Valentine’s Day Cards from Trinity Lutheran School

Valentine’s Day card from Cheri Huckstep

Preparing for my Presidential Libary

There was a time when I thought I had a career in politics. Because I was positive my Presidential Library would find the trappings of my early life important, I made sure to save everything.

My political aspirations hit an iceberg when I picked Bill Hopkins to pilot my Student Body Presidential campaign. Let’s just say that the 163 folks who voted for me were nowhere near a majority and certainly didn’t warrant calling in lawyers to oversee a recount. Jimmy Feldmeier was the clear winner.

Reading the will of the people very clearly, I abandoned my plan to run for POTUS in 1984, the first year I would be Constitutionally eligible and decided that I was more suited for journalism and sniping from the sidelines.

My Mother’s attic is a time capsule

I may have never made it into a Presidential Library, but I have the next best thing. On my last trip home, I ventured up into the time capsule of my Mother’s attic.

If you dig deep enough, you can probably find every school paper I ever brought home; all of my workbooks going back to kindergarten; hundreds of stickers that say, “Don’t be a sucker, Vote for Kenny (I’d have gotten more votes if Jim Stone hadn’t eaten most of the suckers instead of handing them out to potential voters); report cards; a Bucker-Ragsdale receipt for my Cub Scout uniform and this huge stack of Valentine’s Day cards from Trinity Lutheran School days.

There’s also a box of vintage early 1950s comic books that my destructive younger brothers shredded after I went off to college. I’d be able to afford a better brand of cat food in my retirement years if they were in the same condition as when I left. They saved the fragments just to drive me crazy.

1961 Eighth Grade Class at Trinity Lutheran School

We were together for nine years at Trinity Lutheran School

Most of us were in the same class from kindergarten through the eighth grade. Even though the yearbook didn’t have names with the pictures, I can probably still place names with all but about three or four pictures (they may not be the RIGHT names, but…). No, I’m not going to tell you which one was me.

Valentine’s Day ranked way up there in the Grand Scheme of Holidays. It wasn’t quite Christmas, the Fourth of July or Halloween, but it came pretty close to your Birthday.

The only hassle was having to fill out a card for every member of your class. Then, there was the agony of picking out which card went to which kid. You didn’t want to send one that was too mushy to a girl in the sixth grade.

Now that I look back at these cards from sixth and seventh grade level, I wonder about some of the cards I got from the boys in my class.

Was there a message I missed?

Judy Schrader’s card saying that she wished I’d fall for her line caused my heart to pitter patter. I mean, we actually skated together at the Hanover Skating Rink on Friday nights. That was a big deal. (At least to me, it was.)

Getting that same card from Don Sander seems a little strange these days. I mean, I shared a tent with him on Scout camping trips. I never realized he felt that way.

These were simpler times

The card below didn’t come for Valentine’s Day. My dad built roads all over Southeast Missouri and we lived in a house trailer he’d pull from small town to small town. When I was about three years old, we must have gotten to know a family in Mountain View well enough that I was invited to a birthday party.

Look at how the envelope was addressed:

Kenny Steinhoff

City

It didn’t have a street address, a city, state or Zip Code. It wasn’t even addressed to my parents. It’s addressed to a three-year-old living in a house trailer. And it cost just a penny to be delivered.

You can’t beat that with a stick.

Gallery of cards

These represent a couple of years, because several classmates appear more than once. I guessed at last names, but I think I’m close to right. Click on any card to make it larger, click on the left or right side to move through the images.

Valentine Season Aside

Forty-five years ago this month, I was lucky enough to meet Lila Perry, who was working as a cashier at the Rialto Theater. We were married in 1969 and she’s tolerated me every since. I wrote up the whole story last year.

 

Lynch Finds Santa – in JACKSON

Shopper eyes Santa Claus in Cape Girardeau (actually Jackson)Hillary wrote that it takes a village. She got that right. It took a village of CHS readers to find a town – Jackson.

