Snow Comes to Cape

The weather folks have been teasing us all week telling us that a big snow storm (they call it an “event”) is coming. We had a little God Dandruff scatter for a few minutes earlier in the week, but Wednesday was supposed to be the biggie.

I had to go to the Jackson Walmart to have some prints made. As I backed out of the driveway, some fairly sizable flakes were getting organized, but I wasn’t worried. Just as I closed the car door, I noticed how the flag was nicely backlit, and some of the flakes were popping out. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

Rose bush looks like cotton field

Since I was already almost to Jackson, and because I had some time to kill, I decided to have a combo, slaw, fries and a Mr. Pibb at Wibb’s.

By the time I finished, there was serious snow on the road. I got behind a slow driver going up the steep hill next to the city park, and I kept thinking, “If this guy don’t dial some giddy-up, we’re going to spin out here.”

There wasn’t a bread and milk freak-out going on at Walmart when I picked up my prints, but a lot of baskets were filled with snow melt.

Hwy 61 between Jackson and Cape was covered. I got in behind a snow plow (at a safe distance), but parts of the road were still slick. Even going up Kingsway Drive kept my traction control popping on and off.

I looked at the rose bush in the front yard, and was glad I had a nice, warm house to hide away in.

Memories of snow and smack

I’m pretty cautious about driving on snow and ice because I learned at an early age that just because you can go doesn’t mean you can stop. Jim Stone, Carol Klarsfeld and I were checking out the sights on a steep hill near Bertling when we came around a curve and saw a car on our side of the road.

I put on the brakes, but gravity was not on our side. We slowly crashed into the other car with my tank of a 1959 Buick LaSabre station wagon. My car suffered so little damage I didn’t bother to take a photo of it. The other guy was less lucky.

OK, I’ll go take a look

After pacing around in the kitchen for a few minutes, temptation overcame good sense and I grabbed for a jacket and headed out.

I learned as a Missourian photographer, that there are a few places in Cape that are like shooting fish in a barrel when it’s time to come up with some weather or wild art.

Capaha Park and the train is one of them.

A heavy, wet snow

This may be one of those great snows that turns out to be very pretty, but probably won’t stick around long. Roads that were pretty treacherous when I set out were already plowed or in the process of being plowed by the time I headed back.

This was taken near the new pavilion in Capaha Park that overlooks where the pool used to be.

Next stop: SEMO

It took two passes to shoot this picture of Academic Hall. When I got right in front of the building, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw a bus coming up behind me. I figured I’d better keep going to give him room.

Then, I saw him turn off.

When I made my second pass, I managed to get off a few frames before a car showed up in the mirror again. What are those fools doing out on a night like this?

A swing and a miss

I felt like I had to shoot something along Broadway. These trees and utility pole caught my eye, but I’m not overjoyed with the result.

Oh, well, you can strike out 7 of 10 times at bat, and still make a million bucks a year.

Main Street decorations

Some other folks had posted pictures of Main Street’s decorations on Facebook before the snow, so I actually got out of the car to shoot this.

Lady Liberty and Freedom Corner

This situation looked better than it photographed. I’m including it because it was the second time I got out of the car.

As I stepped off the curb, I thought, “Please don’t let this slush be deep enough to fill my shoe.”

It wasn’t.

I was acutely aware of the possibility, because the night before I was pricing a pair of old-fashioned galoshes that I could slip over my shoes when confronted with mud, slush or snow. When I saw the price, I decided my toes could get pretty chilly before I’d spring for overshoes.

I decided that I had cheated death enough, so I hung it up and headed home. My meanderings didn’t produce any great art, but it felt good to check snow off the year’s bucket list.



347 North Pacific Street

SEMO's Pacific Hall 347 North Pacific 10-10-2014The building at 347 North Pacific was purchased by Southeast Missouri State University in 1980, but I’ll always remember it as Dorington Apartments, the place where Carol Klarsfeld lived.

Carol Klarsfeld by LeudersCarol was a tiny little thing who was always up for an adventure. There was a tale that she put more miles on her mother’s car than she was supposed to. Having a logical mind, she thought, “The speedometer counts up when the car is going forward, so it should count backward if the car is going in reverse.”

