Thinking About the Swimming Pool

Capaha Park pavilion construction 07-31-2014When I did a piece about a new pavilion being constructed on the hill overlooking what used to be the Capaha Park Swimming Pool, I quoted a Missourian story that said the structure should arrive in April and be installed in May or June.

So far as I can see, some footers have been poured, but the site otherwise looks the same as it did in April. Looks like someone blew that June deadline.

Glad to see the trees are still there

Capaha Park pavilion construction 07-31-2014When Friend Shari and I walked around the park waiting for the band concert to begin, we talked about how the big trees give a feeling of permanence to the park. My worry, I said, is that many of them may be nearing end of life. Old McKendree Chapel used to be surrounded by big trees, but they have gradually died off or been hit by lightning.

I miss the splashing and laughter

Capaha Park pavilion construction 07-31-2014I can’t sit on that hill, though, without thinking about the missing pool, the laughter and splashing, the smell of chlorine and the prickle of sunburns. Here are three accounts former lifeguards wrote when the pool was marked for demolition.

Cape Municipal Band Concert

Cape Municipal Band concert 07-30-2014 Eric McGowen is a good guy to know. He’s tipped me off to some good stories and gotten me into places folks don’t normally get to go.

Eric sent this email a few days ago: I had noticed that you’d attended and done a story on the Jackson Municipal band – tomorrow night is the last Cape Municipal Band concert for the season.  Concert starts at 7:30, but if you wanted to come take pictures of the inside of the band shell before hand I’m sure I could get something worked out for you.

[Editor’s Note: above is Ron Nall, who started playing with the band in 1967 and became the conductor in 1992.]

Wall of directors

Cape Municipal Band concert 07-30-2014There would be some great shots – there’s pictures on the wall of every director since the inception of the band – 100+ years worth.  (and Trombonist Dr. Dan Cotner has played for 75 of those).  This is my 20th year playing saxophone with the Cape Muny Band – it’s a great collection of College and High School music teachers, high school and college music students,  and schmucks like me who still enjoy the heck out of playing.  Just an idea.

Dr. Cotner’s 75th year with band

Cape Municipal Band concert 07-30-2014This marked Dr. Dan Cotner’s 75th year with the band, breaking a record set by Homer Gilbert, who played 74 years. Jerry Ford was recognized for 57 years of service.

Stories about the band

Cape Municipal Band concert 07-30-2014Not only did Eric provide the tip and the access, but he also sent me several links to Missourian stories ABOUT the band. I’ll post those links to give me more time to process a larger photo gallery in order to show more band members and the audience.

Guest conductors

Cape Municipal Band concert 07-30-2014“Children of all ages” were invited down to the front and given “batons” so they could play conductor. Narrator Tim Gould told the audience that the word “baton” is pronounced differently in different regions. “In Jackson, they just call them ‘sticks,'” he joked. (I THINK it was a joke.)

It was hard to tell whether some of the boys were conducting the orchestra or sword fighting, but the music still sounded good.

Star Spangled Banner

Cape Municipal Band concert 07-30-2014 It was touching to watch the audience stand with hands over hearts and sing the Star Spangled Banner.

Band concert photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery. (Because the gallery is so large, it may load slower than usual. Restart it if it seems to hang up.)

 

Advance Bank Robbery

Bank of Advance c 1973I love it when a story gets more interesting than anticipated. I found a photo of the Bank of Advance from around 1973, before a fire turned the two-story building into a single-story one. I figured I’d locate a recent photo, throw in a few dates, then go to bed.

Ruth Millington, writing in Advance, Missouri, A Look at the First Hundred Years, gave me the easy stuff: the bank was chartered January 30, 1902. It’s first home was in a small frame building that later became Moore’s Feed and Seed Store. It moved from there into a small brick building which is the present site of Morgan Funeral Home.

Building erected in 1906

Park - Prather Building - Advance BankThis photo shows the Prather Building, which housed my grandfather’s liquor store. The former bank building on the right was built in 1906 by Lon Goodman, postmaster at the time. The bank was located there until it moved in 1972.

Defective wiring caused fire

The Nov. 7, 1982 Bulletin-Journal carried a photo and a story about the fire at the former bank building. Firemen from six departments managed to contain the fire to the roof, attic and second floor of the building. “Many businesses closed their doors to allow their workers to assist firemen, or employees trying to remove property from Connie’s Hair Hut and Advance Realty, located in the burning building, and the Clothes Hanger, located near the bank building, after it was feared the fire might spread.

Advance Fire Chief George Green said the fire was probably caused by defective wiring in the attic. In addition to the two businesses on the ground floor, there were two occupied apartments on the second floor. The building was owned by Ruth Millington, chairman of the board of the Bank of Advance.

Bank was robbed twice

Downtown AdvanceMillington wrote that the bank was robbed twice: the first was May 27, 1959, when three men made off with about $18,000. They were quickly apprehended. On Oct. 15, 1962, a lone bandit made off with about $9,000. He was arrested about a year later. HE’S the one who caught my eye.

