Master of 22-Minute Nap

On the way out of town, I stopped by to pick up some stuff at Annie Laurie’s that my Foodie Friend Jan wanted. I was pleased to see my Glimpses of East Perry County calendar on display. It would make a great Christmas present for someone, hint, hint.

I don’t mind driving

Wife Lila doesn’t like to spend two days on the road. I don’t like the hassle of flying these days. We’ve compromised: I drive, she flies. When folks express concern about me driving half-way across the country by myself – aren’t you afraid of falling asleep? – I explain that I’m the Master of the 22-Minute Nap, perfected since I’ve retired.

When I feel myself getting drowsy, I pull into the next rest area, set the alarm on my phone for 22 minutes, wake up and drive for three or four more hours.

This was taken somewhere in Georgia right about sunset Monday night shortly after the alarm went off.

Look what greeted me

This was the first thing I saw when I walked into the house.

Son Adam saw the post I did on the sign my Grandmother made and said it would be neat to make one for me here. Wife Lila designed it, Adam approved it, and it was posted on the Christmas tree. Thanks.

Christmas Exhibit and My Calendar

My 2012 Glimpses of East Perry County calendar is available at the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum in Altenburg and at Annie Laurie’s Antiques in Cape Girardeau. I’m pleased with the way the project turned out. Despite the “East Perry County” in the title, the photos should appeal to anyone who likes scenic photos, the Mississippi River, historical landmarks and quirky stories. I tried to pick images that you could enjoy for a month.

They’ll be available both places for $14. I’ll list contact information at the end.

Tower Rock book available

Tower Rock: “A Demon that Devours Travelers” has gone into its second printing. (OK, so the first press run wasn’t all THAT big until I could be sure I wouldn’t have a shed full of them.) It’s available at the Altenburg Museum. The price is $14. They’ll mail it for an additional $5 shipping and handling.

It’s worth a drive up to Altenburg

Admission to the museum is free. It’s worth a drive up there to see this year’s themed Christmas exhibit with more than 30 trees. Here’s what the exhibit looked like last year.

Photo hint of the day

Most of the room light in the museum and the Christmas tree lights are tungsten (old-fashioned light bulbs). They produce a warm glow that your eyes and brain translates into normal shades without us thinking about it. I didn’t realize how much color plays a part in how we perceive things until I had an assignment to shoot color photos in a grocery store. When I saw the film, I discovered that the store used red-tinted bulbs in the meat aisle to make meats look more attractive; green tints in the produce cases and yellow lights in the bakery to make the breads prettier.

This is what this tree and ornament looked like with my camera’s color balance set to Automatic (which usually works fine). Notice how “warm” the colors look.

Change the color balance to Tungsten

This is what happened when I changed the color balance menu to Tungsten, meaning he camera added a bluish digital filter to the image to compensate for the overly yellowish tint imparted by the bulbs. This comes closer to being how your eye would see it. In this case, however, you may find that you are a warm dragonfly person instead of a cold butterfly person. Most of the Christmas tree photos were taken with the Tungsten color balance turned on.

Christmas exhibit photo gallery

Here are what some of the trees looked like. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

Sneak peek at January

I try not to be back here in January because this is how I remember the month: gray, gloomy and cloudy, with just a hint of color from time to time to keep you from going bonkers. My February photo is a bit more colorful.

Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum

P.O. Box 53
75 Church Street, Altenburg, Missouri 63732

Open daily 10:00am – 4:00pm (free admission)

Telephone: 573-824-6070 Email:

Museum Website

Annie Laurie’s Antiques

536 Broadway; Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 (at the corner of Broadway and Frederick across from Shivelbine’s)

Telephone: 573-339-1301 Email:

Annie Laurie’s website (or click on her ad on this page)

I Have Someone’s Family History

Brother Mark always likes to hit the antique shops when he comes to Cape, so we started at Annie Laurie’s. I was doing a pretty good job avoiding temptation when my eye fell upon this 1959ish black and white photo shop owner Laurie Everett had under a Christmas display. It jumped out because it was uncharacteristically sharp and well exposed for a snapshot of that era. It was for sale. Mark paid for it, so it couldn’t have been much. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

Look at the IDs on the back

When I flipped it over, I saw that someone had taken the time to document who was in the photo:

My Sis and our Grandchildren in Tom and Jo’s basement. Christmas Eve 1959

  • Tommy – 3 yrs 9 mos
  • David 2 ” m 90s
  • Jeanne 1″ 7 mos
  • Marie ? Ha Ha!

Note for the younger generation: “Ha Ha!” was the 1959 way to say LOL.

Throwing away photos is alien to me

For budget purposes one year, I calculated that the average photographer on my staff used about 30,000 frames of film a year. Back in the day when I was buying my own film in 100-foot rolls and cutting it into 36-exposure rolls (and under the influence of One-Shot Frony), I didn’t hit those levels, but it’s safe to say that I’ve shot a lot more film than most folks. (Kodak called someone who bought 12 rolls of film a year a “heavy user.”)

I would bet that I probably have all but maybe 100 rolls of those bazillion rolls of film. I may not be able to find an individual photo right away and it may not be properly identified, but it’s there someplace. My “coffee can film” contains pictures that are more interesting to me today than the stuff I shot for the paper and filed away in negative sleeves.

How can you throw away your mother?

How could you let a photo of your mother when she was about three years old in the midst of a flock of chicks slip away? Particularly since she’s with her brother Kenneth, my namesake, who was killed in a car vs. train crash. I sure couldn’t.

