Babe Ruth 1965

“Babe Ruth 1965” on the negative sleeve is all I know about these two photos. They were taken at the Capaha Park ball field. You can click on the photos to make them larger.

I hadn’t learned how to deal with big group shots like this yet. Over the years, I learned to say, “If you can’t see me, then I can’t see you.” That helped make sure you could see everybody’s face.

When dealing with boys this age, I’d add one more admonition: “I know every variation of the one-finger salute. If I see any, I won’t bother trying to retouch it out. I’ll just kill the photo and be more than happy to explain why to your coach, your principal and your mother.” I, obviously wasn’t experienced enough yet to deliver that speech to this group.

A closeup view of the trophy shows an American Legion shield on it.

Formal group shot

The boys in the formal shot were a little better behaved.

Other photos of the Capaha field


Easter Egg Hunts in 1962

I was emptying and filing mostly family pictures that were still in slide trades from an Ansco slide projector that was long ago retired. These photos of Easter 1962 were in the mix. I find them interesting for things that are in the background of some of them.

Brother Mark inspects an Easter egg he’s found in the front lawn. You can click on the photos to make them larger, but I’ll warn you that some of them aren’t all that sharp.

He’s listening for the sound of the ocean

Sometimes he gets things a little confused. He remembers hearing someone saying that you can hear the sound of the ocean if you hold a shell up to your ear. He didn’t get the part that it had to be a SEA shell, not an EGG shell.

Scampering past the Ailor house

Mark is running up the hill on the west side of the house. The Ailors lived there then. The hedge between the two houses has grown up over the years and some maple trees that we planted as saplings are huge and just about the end of their life.

A view down Kingsway Drive

That’s Brother David on the right The white house down the hill, occupied by the McCunes in 1962, has been torn down. The basketball goal would have belonged to Bobby and Gary Garner. I see the Ailor car still has snow tires on it. They must be afraid that winter is going to make one more pass.

Here’s what the neighborhood looked like from the air.

Hunting eggs was a challenge

The Easter Bunny liked making things a challenge. This egg was located under the windshield wiper. That’s Dad’s Chevy truck in the foreground and our 59 Buick LaSabre station wagon in the background. Ernie Chiles hadn’t taught me to drive yet, so the right front fender is uncreased.

Easter egg hunt at Capaha Park

I’m not sure what group this was. Mark’s in the red shoes and sweater, so it has to be some of his friends or his class. This pavilion is east of the ballfield and north of the pool.

The Boat House in background

When the kids weren’t stomping errant Easter eggs, they were climbing on the playground equipment. Cape’s landmark Erlbacher Boat House is in the background.

Mark stands out

Notice how Mark is placed right in the middle of the group and how his bright red sweater takes your eye right to him? Mother recognized that he had just a few cute years in him, so she tried to make him as visible as possible during that small window of time.

Capaha Field is a lot fancier today.

Capaha Pool is history

I was all set to delete this shot. At first glance, I thought that it wasn’t overly sharp and there was no clear center of interest. Then I got to looking at it like a photographer in the Ohio University Fine Arts program and convinced myself that it was art because of all of the interesting elements. Notice how the running boy and girl and the one bending over have been frozen in time, never to reach their goals. The two women on the left are oblivious to the action that’s going on behind them. The woman on the right keeps you from sliding out of the frame and the little girl at the bottom adds mystery.

Or, it could just be a fuzzy picture. Anyway, you won’t see this view today: the Capaha Pool was torn down last year.

Other Easter stories


Capaha Park Lagoon Algae

Scott Moyers did a story in Tuesday’s Missourian about Capaha Park Lagoon’s algae problem. This isn’t exactly a new problem. Here are some pictures from the mid and late 1960s when there was a cleanup campaign on. I’m not sure when they were taken, nor who the subjects are. A couple of the men look familiar, but I’m going to let someone else put names to the faces.

Lagoon dates to early 1900s

Scott’s story says the 3.5 acre lagoon was put in shortly after the property was transformed into a fairgrounds. The city acquired it in 1914. Generations of Cape Girardeans have enjoyed fishing, ice skating, duck feeding and even jumping into the lagoon.

Lagoon has become shallow

Over the years, silt has filled up the lagoon to the point that it’s only about five feet deep, about half of the 10 to 12 feet years ago. Algae grows in warmer, shallower water, particularly when the summer has been as hot as this year’s. The lagoon hasn’t been dredged in about 20 years, the story pointed out. What makes me uncomfortable is a comment from Mayor Harry Rediger, who said that the permanent solution is to come from the parks department’s creation of a strategic plan for the entirety of Capaha Park.