When Claudine Lorch retired from the bank after 35 years, she said she had been present for both bank robberies. “Once,” she said, “was quite enough.”

This photo was taken Nov. 15, 2010.

Second robbery was most interesting

The Missourian’s August 26, 1963, front page carried three stories about Richard B. Partridge, later convicted of robbing banks in Advance and Chaffee. He was the 38-year-old Jackson high school music director and director of the Jackson Municipal band. What was left of the loot was recovered from a strongbox in his high school locker.

An interview with Partridge said he picked the two banks because he thought they would be easy targets and because they were close enough to home that he would be gone by the time police could set up dragnets. He scouted the banks a couple of days before the robbery, then forced the employees into the bank’s vault while brandishing an unloaded gun. He left it unloaded because he didn’t want to take a chance on shooting anyone by accident, he said. He closed the vault doors, but didn’t lock the employees in the safe.

They weren’t music lovers

Jackson Band Concert 07-11-2013I loved the paper’s account of his capture. Partridge said the the first inkling he had that he might be suspected of the crimes was Thursday night while the Jackson Municipal Band concert was in progress. He turned to face the audience between numbers and saw John Crites, Cape County sheriff, State Trooper Robert Mouser and State Trooper Sgt. Glenn Lampley as well as a number of strange people in the audience.

Partridge said he did not believe Sheriff Crites or Troopers Mouser and Lampley were music lovers and could not recall seeing the strangers at previous band concerts.

He said when the concert was over and the three officers did not leave, he was sure they had connected him with the robberies. He was arrested in minutes.

[Editor’s note: this Jackson band concert photo was taken in 2013. So far as I know, nobody in the photograph is guilty of bank robbery.]

Sentenced to 12 years in federal pen

A Missourian story on Jan. 7, 1964, said Partridge was being taken to Terre Haute, Ind., to begin serving two concurrent 12-year sentence for the two bank robberies. He would be eligible for parole in four years. Richard FitzGibbon, Jr., U.S. attorney, said Terre Haute was “not as tough as Levenworth or Atlanta,” and one at which many income tax evaders serve their sentences. The government attorney said the prison has a band and thought it probable that Partridge’s musical background will admit him to prison routine adequately. [That’s certainly a confusing sentence, even though I gather what the attorney was trying to say.]

Band celebrated 75th anniversary in 1995

Jackson Band Concert 07-11-2013A story on the Jackson Municipal Band celebrating its 75th anniversary provided some other tidbits:

  • Leroy McNeely joined the band in 1924, at age 15, and was a member of the band for 65 years. After the band played the National Anthem, McNeely was sitting a few feet away with his clarinet when they arrested his band leader.
  • The “strangers” in the crowd were likely bank employees who were brought in to ID the robber.
  • After Partridge served his sentence, he returned to Jackson, where he worked for Lenco, Inc. He died in 1989.

[Editor’s note: these folks have no connection to the bank robbery, either.]

 

Jackson Band Concert

Jackson Band Concert 07-11-2013I had a hankering to attend a band concert. I missed Cape’s Wednesday night concert at Capaha Park, but happened to be coming back from Perry County with Friend Shari on July 11, so I suggested we catch Jackson’s concert.

It took a bit of looking to find it,. We were a little early, so I told my passenger (who had slept most of the way back from Altenburg), “I’m going to take a 7-minute nap,” and set my alarm. When I woke up seven minutes later, she said, “You REALLY can fall asleep fast, can’t you?”

I couldn’t figure out why people were setting up their chairs at the top of the hill, several hundred yards away from the bandstand. I mean, sure, being able to get to the parking lot in a hurry is nice, but you needed binoculars to see the stage and I couldn’t imagine that you’d hear anything that far away.

Great warm-up act

Jackson Band Concert 07-11-2013 Steve Schaffner’s group got toes to tapping. I could have listened to them all evening. Shaffner retired this spring after 22 years of conducting the Central junior, senior high school orchestras.

And, much to my surprise, the sound was great. I walked all the way up to the folks sitting at the top of the hill and could hear as well as if I had been in the front row. The guy running the sound board did a great job.

The main event

Jackson Band Concert 07-11-2013Before long, the Jackson Municipal Band took the stage. They played well, with enthusiasm and the crowd liked them, but I’m low-brow enough that I like the group that played Blue Grass, folk and country music. I’m not complaining about the muni band, but it’s not really my thing.

The Municipal Band’s website has the history of the organization, which dates to 1920, and a current schedule.

Great evening, great location, perfect weather

Jackson Band Concert 07-11-2013If I only make it to one band concert every 40 or so years, I’m glad I went to this one. The music was great, the temperature was perfect, the sound system was excellent and the mosquitoes must have gotten lost. These is plenty of parking, so I think I’d rather go to Jackson than Capaha Park.

It looked to me that everyone was having a good time, particularly when free ice cream was handed out.

Band concert photo gallery

Sometimes it’s better to let the photos tell the story of an evening. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the sides to move through the gallery.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.