Cheating Death at the Perkins Shoe Tree

Perkins shoe tree 05-05-2020

I got this email from Number Three Steinhoff Brother Mark Tuesday: “I was wondering if you ever went back and photographed Perkins Shoe Tree to see if first, the pole was still there and second, if the shoes were there?”

Steinhoff Family Shoes

Shoes for shoe tree 11-26-2010

He was referring to a utility pole I discovered in 2010 when heading out to shoot aerials with Ernie Chiles. When the Tulsa Clan came to Cape to visit Mother, Mark assembled their shoes, created special red tags, and took them to Perkins to start a family tradition.

Mark wants to be the oldest brother

David, Mark, Ken Steinhoff 08-1978

If it had been any reader other than Brother Mark, I would have assumed it was idle curiosity. With him, I suspect more nefarious motives.

See, he’s always wanted to be the oldest brother. Since that didn’t happen in the natural order of things, he’s been trying to gain the title by attrition. In other words, he’s trying to kill off his two older brothers.

Attempted Fratricide

Mark Steinhoff Christmas 2000

In 2000, we went on a bike ride around Cape. We were going down a long, steep hill with a nasty curve at the bottom when he started pushing me to the edge of the road, kind of like a collie herding a sheep.

I had no choice but bail out into a ditch, making a taco out of my wheel. When the Steinhoffs convened in St. Louis to celebrate Christmas, I presented him with my wheel and a plaque attesting to his evildoing. I wanted a record of his past in case he tried again.

Wanted me to break quarantine

Perkins shoe tree 05-05-2020

I could only assume that he wanted me to leave the safety of my self-quarantine on Kingsway Drive so he could count on my high-risk status to move him up a notch in the Brother Universe.

I accepted his challenge. The top photo shows that the pole and the shoes still exist.

This closeup shows some shoes with the metal tags still in them, but the red paint has faded. In a few places, the tags are still embedded in the pole, but the shoes have gone AWOL.

Shoes tired of hanging around

Perkins shoe tree 05-05-2020

It looks like some shoes have gotten tired of hanging around.

Not Welcome to Perkins

Perkins Vol Fire Dept sign 05-05-2020

This isn’t exactly a Welcome to Perkins message, but I can understand its meaning.

In for a penny, in for a pound

Advance Elementary School 05-05-2020

Since I was already out and about, I made a quick run through Advance to see if I could pick up some great chips and salsa at El Mexicano. They were dark, so I’m afraid they were closed.

I DID see this cool sign on the door of the Advance Elementary School (along with one that said that all Advance R-4 School District facilities are closed until further notice. A man who saw me at the door said they were closed for the rest of the school year, and hoped they might open again by August).

Mrs. Tanner, Mrs. Theresa, Mrs. Christina and Mr. Jones wanted pupils to know “We really miss you!”

“P.S.,” it continued, “I used the ‘smelly” markers. NO you cannot smell them through the window (smiley face).”

There are some bright spots around

Flowers south of Leopold 05-05-2020

I pulled off on the side of a gravel road somewhere between Advance and Leopold to take a look at this field of yellow.

If you don’t hear from me, it’s because Brother Mark’s plot to move up in the Brother Universe was successful.

Adam’s Missing Pictures

2016-07-06 Scan Raw 01Son Adam turned 36 on July 7. He posted this on Facebook: “Sadly, this will be the first year I won’t get a card from Mary Welch Steinhoff for my birthday with some family photos in it.”

See, Mother had drawers full of hundreds of photographs of family from way back, plus hundreds more we sent her over the years. I’m not sure when she started the custom of mailing pictures BACK to us on our birthdays, but she was way ahead of Facebook in returning memories. The birthday envelope would contain a card, a stack of photos, and a check that roughly correlated to your age (I think she may have capped it at 50 bucks when we got older, but I’d have to go back to look).

I hope this tides you over

2016-07-06 Scan Raw 02There was no telling if you’d get a picture of you as a baby, a toddler or an adult. I think she just reached into a drawer or a box and grabbed whatever fate dealt.