The prospect of driving many miles in reverse didn’t seem practical, so she jacked up the rear of the car, put it in gear and gunned it. Her logical skills far surpassed her mechanical skills unfortunately. In the story I heard, the jack slipped and the car took off at high speed in reverse.

When she and her mother moved from a ranch house to the Dorington Apartments, Carol was afraid that her neighbors would keep an eye on her and rat her out if she came in late or engaged in other shenanigans. She quickly found out that apartment dwellers are more anonymous than people who live in houses.

History of 437 North Pacific

I wasn’t able to find out when Carol’s apartment was built, but a search through Missourian archives turned up information about some of the people who lived at that address, most notably R.B. Potashnick and his family. Here’s a sampling of stories. Longer one contain links for more information.

  • January 29, 1926Mrs. C.W. Stehr is confined to her home suffering from injuries received when she fell on the ice in front of her home, 347 North Pacific Street, her right wrist broken in two places.
  • October 19, 1926Mrs. Farnham Clark, who has been visiting Miss Lucille Buck of 347 North Pacific for several days, left today for her home in Menoninee, Wis.
  • August 11, 1931Miss Lucille Bock and Herbert Bock, 347 North Pacific, left today for a motor trip to New Orleans and other points in the South.
  • October 24, 1932Miss Marie Kinder, 343 North Pacific Street, and Robert Richards, 347 North Pacific Street, spend several days with friends in LaSalle, Ill. Mr. Richards also transacted business while away. (There’s another brief that says “Almost every night the young people of Cape Girardeau are driving out Sprigg Street to Blue Hole for delicious sandwiches and soft drinks.”)

Why we vaccinate kids today

SEMO's Pacific Hall 347 North Pacific 10-10-2014

  • January 31, 1934 – Today’s contagious disease list in Cape Girardeau contained nine new names, eight measles cases and one of chicken pox being reported to City Health Officer Henry Haman, Jr. The measles cases are Mason Martin, Red Star suburb; David Phillipson, 228 North Frederick Street; Bobby Johnson, 545 South Benton Street; Jimmy Bauerle, 916 Good Hope Street; David Samuels, 123 North Spanish Street; Mary Potashnick, 347 North Pacific Street; Bobby Adams, Perryville Road; and Landess Mills, 102 North Ellis Street. Virginia Hughes, 118 North Frederick Street, has chicken pox.
  • June 14, 1938 – Mr. and Mrs. R.B. Potashnick, daughters Mary and Ann, 347 North Pacific Street, Mrs. Ben Vinyard, 322 North Pacific Street, Mrs. Geraldine Young, 331 Bellvue Street, and Don Black, 316 Bellvue Street, spent Monday in St. Louis and attended the Municipal Opera that night. Mr. Potashnick remained on business.
  • February 6, 1939 – R.B. Potashnick, a contractor, 347 North Pacific Street, spent the weekend at his home here and returned to St. Louis today on business. Mr. Potashnick last Friday was awarded a contract, aggregating over $414,000 for construction of Rural Electrification Administration project lines in the vicinity of Macon. He was recently given a contract for constructing a similar project in Elsinore and district.
  • September 13, 1951 – A chauffeur-driven 1950 Cadillac sedan and a 1939 Buick collided at the intersection of Hopper Road and Kingshighway Wednesday. Both automobiles were damaged. The Cadillac was owned by R.B. Potashnick, 347 North Pacific Street, and driven by Joe Nelson of 605 Merriwether Street. The Buick was driven by Ben Seitze, 1514 North Rand Street.
  • June 8, 1962 – The second fire within 48 hours broke out this morning at the R.B. Potashnick home, 347 North Pacific Street. The original fire caused damage estimated at $75,000 to $100,000. Chief Lewis, commenting on the [first] fire, said when firemen arrived at the house a big hole had already burned through the living room floor and a radiator had fallen through to the basement. Mr. Potashnick, a widely-known contractor whose company has handled many multi-million dollar projects throughout the country, came from St. Louis to survey the damage, but later left for Georgia on business. Mrs. Potashnick was scheduled to arrive from Ohio today.
  • April 2, 1968 – About $100 in underclothing was stolen from a basement clothesline in an apartment belonging to Mrs. Wayne Nations, 347 North Pacific.
  • November 14, 1980The Dorington Apartments, 347 North Pacific Street, will soon house classes in the SEMO State University’s College of Business. The university purchased the structure this week for just over $300,000.