To recap: I posted a gallery of Christmas shopping pictures on Wednesday and confessed that I didn’t know where they were taken. Since one of them showed the inside of a Rexall Drugs store, I jumped to the conclusion that it had to be Unnerstall’s on Good Hope and that Santa would be nearby.

Santa drew guesses

My brother, Mark, missed the target completely. He thought it was taken from Shivelbine’s on Broadway.

Missourian photographer Fred Lynch keyed in on the telephone pole in the picture and convinced himself (and me) that it was taken on Good Hope near my original guess.

He sent me pictures that seemed to confirm it and I posted an update here. He followed it up with some pictures later taken from almost the same angle as mine that sure made it look like we had found the correct spot.

Fred Lynch Haarig photo looking southBill Hopkins chimes in

Emails with pictures attached start flowing in from Bill Hopkins, none of which are even close.

Blitstein sees problem

Chuck Blitstein posted a great description of Good Hope from the days when he worked at Cape Cut rate, but then he questioned our findings:

The location of your Santa photo presents a real conundrum, and the several ‘clues’ exacerbate the problem rather than lead to its resolve; e.g., the shoes in the window tend to make one think of a Men’s Clothing Store; in the 60s the shopping areas were Main Street, Broadway and Good Hope.  Sides-Miller was in the 600 block of Broadway, Irvin’s and Ross Young were on Main but I do not remember a cafe/bar across from them.  Al’s Mid-Town Lounge at 627 Good Hope might  have had a Stag Beer sign, but the word Cafe doesn’t seem to fit and the location seems wrong for the picture.  Hirsch’s might have sold shoes but again, the cafe/bar across the street?  Then, there is the car, ’62 Dodge Dart?  It looks like it is parked at an angle?  I thought all on-street parking was parallel, but maybe not.  Oh, well, a senior moment, I guess.

Hopkins questions Lynch

Building across the street closeupBill Hopkins: Fred, take a look at the door in the Santa photo; it has a transom (is that the correct term?) above it and then a window offset slightly to the viewer’s right. In the photo of the building you propose as the correct one, that door (if it’s the same door) does not have such a window above it. In fact, the building you took a photo of shows those star thingies; they were connected to rods and helped support the building. My deceased pal Floyd Runnels (father of Jeanie Runnels Eddleman, the artist who draws historical buildings) was a bricklayer and explained that to me once. Of course I don’t remember what he said.

One more thing I noticed: the Santa building has drainage over the top windows; the suspect building does not.

Larry Saddler agrees with Blitstein

Larry Sadler: Chuck Blitstein points out that the car looks like it is angle parked.  I agree with him.  The sign on the window looks like it says Palace Cafe to me.  I don’t remember the Palace Cafe in Cape Girardeau.  Could this possibly be a picture taken in Jackson.  I believe they used angle parking extensively in Jackson.  The mystery continues.

So does Jesse James

Jesse James: Doesn’t look like the Santa picture is in Cape, notice the car is parked at an angle and not parallel. Don’t remember any places that was done in Cape, maybe Jackson?

Brenda Bone Lapp piles on

Brenda Bone Lapp: I  agree with Jesse that the photo of the boy with the Santa in the storefront is taken in Jackson.  I think it is somewhere in the area of the Square.  It may be close to that store (I think it was a feed store) where they had the stuffed horse in the window.  Remember that?

[Editor’s note: I sure do remember it. It was next door to The Jackson Pioneer, where I worked.]

Fred sends a flash bulletin

Fred Lynch: Flash! Santa mystery photo solved! Details to follow. (I have a day job.)
Clue: The utility pole is gone.

Fred discovers Santa in Jackson

[Here’s the complete account. Fred doesn’t normally talk about himself in the third person. He was trying to make it easy for me by making it look like I had actually written this, but I want to make sure he gets full credit for running around for two days and enlisting the help of a co-worker. I think we should make him an honorary member of Central High School 1960s’ Decade]

GD Fronabarger shooting parade in front of Southeast MissourianFred Lynch: When photojournalist Fred Lynch is not taking pictures for The Southeast Missourian, a daily newspaper in Cape Girardeau, Mo., he can be found driving around looking at buildings to identify for Ken Steinhoff’s blog. Ken was Fred’s predecessor in the late 1960s at the Missourian.

