Wimpy’s in 1966

I stopped long enough to shoot one frame of Wimpy’s intersection in 1966. The shadows show that it was in the afternoon, and the leaves on the tree make it spring or summer. The parking lot is surprisingly empty, but it must have been full earlier because I can see scraps of paper spread all over it.

The Arena Park sign promises “Stock Car Racing Every Sat Nite.” (You can click on the photo to make it large enough to see if one of the cars belongs to you.)

Earlier stories and photos of Wimpy’s


Books and calendars available

At Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum still has a few of my calendars and photo books for sale. You can order them over the phone, but it’s worth a drive to Altenburg to see their new Christmas Tree exhibit. I’m told it’s even better than in past years.

The museum is free, interesting and has the friendliest staff and cleanest bathrooms you’ll every find. You also can order the publications by mail. They are $20 each. If you order more than one, the price for each additional copy drops to $15. Shipping and handling will run about $5 for a single copy (or as many as will fit in the mailer for that rate) if you can’t make it there in person.

Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum
P.O. Box 53
75 Church Street
Altenburg, Missouri 63732

Open Daily seven days a week: 10:00am – 4:00pm (Closed Christmas Day)

Telephone: 573-824-6070

Email: info@altenburgmuseum.org




Mike Schuette Memorial

I missed Mike Shuette’s memorial service, but managed to make it by Capaha Park to see his stone and to capture city workers grading the infield. The memorial wasn’t where I thought it might be, so I asked a city worker for help. He led me right to it.

It’s sitting a little back from the field, but the guy said they are going to be making some changes to the facility, so they put it far enough back that they wouldn’t have to move it.. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Brad Brune’s tribute

Brad Brune posted this on the Class of 1966 Facebook fan page. I can’t improve on it.

Dear Friends of Mike Schuette,

 Mike’s Wake and the internment of his memorial stone went off without a hitch. It was a beautiful Summer day at historic Capaha Park, and there was an American Legion Baseball Game scheduled for later in the afternoon. Mike was in his now permanent celebrity seating with a great view of the field by game time. We couldn’t have planned it better.

 Though the weather was extremely HOT and HUMID as has been the norm this Spring and Summer here in the River City… attendees kept amply hydrated with soft and adult beverages supplied by your kind donations. Thanks again. Some fitting toasts and numerous old stories were offered and enjoyed by all. It was indeed a bitter-sweet occasion as you would guess, but I assure you the laughs and good feelings won out easily.

 We had hoped Mike’s beautiful flowering cherry tree would be planted by now, however the unseasonably hot and dry Spring prevented it. I will follow up some more photos this Fall when it is added.

Unique tribute stone

 With the cooperation of Liley Monument Company we were able to design and create a one of a kind tribute stone for Mike with two special corings in the bottom for most of Mike’s cremations. We had to get special permission from the Cape Girardeau Parks Department, and we appreciate their cooperation and understanding.

Every kid who slides into second…

However,we felt it unwise to advertise our intentions to also make Mike forever an meaningful part of the “Infield Soil” around his beloved 2nd Base. This feat was accomplished without notice fortunately, and the park grounds crew was none the wiser. Just a few old fat guys walking around the infield remembering their lost youth and fond days gone by.

[Editor’s note: y’all weren’t as unnoticed as you might have thought. When I mentioned that the guys grading the infield were shuffling one of my classmates, the park guy just smiled.]

 Randy Smith (Mike’s chosen “keeper of the Ashes”) and I then drove to St. Mary’s Memorial Park off Perryville road and to the site of the Schuette grave site. As was Mike’s desire some of his cremations were scattered on his parent’s graves. This will also be the location of his Veteran’s Memorial Plaque commemorating his service to his country and the US Army during the Vietnam War. His father, Lester, was also a proud veteran of WWII and his plaque is on the back side of the Schuette grave stone.

