoe factory and neighboring levees. I miss my simple childhood days when I lived at home. So much has changed in the last 20 years. I miss the factory for different reasons than most, for these memories, though it was closed when I rode there, I miss it.

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