Happy Birthday, Kid

2016-07-06 Scan Raw 03So, Adam, I’m not your Grandmother, but I DO have access to her stash. I hope these bring back good memories. Click on the photos to make them larger.

Folks, if you’re looking for a nice family tradition to start, give this a try. P.S. please write dates and names on the back of the prints. Locations, too, will help down the road.

Miss Amy’s Getting Married

Depending on who you ask, the news that Niece Amy is getting married in Tulsa this weekend is greeted by “Already?” or “It’s about time.”

Mother has met Ian, the prospective groom, and given the union her blessing.

She wanted to make it out to the wedding, but decided that it was better to build up her strength in Cape than to go through the hassle of flying or an eight-hour road trip. We sent a picture of Mother in her wedding dress to be held up when the group family photos are taken.

Miss Amy through the years

Here’s a gallery of photos of Miss Amy of the Steinhoff Tulsa Branch. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.

Florida Steinhoffs Invade Cape

Mary Steinhoff meets Finn 06-16-2015Niece Amy is getting married in Tulsa this weekend, so there has been a mass exodus from Florida headed to Oklahoma. It wasn’t exactly on the path, but Sons Adam and Matt, their spouses and their brood, stopped by to see Mother, who is very much on the mend.

She and I both finally got to meet the newest arrival, Finn Levi Steinhoff. You can click on the photos if you want to be exposed to excessive cuteness.

Four generations

Mother, Matt, Malcolm and I got together to update the last four-generation photo we took several years ago.

It was decided that three months was too long for me to go without a haircut and beard trim. (Like my barber says, “There are two kinds of men with hair on their faces: those who have beards and those who don’t shave.” I’m pretty sure I had slipped into that second category.)

I polled my Facebook friends and got several suggestions for a local barber. My requirements: “I want an old-fashioned barber. I don’t want a stylist, I don’t want the place to smell like hair spray, and I want a REAL barber chair, not some light-weight aluminum job.” Basically, I was looking for Ed Unger, but he retired in 1983.

I eliminated the ones from Bill Hopkins that suggested PETCO and a barber who is pretty good “when he is sober.” For the record, I was very happy with Scott at the Varsity Barber Shop.

Cards keep coming in

When I mentioned that Mother loves getting mail, scores of you sent some really cool cards. This one, by Jane Paquin, 74, of Seal Beach, Cal., was one of the most unique.

Tower Rock Whirlpool

Malcolm - Sarah - Matt Steinhoff Tower Rock 06-15-2015The whirlpool south of Tower Rock kept trying to get organized, but it would dissipate before it got going good. Still, it was fun for the group to guess whether a floating log would get pulled into the swirling water or if it would escape and go straight downstream.

I’ve driven the road between Cape and Wittenberg so many times that I take the hills and curves a little on the fast side. About two-thirds of the way there, Daughter-in-Law Sarah looked at Malcolm and warned, “I think we’re about to have a Dramamine moment back here.” I slowed down.

Gerard to the rescue

When we made it to the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum, Gerard Fiehler came to the rescue with a can of soda to calm things down. Before long, Malcolm was listening to Gerard tell him (and let him see for himself) the difference between how a harpsichord and a piano make sounds.

He liked the whirlpool, liked the museum, liked picking up railroad spikes along the train tracks, but he REALLY liked driving his great-grandmother’s riding mower around the back yard.

“Look at all the alligators”

Riverfront 06-17-2015When we went down to the riverfront, Graham looked at all the logs floating down the river and said, “Look at all the alligators!” You can tell he’s a Florida boy.

They got to splash rocks, see a towboat taking on fuel, touch the river and look at the mural on the flood wall. It’s a good thing they didn’t see this woman doing The Foolish Frolic in the floodwaters. They’d have probably tried it and ended up in New Orleans.

River walk photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery. In order of tallness: Adam, Carly, Graham, Elliot and (being carried), Finn.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.