Other people, obviously, can. I was at a yard sale where I picked up about a dozen Kodak slide trays. When I went to check out, I noticed that the trays were full of slides: weddings, graduations, vacation trips, first car, basically all the facets of the family’s life. I pointed it out to the seller and she said, “That’s OK. Just throw them away.” I eventually DID throw away a lot of them, but I held onto some of the better shots because it would have been a crime not to.

Mother always fills our birthday and holiday cards with family photos she’s collected over the years. It’s always the best part of the card.

Do you recognize any of these folks?

If so, I have a piece of your family history. I won’t even charge you to get it back. Mark’s already paid for it.

Annie Laurie’s Laurie Ann

Laurie Everett, owner of Annie Laurie’s Antiques is an extraordinary young woman. I’d say that even if she wasn’t my wife’s niece. We’ve known her since she was a hatchling called Laurie Ann, because the Perry Family decided that one name wasn’t enough. (I’m not going to tell you Lila’s middle name.) I wrote about Annie Laurie’s and some other antique shops on my bike blog in 2008.

Laurie’s third from the left

It was family tradition for Lila to shoot what she called The Picture of Florida sons Matt and Adam with of all the Cape nieces and nephews when we came to town. Laurie’s third from the left and Matt and Adam are to the right of her.

Laurie’s dad, John Perry, taught her to be able to handle herself. There’s a photo around somewhere of her and John with their heads buried under the hood of a jeep fixing it. He taught her how to shoot, which led her to qualify as an Expert when she joined the army.

Family has always been important to Laurie. It wasn’t always about hunting, twisting a wrench and getting her hands greasy. She and her dad shared this tender moment one day. (I’ve been told that no feet were harmed in the making of this photograph.)

Military was “a family thing”

She graduated from Cape Central High School in 1996, after attending Alma Schrader Elementary School. She graduated from SEMO, then decided she wanted to join the Army for the educational benefits, the experience and because “it was a family thing.” Her dad had served in Vietnam.

Laurie was a Military Police officer in the Army. She was stationed in Kitzingen, Germany, but she either visited or was deployed in France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Israel, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland, among others. Her location in Germany put her within about six hours of most of Europe’s major historical landmarks.

While stationed in Germany, she received her Master’s Degree in Human Relations from, get this, the University of Oklahoma, which had an outreach program there.

“I’m going to date that girl”

One of her jobs was processing new troops, explaining the local customs and making them aware of what they needed to know. One soldier, Rocky Everett, commented to his buddy, “I’m going to date that girl one day.”

Rocky and Laurie were married in Cape on a cold October night in 2003. They have one son, Fletcher, AKA Flea.

“I was ready to settle down”

After she got out of the Army, she said, “I was ready to settle down, and this was a good community. I always liked antiques, so I started to work at Annie Laurie’s.”

When the owner, Mary Robertson, decided to sell the business, Rocky and Laurie jumped at the chance to buy the place. “One stipulation I made to Rocky was that if we were going to do this, we were going to live upstairs.” And, they do.

Antique shop had been funeral home

Long-time Cape residents will remember the antique shop as having been the former Brinkopf-Howell Funeral Home. “Do people ever ask you if the place is haunted?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “I just tell them that everybody who came here was dead already, so they don’t need to haunt the place.”

Ranked #1 Antique Store in Cape County 3 years running

Annie Laurie’s has been ranked the Number One antique shop in Cape Girardeau County three out of the last three years.

Laurie’s motto, “Expect the Unexpected,” is one of the reasons the shop has been so successful. She’s constantly changing displays (including the mannequin above, which shows up all over the place dressed in outlandish outfits) to make the place interesting.

Annie Laurie’s for period clothing and costumes

Laurie, who is an adjunct professor at SEMO, teaching marketing, works hard to attract college students with her selection of period costumes and funky clothing. Gail, above, made a convincing witch at Halloween.

Need a wig?

Laurie models the wig she wore for Halloween.

Using the Internet for marketing

Unlike many businesses in Cape, Laurie understands that the Internet can bring in new customers. “You’d be surprised how many of our customers find us through Google,” she explained.

Photographer Michelle Huesen is photographing SEMO coed Rachel Hendrickson in an outfit from Annie Laurie’s for use in promotional material.  Laurie’s also active in Old Town Cape and the Cape Convention and Visitors Bureau and other organizations.

You can visit Laurie’s web site, Cape Antique Shop, or the shop’s Facebook page.

People feel at home at Annie Laurie’s

“We create an atmosphere where people feel at home. We have coffee and cookies around. We remember our customers’ names and what they like,” she said. She’s started taking digital photos of customers and posting them on her Facebook page.

American Gothic style

Here was her Facebook comment under this photo: “Lovin’ old men in overalls. This cutie blushed a bit when I asked him if I could take his picture. I just wanted to squeeze his cheeks.

Recognized by Southern Living Magazine

Annie Laurie’s Antiques was featured as “a definite stop” in Southern Living Magazine’s Southern Antique Shops.

Laurie was written up in The Southeast Missourian’s 40 Under 40 column April 3, 2009.

Brian Blackwell interviewed her Sept. 28, 2009. He quoted her as saying, “You name it and I have done it. Snow cones, tanning salons, hostess, juvenile detention worker, internship at local police department, soldier, nonprofit organizer, veterinary assistant, office manager, university instructor [and] business owner, just to name a few.”

Annie Laurie’s Antiques Photo Gallery

Here are a selection of photos of Laurie and some of the things in her shop. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.