Flashback to the Rialto

Shasta Black Cherry soda 08-22-2013While I was in Cape, I picked up some cans of Shasta Black Cherry soda at Schnucks. The taste took me back to the soda dispenser at the Rialto Theater on Broadway.

Buddy Jim Stone, in town chasing a big magnet, reminisced about Carol Klarsfeld, whose mother owned the theater. Carol got to keep the money from the weight machine and the soda dispenser, he said.

Carol used to joke that the two profit centers in the lobby were the soda machine and the popcorn machine. “The most expensive parts of each were the containers they were sold in.”

The soda machine sat over on the left side of the lobby, near the popcorn popper (which produced oceans of fresh-popped corn, drowned in real butter). When you put in your dime, a thin cup would plop down with a satisfying “SMACK!” followed by a smattering of thinly crushed ice and your choice of flavored soda. I don’t remember the other flavors because I always picked Black Cherry.

Rialto and other theater stories

I’ve done a number of stories about Cape’s theaters. Here are some links in case you missed them.

Class of ’65’s Cool Table

Members of Class of 1965 meet for lunch 07-06-2013Terry Rose Crowell came in to Annie Laurie’s Antiques where I was hawking Smelterville: A Work in Progress and Snapshots of Cape Girardeau on First Friday. In the course of our conversation, she mentioned that select members of the Class of 1965 meet for lunch on the first Saturday of each month at BG’s Old Tyme Deli and Saloon. (“Select” means anybody who shows up.)

Marilyn Dudley Seyer

Members of Class of 1965 meet for lunch 07-06-2013I hoped this might finally be my chance to set at the Cool Table, something that always seemed out of my reach when I attended Central High School. My odds were enhanced when Brenda Bone Lapp posted on Facebook that everybody usually fits around one table. It was hinted that table dancing was known to transpire. In fact, I was told confidentially, it was Marilyn’s turn this month.

Such gyrations much have occurred when I went out to the car to switch out camera bodies because it didn’t happen in my presence. I did notice a glow on Marilyn’s forehead (ladies don’t sweat), so I might have been gone longer than I thought.

Carolyn Lee Barks

Members of Class of 1965 meet for lunch 07-06-2013When I commented that I felt a bit outnumbered at the table, I was told that guys have been known to show up; Jim Feldmeier, in particular.

There was a long discussion about how women were discriminated against before Title IX, but how things are getting better. We talked about how spring sports got the short end of the stick because of early yearbook deadlines. There was also a debate about whether girls participated in track and field sports in our day. I couldn’t remember shooting any.

Susan Valle Perry

Members of Class of 1965 meet for lunch 07-06-2013Talk turned to Cape’s movie theaters, particularly the Rialto, which was owned by Carol Klarsfeld’s mother. Carol got all the money deposited in the penny scale in the theater, something I didn’t know. We longed for the days when you could get Black Cherry soda out of the soft drink dispenser in the lobby. Popcorn, at a dime a box (or with real butter for two bits) was a real profit center. The box, which cost a penny, was the most expensive part.

Accounts of Carol shenanigans became a major topic of conversation. It’s a shame Carol was taken from us at an early age by breast cancer because I’m sure she’d still be doing crazy stuff as a grandmother.

Pat Wright Vogelsang

Members of Class of 1965 meet for lunch 07-06-2013Birthday cards, some of which were AARP-Rated were passed around. I blush easily, so I tried to avoid reading the insides, but they made me do it. This is a rough crowd.

Pat Wright Vogelsang is vamping for the camera while Susan and Marilyn are looking through some of my old Cape photos in the background.

Donna Eddleman Mason

Members of Class of 1965 meet for lunch 07-06-2013

We talked about favorite teachers (Miss Sadler for English and Grace Williams for math), best pizza (Tony’s) and best steak (Wayne’s Grill), the fact that The Missourian always referred to women by their husband’s name (Mrs. Joe Smith, not Mrs. Jane Smith or Jane Smith) and how few kids back then drove their cars to school.

All in all, it was a pretty good day at the Cool Table. They were nice enough to score some books and calendars and even paid for my iced tea. If I had just been around when Marilyn rocked the table, the day would have been perfect.