“Another idea is to change the concept of the lake a bit.” he said. “I can’t report on it just yet, because it’s still in the planning stages. But we do intend to fix that in some manner – it’s just that how it’s to be fixed has yet to be determined.”

When city officials start talking about making changes to something that’s been a part of the community as long as Capaha Park, warning flags start waving. I look at all the park amenities that we grew up with: the lagoon, Cherry Hill, the band shell, the train from the cement plant, the pool (oops, guess we can scratch that one) and I don’t see many things I’d change. When you hear the drumbeats for “improving” Capaha Park, better start going to meetings and letting your voice be heard. We know how Bloomfield Road has been “improved.”

November 2011 aerial of Capaha Park

Broadway and Southeast Hospital are on the right. The pool is empty, but not razed yet.

Other stories about Capaha Park Lagoon

Gallery of Capaha Park Lagoon photos

A collection of photos taken over a period of time. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.




Southeast Missouri State University 1966 Aerial Photos

Southeast Missouri State University – Kent Library

I love looking at Fred Lynch’s collection of Frony pictures, including the February 22 photo of Kent Library from the 1940s.  His f/8 and Be There blog makes my job easier.

  • They jog my memory about things I’ve shot.
  • He and Sharon Sanders do all the research I’m too lazy to do. Instead of doing a lot of writing, I can send you directly to the work they’ve done.

(I KNOW that it was called Southeast Missouri State College at the time these pictures were shot, but I’ll go with the current name to make it easier for folks who use search engines to find it these days.)

SEMO has several good maps to help you identify campus buildings

The photo above shows Kent Library in the upper left corner. Dearmont Hall is to its right. The Grauel Building is under construction at bottom right.

Academic Hall, Kent Library, College High School

This photo, from a slightly wider angle, picks up Academic Hall in the center, , then clockwise to College High School, the Grauel Building at the bottom, Dearmont Hall, Kent Library and the baseball field at Capaha Park at top left.

Houck Stadium and Field House, Academic Hall, Kent Library, Broadway & Pacific

This photo centers on Houck Stadium and Houck Field House, but includes the intersection of Broadway and Pacific at the bottom right. You can see Howard’s Sporting Goods, the Esquire Theater and Vandeven’s Merchantile.

Last Chance – First Chance Saloon

There’s a two-story building at the southwest corner of Pacific and Broadway, across the street from Howard’s, that is no longer there. I can remember there was a tiny gap between it and the building to its west that was just large enough for a kid to walk through. Here’s what The Missourian had to say about it.

In the mid-1800s, Frank C. Krueger purchased property on the southwest corner of Harmony (now known as Broadway) and Pacific Street. It has been said the Krueger erected the building that once stood at the end of Cape Girardeau’s city limit during the 19th century. Broadway to the west of Pacific Street was a gravel road known as Jackson Road. Krueger opened up a general store on the east side of the building, and he established a saloon on the west side. It soon became known as the “Last Chance” saloon headed west out of Cape Girardeau and the “First Chance” as one entered town. The saloon provided the last chance to have a drink when leaving Cape Girardeau and first chance upon entering town. Krueger died in 1882, and the building saw several proprietors after that. In the 1920s, the east section — 901 Broadway — housed Miller & Foeste grocery for many years. In the 1940s, the Last Chance Tavern opened on the east side. Oscar Becker operated the Last Chance Pool Hall on the west side — 903 Broadway — for more than 45 years. In the later years of the building, it would house a restaurant and pizza business before returning to a tavern, called the “Second Chance.” In November 1994, the building was razed.

Three buildings north of the intersection, on the right-hand side of the street is a two-story brick building that was a bottling company. I wish I knew more about it. A good chunk of that area has been gobbled up by the university for parking.

BurritoVille replaces the Last Chance – First Chance Saloon

This is the southwest corner of Pacific and Broadway on Oct. 28, 2009. The Last Chance – First Chance – Second Chance Saloon is gone, replaced by BurritoVille and some other businesses. I guess that may not be much of a loss. When Son Matt and his family visited Cape in 2008, he gave BurritoVille a rave review on my bike blog.

Northeast corner of Pacific and Broadway

The Esquire Theater is on the left and Howard’s / Craftsman Building / Vandeven’s Mercantile (depends on your era) is across the street.