Deer, Dear, We Had Fun

Steinhoff family at Pie Bird Cafe - Fruitland 08-08-2013

We were still celebrating the impromptu Mother Birthday Season on Thursday.

I know now why people have kids when they are young and not old. Two-year-old Graham loves going up and down Great-Gran’s basement stairs. Over and over and over again. Babies and toddlers wake up early, loudly and frequently. I’m in the basement, so I catch the THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! of little feet, but mostly miss out on the crying from Graham and Baby Elliot. I’m also far enough away that I don’t hear Matt snoring or Sarah poking him to make him stop snoring.

We Steinhoffs like to eat, so we loaded into two cars and headed up to the Pie Bird Cafe in Fruitland. Good home-cooking at a reasonable price.

After breakfast, Adam, Carly and their two boys headed in one direction and Matt, Sarah, Malcolm, Mother and I headed north into Perry County. Just about the time we got to the Altenburg Museum, the skies opened up, so we spent more time there than anticipated.

Steinhoff name shows up on 1901 plat map

1901 plat map showing Steinhoff property Dutchtown 08-08-2013Gerard Fiehler showed us a new acquisition: someone had donated a huge framed Cape County plat map from 1901 or thereabouts. It was full of names you’ve heard: Houck, Juden, Alt, Lorimier…. Then, down near where our property in Dutchtown is today, there is a plot marked W Steinhoff. Mother said the deed listed the property having been in the Steinhoff name long before we bought it, but this proves it.

Malcolm got to pull the rope that rings what used to be the church bell in the original Altenburg church that became a school and is now part of the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum. We drove down to show Malcolm Tower Rock, but it was raining too hard to get out.

Largest herd of deer I’ve seen

Deer near Trail of Tears 08-08-2013We took Rt CC, which led us over the ridges that I’ve written about before. We popped out near Proctor and Gamble where we spotted the largest herd of deer I’ve seen in SE Missouri. There had to have been at least a dozen of them. Matt stuck his head up through the car’s moon roof to shoot this with my telephoto.

It’s worth clicking on to make larger.

Lost interest quickly

Deer near Trail of Tears 08-08-2013 It didn’t take them long to lose interest in us and go bounding away, white tails flashing.

Foggy at the lookout

Matt - Malcolm - Sarah Steinhoff Trail of Tears 08-08-2013Malcolm was small the last time he was at the Trail of Tears lookout. The rain had just let up when we got there, but the sky was still gray and hazy. We could barely see across the river.

Are we in the clouds?

Malcolm - Sarah Steinhoff Trail of Tears 08-08-2013As you can see, it was just as foggy behind us. Malcolm wanted to know if we were in the clouds. We said we were, but it’s not like when you are in an airplane.

Both boys wanted to meet different friends and family members, so they took off. I headed out for dinner, then stopped to chat with Altenburg museum director Carla Jordan and her husband, Doc.

Dad would have approved

When I got home, I could hear laughing and carrying on as soon as I pulled in the driveway. Everybody was gathered around the table snacking and drinking wine. It was voted the best part of the Early Birthday Season.

Dad died August 7, 1977. It was a great to hear laughter around the kitchen table on this week. Dad would have approved. In fact, I’m pretty sure he was there sharing the moment with us.

Elvis, who died on August 17, did not make an appearance. We didn’t care.

[Editor’s note and update: I got my Elvis dates mixed up in my original post. We flew out of Memphis the day after Elvis died. I picked up copies of the local papers at the airport, then took them back to show the photo staff how poorly the Memphis media covered the story. After we critiqued their work, I pitched the papers. I don’t like to think how much those papers are worth today.]

7 Replies to “Deer, Dear, We Had Fun”

  1. My kind of gathering. Nice being able to place each spot you went to, too.Did the kids get to see all those cats behind the church and the chickens? Great fun, those.

  2. I should have made my trip to Cape in August instead of June. You guys are having so much fun. Loving the pictures and the stories.

  3. (Whispering so no one else will hear) Elvis died on August 16, 1977. Just ask Brad Brune. He and I (and Madonna) share the same birthday, and we were celebrating our birthdays on the day Elvis died.

  4. Elvis and your your dad on the same day…there is something cosmic in that.
    It does look like you guys are having fun on the road and your Mom’s birthday season is progressing nicely!
    I do hope yo and all your family are enjoying these adventures as much as we tag alongs on our monitors are enjoying it.

    BTW: did you know those people in the Trail of Tears pictures have a video on Youtube with ALL three of them singing? They were singing badly I might add, but they all are singing.

  5. Whether or not Elvis died on August 7th, my mother, Polly Pearl Harmon Stout died on August 7th, 1995. We haven’t been to Trail of Tears Park since the beautiful boardwalk was built. We walked down a dirt road out to a place to see the river then in 1962 or 1963.

  6. Sorry Ken…. but Elvis died on my daughter’s and my birthday August 16th. Babe Ruth died on my “actual” Birthday 8/16/1948. My Daughter Allie was much more impressed that Madonna was born on our day.

    Another “Babe” coincidence: August birthdays were very popular with local baseball players for some reason. On or close to my birthday in 1964 – We became Missouri State Babe Ruth Champions (ages 13, 14, & 15). 9 out of 15 members of that All Star Team had August birthdays during that extended trip that also included going to Boonville, MO for the National Babe Ruth Regional’s where we took 2nd place. We would have gone to California for Babe Ruth Nationals had we won there.

    Other CHS guys on that trip born in August (that I remember) were: Brad Horky 66′, John Brandt 67′, Pat Godwin 68′ & Mark Kirkpatrick 67′ (Mark’s is is also on the 16th – though in 1949. Also, one Notre Dame player Greg Flaker 67′ had a birthday. (Flaker & Kirkpatrick’s considerable talents paid their way through college too)

    The late-great Mike Schuette (also August 16, 1948) was supposed to be on that Babe Ruth All Star team, but couldn’t make the trip for some disciplinary reasons. Think it had something to do with a few of our boys that broke/sneaked into (mostly to play basketball) the “old Jr HS” on Pacific Street – which became Schultz Middle School and is now renovated into Senior Apartments. Other class of 66′ and good guys that also made that unfortunate decision – as I remember – were: Harold Pruitt, Mike Vogelsang & Terry Robinson (R.I.P). Since Schuette was a 2013 inductee in to the CHS Athletic Hall of Fame …. I’m assuming all was forgiven, or the Statute of Limitations ran out.

    Of course … as usual … all the above “facts” are based on my “suspect” memory and at my advanced age …. I’m probably wrong.


  7. Remember the great view we had at the Trail of Tears lookout?
    You said it was the clearest you’d seen in forever.
    Love the deer shots. Very pretty. Those were some giant horns.
    Sounds like a lovely lovely day overall.

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