Dick McClard’s Many Talents

Dick McClard glass studio 04-29-2014Wife Lila’s Class of ’66 buddy Dick McClard and I are political oil and water. We enjoy sparring with each other, but we can do it without rancor and with good humor. What I’m beginning to realize is that he’s a man of many talents.

We started talking last year about what he thought was a lead on where the mass grave from the steamboat The Stonewall might be located. Weather and pressing business kept us from getting out there until this trip.

When I stopped by his house for the ramble, he invited me into his stained glass studio where his wife, Judy, and daughter, Jennifer, were doing restoration work on stained glass windows for the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation. Dick was responsible for getting me into the church before it opened after a major renovation project.

Here, he’s showing how Belinda Schearf has been creating color window panes by building up and firing multiple layers of different colors. This is a technique used in the huge eyebrow window in the other photos.

More than just a glass guy

Dick McClard glass studio 04-29-2014Dick is quite the historian, too. He and some other folks have collaborated in tracking 40,000 McClard/McLard/McLaird/MacLaird and Related Families from 1767 through 2003 (and growing). Volume One, an interesting history even if you aren’t a McClard, is 499 pages long; Volume II, an index and family tree listing, is 1,049 pages long. It’s available in pdf format because printing it would be too costly, he said.

We spent the day roaming Cape and Perry counties, poking around in old cemeteries, meeting oldtimers he knew and avoiding political discussions. Oh, and we’re not sure if we located the mass grave we started out looking for. We’re going to have to check back on that.

Glass studio photo gallery

If you walk into St. Mary’s some day and see these window pieces, think of Dick and his family. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to navigate through he gallery.

Family Dollar Store Site

Aerial of Sprigg and William area 11-06-2010When I was up in the steeple of St. Mary’s Cathedral the other day, I noticed land being cleared on William west of Sprigg. It’s one of those things where you say, “Something’s different, but I don’t know what.”

Here’s an aerial taken November 6, 2010, showing the area. The yellow arrow marks the spot. William Street runs from the bottom of the frame to the top of it, and we’re looking east toward St. Mary’s. The building to the left of the big black parking lot houses Fred’s Super Dollar Store and the Save-A-Lot food store.

Click on the photos to make them larger.

Site will be a Family Dollar Store

Family Dollar Store site 04-14-2014A November 25, 2013, Missourian business column reported that “an acre of land that includes four properties on William Street between Sprigg and Ellis streets has been sold to Family Dollar store and the deal is closed, according to Thomas M. Meyer of Exit Realty. All the properties now are commercially zoned and will be demolished to street level for the building of Family Dollar.

It’ll be interesting to see if the project continues in light of news stories that “Family Dollar closing 370 stores and lowering prices after revenue falls 6%.”

Should have shot in when weather was good

Family Dollar Store site 04-14-2014I should have gone from St. Mary’s to the vacant lot on a day with the temps were in the high 70s and the sky blue.

I procrastinated, though, and shot these when the wind was gusting, the thermometer was heading south into the low 40s and my bald head was being pelted by rain trying to get up enough gumption to turn to sleet.

This photo was taken from an alley on the east side of the property looking west toward the houses on Ellis.

St. Mary’s to Reopen April 13

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation 04-11-2014 The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation in Cape Girardeau, better known as St. Mary’s, will hold Palm Sunday church services April 13, after being closed most of 2014 for a facelift.

Buddy Dick McClard, Class of ’66, sent an email saying he had just finished installing six 7-foot-tall windows facing Sprigg Street and wanted to know if I wanted a sneak peak at the inside of the church. St. Mary’s and St. Vincent’s have been on my list for a long time, so this sounded like a perfect excuse.

Rather than pretend I know much about the history of the church (even though Wife Lila and I were married there in 1969), I’ll point you to a blog by Missourian librarian Sharon Sanders.

The bells of St. Mary’s

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation 04-11-2014I tried to shoot things that haven’t changed, things that have been uncovered and things that have been added. In addition, I climbed into the bell tower to capture parts of the structure that everyone in the neighborhood has heard, but few have seen. I felt comfortable doing that because Sharon had sent me a clip saying that the bells had been reinstalled in 1988 after it was feared the 2500-lbs bells might come crashing down into the church entrance. Indeed, the staircase leading to the bells was steep and narrow, but solidly built.

Photo gallery of Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation

Here is a link to a Christmas Novena I shot at the church in 1967. You can compare the front of the church to these photos I took Friday afternoon. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.