It was a great day all around and I feel some relief in a treasured task nearly completed. We are still waiting for Mike’s brick on the Memorial Wall at the VFW Post to be placed, and this October hopefully his flowering cherry tree will be planted next to his marker at Capaha. If there are any funds left after final accounting we will come up with another small but fitting gesture to make in brother Schuette’s honor.

 Thank you again to all who participated in this good venture, and if you have not donated for what ever reason, feel free to make a small donation to your favorite charity, or an organization dear to Mike, in his name.



Photos and mentions of Mike

Brad and some of his eagle-eyed brethren have spotted or mentioned their buddy Mike in some of the old stories:

Governor Signs Fireworks Bill

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon sent out a press release saying he had signed a fireworks bill that “removes a discrepancy between Missouri and federal laws on the labeling of commercial fireworks, and makes those fireworks that are legal under federal law now legal under Missouri law. Because Senate Bill 835 contains an emergency clause, it takes effect immediately, and brings clarity for communities and civic organizations that plan and sponsor Fourth of July fireworks displays.”

Arena Park at night

I don’t really care much about the new law – it was mostly clearing up some technical stuff – I just wanted an excuse to run these firework pictures from 1963. (You can click on them to make them larger, by the way.)

We didn’t generally go to Arena Park for fireworks. When I was a little kid, we lived on a hill just south of the Colonial Tavern that overlooked the park. The hill has long been leveled, so that vantage point is gone.

We can ALMOST see them from Kingsway Drive. This photo of the park looks like it was taken near North Broadview Street.

The 4th was almost as good as Christmas

Kids ranked the 4th of July right up there with Christmas, their birthday and Easter as a biggie in the holiday parade. Your birthday and the religious holidays offered gifts and Easter eggs, but the Fourth gave you an opportunity to blow things up.

Here are two examples:

I love the comment you all have left. (If you’ve been to those pages before, you may need to press Ctrl-F5 to make sure you see all the new comments. (I’m not exactly sure what pressing Ctrl-F5 does, but it’s a lot less messy than the alternative – sacrificing a chicken.)

I don’t know about Cape, but down here in Florida, it seems like somebody’s putting on a big fireworks display every time you turn around. On top of that, some of our neighbors must spend hundreds of bucks on fireworks of the caliber that they used to shoot off at Arena Park. Kinda dilutes the thrill.


I’m Looking for Reader Help

I’ve been talking with a publisher the last few weeks about doing a book on Cape. We were moving right along until they discovered I live in Florida. They prefer their authors to be local so they can promote their books.

I explained about the reach of this blog, how many folks with an interest in Cape Girardeau read it and how they’re located all over the world.

On top of that, I said that I get back to Cape two or three times a year and could do the conventional press-the-flesh book signings and the like. For example, I’m putting together an October exhibit and presentation on Regional Photography for the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum.

I do a pretty entertaining dog ‘n’ pony show with lots of photos, videos and war stories.

How you can help

If you are a member of a service club, historical society or you can get more than three people together (not counting me), I’d appreciate the name of the person who arranges your bookings, so I can convince the publisher that I’m not a Cape carpetbagger. I won’t be ready to hit the chicken dinner circuit until next year, but I need to start making contacts soon. Feel free to email me the info instead of leaving it as a comment if you prefer.

Vendor contacts would be helpful, too

What do these pictures have to do with my request? Absolutely nothing. They just happened to be in the same negative sleeve. They DO represent the wide variety of folks I’ve photographed over the years and the kinds of groups I’d like to get in front of.

The publisher has arrangements with national booksellers, but they like their authors to come up with local stores that might be persuaded to carry the book: coffee shops, antique stores, historical societies, Chambers of Commerce and the like. I’d appreciate info from anyone who has contacts with any of these types of businesses. Again, email to ken@steinhoff.net is fine.

I’m kind of excited about finding an outlet for some of the thousands of photos I’ve taken. I’ll keep you folks in the loop. If this deal doesn’t come to pass, I’m convinced that another one will come along right behind it.