Fred is always up for a challenge, more so since starting his own blog, F/8 and Be There. Fred shares old photos of Cape Girardeau and their background with readers on the web site. Some of the pictures date back to the 1920s and earlier. Many have been taken by G.D. Fronabarger from the 30s to the 60s. Frony was Ken’s predecessor at the newspaper.

With an eye for detail, Fred checked a photo that Ken took of a child standing outside a store window that had a Santa Claus in it. Ken didn’t remember where it was taken, so he invited blog readers to help.

Looking for clues

Using two different frames of the photo that Ken provided, Fred found these clues:

  • Utility pole
  • Parking meter
  • Two women walking across the street
  • Automobile angle-parked
  • Store across the street with Palace Cafe on the window
  • The two-story building with distinctive second-floor windows, building trim
    above the windows
  • A glass case with a movie poster inside.

Fred first thought the scene was the 600 block of Good Hope. He even took pictures to support the theory. The pole was there and the windows were there, or so he thought. In the end, Fred could not fit the square peg into the round hole.

Wrong street. And wrong town.

The mystery Santa photo was not taken in Cape Girardeau. It was in Jackson.

Old Palace Theater and cafe in Jackson, MOFred began his quest with a call to Cathy Hancock at the Jackson office of The Southeast Missourian. She grew up in Jackson. Fred learned from Cathy that Rozier’s department store had a Santa in their window back in the 1960s
when Ken took the photo.

[Editor’s note: I was working for The Jackson Pioneer at the time, so it’s likely that I shot these pictures for it, and not The Missourian.]

Fred learned from Cathy that Jackson had a movie theater at the time, the Palace Theater. Cathy contacted a friend who confirmed there was a Palace Cafe next door to the theater.

Buildings change over decades. The utility poles on High Street are gone, as well as the parking meters. Rozier’s is now High Street Center, an office building. The theater is no more, but one can imagine it was there from the
front. Now it has a church and a beauty salon. The Palace Cafe is now Lloyd’s of Jackson, a bar. And so it goes with progress in Jackson.
.

[Thanks to Fred and Cathy at The Missourian and thanks to all of you who pulled out magnifying glasses to help solve this mystery.]

Santa Search Causes My Head to Hurt

Santa Claus photo printed to emphasize background buildingI’ve been poking around trying to figure out where the Santa picture was taken that I posted here. I’ve looked at Google Maps, Topofusion Maps and every current photo I took last month. My head hurts.

Brother Mark suggested it might have been taken from Shivelbine’s Music on Broadway, but I pretty much dismissed that. (And not just because he’s my brother.)

Here’s a second frame taken from a slightly different angle that shows that the business across the street is, indeed, a bar and / or cafe.  Note the six windows that are visible on the second floor. (Click on the image to make it larger.)

Southeast Missourian photographer Fred Lynch came up with another theory.

Fred’s message and photos

It looks like the Santa in the window photo was taken in the 600 block of Good Hope in the Haarig District.

I shot these photos today.

Photo #1, the building in the background

The south side of the 600 block of Good Hope in Cape Girardeau's Haarig District

In photo #1, notice the three-story building on the left. It appears that is in the background of your Santa photo. At the far right in the Santa photo, notice the two-story building.

Photo #2, the building from which the photo was taken

The north side of the 600 block of Good Hope in Cape Girardeau's Haarig District

The Santa photo has a utility pole in it. In photo #2, notice the utility pole in front of the building.

The buildings have changed much over the years.

I am not sure which building was Unnerstall’s since it has changed.

It could be, it might not be

Like Fred says, the street has changed so much that it’s hard to tell what was there 40 years ago. The best reference I have is a 1979 Cape Girardeau City Directory that lists what business were in the 600 block of Good Hope. Even in 1979 it was depressing to see how many addresses were marked “Vacant.”

