Microwave Towers and Paratroopers

This photo was taken from a classroom in Academic Hall, looking toward downtown. The objects sticking up above the skyline are the phone company’s microwave towers. In the Old Days before optic cables, a lot of the country’s long distance traffic was beamed from point to point using these towers. Almost all of them have been decommissioned now.

Paratrooper speech

I don’t know if this was the classroom where I took speech under Fred Goodwin, who also produced winning debate teams.

The assignment was to give a speech where you demonstrate something. I walked into class with my camera, proceeded to shoot pictures of everyone, then developed the roll of film standing in front of the classroom.

Mr. Goodwin said it was a good effort, but didn’t come close to a demonstration he had in his early teaching days. The student was a former paratrooper who gave a speech on what it was like to jump out of a plane. In conclusion, he walked to the window, threw open the sash, perched briefly on the window sill, did a tuck and roll and disappeared from sight.

It was not a first-floor window

Mr. Goodwin said he could see his career perishing along with his student. After a moment of stunned silence, the whole class, including the instructor, made a dash to the window, where they saw the student beaming up at them.

He didn’t say what grade the student earned.

SEMO’s Capaha Arrow Turns 100

Southeast Missouri State University’s student paper, The Capaha Arrow, turned 100 on Feb.l, a Missourian story by M.D. Kittle pointed out. Despite what my kids might think, I wasn’t around to help put out the inaugural issue.

I know I had a lot of photos in The Arrow, but the 1966 and 1967 Sagamore yearbooks don’t list me as being on the newspaper staff.  The photo above shows the front page of the newspaper set in type at The Missourian’s print shop. The picture on the front page is one I took, and this image appeared in The Sagamore.

Journalism Class

I had W.W. Norris, the paper’s adviser, for Journalism at SEMO. It was an easy A. I don’t remember Mr. Norris as being a particularly inspiring instructor, but we got along fine. After I’d breezed through the class exercises, he’d come over and we’d trade newspaper stories.

I wish I could dredge up some fond memories of The Arrow, but I can’t think of any memorable photos I shot there.

Part of that was because I spent as little time as possible on campus. That drove poor Missourian Editor John Blue to distraction because I was ostensibly hired as Campus Correspondent. I have a number of memos from him pointing that out and asking when I was going to get around to actually writing about SEMO doings. He’d probably have fired me if I hadn’t worn so many other hats (so cheaply).

Chief Sagamore and The Sagamore are gone

I’ve already written about the exile of Chief Sagamore for the more politically correct Rowdy Redhawk. In fact, The Capaha Arrow has dropped the “Capaha” from it’s name. It’s just The Arrow these days.

Bill East wondered what happened to The Sagamore if Chief Sagamore was deemed inappropriate. I went to the official SEMO website, put “Sagamore” in the search box and was directed to “Fun Facts,” where I was told, “The Sagamore Yearbook is no longer in production. Southeast began the Sagamore in 1912 and in 1989 decided to no longer print a University yearbook.”

So, if the university hadn’t pulled the plug on it, The Sagamore would have celebrated its centennial in 2012.

Don’t dis the subdivision editor

Wife Lila worked on The Sagamore as a subdivision editor. She rejected a print from one of the staff photographers, who sassed, back, “Let’s see if YOU can do any better.”

That was a mistake. She marched right into the darkroom and showed him that she HAD learned something from all those hours looking over my shoulder.

I normally side with the photographer, but I’d have loved to have seen that little exchange.

Comcast and Snow Leave Me Cold

I spent the evening dealing with Comcast because our Internet connection was down.

We were bleeding edge early adopters of DSL when BellSouth first rolled it out in South Florida. It took a very frustrating year or so to get it working, but then it was great for about the next five years. Unfortunately, ATT and BellSouth merged, so it went down the tubes, along with everything else ATT touched.

ATT / BellSouth merger

The BellSouth and ATT merger worked like putting a frog in a blender: what came out was still a frog, but it wasn’t the frog that you knew and loved, and it no longer worked like a frog.

When our service went up and down many times a day and we couldn’t get any satisfaction, we pulled the plug on the New ATT.

We have a Comcast Business Account

Because my wife and I depend on a reliable Internet connection, we signed up for a Comcast business preferred account that was supposed to insure us higher speeds, more reliability and faster support. That’s great, except the telephone number business customers are supposed to call gave me an error message then hung up on me three times tonight.

When I called the number for residential customers, the very nice people TRANSFERRED me to the same number I had been dialing, which meant that I went around the block three more times.

Tech blew the dust out of the lines

Finally, I got a supervisor who managed to get me to a nice tech who blew the dust out of the lines or something and restored our service.  Since he didn’t have any explanation for why we went down (or why we came back up), he’s going to send a tech out Monday afternoon.

The experience left me about as cold as the snow on the back of this Ford Groves College High Driver Ed car.

Pi Kappa Alpha’s Fire Truck

The question is, how many guys does it take to look at a fraternity fire truck? I thought that maybe it was coming in for the Free Safety Check promised by the sign, but some of the other photos make it look like the truck might have had an owie.

Goodyear service?

I don’t recognize the store, but “Larry” has a Goodyear patch above his left pocket. Looks like the front bumper might have needed straightening. There’s a television shop and an ice center next door. Anyone have any idea where this was? I wonder how much the $1.19 brake special would cost today?

Why are  Pike fire trucks red?

This is the explanation I found: because a fire truck has a driver; a driver has a foot; a foot has 12 inches; 12 inches is a ruler; a ruler was Queen Mary; Queen Mary was a ship; a ship sails the seas; the seas have fish; the fish have fins; the Finns fought the Russians, and the Russians are Red, so, therefore, a firetruck must be red.

Glad I could clear that up.

I’m not sure when these photos were taken. My guess is 1967. You don’t see the front Pike license tag on a photo of the the fire truck in the 1966 Homecoming Parade.