Broadway End-to-End

I was trading some messages with Nicolette Brennan from the City of Cape about a picture of Broadway for a project she’s working on. That got me to thinking about how many Broadway stories I’ve done. I’ve documented the street from the river’s edge to the old Colonial Tavern on the west end. Click on the photos to make them larger and click on the links to go to the original story.

So many teens were dancing at the old Teen Age Club at Themis and Spanish that the floor was bouncing and a city inspector shut ’em down. They moved the dance to the bank parking lot at the corner of Main and Broadway.

Crash at the Colonial Tavern

The Colonial Tavern was my dad’s morning coffee stop where everybody would gather to hash over the previous night’s Cardinal game. A sports car picked this night to plow into the building that was at the west end of Broadway.

The park that got away

A three-acre tract of land on the south side of Broadway east of Hwy 61 was donated by the Doggett family with the understanding that the the land would be developed into a park similar to Dennis Scivally Park on Cape Rock Drive.

The family felt that the tract hadn’t been improved in the past 10 years, so they filed a suit to reclaim the land. A granite marker with the name “Doggett Park” next to the Masonic Temple parking lot is all that remains of the park.

Crash at Broadway and Fountain

Sometimes what you think is going to be an inconsequential story resonates with readers. Fred Kaefpfer, who was directing traffic at this crash at the corner of Broadway and Fountain, turned out to be Cape’s singing policeman. It became one of the most-commented stories of the early blog. The Idan-Ha Hotel shows up in the background of the photo.

Idan-Ha Hotel burns

The Idan-Ha Hotel, which had caught fire in 1968, caught fire again in 1989.

Star Service Station – Cigarettes 25 cents a pack

The Star Service station at the corner of Broadway and Frederick gave stamps with your gas. Ninety stamps would get you $1.50 worth of free gas.

Annie Laurie’s used to be Brinkopf-Howell’s

Niece Laurie Everett’s Annie Laurie’s Antiques, across the street from the Star Service Station used to be a funeral home. It’s the top-rated antique shop in Cape County now. Shivelbines Music, across the street, got a new sign in November.

Bob’s Shoe Service

Bob Fuller’s Bob’s Shoe Service was where I stocked up on Red Wing boots, the ideal footwear for a photographer. They’d shine up acceptably for formal wear (at least as formal as I ever got), but you could wade water and walk on fire with no worries.

507-515 Broadway

The 500 block of Broadway has had an interesting past.

Discovery Playhouse – Walthers’s Furniture

I was glad to see some life around the old Walther’s Furniture Store and Funeral Home. The Discovery Playhouse has become popular in a short period of time. Here is was before it opened.

Lutheran Mural Building razed

When I shot the Discovery Playhouse, I had no idea that the landmark building across the street was going to be torn down within a couple of years. It was best known for the huge blue mural on its side.

Rialto Theater roof collapses

A rainstorm caused the roof of the old Rialto Theater to collapse in 2010. This story contains a bunch of links, including one that tells how I met Wife Lila there when she was working as a cashier. This picture is of the 1964 Homecoming Parade.

Broadway Theater is still impressive

I managed to talk my way into the Broadway Theater on a cold December day. It still has the feel of the premier theater of the city.

What’s going to happen to the Esquire?

When I did this story in October 2011, it looked like the Esquire Theater was going to get new life. A new owner had an ambitious plan to renovate it. The latest stories in The Missourian make it sound like the project is unraveling.

Here’s a piece I did about its art deco history. In September 1965, I used infrared flash and film to capture kids watching The Beatles movie Help! It was the first (and only) time I used that technique.

Pladium / D’Ladiums – it’s still the same

I wasn’t a pool player, but those who were spent their time in the Pladium (now D’Ladiums) across from Houck Stadium or the Pla-Mor, next to Wayne’s Grill and the Esquire. The Beav still rules the roost at D’Ladiums.

Vandeven’s Merchantile

Howard’s Athletic Goods and a handful of other businesses have moved into the building at the corner of Broadway and Pacific over the years, but it’ll always be Vandeven’s Merchantile to me.

It dawns on me that I have even more photographs along Broadway – way too many to inflict on you in one shot. I’ll hold off putting up the rest of them until another day. Don’t forget to click on the links to see the original stories.


I Loved My Red Wing Boots

I made semi-annual pilgrimages to this building displaying a boot for at least 20 years.

The Missourian announced on Jan. 27, 1985, that Bob’s Shoe Service at 515 Broadway was expanding. Owner Bob Fuller bought the building on the right from C.W. Bauerle, doubling his space from 1,500 square feet to 3,000.

The story said that Fuller had “been in the shoe repair business for 32 years, and in addition to this engaged for a time in making saddles, and at the present produces leather belts and other items. Fuller is assisted in his business by his sons, Wade and Scott.”

I’m not sure exactly when I bought my first pair of Red Wing boots, but it was sometime between The Athens Messenger and The Gastonia Gazette in the late 60s – early 70s.

Shoes through the ages

[Note the reflection in the bottom left of the photo. Click on it to make it larger. The Walther’s sign hadn’t been changed to Discovery Playhouse yet. These pictures were taken Oct. 24, 2009.]

I was no stranger to manly, blue collar shoes. Even back in grade school I wore a modified high lace-up combat-style boot. When I worked for Dad one summer, I had some low-cut work shoes that were sturdy and serviceable.

I think I wore loafers in high school. Not penny loafers, I’m positive. No tassels, either.

When I went away to college, I recall going through a Hush Puppy suede shoe stage. At some point, I bought some fur-lined slip-on boots in Ohio that were nice and warm when it got cold and nasty. I wore them until they became, shall we say, odoriferous, and I passed them on to Brother David, who wore them many more years. He lived in Oklahoma, where standards were lower.

Red Wing boots: perfect photographer shoes

Something lured me into Bob’s, where I discovered the Red Wing work boot, which I thought was the perfect footwear for a newspaper photographer.

  • They were quick to slip into.
  • If you polished them, they’d take a shine like an expensive dress shoe.
  • If you put mink oil on them, they’d get soft and repel water.
  • They were high enough that you didn’t have to worry about wading through water, sand or mud. (And, it didn’t matter if your socks matched. You couldn’t see them.)
  • You could climb rock cliffs, walk through construction sites without worrying about stepping on nails and be reasonably certain that you were safe from snakebite as long as you were around lazy snakes.

No BS uniform

Every once in awhile I’d want to go onto a construction site to shoot pictures, but some foreman would say, “Well, I’D give you permission, but you have to have a hard hat and the right kind of shoes. Safety regulations, you know. Sorry.”

I’d walk back to my car and dig out my safety-approved white hard hat. On the front of it was a drawing of a bull squatting down making a deposit, surrounded by the international symbol for “No.” I’d return to the foreman, don my “No BS” hard hat, hike up my pants leg to display my Red Wing boots and say, “OK now?”

Rarely did the foreman come up with another hoop for me to jump through.

Boots cost more than a suit

The only drawback was that the boots cost $75 in the days when you could buy a SUIT for $25. OK, let me amend that. I could buy a suit for $25.

Despite the high cost – more than half a week’s pay – I usually had at least three pair of the boots in wearing sequence.

  • A new pair for when I needed to be presentable – that set was polished.
  • The ones I wore for work – mink oiled and waterproofed.
  • A beat-up pair kept in the trunk for truly grody situations.

It just dawned on me that I haven’t seen a pair of Red Wing boots in the closet since Son Matt got big enough to wear my shoes.