North side of 600 Block of Good Hope

Here is what the directory shows for the addresses in Photo #2 in 1979, from right to left:

  • 620 Good Hope (Meyer Supply Company) was Suedekum Hardware
  • 624 Good Hope – vacant
  • 624A Good Hope – vacant
  • 626 Good hope – vacant
  • 630 Good Hope – Unnerstall’s Drug Store. I think that’ll be the light-colored building with the white awning.
  • 632 Good Hope – Mary Dee Cafe
  • 632 Good Hope – vacant
  • 635 Good Hope – on corner of Sprigg (not shown) – Jo Donna Day Dance School (was Shade’s Clothing Store in the 60s)

If Fred is correct, the original picture was probably taken in one of the small shops between Meyer Supply Company and Unnerstall’s.

Does anyone else want to take a stab at it?

Haarig was once a vibrant community

Suedekum’s wasn’t just a hardware store. They set up some great toy train displays at Christmas time. I’ll never forget the year Dad brought home of of their displays. I still have the trains.

There was a bakery right around the corner east of the hardware store that had smells to die for. We would shop for clothes in Schade’s Clothing Store and get prescriptions filled at Unnerstall’s or Cape Cut Rate. One of my barbers was within a block on Sprigg and there was a grocery store nearby.

Farmer’s and Merchants Bank was on the other side of Sprigg and Dad had an office for his construction company upstairs for awhile. I can still remember walking into the bank with a handful small change to deposit in my savings account. (Later I was disappointed to find that my money got mixed in with everyone else’s money and I wouldn’t get the exact coins back.)

[Editor’s note: Fred’s photo blog in The Missourian is one of the most widely-read features in the paper. If you like my photos, you’ll appreciate the ones he comes up with.]

60’s Cape Girardeau Christmas Shoppers

This is another head-scratcher. I have no clue where these pictures were taken, nor who is in them. (Click on any photo to enlarge it, then step through them by clicking on the left or right side of the picture.)

[Important update: just about everything I wrote here is wrong. The pictures were taken in Jackson, not Cape. For info about the Santa, go here. For the drug store and other shopper pictures, go here.]

Rexall Drugs

Rexall DrugThe only clue I have in a couple of them is that there is a Rexall sign in the window. As far as I know, there were two Rexall drug stores in town.

  • Finney Drug Store, 709 Broadway
  • Unnerstall’s Drug Store, 630 Good Hope

If you look out the window, there a store across the street that’s selling bananas. Dr. Wilson’s office was pretty much directly across from Finney’s and I can’t see him selling bananas, so that leads me to believe that this was Unnerstall’s.

I wonder who the perky blonde was and what she was promoting.

Cape Girardeau Drug StoreLiquor on the shelves

I didn’t think drug stores sold liquor, but The Southeast Missourian’s Out of the Past column had this item:

75 years ago: Feb. 6, 1934

Frank Unnerstall, proprietor of Unnerstall’s Drug Store, 626 Good Hope St., has been issued the first city license to sell liquor at retail by the package.

That’s another reason to think it was Unnerstall’s.

Checking out Santa Claus

Shopper eyes Santa Claus in Cape GirardeauThere are a few clues to the location of where the boy and Santa, but not enough for me to pull an address out.

The two-story brick building across the street has a window sign that starts with “Pa” before it’s cut off by the power pole. The “Ca” below it makes me wonder if it’s a cafe.

I looked through all the pictures I took of Broadway and Main Street last month and couldn’t find any existing building that matched the architecture enough for me to make a good guess.

I hope one of you will leave a comment if you know where it is.

Interior shots give no clues

The interior photos were taken in several different stores, but I don’t have any idea where they were. I sent copies to my Mother, who seemingly knows everyone in town, but she drew a blank, too.

Here’s a gallery of all the photos

(As always, click on an image to make it larger.)

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.